JoLT 2014 – Trip Diary

Day 1 & 2 – Saturday/Sunday August 19th & 20th

After months of nervous anticipation, on Saturday morning 23 JoLters and 8 leaders said farewell to the UK for an eleven hour flight to South Africa! Katie, Chantelle, Shelby, Joe and Jade all survived their first flights in excellent fashion and even managed to stomach 2 meals of airplane food! Jess was so excited about her journey that she slept from take off to landing…

Despite Buzza and Joe’s best efforts to sabotage Claire’s very organised passport plot, we had soon managed our transfer to Livingstone, Zambia, the next morning. We were pleased to hear on arriving at Faulty Towers Hotel, that Basil Fawlty was not in charge, and after settling in to our rooms we excitedly sat down for our first authentic African meal… Burger and fries!!

A game of ‘limb ball’ in the afternoon was hotly contested but, there being no clear winner, a re-match may soon be in order!

A brave few took to the icy pool for a dip before dinner and a welcome early night, ready to head off to Victoria falls in the morning!

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Day 1&2


Day 3 – Monday 21st July – Victoria Falls

The team’s first major challenge today was navigating the 692 metre drop to the ‘boiling point’, the first major rapids underneath Victoria falls. With difficult terrain, uneven steps and baboon families as obstacles, we were really required to pull together as a team – and managed with great success!

The views from the bottom of swirling rapids, stunning rainbows and the Falls Bridge rejuvenated us ready for the even more challenging haul back up! After a brief lunch stop, at which Nigel was conned by the local baboons into sacrificing his lunch, we were off to see the Falls from the top! The volume of water was impressive; soon we were all more than a little damp from the spray! Jamie and Jack had to wring out their t-shirts before getting back on the bus…

We dried off at the local market where we tried out our bargaining skills with the local vendors, who were very impressed to hear that Richard Jamie and Iain were Scottish and were keen to know if they were related to David Livingstone!

Back at Fawlty Towers, we had time for a quick swim before dinner and preparing ourselves for tomorrow’s rafting adventure!

We have had a really amazing day with JoLters overcoming tough challenges and our first daily awards were tough decisions! Toby was nominated as our first ‘star of the day’ for his resilience and achievement in conquering obstacles throughout the day.


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Day 3


Day 4 & 5 – Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd July

After breakfast at Fawlty Towers, we had our first drive on rural Zambian roads – and really put our minibuses’ suspension to the test! We were driving to the Zambezi river – but passing through national park territory we were lucky enough to see zebras, impala and buffaloes en route. We loaded into our rafts and were off down the river! The views were stunning and we all had our eyes out for wildlife. Jack had particularly keen eyes and spotted couple of ‘rockoppotamouses’ on the banks before spotting a real hippo…

We visited a rural village for lunch and were very warmly welcomed by the village leader and lots of the local children. Soon we were back on the water to navigate some more of the rapids. Yasar managed to take to the helm, steering his boat with remarkable skill – we don’t think the guide knew when he handed over the reins that he couldn’t see where he was going!! His endeavours were rewarded with the ‘star of the day’ accolade.

We arrived to our wild camp and couldn’t believe our luck – we were glamping in style! A beautifully prepared evening meal was followed by some hilarious campfire songs led by Andy on guitar, Jamie E on percussion and Chantelle and Lizzie heading up vocals. An especially dramatic rendition of Hakuna Matata was enough to scare any wild beasts away… With the exception of a couple of large spiders who braved staying in the girls’ tent!

After a frosty night, the earliest risers were treated to a beautiful sunrise and the remaining sleepy-heads awoke to the first of many renditions of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Shaun who turned sixteen today! We couldn’t believe our luck when our hosts served up a full English breakfast, as well as speedboat rides and a cake as birthday treats!

We had canoes as well as rafts for the next section of the river, and Steph and Hannah excelled in their first experiences of paddling, as we travelled past many hippos and exotic birds. With much singing and chanting, we raced to the finish line spurred on by the sighting of a large crocodile.

A short journey back to Fawlty Towers left us with time to relax by the pool before a traditional Zambian meal of nsima with chicken and local vegetables. And another few renditions of Happy Birthday, of course!

Country one complete: Katie’s verdict – “Awesome!”


