Back to our roots - Zim Expedition*

pooky
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 pm
Country: S.Africa
Location: Elgin

Re: Back to our roots - Zim Expediton

Post by pooky » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:09 pm

Day 9 24th April 2014

We left Harare about 6am. We said our farewells with promises of a longer visit next time.
Our friend lead us onto the Kariba road. We were back to the many trucks on their way to Zambia.
Just outside of Harare there was a sad sight in the middle of the road. A massive python had been run over
and was curled up dead in the middle of the road. :-( :-(

Along the way were these silos - empty and with long grass all around them. What a waste 0*\
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As we got nearer to the Kariba turn off many locals were selling fishing worms on the side of the road - we didn't
stop to buy this time =O:

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Makuti was the last place to get fuel before going down the escarpment to Mana Pools. Some interesting distances
listed here \O

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The National parks offices where you must collect a permit to go into Mana. If you get to the turn off at the bottom
of the escarpment without the permit you get turned back, likewise if you arrive after 3pm as it is deemed to
late to get to the campsite before dark.

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The fuel pumps at the offices are no longer in operation 0*\

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Looking down onto the Zambesi valley. Some of the trees are starting to get their autumn colours.

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At the turn off to Mana Pools

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Some of the baobabs along and in the middle of the road.

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The reception offices at Mana.

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and at last - the mighty Zambesi river. This has been on my bucket list for many many years. The river is truely
beautiful and extremely wide at this point. Further down it breaks up into smaller channels.

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Satara 30 Sept - 7 Oct

Botswana June/July 2018

pooky
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 pm
Country: S.Africa
Location: Elgin

Re: Back to our roots - Zim Expediton

Post by pooky » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:54 pm

Day 9 26th April 2014

We had a noisy night with very vocal hyena around the campsite. We also heard lions roar
frequently and not too far away. Sunrise was beautiful looking down the river towards the
hills of Zambia.

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Two white crowned lapwings were on the bank of the river.

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We went out towards Long Pool which is a stretch of water about 6 ks - hence the name :-)
Next to this was a small pool of water full of marabou storks and several fish eagle in the trees around.

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A lone impala was standing under one of the many trees.

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This fish eagle came down to see what he could steal from the marabou :O^

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We took a loop road around Long pool. Unfortunately the road is not very close to the water and the road was not
great. We saw some zebra, and a few birds. It was much drier along this road.

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A pair of lilac breasted rollers.

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A fig tree starting out life.

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and then a lifer for us - a three banded courser. O\/ O\/

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a very dirty saddlebill stork - or maybe a youngster without his full adult colours :-)

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this very young ellie was with a small family that were picking up pods that the baboons were discarding from
the tree tops.

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Our campsite with the ablutions in the background. These ablutions were in good condition and looked as if they had just been recently tiled. They were a little bit dark and of course no electricity. The showers were tiled with that
dark slasto type tile - that didn't help. When I was showering something caught my eye and there was a frog climbing
up the wall next to me - a good thing he didn't fall on me because I wouldn't have been a happy 0*\ 0*\

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We also saw a barred long-tailed cuckoo. Not a very good photo - he was very secretive and difficult to see.
Another lifer - and a good one at that O\/

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sunset over the Zambezi - a glorious sight ^Q^ ^Q^



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Last edited by pooky on Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Satara 30 Sept - 7 Oct

Botswana June/July 2018

pooky
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 pm
Country: S.Africa
Location: Elgin

Re: Back to our roots - Zim Expediton

Post by pooky » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:37 pm

Day 10 27th April 2014

At last I am back with a laptop that now works. So sorry for the long delay - and I hope you haven't all lost interst ;-) . 0/*

First up is just another , not very good, pic of the barred long tailed cuckoo, maybe Toko can add it to the bird book :-)

We started the day with another beautiful sunrise and a warthog giving us a funny look.

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We went back to see the marabou at their fishing pool. It was a hive of activity with a couple of fish eagle sitting
in the trees waiting their turn. Even the yellow-billed stork was trying his luck. Amazing that the marabou are not
able to stand up to the fish eagle. We spent a long time watching all the activity.
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Back at the river Ron and Cammy were having some fun.

