African road trip - Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia
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
- + 52
Africa10 days / October 2014
Highs & Lows
View of Okavango Delta from Cesna
Mosquitos, mosquitos, mosquitos!
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!
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.