African road trip - Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana
Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe10 days / October 2014
The first time I put my foot on an African continent. A trip filled with breathtaking views, close encounters with wild animals and some special moments for the adrenaline junkies.
Highs & Lows
View of Okavango Delta from Cesna
Mosquitos, mosquitos, mosquitos!
Q & A
What would you have changed?
I wouldn't really change anything about the trip itself. I'd love to be able to extend it and see more places in Zambia but that has to wait for another trip.
How was the food?
Not really a foodie destination to be honest. Unless you stay in some luxurious lodges, I'm sure they have posh restaurants inside :) For us if was mostly oatmeals for breakfast and baked beans for dinner.
What tips would you give a friend?
If you are deciding to go on a road trip in countries like Botswana, it's good to have a buddy that knows how to fix cars. I'm not saying you need a mechanic but someone with some knowledge. Also, at the time when we were there, our European sim cards were not working. So we had one satellite phone, just in case. It's probably changed now but worth to check before you go.
Unless you're an Instagram influencer, you don't need sparkling dresses and fancy shoes ;) Good walking shoes, if you are planning to do rafting, make sure you take some shoes that can get wet (no flip flops as they will swim away the first time you fly into the water ;)) I'd take a lot of long sleeved tops and trousers from breathable materials. There were a LOT of mosquitos in Botswana and we were there in the 'malaria season'. Also, bring lots of long socks as mosquitos love to bite that strip of bare skin between trousers and socks.
I think it's best to book your own car and do self driven safaris as you have a lot more independence and you're not limited by any tour operators. When you move from one place to another, be mindful about the time that the Camp gate closes (usually before it gets dark, so 6-7PM). Once the Camp closes before you get in, you're in trouble.
Don't bother to pack mosquito sprays. In supermarkets in Botswana, you can buy mosquito spray with the % of DDT that's not even legal in Europe. It works wonders but be careful not to spray it directly onto your skin. It's better to spray yourself while fully dressed. Oh and it might discolour some of your clothes. But it works really well!
We planned and booked everything by ourselves. Starting from flights, cars and accommodations. I recommend booking accommodation way in advance as some lodges sell out months in advance.
- Livingstone, Zambia
Cresta Sprayview Victoria Falls Pretty good hotel, nothing luxurious but clean and reasonably priced. Hotel prices around Victoria Falls are a bit crazy and that's a nice, kind of a budget hotel option. http://www.booking.com/Share-7c4bpk2
Muchenje Campsite A nice, quiet camp on the edge of the Chobe National Park. It's about 7km from Ngoma gate so it's conveniently located. There are some self-catering cottages here but this place is perfect for self-drives. https://muchenjecampsite.com/index.html
- Moremi, Botswana
Xakanaxa Campsite Beautifully located in the Moremi Game Reserve. It's an open camp, which means it is unfenced and wild animals can and most probably will visit you at night but can also pop in during the day. There are strict rules while staying at open camps, e.g. no food in the car (unless it's vacuum packed), never walk without a torch after dark, etc https://www.selfdrive4x4.com/en/accommodation/xakanaxa-campsite/
- Okavango Delta, Botswana
Gunn's Camp Beautiful camp overlooking Chief's Island and bordering Moremi Game Reserve. Lodging in furnished, deluxe Meru tents. Amazing accommodation though a bit pricey. https://www.matriarchafrica.com/destinations/botswana/okavango-delta/okavango-delta-accommodation/gunns-camp/