|Zimbabwe national flag|
But everything you see from Europe about Zimbabwe is not true. The people here are very welcoming and very friendly, even if anything but nothing is free. Every service rendered costs a price. But then, why not? It's the same for everybody.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, it's not a country where it's easy to travel on your own without a car. But let's start where I left off last time.
In Mutare I said goodbye to Marco and Claudia the evening before leaving, because they would only leave for Beira around 9 or 10. My plans were to be off in a bus driving towards Harare at 7.30 latest. So I woke up at 6.20, got ready, and wanted to leave, but no one was around to call me a taxi like promised. I waited a while, and then decided to start on foot and catch a taxi anywhere. Just then my promised help came out and called me a taxi that was here not 2 minutes later. The taxi drove me to the bus rank where I caught a coach with 5 people in a row instead of 4. It was a bit squeezy, but still ok. We got to Mbare in Harare about 4 to 5 hours later.
|One of the famous Baker's Inn|
|My sister's milk|
After that I went back to town and went looking for the best way to go to Malawi from Harare. I found out following:
- A border crossing to Mozambique would cost me USD 110 (more
expensive than ever);
- A flight with Air Malawi is not possible anymore, as they do
not currently operate;
- A flight with South African Airways would take me to Jo'burg
overnight and cost me USD 485;
- A Zambian visa would cost me around USD 50.
|Visa for Malawi|
Like every time I arrive in a new city full of people, I dread the moment I have to step out of the relative safety of the bus or coach into the streets full of thugs, robbers and murderers (haha). You have to be aware that where the bus and coaches stop, are mostly mugging zones. People get their bags snatched away. But if you're careful to keep everything under your control, you should be fine. Don't take a picture in these moments that can be confusing if there's a lot of people, which is mostly what happens. Between the ones getting of the bus, the ones getting on, the ones selling stuff and the people that are around for any given reason. I'd have loved to take a picture of Mbare when I got of, and capture the essence of the moment. But that's not possible anyway. Mbare is so different to the rest of the city and its suburbs (at least those i've visited).
If you want some authentic African Experience, try Zimbabwe with its awesome people. They're always up for a chat and a lot will want some money from you in some way for some service. But they don't hassle the tourists, they don't hate the tourists, they are just a little perplexed at what we are doing here as Zimbabweans mostly travel to visit relatives and friends. They usually don't visit places and sights. Although they should, and I've met a few who did. Be aware of muggers who are swift, I experienced this first hand this day. I felt a tugging on my daypack and when I checked the bag, the small pocket was open, and the stupidly placed phones were gone. I guess I am lucky I haven't been mugged when I had wallet and passport in there.