Trip Report

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Trip Report

African road trip - Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana

The first time I put my feet on an African continent. A trip filled with breathtaking views, close encounters with wild animals and some special moments for adrenaline junkies.

by karoAbout Me:The adamant wanderer. I started traveling with my parents as a kid and caught the vagabond bug ;-) Been traveling ever since. I came back to Europe after living in Asia for a while but mostly waiting for Covid madness to calm down between ... read more

Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe10 days / October 2014

Highs & Lows

View of Okavango Delta from Cesna

Mosquitos, mosquitos, mosquitos!

Itinerary Overview

Ahh my first trip to Africa. We did it back in 2014 with a group of friends, 3 cars, 12 people all together. Planned it and booked everything way in advance as the countries we were planning to visit were not the YOLO kind of places (well not if you're not a millionaire anyways). Enjoy! 

  • 2 Nights: Livingstone
    We landed in Livingstone because it's the closest airport to Victoria Falls.
  • 3 Nights: Botswana
    Chobe National Park means a great safari. The park is known for its large herds of elephants.
  • 2 Nights: Moremi
    Moremi Game Reserve
  • 3 Nights: Okavango Delta
    Flight over Okavango Delta
  • Day trip: Maun
    Airport

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.

  • Packing tips?

    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.

  • Transportation Tips?

    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.

  • Any surprises?

    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!

  • Booking details?

    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.

Lodging

  • 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

  • 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/

  • 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/