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Day 4&5


Day 6 – Thurs 24th July

We sadly said goodbye to Faulty Towers ready for our next adventure – off to Botswana!  Everything seemed to be running smoothly until ‘no-man’s land’ between the two countries – unusually a river crossing across the Zambezi.  We jumped off the ferry to discover that Jamie L hadn’t had his passport stamped by the border authorities! We quickly jumped back on the ferry to remedy the situation before the passport control discovered the illegal immigrant now in our midst…

The group safely back together, we made tracks across Botswana to our camp at Ihaha in Chobe national park, and off for our first game drive! Everything seemed to be going without a hitch… Until one of our safari trucks got a flat tire… And the spare was also flat! With some lateral thinking and help from Joe, we were soon back on the road.  Within two hours we had seen giraffes, buffalo, zebra, warthogs, elephants, impalas, jackals, crocodiles and wildebeest, as well as a variety of beautiful birds.  Just before heading home, we turned a corner to find a pack of young lions within metres of our vehicle! We couldn’t believe our eyes as we watched them play and attempt to chase a herd of impalas… Jack even managed to take a ‘selfie’ with one of the lions!

We all had an amazing day and there were many great examples of JOLTers helping each other out.  The Star of the day was awarded to Jamie L and Chantelle for their consistent helpfulness  and positivity throughout the safari and settling up for our first night’s camping.

Day 7 – Friday 25th July

Although now getting used to our 0530 wake-ups, we still weren’t quite sharp enough to save our sugar bowl from being stolen from under our noses by another cheeky baboon who visited us at breakfast time!  Christine established a solid friendship with a toad she found as we packed up… Soon we were back on the road heading for Savuti Plains National Park. Even on the drive over, we were treated to many more zebra, elephant and buffalo sightings to keep us entertained.

After lunch we hoped to head off on our game drive promptly – but a rogue elephant having his own lunch in our camp had other plans! We eventually managed to find a safe route out and set off on our next safari adventure!

The two highlights of our game drive today were a brief sighting of a leopard, and a very exciting scene where a group of rare wild dogs hunted a Kudo which found refuge buried up to the neck in some flooded ground.  We felt like we were watching a wildlife documentary!

In the evening we had ‘JOLT time’  – chance to reflect on our first week together and what we had learned.  After such an intense start it was great to take a few minutes to reflect and share our thoughts.

Day 8 – Saturday 26th July

Breakfast this morning was made more interesting by a number of visiting yellow-beaked hornbills –  or ‘flying banana’ as it is known to the locals, by virtue of its curved yellow beak. Jamie E stepped up to protect our food, but the birds were unbothered, continuing their attack and even using his head a a resting perch!

This morning we were off to Moremi, a little further South in Botswana. Our camp was a little more basic than the ones we had previously used, and we had our first experiences with the long-drop or ‘bush toilet’ – and everyone survived!!

Another amazing day’s Safari was rounded off watching the sun set over the Chobe river, with hippos providing entertainment in the foreground… Molly is certainly having plenty of practice at improving her fear of hippos! We had a lovely evening around the campfire, singing songs and eating toasted marshmallows… Bliss!

Day 9 – Sunday 27th July

This was our last morning with the guides who had masterfully negotiated the remote savannah, provided us with some wonderful fireside food and kept us safe checking the surrounding area before we ventured to the loo’s at night!  Thank you gifts were given by Harvey, Jamie and Rich, introduced by Iain with his chanter!

Back in the safari vehicles we were glad for our JOLT fleeces with a windy and somewhat nippy drive to Audi camp, our next stop. With three meals over the course of the afternoon, posh stilted tents with REAL BEDS and a lovely pool to relax by, it was quite the treat!  Yaser especially enjoyed being able to have Halal meat for the first time on the trip.  After-dinner entertainment was provided by Jess entertained with her turkey impressions, and Rich with his bandy knee’d giraffe impersonation! For the hefty bet of a dollar, Jack completed a spaghetti challenge – enough to feed a small elephant!  We’re hoping that if we give him ten dollars he might organise the rest of the trip for us!

After lovely outdoor showers we packed for the next day – off to the Okavango Delta!

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Day 6-9



Day 10 – Monday 28th July

After a tasty breakfast of pancakes, eggs, fresh coffee and other treats, we were off to the Okavango Delta. On a bumpy journey, we learned that the local drivers preferred to drive on the bumpy ground at the side of the road rather than on the road itself, and had remarkable skills at driving over rolling logs masquerading as bridges!