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There was so much out lying water that game was very scare. We weren't that disappointed though as just being here
was an experience and we knew that it wasn't the best time of the year. We didn't see any cats or buffalo. But we did still have a couple of days \O \O
Satara 30 Sept - 7 Oct

Botswana June/July 2018

pooky
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 pm
Country: S.Africa
Location: Elgin

Re: Back to our roots - Zim Expedition

Post by pooky » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:43 pm

Day 11 28th April 2014

We didn't rush out of camp, the hyena had kept us awake quite a bit during the night. They sounded as if they
were right next to the tent :O^

We got chatting to a young guy who had arrived after dark the previous evening. We were curious as to why he had
arrived so late. He said he had come from Binga which is at the far end of Lake Kariba and forgotten to get his permit
before coming down the escarpment, so had to go back up. We asked about the road and he said it wasn't too bad, we would easily average 60ks an hour. 0*\ Well the cogs started turning :-) :-) This was a short cut to Vic Falls. We had not considered it initially because we thought it would be too bad a road and time constraints prevented us going the long
way round. After he left we checked maps, counted up our cash to see that we had enough for the extra mileage and
accommodation without having to use the credit cards. We cut our stay at Mana by one night, moved Kariba a day ahead
and it was all systems go ^Q^ ^Q^ ^Q^

So this was the last day at Mana, we went down towards Mana mouth where the Chewore river flows into the Zambezi.
A pretty area with lots of birds.

First up were some ellies on the flood plain.

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At Mana mouth there were white fronted bee-eaters in the trees and flying around their nests, also some woolly-necked
storks.

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There was a lot of water hyacinth in the river. A small croc was resting on the bank

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Then a very bad pic of a rufous-bellied heron, also a lifer O/\ O/\

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We took a road which followed the Chewore river for a while until we got to a small crossing.

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Waterbuck

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and a beautiful grey-headed kingfisher. We saw quite a few of them

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This ellie came for a close inspection and made sure we moved out of his way
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Back at camp the guys had bought a fishing permit (USD15 each per day) so they had to use it. One of the rangers
had caught a barbel. Cammy was very intrigued - he wanted it but wasn't too sure about it :-? :-? Eventually he got
brave enough to hold it :O^ :O^

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Ron and Mike fishing

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and Graham. There is always great rivalry between father and son as to who will catch the most or biggest fish.
This time Dad won the challenge with 2 chessa and one tiger fish - eat your heart out BC =O:

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Our last night in Mana :-(

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Last edited by pooky on Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Satara 30 Sept - 7 Oct

Botswana June/July 2018

pooky
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 pm
Country: S.Africa
Location: Elgin

Re: Back to our roots - Zim Expedition

Post by pooky » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:27 pm

Day 12 28th April 2014

We packed up early to make the most of our day at Kariba

This big ellie came to bid us farewell.

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then right next to the road a woodlands kingfisher

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The only kudu we saw in Mana

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On our way into Kariba a speeding fine 0*\ 72 in a 60k zone - USD15 0*\

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Some views of the lake

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The dam wall

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and the vortex where the water flows into the turbines

and looking down steam from the wall

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some stats and history of Kariba

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Nyami Nyami the river god with the dam wall in the back ground.

Ron and Maria were from Zambia, so they walked across the wall to step onto Zambian soil again :-) I think they
left in 1979.

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Three moths sitting around the lights on the dam wall. I have no idea what they are but they look very interesting.
If anyone can ID please 0/*



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The catholic church erected by the Italians who built Kariba dam

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curios depicting the river god

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The marina at Caribbea Bay

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Lunch at the Cutty Sark hotel. We all ordered 'sadza and inyama' a stiff maize meal porridge with a meat stew normally eaten with ones hand, so the tradition is to wash ones hands before eating. Don't you just love the jug. :O^ The meal was very very nice. Tenielle watching Graham wash his hands.

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A bottle of local brew \O

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Sunset from the campsite, with some kapenta boats in the second pic. Kapenta is a very small fish caught with nets.
The fish are dried and used as a food supplement for the locals

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Talking with the ranger about a short cut that Ron had found on the map which followed the lake shore and would cut off
about 100 ks. We asked him what the road was like, he turned to look at the vehicles and said 'land rover, ja easy' Well that should have set alarm bells ringing but it didn't 0*\ 0*\ Notes were made - follow the power lines, turn left, turn left, turn right etc.

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The ants on the ground were terrible - got into everything, if you stood still they were on your feet, so Maria, Tenielle, Cammy and Ron took refuge on the Landy bonnet.

