Baobabs & waterfalls
Join go! and Bhejane 4x4 Adventures on a guided self- drive camping tour from northern Botswana to Victoria Falls.
11 HOW days, LONG10 nightsIS THE TOUR? DATES? 1 – 11 June 2018 15 – 25 August 2018 1 – 11 September 2018 12 – 22 September 2018 DAY 1 We meet in the town of Letlhakane and refuel. Then we head out into the bush and onto the vast expanse of Makgadikgadi Pans to spend our first night on Kubu Island. DAY 2 Early birds and keen photographers will relish watching the sunrise over the pans while enjoying coffee and rusks. After breakfast we walk around the island with its fascinating rock formations and iconic baobabs while the logistics team strikes camp. Then it’s time to head north to our overnight camp outside Maun.
DAY 3 We spend the morning in Maun for shopping and fuel. There’s an opportunity for an hour-long flight over the delta (not included in the tour rate). Then we depart for our next overnight stop on the banks of one of the delta’s main channels. The logistics team will have set up camp and the pots will be simmering.
DAY 4 After a few days’driving it’s time to relax. We have a late start with a big brunch. The camp is known for birding, including the resident Pel’s fishing-owl. In the late afternoon, we explore the waterways of the Okavango Delta and the panhandle on a cruise in comfortable aluminium speed boats. DAY 5 We head north into Namibia via Tsodilo Hills with their magnificent rock art. Here, we visit the museum and enjoy a picnic lunch. Our campsite for the next three nights is a shady spot on the banks of the Okavango River.
DAY 6 We enjoy a big brunch and then you’re free to explore on your own or relax in the camp. Go for a game drive in the nearby Bwabwata National Park, do some birdwatching, go on a dug-out canoe trip, do a village tour or cast a line in the water. We meet in the late afternoon for a sundowner cruise. ( The cruise is the only activity for the day included in the price.) DAY 7 We visit Mahango Game Reserve, which boasts four of the Big Five and is well known for
large numbers of roan and sable antelope. DAY 8 We pack up and head for the Zambezi Region (Caprivi). Our next camp is just outside Kasane, on the banks of the Chobe River. We spend our last three nights here.
DAY 9 Today we go on a bus trip to Victoria Falls and have a picnic lunch, plus do some sightseeing and shopping in the town of Victoria Falls. There are a number of adventure activities on offer here, like bungee jumping, river rafting and helicopter flights (not included in the tour price). DAY 10 We take a drive through Chobe National Park in an open game-drive vehicle, and enjoy a sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. We spend our last night around the campfire, celebrating new friendships and bonds formed after experiencing the magic of the southern African bush together. DAY 11 It’s time to say goodbye before we head back to our homes and jobs.
ZAMBEZI RIVER, ZAMBIA The Zambezi flows for hundreds of kilometres through Zambia before it tumbles over a cliff at Vic Falls. Upstream, there are lodges and camps where you can experience the river in different ways, whether you’re a twitcher or looking to catch a tiger fish. See the article on page 78 if you want to add the Zambezi River and Kafue National Park to your Botswana trip. 112 Kabula Lodge This place is about 60 km north of the Wenela-Sesheke border post (at Katima Mulilo). You can spend your days fishing, birdwatching and relaxing. Camping R130 per adult; R75 per child under 16. Family unit for four people R1 100 per night. Fishing (including boat hire) R300 per hour for up to three people. Firewood R15 per bundle. GPS: S17.04082 E24.01504 082 672 5168 (Pieter); kabulalodge.com 113 Kavumbu About 77 km north of Sesheke, next to the Zambezi River. Like most lodges in the area, they focus on fishing – your group can book the whole camp. Camping R450 per stand per night (only one vehicle per stand); firewood included. Chalet for two people R750 per night. Family unit for four people R1 300 per night. GPS: S16.93319 E23.90430
firstname.lastname@example.org 114 Brenda’s Best Baobab Stay at Brenda Kamandisa’s place if you’re using the Katima Mulilo/ Sesheke border post and darkness has caught up with you. It’s in Sesheke, but on the Zambezi River, surrounded by baobabs. Camping K50 (R68) per person. Twin-sleeper chalet K200 (R274) per night. Chalet for four people K300 (R411) per night. Meals also available. GPS: S17.48235 E24.29260 00 260 96 378 6882; email@example.com 115 Shackletons Tiger Fishing Lodge The Zambezi River is known for its tiger fish and Shackletons is all about fishing. It’s about 60 km downstream from Sesheke; 140 km upstream from Livingstone. You can fly to Livingstone and they’ll come pick you up. Besides tiger fish, you can also catch nembwe, three-spot tilapia and green bream. Shackletons supplies standard fishing gear, but bring your own fly-fishing gear if that’s what you’re into.