After several river crossings we were greeted by our expert ‘polers’ and paired off ready for our journey on Mokoros – old-fashioned boats carved out of trees. Nigel’s ‘larger than life’ character meant that a quick boat change was necessary in order to stop his original Mokoro from sinking… There was an air of excitement as we were selected for our Mokoro transport, and as intrepid explorers we tentatively stepped aboard our boats that were just wide enough for one person, and hollowed out of the Okavango sausage tree! With water lapping up the sides of our canoes, often to within a few centimetres of coming over the top we set off in a flotilla of meandering boats.

After a relaxing journey under the African sun, many found it hard not to drift off to sleep, soothed by the lapping waters of the delta. We navigated the 12 foot reed maze, dotted with floating lilies, with the sound track of hippos and the famous birdlife, an arrived to our camp. We busily set up our tents again – including more long drop toilets, with amazing views over the bush! A superb buffet lunch set us up for a safari walk in the afternoon – and some amazing sightings of giraffes, zebras and elephants whilst the sun set. We were also educated about many types of animal dung… It turned out that Katie was already quite an expert!

After an awesome stir-fry dinner, we were treated to a traditional Botswana performance around the fire; Toby found the singing, dancing and storytelling were “inspiring”; Richy, Jamie E and Hannah had great fun joining in with the traditional dancing! We picked up our guitar to reciprocate with some of our own music – but ‘she’ll be coming round the mountain’ wasn’t quite up to their high standards…

The star of the day was awarded to Richy for his consistent help setting up camps the past few days.


Day 11 – Tuesday 29th July

After another 6am start and quick breakfast, we headed off for another safari walk. Yasar impressed us with his skills at knocking palm nuts down from 50 feet in the air, Livvy provided amusement falling down a hole mid-trek, and Jamie found a recently-shed snake skin to entertain us all with- All this whilst zebra and giraffe looked on!

Refreshed and exercised we arrived back to a delicious brunch – cooked breakfast as well as potato salad, ham and cheese! After breaking camp, we boarded our Mokoro canoes and set off across the delta again for another bumpy journey with the promise of showers when we arrived back at camp… But very disappointed when they turned out to be icy cold! A few team members were surprised to find various ‘gifts’ from Christine, Lizzie and Jess in their bags and hoods when we got back – I’m sure they’ll be taking their dung presents home as souvenirs…

Burgers and chips were well received in the evening, but this didn’t stop the camp bar being well used as a waffle house for pre-bedtime treats!

Hannah’s dancing skills around the fire the previous night won her the star of the day award. We’re hoping she’ll provide us with after-dinner entertainment every night from now on…

We settled into our solid beds again for a comfy night’s sleep ready to head off to the rhino sanctuary in the morning!

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Day 10 & 11


Day 12 – Wednesday 30th July

An enthusiastic wake-up call from Richy meant that we were seated for our first meal of the day well before the restaurant expected! After a hearty hot breakfast, and verses of ‘Happy Eid’ sung to Yasar, we were well fuelled for another highly competitive game of limb ball before our shiny new buses arrived for the next section of our adventure!

Our journey to Khama Rhino Sanctuary was broken by a tasty lunch at the side of the road and many trips the bush toilets! Jamie E explored many of the treetops along the way, displaying impressive climbing skills…

On arrival, we were greeted by our new guides and had a little time to settle into our rooms before heading up to the restaurant for delicious local chicken curry. A stunning starlit sky overhead, we travelled back to our rooms for a welcome rest.



Day 13- Thursday 31st July

After a hot breakfast up at the restaurant, we met the educational lead for the rhino sanctuary, who spoke to us about their work and projects. We then went on a nature walk, learning some interesting facts about the rhinos and their habitat, before heading out in safari trucks to see it we could see them in the flesh!

After not seeing any rhinos in the first part of the drive, we suddenly spotted one walking over to a watering hole we had stopped at. We were very excited to see gentle-giant ‘Peter’ join the vultures and warthogs for a drink. Soon we were overwhelmed with sightings – one sleeping in the distance, another group coming over to the watering hole, some even crossing the road right in front of us!

