hello - myself, husband, and will-be 8 year old daughter are planning a 2nd self-drive trip. we're not complete newbies but last time got mostly sand driving experience trial by fire, with no mud driving and one-never-to-be-shaken-off water crossing. tentatively plan on coming thru pandametegna after 10 days or so in ckgr and the pans. will have satellite phone, but just ourselves like our last 6-week trip.

1. coming from nata - wise to do an overnight shopping trip in kasane, then to panda? we won't hit a major town for a couple weeks otherwise i think?

2. what is the border at panda like? fairly typical or better /worse? i can't finf anything about it.

3. if we book a bush camp in advance - say masuma or shumba, do we need to check in at a main office first? would the closeest be sinamatella? seems quite out of the way. is there a check-in at nanwich lodge by chance?

4. where are the rates for 2017? someone else booked us last time.

5. 6 nights in the park. we stayed at shumba for 2 nights last time and that was it- loved it, though i did get chased up the ladder by a hyena at night - my fault as i surprised it by moronically neglecting to turn on my flashlight before descending. we'd love to see wild dogs (and cheetah and leopard).and we're more hanging out at a hide versus driving people. is one place as good as another for that?

6. onto mana- we haven't been. we need to make the nov 13 ferry at kariba, and at this point that gives us 6 nights. we hate long drives and can't really blame it on the kid who does better than us. so from a bush camp to the pools are they're camping sites along the way? I am hoping to find two places along the way for example, binga 1 night? and then . The Needs to be somewhat close to mana, but ideally not much more than six hours drive from binga. and we are slow drivers.

6 and 1/2. Looks like matusadona is out for us due to the road lenght and conditions. If we stick to the main road, which we completely understand is not great, can we expect in first half of November to get thru without any water crossings over say half the tires? in Most years anyway?

7. then I think we would have three nights at the pools, as if I am correct it takes three hours to drive to the ferry and we need to be there at 8 AM? So we would spend one night at kariba? Any issues in mid-November for any of the pools campsites? We realize we may hit rain. are any of the campsites more likely to be inundated or impassable?

8. any recommended campsites or other near the ferry? Say within 1 Hour Drive at most?

9. six nights at hwange and three nights at pools. Any strong opinions there? Besides ckgr, we plan to finish our trip with 6 six nights in southern kafue.