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The ablution block here was even worse than the one at Vumba. Graham's shower attached to his tent was used by us all
that night :-) :-) Mike took a walk up to the ablution at 4am when we got up only to be followed by a couple of hyena.
We kept a careful watch on them while we packed up as they were quite brazen :O^
Satara 30 Sept - 7 Oct

Botswana June/July 2018

pooky
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 pm
Country: S.Africa
Location: Elgin

Re: Back to our roots - Zim Expedition

Post by pooky » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:33 pm

Day 13 29thApril 2014 (I am not normally superstitious - but the 13th day was a trial for man and machine)

We left the camp at 5.30am. Quite excited that we were actually going to Vic Falls. To prevent another 2 one night
stops in a row we decided to push straight through to the Falls and spend 2 nights there. It would be a long day but
we did not for one moment think it would be an 18 hour trip. Graham was looking forward to some genuine 4x4ing but
even he got fed up with the road after a few hours.

The instructions were to follow the power lines initially then a little bit further on turn and turn again. Subconsciously
one thinks of a 'short cut' as being not too far. We didn't take the mileage unfortunately but the 'short cut' took us
5 hours 0*\ 0*\ I had worked out that the over all mileage would be about 750Ks, about 500k on gravel.

We started off with a lovely sunrise through the power lines.
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The road under the lines was open and fairly good, then as we left the cleared area the bush got thick and the grass very long. We also had to look out for animals. One elephant ran across the road in front of us.

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The road climbed up big hills and down to river crossings


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There had been rain around and this river had collected some of that water.

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Some views of the Lake from the hill tops.

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We went through a couple of tsetse fly check points. This is to monitor the spread, if any, of the fly.
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5 hours later we hit the 'big' road and this is what we were faced with - a bit wider but not too much better. Certainly not
a 60k an hour road with a heavy trailer in tow :O^ :O^

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One of the many rivers we crossed. There were no road signs at all, and we only saw about 5 cars until we hit the
tarred road.


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A pod mahogany tree

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Pumpkins for sale on the road side

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and cattle being herded back to their kraals for the night. The shadows were lengthening.

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The country was changing, and there were a few more locals around, so now we had to watch out for domestic animals as well.
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Before the sun set we syphoned diesel into the Discovery. There were no fuel stations or shops on this 500k section
of road. Certainly a harsh area for the locals to live in.

(iNdlovu would relate to some of these areas, because I am sure this is not too far from where he spent time with the elephants)

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It got dark as we hit the tar road, but no chance to speed up as there were cattle, goats and donkeys all over the road 0*\

The number of locals walking in the dark was amazing. We saw a python, about 3M long, next to the road. A big
fright for someone :shock: :shock:

We had phoned our friends in Harare to book us sites in the campsite at Vic Falls. She said we had to be there by 9pm.
Easy =O: =O: When on the tar we phoned the campsite to tell them we were going to be late. They agreed that the
security guards could let us in - that was at 11.30pm :shock: :shock: But at least we were here and could enjoy tomorrow
sight seeing.

I must say Cameron was very good in the car - as long as he had his DVD player he was happy O:V We only stopped to
refuel and a couple of loo stops in the bush :-)
Satara 30 Sept - 7 Oct

Botswana June/July 2018

pooky
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 pm
Country: S.Africa
Location: Elgin

Re: Back to our roots - Zim Expedition

Post by pooky » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:09 pm

Lisbeth - I am back \O \O

Day 14 30th April 2014

We could not believe that we had actually made it to Victoria Falls. Waking up to that constant roar of the falls
and seeing the spray high in the sky was so great O\/ O\/ O\/

Yesterdays marathon journey will never be forgotten and now it had become an epic experience, one which will
get talked about and remembered very often. How glad we were that we had decided to push through so that we
now had a full day to see the sights.

The campsite was super - it is right on the main road through the town - the ablutions were good AND we had electricity.
No solar panels to worry about :-) There was good security around the camp with guards at night and at the gate.
The vervet monkeys slept in the trees in the campsite so were up and about very early looking for what ever they could
find. There were also some baboons around and the ever opportunistic warthog.

We went to see the falls. Entrance is USD10 for Zim people, USD20 for SADAC people and USD30 for internationals.
Raincoats were available for hire, but we decided it was hot enough for us to dry out quickly.

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On the roof of the of the entrance building a boomslang was slithering along.

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Doctor Livingstone I presume :-) :-)

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A lizard or gecko blends in well with the tree bark \O

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Looking up the river from Devils cataract.
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Devils cataract

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The falls was very full. The river had peeked the week before we got there. It was quite difficult getting clear
photos because of the spray - and to keep the cameras dry :O^

Looking down the gorge

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Rainbows were every where O:V

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The main falls

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and down came the rain (spray) Three generations getting soaked

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Such fun playing in the puddles

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The bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia. There was a line of trucks on each side. On the bridge bungee jumping
was very popular

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The bridge looked as if it could do with a coat of paint

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bungee jumping

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The boiling pot. So called because of the eddy caused where the river turns to go under the bridge.