All the rhinos we had seen in the park had been white rhinos, the rare black rhinos being much more elusive. We were interested to learn that the colours describing the animals are not related to the colour of their hide – ‘white’ rhinos actually picking up their name as a miss-hearing of ‘wide’ in Afrikaans, as they are the larger of the two varieties; ‘black’ being then chosen simply as the opposite of the adopted word. Khama sanctuary is currently in the process of increasing their black rhino population from 5 to 9, importing the new four from South Africa. We were lucky enough to see one of these new arrivals close up in its ‘holding pen’, and incredibly many of our group were even able to touch the animal’s skin as it walked past the fence!
A remarkably successful mission to find Jamie E’s wallet, which could have been dropped almost anywhere in the reserve, set us up for a slightly delayed lunch. Re-energised, we set to work helping with maintenance around the sanctuary. Our jobs were cutting back vegetation and felling trees, and work was undertaken enthusiastically by the whole group.

We were rewarded for our exertion with a delicious beef stew for dinner, improved further by a kind couple in the restaurant who not only didn’t mind us taking over their romantic meal, but very generously bought a round of drinks for the whole group!

Star of the day was awarded to Sarah for her impressive efforts with the physical work in the afternoon’s projects.


Day 14 – Friday 1st August

After an impressively organised morning, we were packed up, breakfasted and ready to go in record time. Ahead of us loomed one of the longest journeys in our trip, 610km travelling over the border and into South Africa – we were keen to hit the road!

Unfortunately one of our trailers had other ideas and an hour or so into the journey we were suddenly alerted by a very loud metallic noise behind the vehicle that one of the bolts had worn through, leaving the trailer dragging along the road behind us! A number of the male JOLTers were able to prove their skills as budding mechanics working out a solution. With good displays of teamwork all round, we were able to get back to our travels and get a few further miles under our belts before lunch.

The morning delay meant that we still had plenty of travel time ahead of us for the afternoon. The group were in remarkably good spirits throughout our long journey – jollied along by ‘pub’ quizzes, sing-alongs and card games.

With a few delays along the way, we had survived our 13hr epic journey and were grateful for the very smart restaurant which greeted us at Blyde River Canyon Resort with a lovely dinner. The 32-bed dorm that we all camped down in was great fun – although, tired from a long day, we were soon off to sleep.


Day 15 – Saturday 2nd August

Feeling much brighter for a good night’s rest, we loaded our vehicles to head to the restaurant, only to find one of them with a flat tyre! Fortunately we were able to walk there (or in Andy and Beth’s case, free-wheel down the hill…) in time for the warming breakfast which awaited us.

We were soon off to the heart of the Blyde River Canyon, and to the viewing points over the Three Rondavels. After taking some time to consider the stunning vistas, we then had opportunity to shop at the nearby craft market and pick up a few souvenirs; Katie is trying her hardest to prop up the South African craft market single-handedly!

Back on the buses, we were off to Kruger National Park, one of the largest in the world – the same area as Swaziland! Within 100m of entering the park, we had already seen buffalos and zebra! This seemed to bode well… We stopped inside the boundaries for impressive packed lunches from the Blyde River Resort, Shaun doing impressive work to ensure that no leftover food was wasted!

We soon arrived at our camp and were shown to our charming 2-bedded circular thatched huts. A trip to the pool provided us again with freezing water and a good opportunity to cool off. Shelby showed incredible resilience to the cold waters, managing to stay in the whole time! Jack and Joe provided entertainment with Joe leaping over Jack’s head, kicking a ball from his outstretched arm and then landing safely in the waters the other side of him.

Before dinner, we had time for ‘one-to-one’s’. At the prep weekend, we had all set goals of what we hoped to achieve by the midpoint of the trip, by the end, and for the future. This was time to sit with one of the leaders, and review these goals and how we could best ensure that we worked towards them over the second half of the trip.

In the evening, we were treated to a ‘Wimpy’ meal on camp, which was very well received! Jack suggested that the Star award tonight ought to be offered to our guides Bob and Mpo, for their impressive effort with the long drive yesterday. We headed back to our huts ready for an early start tomorrow.


Day 16 – Sunday 3rd August

A 4am wake up was a shock to the system as our earliest start so far. Huddled together in the cold of the morning for hot drinks and biscuits, we packed our bags into the trailers and set off for our 5am sunrise safari. Using the spotlights on the side of the vehicles, we illuminated the park, looking out intently for the tell-tale green or red lights as the torch reflected on the animal’s eyes. A number of sightings including groups of giraffes and elephants with their young kept us occupied whilst we viewed a stunning sunrise. Glad for the warmth of the sun, we continued our safari to Skukuza where a wonderful hot brunch awaited us. After some time to peruse the shops, we jumped back in our vehicles for a short journey to our next lodgings.

