LeoPassi's Guestbook

29th June 2015

Thanks for your perspectives Leo of this amazing country. We hear in Oz that it's a food bowl where farmers are encouraged to take up the slack caused by Zim's demise. Did you see evidence of that? In Lusake when we were there, I was taken by its modern shopping centres and general prosperity. This was particularly so as we stayed near the consular district to access the British High Commission after the cook on our safari stole my passport and money. That area was affluent indeed. Throughout Zambia we found the people quite hassle free of tourists which was a welcome change from Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. You sound as if you enjoyed your time there.
29th June 2015

True enough
Indeed Dave, I stayed in the Mkushi farming district for 5 nights with a couple who had previously farmed in Zimbabwe. Like the majority in the district they were evicted from their farms in Zim over 10 years back. It appears to be hard work clearing the land and starting afresh but it's amazing what they've achieved in such a short time. Of course there is a smaller contingent of older white farmers who have been there many years longer and are allegedly very prosperous but that's anecdotal. I did enjoy my time there. Where are you now? Last I saw you were in the US? Sorry I must contribute more and not just post! Thanks for the feedback.
16th June 2015

It is a border crossing...
Beitbridge is an absolute nightmare to cross, the main reason being the volume of commercial traffic - a lot of it transiting through Zimbabwe to Zambia and the Congo because Botswana is even more of a nightmare. True to is the unfortunate fact that the greasing of palms is expected and failure to do so can add time to your crossing. But... take out your camera at any international crossing especially in the current air of Islamaphobia and see how long it is till you are asked to explain yourself, on that point you'll be happy to find African officials wearing a smile when asking you - in Australia, the process may begin with a cavity search
16th June 2015

You have a valid point.
14th June 2015

Travel is always enhanced by those we meet along the way. Sounds like you've met an interesting collection of people. I always love the architecture, the churches, foods and the people
12th June 2015

Not isolated to any one part of the world but certainly an issue for this aspiring young business man. Everyone wants a hand out. Thanks for sharing to story of the people you have met along the way. You've done an excellent job on this blog.
14th June 2015

Thanks so much. People have so many interesting stories and experiences to share but usually either we're too busy to listen or the other party is too busy to share their story. In a bus/taxi/train you are forced to slow down & the chance to engage is there - a captive audience one might say!
30th May 2015
Jacaranda-lined avenue in Suburbs, Bulawayo

23rd May 2015

What are you doing my friend? You cannot take pictures here.
I find immigration checks such a lottery. The slackest was Jo'burg on a flight from Zambia. The "Nothing to declare" line had no one on duty so we just got off the plane and walked out of the airport...and that was weird 'cause I only had a letter to enter South Africa and no passport. But I'd be nervous entering Zim so I find your experience of only casual inspection as curious, yet probably a relief for you.
26th May 2015

Very true
I imagine that was quite some time ago Dave? I don't think there's anyway of slipping through the immigration checkpoint at the current, upgraded international terminal. As for these places being 'hit and miss' I concur. I am now in Zambia and entering via the Vic Falls broder post was an absolute breeze. No queue, friendly officers on BOTH sides and over in minutes. The big difference with that port of entry is the proximity of one of the world's great natural wonders, the Victoria Falls. Tourist dollar = more efficiency. In this case at least!
16th May 2015

South Africa
Great blog. Loved reading your perspective. As you say this area is diverse. The architecture sounds great.
26th May 2015

Thanks for the feedback
Very much appreciate the supportive comment. Thank you.
14th May 2015
Madiba and me, Union Buildings.

The State of the Nation
What a contrast of affluence and poverty, safe and unsafe...yet its known as the Rainbow Nation. Fascinating insights Leo. My memories are of manicured hills with slums creeping down...shopping centres without power as the power lines had been stolen...the largest exporter of copper in Africa we were told yet they don't mine copper...areas where you don't stop for fear of car-jackings. You look happy in this pic. How safe did you feel wandering the streets?
14th May 2015
Madiba and me, Union Buildings.

Yes indeed
Is South Africa a dangerous place? As with so many things in this diverse country it depends on the circumstances. Using one's common sense do not walk the streets outside of the many malls and shopping centres flaunting your wealth, especially after dark. There are also no-go areas as a European or probably anyone else who most likely does not 'fit in'. I was once mugged, years ago, near Johannesburg Park station wandering around pretty aimlessly near the taxi rank looking for a cheap ride back to the suburbs. That was not very clever of me. The stats on crime do not make happy reading but one has to also remember that much it goes on in the townships where alcohol, unemployment and drugs abuse is a problem. That said I felt at ease with a guide on a tour of one such township and I walked again near Park Street, in daylight this time, without any hindrance...
2nd May 2015
'Sealing' the deal

You've learned to use your new camera phone to the best of its ability. Great shot. Enjoyed your blog.
20th August 2014

Technologically unhinged
These situations force you into the hearts of people. Have fun. Let go and enjoy
21st August 2014

Yes you are correct GogoBuzz. Nothing is achieved by dwelling on such situations. All is good as I write...
20th August 2014

The people in your travels
I enjoyed meeting them your way. Thanks for sharing
20th August 2014

Made me chuckle
Enjoyed reading your blog :) I still get conned sometimes and that's after living here for a year!
13th May 2014

From the Highveld to the Cape
Hi Leo. I enjoyed reading this. It's always good to see your own country through the eyes of a sojourner. You have an easy relaxed style. I would have been interested to see your reporting on the more remote parts where I live. Happy Travels
13th May 2014

Thanks GogoBuzz. Nice name by the way! I always think back to the Vodacom Ads with the 'Yebo Gogo' catchline and the old white-haired guy... So where is it you live? There's a chance I may have visited it previously.
1st May 2014

It is
Thanks guys :) I have visited Durban regularly over the years with my family, since my earliest memories really. It has changed a lot over the years but it's still the same sand, sea and laid back people! May it remain so for years to come.
23rd April 2014

Durban is one of my favorite places in the world, and i am in love with the suncoast beach of Durban. we have really nice memories with Durban and your post boosted them all. thanks for sharing and yes, nice photo collection Leo :) www.mbtukstore.com

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