There are six double chalets accommodating 12 people in total. R2 850 per person sharing, including all meals, a boat and skipper, and up to 20 litres of fuel per day. Half-price for children under 12. Package rate for four nights: R12 550 per person sharing, including everything mentioned above plus transfers to and from Livingstone airport. Call your friends and make arrangements… GPS: S17.49658 E24.77525 083 251 7257 (James); shackletons.co.za
go! says: The road between Livingstone and Sesheke is in poor condition. Drive slowly. KAFUE NATIONAL PARK Parts of this park are accessible from the M9 tar road. Kafue is a big reserve so don’t try and cram everything into one visit. See the article on page 78 for a route from Katima Mulilo (Namibia) to Livingstone (Zambia), which includes the Zambezi River and Kafue. 116 Kasabushi You have to pay park fees (see sidebar). Andy and Libby Wilson run a small campsite and lodge where you can get that deep-in-the-bush feeling. Kasabushi is on the western bank of the Kafue River about 45 km south of the M9 tar road, where the river branches off into three streams. Camping US$22 (R284) per person, including firewood – there are five stands and a unique shower: It looks like a waterfall. Two chalets on the river: US$185 (R2 371) per person per night if you’re a SADC citizen, including all meals and a boat cruise. GPS: S15.25914 E25.97057 00 260 971 807 226; 00 260 974 521 111; kasabushi.wordpress.com
go! says: Read the Kasabushi blog for Kafue news. They have their finger on the pulse. 117 Mayukuyuku Bush Camp You have to pay park fees (see sidebar). This is one of the most accessible camps, even if you’re driving a sedan – it’s an 8 km drive along a gravel road from the M9 tar road. There are six big, sandy camping stands with shade spread throughout the camp. Some are close to the river. Firewood is supplied and the bathrooms have hot showers. Camping US$25 (R320) per person.
There are also four en suite safari tents overlooking the river: US$375 (R4 806) per person, including all meals. Campers can order meals at the restaurant. Boat cruises for game viewing or fishing, and guided game drives can be arranged. GPS: S14.91696 E26.06482 00 260 977 721 284 (Mary/Pippa); mayukuyuku.com 118 KaingU Safari Lodge This lodge is on the eastern bank of the Kafue River just outside the park. There are animals in the area and a boat can take you across the river for a game drive in the park. You can also visit KaingU from the western bank of the river – leave your vehicle there and they’ll transport you to the lodge by boat. If you want to drive, it’s about 96 km along a gravel road from the M9 tar road – the final stretch requires a 4x4 or a vehicle
THINGS TO DO IN LIVINGSTONE
All these activities can be booked via Safari Par Excellence 00 260 213 320 606; safpar.com
Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River: US$55 – 75 (R706 – R963) per person for two hours. Different packages available. Rate includes snacks and some drinks. Breakfast and lunch cruises also available. Paddle trip: US$110 (R1 412) per person for half a day; multiday options also available. White-water rafting: US$150 (R1 926) per person for half a day; multi- day options also available. Microlight flight: US$185 (R2 375) for 15 minutes. Helicopter flight: US$195 (R2 503) for 15 minutes. with high ground clearance. (See the website for all the ways to get to the lodge during the wet and dry seasons.)
Three camping stands on the water, with grass and shade: US$25 (R320) per adult; free for children under 12. You get one bundle of firewood per day and you can order fresh bread and ice from the lodge kitchen. You can also book meals at the lodge.
Other accommodation includes six en suite safari tents, and a house. Rates from US$490 (R6 282) per adult per day; US$245 (R3 140) per child under 12 – rate includes all meals, park fees and some activities. GPS: S15.29777 E25.97835 No phone connection; send an email firstname.lastname@example.org; kaingulodge.com
go! says: It takes some effort to get here, but your effort will be rewarded. Go on a river cruise and look for birds and hippos in the rapids.
119 Hippo Bay
You have to pay park fees. On the southern shore of the ItezhiTezhi Dam. Camping US$20 (R256) per person. Chalets US$100 (R1 277) per person. Rates to go up in midNovember 2017. You can bring your own boat if you’re serious about fishing. The camp is managed by the same people as the luxury Konkomoya Lodge next door. Guided game drives available. GPS: S15.86794 E25.88196
00 260 962 841364; hippobay camp.com; konkomoya.com
120 Musungwa Safari Lodge
Close to the ItezhiTezhi Dam, just outside the Musa gate of Kafue National Park. Camping K100 (R146) per person. Selfcatering unit from K300 (R438) per person – minimum four people. Discounts for children aged 3 – 12. Meals available. GPS: S15.78344 E26.00582 00 260 966 876 522; musungwa.com
121 Nanzhila Plains
You have to pay park fees. This lodge is south of the dam, in an area with lots of game. Rates depend on the season. November 2017: US$175 (R2 234) per person for selfdrive tourists (including all meals). See their website for special offers. GPS: S16.27908 E25.91792
Livingstone is the heartbeat of the tourism industry in this corner of Zambia. Vic Falls is just a few kilometres from the CBD. (See map on page 104.) There are accommodation options in and around town, and upstream from the waterfall if you want some peace and quiet.