On arrival at Lower Sabie Camp, we ate our lunch in a picnic area before heading down to the pool. We challenged ourselves to see how many touches of the volleyball we could make without dropping it… the game quickly deteriorated into a hotly contested waterfight!

At 1630, we were off on another game drive to catch the animals as they became more active again as the temperature cooled and the sun set. A massive array of wildlife were out for viewing, including our first sighting of a male adult lion, which was sat waiting for us at the side of the road, and seemed unbothered by our presence! Many of the group agreed with Xavier, who said it was the most exciting thing he had seen so far.

Macaroni and cheese welcomed us back at the lodge, followed by pieces of cake as big as your head for desert! We carried ourselves back to our lodges and turned in for our last night in South Africa.

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Day 12-16-1


Day 17 – Monday 4th August Update

After a good breakfast the group headed out of South Africa and into Swaziland. Unfortunately one of the leaders, Andy, was unwell so he was sent to hospital as a precaution. It turned out he had appendicitis but was given excellent care. He had to have an operation but is now recovering well.

The rest of the group is in good spirits and is now being led by Alan Buzza, a veteran of more than 10 JoLt trips, so the group are in good hands. A full update for last few days, including the day spent on the zipwire should be available by tomorrow (8th August).


Day 17 – Monday 4th August

We enjoyed our breakfasts al-fresco, overlooking the river with hippos and crocodile awakening beneath us. We also had our first ‘Happy Birthday’ rendition in a while, as Jade turned 16 today! After saying goodbye to Kruger, we had a short trip to the border and were quickly into Swaziland, where we were greeted by rolling hills and beautiful scenery.

We arrived mid afternoon to Malalotja Lodge, beautiful lodgings up in the mountains and a little bit cooler than our previous stops. In the evening we did some preparation for a ‘Giraffes can’t dance’, a dramatic rendition of a children’s book which we had been preparing for performance at the school we will visit in a couple of days’ time. It involved singing, dancing and poetry and stars all the JOLTers – not least 4 giraffes – Rich, Jack, Yasser, and Joe!

Dinner was followed again by a massive desert of sticky toffee pudding, and then we were treated to birthday cake too – we certainly didn’t go to bed hungry!


Day 18 – Tuesday 5th August

Today was one of the most anticipated days of the trip – some with excitement and others with no small amount of trepidation – the zip line canopy tour! After breakfast, we headed further into the mountains and split into 3 groups for a safety briefing. We learnt nervously of the series of 10 cables that would send us whizzing from platform to platform high in the air. Soon we were off, flying through the trees and facing our fears!

Christine won the award for best innovation with her rendition of ‘I believe I can fly’ performed whilst ‘cycling’ elegantly across the longest zip, Beth managed to lose a shoe never to be seen again, and Toby worked phenomenon ally hard to make it up an exceptionally steep ascent on the return leg. Shaun excelled himself in overcoming his fear of heights to complete the course and win the days bravery award.

In the afternoon we had a 2 hour transition to Sondzela backpackers where warthogs and springbok roamed freely around the camp as we ate a hearty supper around the campfire.


Day 19 – Wednesday 6th August

After breakfast around the fire, we set off on the Hippo trail from our base at Sondzela camp. The 10km hike through difficult terrain was a real stretch for the group, and required a lot of teamwork. Everybody pulled together very impressively, rotating JOLTers at the front and back of the group to ensure we all kept together, as well at giving assistance to those who needed it. We were lucky to see impala, warthogs and hippos on the walk whilst the sun shone overhead.

On our return, we had further time to practice our giraffe performance for tomorrow including a full dress rehearsal! We were very much ready for our delicious dinner around the fire again in the evening, serenaded by an amazing group of touch singers who seemed to be performing entirely for our benefit! Exhausted after the exertion of the day’s walk, we soon collapsed in bed for an early night.

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Day 17-19

Day 20 – Thursday 7th August

Another day that many of us had been looking forward to – our visit to a local school was upon us! Feeling nervous in the minibuses, we all rehearsed our lines ready for our impending performance! We couldn’t believe it when hundreds and hundreds of children poured out of their classrooms and sat on the embankment eager to see what we had to offer! The dramatisation was a ‘roaring’ success, and we were particularly impressed with Jack who overcame some serious pre-event nerves to step up as Gerald the giraffe, and Joe whose dancing skills would have put Beyoncé to shame!

