African Bushveld Explorer
This tour touches the best of Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe and travels through – the heart of Africa and its great wildlife parks. From Livingstone with the beautiful Victoria Falls ,we travel north east through Zambia and Luangwa National Park to the amazing Lake Malawi. In Malawi we camp on pristine beaches along the lake of stars and meet their wonderful people. This wildlife tour travels through Zimbabwe with its diverse culture and world renowned park.
Day 1, 18 July, Zambia, Livingstone [camping, ---]
After we arrive in Livingstone in the afternoon we will transfer to our campground. We will then have the chance for a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River. In the morning we will visit the famous Victoria Falls or Mosi oa tunya, which is the largest curtain of water in the world; more than 1600 meters wide and 108 metres high. Dinner is own expense.
Day 2, 19 July, Zambia, Lusaka [camping, BLD] ±480km
Today after brunch we travel to the largest city and capital of Zambia, Lusaka, its population is 1, 7 million. Here we will stock up for our adventure into the wilder site of the country.
Day 3&4, 20&21, July Zambia, South Luangwa National Park [camping, BLD] ±570km
Experts say South Luangwa is one of the greatest wildlife reserves in the world. The famous walking safari originated in this park and is still a great way to experience Africa’s wilderness. Besides the game walk we will also enjoy a game drive in an open vehicle. There are some magnificent Baobab trees and a few large Eboni forests to admire.
We are staying here for two nights and camp under amazing trees and gaze at the stars. The day’s most interesting stories will be retold around the campfire. Included 1x walk and 1x game drive.
Day 5, 22 July, Chipata – [camping, BLD] Stop over-±130km
We travel through beautiful scenery and we will visit a local craft factory which is great for gifts. In Chapata we stock up on supplies and get a good night’s rest before we travel to the border and into Malawi.
Day 6, 23 July, Malawi, Senga bay [camping, BLD] ±170km
Malawi is a country of great natural beauty in East Central Africa at approximately 15 degrees south and 35 degrees east. It is bordered by Tanzania to the north and northeast, Zambia to the west, Mozambique to the southeast, south and southwest. It is a small narrow country lying north to south, it is approximately 850 km long and 160 km wide. Malawi is the southern end of the Great Rift Valley and contains Lake Malawi which is the southernmost lake in the series of lakes making the valley’s route from the Red Sea. Lake Malawi is the world’s ninth largest lake and is often referred to as the calendar lake. It is 365 miles long, the days of the year. 52 miles wide equals the weeks of the year and 700 meters deep. The deepest parts of the lake are 230 meters below sea level and the surface is 470 meters above sea level.
Along the lake we will meet the friendly people of some of the villages, and maybe watch the fishermen fix their nets. We will camp on the crystal white beaches, and enjoy an evening along the lake of stars!
Day 7&8, 24&25 July, Malawi, Monkey Bay [Lodge BLD] ±150km (Sunset cruises included and water sports)
After a big breakfast on the beach, we pack up and head south along the lake to Malawi national park and the southern shores. It is the only national park in Malawi that was created to protect fish and is a world heritage site. We will meet the local villagers on a walk and we could all try our hand at some hand and line fishing .We enjoy one of the many activities on offer, i.e. walking, kayaking windsurfing fishing and water sports ( I will take ROLF skiing!:)
Day 9, 26 July, Palm Beach Malawi [camping, BLD] + 80 km
The town of Mangochi lies on the Shire River, between the southern tip of Lake Malawi and northern tip of Lake Malombe. Mangochi was initially called Fort Johnson, after Sir Harry Johnson, the British explorer and colonial administrator. Fort Johnson was established in the early 1890′s and remained an important river port and naval post through colonial times.
The old town is located on the western bank of the Shire River and the wide palm-tree-lined streets indicate Mangochi’s past Colonial importance. The buildings in the old town, although rapidly deteriorating and quite rundown, show the influence of the earliest Arab slave trade in the area. The newer part of Mangochi has a fair amount of banks and supermarkets and is a great place to stock up for further travels.
In July 2008, elephants terrorised areas around Maldeco Fisheries in Mangochi and caused several deaths and damage to property, mainly crops. The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture proposed moving the elephants into several game reserves, although the proposal stalled when some residents said they wanted the elephants to remain. Camping on the beech.
