Crash in the Caprivi
by Duncan Watt
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Muyunda invites his two friends, the Wallace Boys, to Mongu in Western Zambia to witness the colourful Kuomboka Ceremony in which the Lozi people move from their homes on the Barotse Plain flooded by the rising Zambezi River to their winter quarters. Muyunda himself is a paddler in the ceremony during which he sees someone behaving very strangely; when this same person takes the same aeroplane flight the boys are on, Muyunda realizes that something very strange is going on.
This is confirmed when the man orders the pilot of the Beaver aircraft to fly along the narrow corridor of land known as the Caprivi Strip to the Etosha Pan in Namibia.
After a hair-raising landing on the flat surface of the salt pan, the boys find themselves up against Isaacs and Lambert once again!
The return flight, now with a hoard of diamonds, crashes. The pilot is out of action with a broken leg and Bruce is taken hostage, to ensure Isaacs and Lambert’s safety after they cross the Kalahari. However, Bruce is spat in the eyes by a spitting cobra, and the men abandon their now blind hostage.
A Bushman boy of their own age leads Nigel and Muyunda across the Kalahari to the Okavango Delta (check out this very good National Geographic video) in Botswana where a dramatic chase ends the flight of Isaacs and Lambert who have commandeered a swamp buggy. Once again, Scottie and his Fox Moth biplane, this time with floats, have got in on the act!
- Duncan Watt, February 2012
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