After rapturous applaus, we swapped places and were treated to a stunning choral performance from two different groups from within the school – we could have listened all day! We were then challenged to football and netball matches, and were thoroughly outplayed at both – we might have to do training sessions at the prep weekend next year! A strong performance was put in by Beth however, who scored her first wheelchair netball goal, and Xavier, whose showed some slick skills on the football pitch.

Afterwards we had time to relax with the children and teach them some English songs and games. Sarah and Lizzie were particularly popular with the kids and we were worried we wouldn’t be able to drag them away!

We had a relaxing afternoon with the opportunity for some shopping and using the internet before heading back to Sondzela’s. The Star award was awarded to the whole group for their efforts at Bethany Primary School.



Day 21 – Friday 8th August

We had arrived at another day many Jolters had been waiting for – off to visit the Ekuzukekeni Orphan Day Centre. This is part of an ongoing building project called “Build a Future”, working in the local community. After breakfast at Sondzela’s, we were ready to get our hands dirty with some digging and planting fruit trees as well as ornamental grasses.  Some of the team also got stuck in to a ’60 minute makeover’ for the new kitchen, although the fresh coat of paint seemed to end up as widely distributed on the painting team themselves as on the kitchen walls… We were able to share our lunches with the children and have some time to play, sing and dance with them before saying reluctant goodbyes.

The afternoon was spent in the beautiful gardens of Malendela’s restaurant and guesthouse. We played rugby, crochet and football, as well as taking some time to relax and chat with beautiful views over the mountains to enjoy.  We stayed there for a delicious three course dinner as the sun set behind us – a beautiful end to a great day.

Day 22 – Saturday 9th August

We were very excited to hear that today involved a 3.30am start! Before dawn was upon us, we were waving goodbye to Sondzela’s and were off to Mozambique. The border was breached within a couple of hours, and with visas sorted, we entered the last country of our trip.

The larger of our vehicles seemed to be of particularly interest to the Mozambique traffic police, who stopped us eight times with seemingly no reason to, before letting us continue on our travels! Jack attempted to create the world’s longest loom band, whilst more singing and quizzes entertained the other troops. It was amazing to see the Indian Ocean and the palm trees lining the streets.

After fifteen hours on the road, we were thrilled to reach Barra Lodge and settle into our villas – a lovely dinner on the beach was awaiting us before we headed to bed.

Day 23 – Sunday 10th August

After breakfast by the pool, we were back on our buses ready for an exciting day down at Tofo beach. Convening at a local watersports school, we were given a safety briefing, snorkel, fins and goggles, and then most of us walked (Hannah making a dramatic entrance with her sand-dune slide!) down to the sea… Toby and Beth, meanwhile, travelled down in the lap of luxury on one of the boats, waving down at us as they passed by!

Our morning’s activity was an Ocean Safari. We boarded our speed boats and set off – what a thrill as we bounced over the waves! We couldn’t believe our luck when just a few minutes after reaching our observation area, one of the guides spotted a whale shark! These are very elusive creatures and we all excitedly jumped in the water with our snorkels and masks at the ready. Swimming with these enormous mammals was a truly memorable experience.  Special mention goes to Chantelle, Steph, Bethany and Jade who overcame significant nerves to take the plunge, and also to Toby whose acrobatics throwing himself over the side of the rig did not go unnoticed! We could hardly believe that our next sightings were even bigger animals – the hump-back whales.  From our boats, we were treated to a real show from a number of these majestic creatures, who seemed to wave and acknowledge us by spouting water as they went past.

After packed lunches on the beach, we divided into three groups and rotated through games on the beach, shopping at the local craft market and surfing lessons.  Harvey showed particular skill in riding the waves and Shelby and Jess drove some hard bargains down at the stalls.

By dinner time we were thoroughly worn out after a busy day, but managed to stuff ourselves full of pizza before heading to our chalets for the night.