122 Jollyboys Backpackers & Camp
The backpacker place is for younger travellers; the camp is more suited to families. ( They’re both in Livingstone, about 2 km apart.) Camping at Jollyboys Backpackers US$9 (R118) per person; dorm accommodation from US$15 (R196) per person; three-sleeper room with shared ablution facilities US$50 (R651); double en suite room US$65 (R846) per night. Camping at Jollyboys Camp US$7 (R92) per person; double room with shared ablution facilities US$45 (R586) per night; double room with private bathroom US$55 (R716) per night. Four-sleeper family room US$80 (R1 041) per night. Backpackers GPS: S17.848009 E25.85422 Camp GPS: S17.85496 E25.86169 00 260 213 324 229 (backpackers); 00 260 213 324 756 (camp); backpackzambia.com
123 Maramba River Lodge
This affordable lodge is about 5 km south of town, along the tar road that goes to the border post and Vic Falls. Maramba is on a small branch of the Zambezi River and elephants often move through the camp. Camping US$10 (R131) per adult; US$5 (R66) per child aged 6 – 11; free for children under 6. Tents with beds US$61 (R794) per night for two people. Safari tents US$107 (R1 392) per night for two people. Chalets US$135 (R1 756) per night for two people. You can book activities here. GPS: S17.88912 E25.85521 00 260 213 324 189; maramba-zambia.com
124 The Victoria Falls Waterfront
This lodge is about 5 km south of Livingstone, next to the Zambezi. Camping US$13 (R170) per person. Permanent tent US$45 (R586) per night for two adults; children aged 3 – 11 get a discount; free for children under 3. Four-sleeper family room US$230 (R2 992) per night, breakfast included. These are the low-season rates. The lodge has swimming pools, a bar and a pizza oven on the deck. It’s also the Safpar head office, where you can book all your adrenaline outings. GPS: S17.88649 E25.84309 00 260 213 320 606; thevictoriafallswaterfront.com
125 Camp Nkwazi
This camp is on the Zambezi River about 25 km west of Livingstone. The campsite has 13 stands of various sizes (2 – 8 vehicles) with power, braai facilities and hot showers. Camping US$25 (R324) per adult; US$20 (R259) per child aged 4 – 12. Self-catering canvas chalet US$125 (R1 618) per person sharing. River House US$660 (R8 539) per night for up to six people. Options with meals included also available. Discounts for children. River cruise US$35 (R423) per person.
I WANT TO SEE VIC FALLS!
The entrance fee to see the falls on the Zambian side is US$20 (R257) per person.
IN OTHER WORDS
Anelé van Wyk, Kleinmond “This was my first visit to Vic Falls. I’d seen photos of the waterfall before, of course, but wasn’t prepared for the three-dimensional experience. You hear, see and feel this natural wonder.” GPS: S17.83046 E25.64547 00 260 97 304 8830 (Kevin); campnkwazi.com
126 Jungle Junction
This no-frills river camp has been in business since 1993. It’s on Bovu Island in the Zambezi, about 50 km west of Livingstone. Camping US$10 (R131) per person. There are also four chalets with views of the river and four smaller fisherman’s huts. The chalets sleep two adults, but mattresses can be arranged for young kids: US$35 (R456) per person. Fisherman’s hut US$25 (R326) per person. There’s no power and you have to bring your own towels. Meals available, from US$7 (R92) per person. Hire a mokoro and go fishing: US$10 (R131) per day. GPS: S17.86006 E25.52142
00 260 978 725 282 (Brett; send an SMS because cellphone reception is patchy);
junglejunction.info VIC FALLS, ZIMBABWE Vic Falls attracts tourists from all over the world. (See map on page 104.) Business is done in dollars so check the price on the menu before you order a burger… 127 Victoria Falls Rest Camp This is the old municipal resort and still one of the best places in Vic Falls. It’s pretty much in the middle of town, but fenced in and there’s security. It’s a short walk to the shops and also to the waterfall. There’s a pool and a decent restaurant. Camping is pricy. A stand with a power point costs US$16 (R209) per adult and US$12 (R157) per child, plus US$9 (R118) per vehicle. Or stay in a permanent dome tent with beds, from US$40 (R521) per night for two people. Twin-sleeper chalet from US$46 (R599) per night; foursleeper chalet from US$86 (R1 119). Four-sleeper self- catering house from US$161 (R2 095) per night. Rates are higher during certain peak holiday times. GPS: S17.92533 E25.83775 00 263 13 40509; vicfallsrestcamp.com 128 Lorrie’s Bed and Breakfast Lush gardens are a feature of Vic Falls because of the subtropical climate. The garden at Lorrie’s is one of the best – there’s also a pool. Foursleeper room from US$200 (R2 602); twin-sleeper from US$68 (R885) per person. Both rates include breakfast. Air conditioning costs US$10 (R131) extra per room per night. GPS: S17.92488 E25.82331 00 263 712 406 584 (Lorrie/Clive); lorriesbedandbreakfast.com 129 Batonka Guest Lodge This is a stylish-looking place with 22 double rooms: US$300 (R3 901) per room per night for two people, breakfast included. They have a pool,
THINGS TO DO AT VIC FALLS
Book the activities listed below through Wild Horizons: 00 263 13 44571; wildhorizons.co.za Enquire about discounts for children. Flying Fox: You wear a harness connected to a steel cable and “fly” across the 200 m-wide Batoka Gorge. US$42 (R539) per person. Zipline: Slide across Batoka Gorge in a harness attached to a cable. US$68,50 (R879) per person. Gorge swing: A little scarier than the zipline – you freefall before swinging over the gorge. US$94,50 (R1 213) per person. Canopy tour: Explore the riverine forest on the banks of the Zambezi. US$53 (R680) per person. White-water rafting: Ride the rapids downstream from Vic Falls. US$120 (R1 540) per person.
