There is something about a sun setting in East Africa. Maybe it’s the dust from inland and the umbrella Acacia silhouetted against it, or Masai tribesmen herding goats and cows into the safety of the boma for the night (a crudely but effective pen made from trees with thorns more than 3 inches long). Africa is a wild place and even along the well worn path of the tourist route you can find adventure, culture and wildlife like nowhere else on earth. This year we wanted to put something together for our clients that would give them more than just an African safari and kiteboarding holiday.
Victoria Falls, from the Zambian side, turned out to be the highlight for many of the 18 people who traveled with us. The mighty Zambezi goes from calm, still deep waters to shallow rapids a few hundred metres before the falls. Zooming down this stretch of river in a boat to Livingstone Island, you’re now in the spray, witnessing the river plunge off the edge of the world while standing on the site of David Livingstone’s first view point. Swimming in Devils Pool is not for the faint hearted but it is something you never forget; a deep pool on the edge of the falls with fast water continually filling it and pushing itself over the falls. Sitting precariously and looking straight down and into the gorge of one of the biggest waterfalls in the world is an incredible sight!
Departing Nairobi in Kenya, we set out on an ambitious 3000km+ road trip across two countries which took us through some of the best game reserves in Africa. We witnessed 100,000’s of wildebeest & zebra in full swing on the Great Migration, majestic leopards, slender cheetah, lion super-prides, rare and endangered black rhino and hundreds of elephants just to name a few. A long expedition like this gives you a real taste of Africa. Border crossings, towns and villages, shopping in local markets and crossing the Rift Valley were all par for the course. Our travel bags also made the journey from Nairobi in Kenya to Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania on their own private road trip strapped to the roof of a bus.
Dan Sweeney arrived in Zanzibar a day before our arrival the next night. The excitement on his face as he told the group about the beach he’d seen during the day was great and had everyone pumped. We were impressed by Dan’s ability to act maturely & professionally with all our clients. Dan has quite the analytical mind when it comes to breaking down all facets of kiteboarding and it was nice to see him relating on all levels, from water starts to unhooked passes with our guests. He was committed to training and looked after himself like a professional athlete, ready to hit the water every day.
For the next 17 days we kited over aqua blue tropical waters on a beach with sand as fine as dust and white as snow stretching for miles. Protecting the beach is an offshore reef with nice, easy waves for beginners and larger bombs on the edge of the passes. Accommodation options cover everyone from $20 to $2000 per night right on the beach.
Zanzibar has a rich history and diverse culture as one of the main trading routes between Africa, Arabia and Europe. As well as being known as the spice capital, it also has a darker past as the old slave capital during a time when the Arabian Sultans were in power. They traded Africans who were bought or captured from inland and sold them off as a commodity to work in unfamiliar lands. Fortunately, all this ended with the world’s shortest ever war in 1896 between England and the Sultan of Zanzibar. Interestingly enough, the town of Zanzibar was once also the capital of Oman. The war lasted 38 minutes before the white flag was raised and the buildings around the Sultan’s palace had been destroyed, thus abolishing the slave trade.
We were lucky enough to have a couple of 2015 Cabrinha kites with us that were captured in amazing shots on the magical Zanzibarian waters. In all, we had 37 kites, of which 33 were Cabrinha (a good mix of 2015, 2014 & 2013). Two of our clients also had their 2015’s in time for Africa, and since returning home, another two have already upgraded to the latest.
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