Day 24 – Monday 11th August

During breakfast, we were entertained by further hump-back whales frolicking in the glistening Indian Ocean as we ate on the beach. After gathering our things, we loaded into 4×4 pick-up trucks in true African style – not the comfiest of journeys…

After a short ride along the sand dunes, we arrived by the sea and were met by the crews manning three Dhow boats. After cramming into the small wooden boats with traditional sails, we headed off into the sun.  Everything seemed to be going smoothly until one of the boats chose a path that led into the side of one of the others… Fortunately, despite Buzza’s best efforts to throw himself between the two, we escaped unscathed.  Ian also livened up our journey, taking a short swim in the shallow sea at the mid-point… Further teamwork was required when one of the boats repeatedly beached on sandbanks, requiring pushing out by some of the JOLTers to continue our course.  Or reward on arrival at the island was a seafood feast provided by the village chief Eric and his fourteen wives! We soon learnt how to eat crabs fresh from the shell and tried mussels, prawns and calamari too.  We were treated to an after dinner show from some of the chief’s many children, and special additio
ns from Hannah, Yasar, Richy and Jamie E were well received. A tour around the island let us see their school, churches and hospital, as well as meet some of the other children who lived there.

We sailed back to the mainland whilst the sun set, and were chased by the tide which had come in unbelievably far, well beyond where we had driven to that morning.  A long walk to the vehicles was completed with resilience and good spirits by all, including Beth who came in floating on a surfboard alongside the group!

After our final dinner at Barra lodge, we packed our bags again and settled in for our last night.


Day 25 – Tuesday 12th August

After another beach breakfast, we hit the surf! The crystal-clear waters and golden sands outside Barra Lodge were deserted except for our group, and we thoroughly enjoyed our last chance to play in the sea.   Jack and Joe were fiercely competitive in their water sprints, whilst others topped up their tans, played ball games and perfected their sand sculpture/graffiti techniques.

A short journey took us to the picturesque five-star location of Flamingo Bay, elevated on stilts above the ground. Lunch was ‘catch of the day’ – yummy barracuda fish and chocolate cake.  As the day went on, the scenery became more stunning as the tide came in and lapped underneath the hotel! A walk along a wooden promenade took us to our luxurious rooms, which were also up on stilts and now out in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The afternoon was spent perfecting skits for the final evening and relaxing around the eternity pool. There was much hilarity with dramatic pool entrances – Beth in particular excelled in her dive bombing with Buzz…  We all dressed up for a special 4 course evening meal – no one quite recognised each other in our smart outfits and all made up!  We were able to read out a message from Andy in his absence, congratulating everyone on a successful trip and wishing us all the very best for the future.

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Day 21-24

Day 25 – Wednesday 13th August

We started with a lovely breakfast, complete with omelettes and banana muffins. Once our luxurious breakfast was done and dusted we boarded our buses for our last long journey towards Maputo and Casa Lisa Lodge. Eight hours of journeying was broken up with chatting, quizzes, practising for our end of trip concert and further unplanned stops for documentation to be checked by the Mozambique police!

We arrived at Casa Lisa in the late afternoon and after a last-minute dress rehearsal of our skits and sketches we got ourselves ready for our final dinner in Mozambique. After barbecued chicken,  we moved the tables and chairs in the dining room to produce a makeshift theatre and after a quick costume change we started our self styled “JoLt Factor”!!

Chantelle and Jamie L hosted the show and introduced the four JOLTer groups and then the leader’s efforts. One group modified the ’12 Days of Christmas’ song to represent 26 days of Jolt; another gave us a news show repicting their favourite JOLT Moments; another group made up an amazingly skilful poem mainly imitating the leaders; the leaders embarrassed themselves with interesting outfits for singing, news and a weather forecast to round off the show.

After the applause and pleas for an encore had died down, we moved on to our award ceremony, recognising the different skills and achievements of our group over the last month. It was difficult to believe that this would be our last night in Africa.

Day 26 – Thursday 14th August

Our last early morning in Africa was a 5.30am start. Well practiced now, we flew through breakfast and packing the vans, and made it to the airport with time to spare.

After sad goodbyes to our All Out Africa guides Bob and Mpho, we checked in to Maputo Airport and were soon loading onto our South Africa Airways flight to Johannesburg.  A fairly long airport transfer was easily spent signing each other’s JOLT t-shirts and brochures, as well as picking up a few last-minute gifts! We loaded onto our home-bound flight just after eight and waved our final farewell to the continent that had been our home for the last month; fortunately we have many beautiful photographs and happy memories to take back to the UK with us.

Click below to see PDF version – with photos!

Day 25-26







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