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I will post these for now. There are still quite a lot of photos to post.

We did get soak but dried out quite quickly. Cammy loved the fact that he could play in the rain and puddles.
There were a lot of people visiting the falls.
Satara 30 Sept - 7 Oct

Botswana June/July 2018

pooky
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 pm
Country: S.Africa
Location: Elgin

Re: Back to our roots - Zim Expedition

Post by pooky » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:28 pm

I had the whole episode ready to post last night when I lost the lot 0= :-?

So lets try again now.

Day 14 continued.

A few more pics of the Falls.

First up another shot of Devils cataract

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The main falls

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Rhino log :-)
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Some stats and information on the Falls and Zambezi valley

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The inevitable curios for sale. Vendors were selling everything from helicopter flights (usd135 for 13 minutes flying time),
day trips to Chobe for the same price, bunjee jumping, white water rafting, even 1,2 and 3 trillion Zim dollar notes
for USD1. (and they had heaps of them in perfect condition) One guy was desperate to have Mike's shoes for anything
we wanted. We guessed what 'anything' was but weren't prepared to find out 0*\ 0- . A firm 'no thank' and they left us along.

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The main road through the town of Victoria Falls

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During the afternoon the 'old folks' went for a walk to the grand old lady, Victoria Falls Hotel.

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We had a drink on the veranda all the while admiring the view of the gorge and bridge.

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A long way away :-)

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A pretty 'birds of paradise' flower.

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In the court yard of the hotel was this trolley which was used to ferry people from the flying boat which landed on
the Zambezi from Southhampton, via Alexandria, Khartoum, Vic Falls and finally ending up in Johannesburg. It also
took passengers to see the Falls. The trolley was pushed by hand :O^

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This guy was in the back yard of the hotel

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On the way back to the camp these two warties waited their turn on the pavement before crossing when the
coast was clear. They made their way to a drain for the night.

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Satara 30 Sept - 7 Oct

Botswana June/July 2018

pooky
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 pm
Country: S.Africa
Location: Elgin

Re: Back to our roots - Zim Expedition

Post by pooky » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:16 pm

Day 15 1st May 2014

This was the end of the holiday :-( :-( It was now time to head home and to say farewell to Ron and Maria
who were heading for Chobe, then home through Nambia. They still had some time before they needed to be
home. We would be going through Bulawayo and the Plumtree border post into Botswana.

Packing up in the Vic Falls campsite. Certainly hope we will be back here some time - so much to do still =O: =O:

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A statue of Joshua Nkomo in Bulawayo. He was leader of the Matabele and opposition to the Govt.

I was at school in Bulawayo - 10 years of boarding school. We lived on a ranch north of Byo at that time.

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A feed lot south of Byo.

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The Zimbabwe border post at Plumtree

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and the Botswana side.

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They only took pula as payment, and this was the very secure bureau de change :shock: :shock:


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We spent the night just outside of Francistown at Woodlands overnight stop. very nice campsite and chalets.
The grounds were beautifully kept and the ablutions were a real treat ^Q^ ^Q^

We were going to camp but the small chalets (with communal ablution) were not much more than camping so we very
gratefully took 2 chalets. Thank goodness we did as it was very cold in the morning - nothing worse than packing up
when it is so cold 0*\ 0*\

A chalet
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and looking towards the ablution block

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The next day we continued on home. There were a couple of veterinary stops for foot and mouth clearance. We drove
through a shallow disinfectant solution and we had to step on to a wet cloth also with disinfectant. This kills any
foot and mouth virus.

The border posts were a breeze and took about 15min each - a far cry from the ordeal at Beit Bridge.


This was a trip we would do again tomorrow if we could \O \O

We found everyone to be very friendly and helpful - although we did have all our ducks in a row which probably
helps. The roads were in excellent condition (except for the marathon dirt road). The National Parks ablution
blocks at Vumba and Kariba were a disgrace. There are alternatives at Kariba so National parks is to be avoided.
Fuel prices were much the same as here but everything else was about double the price. Everything was available
at a price!

Thank you for following along with me and allowing me to relive this wonderful trip again O/\ O/\


Next stop Kruger is September ^Q^ ^Q^ ^Q^
Satara 30 Sept - 7 Oct

Botswana June/July 2018

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