Day 10, 27 July, Zambia, Chipata [camping, BLD] ±375km
This is an overnight stay on our way to Mana pools. These days are two easy travel days to major cities in Zambia with plenty of photographic stops. We will stock up on supplies and visit some markets.
Day 11 &12, the 28th and 29th, Mana Pools (world heritage site) [camping, BLD] Zimbabwe
This paradise of a camp is simple and rustic but it is the location that is the best. One of our favourite camps ever, here we can do game walks and game canoeing and with all activities, we will decide on arrival (Own expense). Mana pools is an animal wonderland and all unfenced territory, one gets what this place was like for the first pioneers and camping next to the hippo filled water, this is a true African Bushveld, and in the lower Zambezi it does not get better than this.
Mana Pools is a wildlife conservation area in northern Zimbabwe constituting a National Park. It is a region of the lower Zambezi in Zimbabwe where the flood plain turns into a broad expanse of lakes after eachrainy season. As the lakes gradually dry up and recede, the region attracts many large animals in search of water, making it one of Africa's most renowned game-viewing regions.
Mana means ‘four’ in Shona, in reference to the four large permanent pools formed by the meanderings of the middle Zambezi. These 2,500 square kilometres of river frontage, islands, sandbanks and pools, flanked by forests of mahogany, wild figs, ebonies and baobabs, is one of the least developed National Parks in Southern Africa. It was saved from a hydro-electric scheme in the early eighties which would have seen the flooding of this subsequent World Heritage site. It has the country’s biggest concentration of hippopotamuses and crocodiles and large dry season mammal populations of elephant and buffalo. The Mana Pools were designated a Ramsar wetland of international importance on 3 January 2013.
Day 13, 30th July, Zimbabwe, Kariba [camping, BLD] ±720km a [hotel, BL]
Kariba is a village on the southern shore of Lake Kariba. Kariba is a popular fishing resort and is the terminal of the Kariba Ferries. Lake Kariba is the largest artificial lake in the world with 5580square kilometers.
Day 14, 31st of July, Zimbabwe, Kariba ferry [Ferry, BLD]
You can relax in the spacious panoramic windowed saloon, laze on the partially shaded deck or enjoy the upper shaded deck whilst someone else does the driving. This is a truly special way to experience the full length of this amazing lake, watch out for the Nyaminyami!
Day 15&16 the 1st and 2nd August, Zimbabwe, Hwange National park [camping, BLD] ±150km
Hwange National Park is our destination for the next 3 nights to get some rest and meet some locals. It was a hunting ground for the Ndebele King and was declared as National Park in 1929. These days it is renowned for the Elephants and its huge population of mammals and bird species. Here the animals and people live relative harmony
Day 17&18, the 3rd and 4th of August, Zimbabwe, Matopos National park [camping, BLD] ±380km
We travel south to the world famous granite domes of the Matopos’ rock formations which give the Matopo Hills their outstanding look. Early in the morning we will explore the park which is home to a small population of white and black rhino. This park inherited a wide range of different animal species and birdlife. Look out for the powerful black eagle. We will learn much about local culture in the village and speak about ,the many the ‘Bushmen’ rock paintings in the area.
Day 19, 5th of August, Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe Ruins- Masvingo [camping, BLD] ±360km
Today we travel to Masvingo Province with one of the oldest ruins in Africa. These mysterious structures are where the predecessors of the current Shona tribe lived. From 11th to the 15th century they built and lived in stone buildings. It is extraordinary how these massive constructions were built without the use of cement today large portions of these settlements are still intact and can be visited. We explore the great house of stone on a guided walk.
Day 20, 6th of August Tshipise [Lodge BLD]
Blessed with a year-round sunny climate and hot mineral springs, based at the foot of the “the mountain that blows” – the Tshipise koppie, in a landscape dotted with ancient (“upside down”) Baobabs and Mopani, Bushwillow and Jakkalsbessie trees. We soak in the Bushveld atmosphere around a braai or “potjie”. Tshipise means “something warm”, so holidaymakers can expect lots of fun in the sun. After our last dinner together we will share emails and pictures and share some great memories. There will be some hot spring water to soothe those well-travelled muscles. Try it!
Day 21, 7 Aug, Johannesburg [B--] 500km
After some last minute shopping and feeling rested and satisfied we return to civilization for our international flight with Africa in our veins and many memories to share with family and friends. We plan to be in Johannesburg at the vehicle depot where we return our equipment and refresh ourselves thereafter we transfer to the airport at around 4pm.