Contact Shearwater if you’d like to do one of the activities below:
00 263 13 44471; shearwater victoriafalls.com Bungee jump: Don’t look down! You jump off an old railway bridge with Vic Falls at your back. US$120 (R1 540) per person. Helicopter flight over Vic Falls: US$150 (R1 925) per person for the so-called “Flight of the Angels”. Highlights package: US$250 (R3 208) per person for the “Full Monty”, which includes a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, a helicopter flight and guided tours to the railway bridge and the waterfall.
Visit victoriafalls-guide.net for more information. a bar and a restaurant. The lodge is 2,2 km from the falls, so you can walk, but bear in mind that it’s uphill on the way back. GPS: S17.92939 E25.82799 00 263 13 46923; batonkaguestlodge.com
130 Victoria Falls Backpackers
This place is in the quiet, residential suburb part of town, about 2,5 km from the falls. Camping is well priced: US$10 (R131) per person for a stand with a power point. There’s a communal kitchen and washing-up facility. You can also order food.
Dome tent with beds US$40 (R521) per night for two people; backpackers’dorm US$18 (R235) per person; double room with shared bathroom US$50 (R651) per night; en suite double room US$60 (R781). GPS: S17.92231 E25.82595 00 263 13 42209; victoriafallsbackpackers.com
131 Drifters Greenfire Lodge Victoria Falls
This place is in a residential area, in a quiet back street, but still close to the shops. They have 18 rooms and a pool. B&B R650 per person sharing. The rate will go up to R675 per person in 2018. You can book any Vic Falls activities from here. GPS: S17.92236 E25.82790
011 888 1160; drifters.co.za
132 Victoria Falls Hotel
Accommodation here is expensive – the hotel is listed more as an attraction. Sit on the wide verandah and order tea or a Zambezi Lager. The view is awesome: Batoka Gorge, with billowing condensation from the falls in the background, and the railway bridge connecting Zimbabwe to Zambia – the epitome of the British colonial dream of connecting Cape Town to Cairo.
The hotel was built in 1904. Check out the old photos and antiques inside. If you’re lucky, pianist Harry Maseko will be playing some music. Twin room from US$401 (R5 218) per night in case you’ve won the lotto. GPS: S17.92989 E25.84190 00 263 13 44751; victoriafallshotel.com This park is wild even though it’s close to the town of Vic Falls. It has river views and game in abundance.
133 Zambezi National Park lodge & camping
Park fees: Day visitors US$8 (R104) per adult; US$4 (R52) per child aged 6 – 12; US$10 (R131) per vehicle.
There’s a lodge in the park, on your right as you drive through the gate. A four-sleeper self-catering unit costs US$138 (R1 785) per night.
Deeper into the park there are fishing camps (Kandahar, Siansimba, Mpala Jena) and wilderness camps (Chundu, Chomuzi, Siamunungu). Camping costs US$17 (R220) per person and the facilities are very basic. The fishing camps have cold showers and flush toilets; the wilderness camps have pit toilets and the odd braai place. Maximum of 12 people per camp.
The park is home to elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard, plus herds of sable antelope, eland, zebra, giraffe, kudu and smaller game.
If you overnight in the park, you pay the same park fee as day visitors, but only as a one- off for up to a week’s stay. GPS: S17.89999 E25.81710 (park gate) Bookings: 00 263 470 6077; email@example.com; zimparks.org Park office: 00 263 13 422 94 ( Tafadzwa)