Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020





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  1. #1
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    Default Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Hi,

    We live in New Zealand and did our first self-drive 39 day safari in May/June last year in Namibia & Botswana and LOVED it!!!
    We are avid campers but had no experience with 4x4 driving or the kind of camping and wildlife you have in your beautiful countries.
    WOW...it was the highlight of 5 months travel. So much learned and experienced: lions at the edge of camp, elephants and hippos walking through our camp, the night sounds and skies, the birds (I wasn't a bird enthusiast before, but definitely am now), the landscape, the people. What a magical place, which we want to return while we still can.

    We are fit and active, 63 and 68 years old, and will be doing this on our own in a rented 4x4 with RTT.

    After research & reading threads and getting help, suggestions and shared wisdom from forum members (thank you very much!), we have a basic itinerary for May 10- June 20th, 2020 (approximate dates at this point). I am getting an early start in planning as I am following the advice to book early to get the camps we want.

    All suggestions or changes to the itinerary are appreciated. Please share your thoughts, ideas & wisdom if you feel inspired.
    We have visited Chobe & Moremi in 2018 and would like to visit them again.

    Possible itinerary: Kasane/Maun
    1. Arrive Kasane ~ May 10?? Airbnb
    2. Kasane – pick up 4x4 & stock up. Senyati Camp
    3. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    4. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    5. Kasane. Stock up. Chobe river boat trip; Senyati camp
    6. Cross into Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls; Victoria Falls Rest camp?
    7. Hwange NP – Robins - Can we enter Hwange on the north through Matetsi instead of going through Hwange town?
    If not, what order for camps then?
    8. Hwange NP - Deteema
    9. Hwange NP - Deteema
    10. Hwange NP – Masuma dam?
    11. Hwange NP - Guvalala Platform?
    12. Hwange NP - Ngweshla
    13. Hwange NP – Ngweshla. Can we get to Mucheni in one day from Ngweshla? Where can we get fuel?
    Binga looks like a possibility but have read that it's unreliable.
    14. Chizarira NP – Mucheni View
    15. Chizarira NP - Mucheni View
    16. GacheGache -
    17. Kariba – stock up & camp?
    18. Mana Pools NP - Nyamepi riverfront site
    19. Mana Pools NP - Nyamepi "
    20. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    21. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    22. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1 - have read that it's scary on your own. Would it be best to get a guide or ranger to come with us?
    We are quite inexperienced and would like a wonderful experience.
    23. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1
    24. Chinhoyi Caves NP. Stock up Chinhoyi, camp??
    25. Matobo NP - Big Cave?
    26. Matobo NP - Big Cave?
    27. Cross into Botswana @ Plumtree or Warmley (not sure of best route from Matobo).
    Stock up Francistown. Camp on way to CKGR
    28. CKGR – Kgori
    29. CKGR - Sunday Pan
    30. CKGR - Sunday Pan
    31. CKGR – Passarge Pan
    32. CKGR – Passarge Pan
    33. Khumaga camp
    34. Nxai NP – South Camp
    35. Nxai NP – South Camp
    36. Maun – stock up. Stay at camp on way to Moremi. Would like a quiet camp! stayed at Maun Rest camp last time, lovely camp, terrible neighbourhood with @ 20 dogs and a donkey barking & braying continuously from 8pm -4am. We got no rest.
    37. Moremi - South Gate
    38. Moremi - Third Bridge
    39. Moremi – Third Bridge
    40. Moremi – Xnakanaka
    41. Maun – return vehicle.
    42. fly out.

    I've been doing a lot of research for the last month and although it's still a year away, I'm getting excited already. I find the trip reports and wisdom shared by forum members, very inspiring.
    Last edited by debk; 2019/04/22 at 11:55 PM. Reason: changed itinerary based on suggestions

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Hello Debk

    I can only give help only on the Botswana side.

    Your itinerary looks interesting. I believe is a good plan to start at Kasane and rent a 4x4 there. Senyati camp is also a good start ;yes Ihaha camp then chobe boat trip yes and cross over to Zimbabwe.

    Starting from CKGR I suggest as follows

    Kgori camp 1 night
    Sunday pan 2 nights
    Passarge pan 2 nights
    Break journey at Kumaga 1 night
    Nxai pan 2 nights
    Audi camp / Island safari camp (Maun)
    South gate 1 night
    3rd bridge 2 nights
    Xakanaxa 1 night
    Maun drop off

    For more enquiries/bookings email me at [email protected]

    Thank you
    ARMOUR TRAVEL AGENCY
    Our services include;Scenic flights+ Helicopter , public campsites, Lodge & hotel accommodations, park permits,mokoro(canoe), boat trip, safari packages and private guide.
    email address: [email protected]/call us on; +267 75062709



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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by SSEO View Post
    Hello Debk

    I can only give help only on the Botswana side.

    Your itinerary looks interesting. I believe is a good plan to start at Kasane and rent a 4x4 there. Senyati camp is also a good start ;yes Ihaha camp then chobe boat trip yes and cross over to Zimbabwe.

    Starting from CKGR I suggest as follows

    Kgori camp 1 night
    Sunday pan 2 nights
    Passarge pan 2 nights
    Break journey at Kumaga 1 night
    Nxai pan 2 nights
    Audi camp / Island safari camp (Maun)
    South gate 1 night
    3rd bridge 2 nights
    Xakanaxa 1 night
    Maun drop off

    For more enquiries/bookings email me at [email protected]

    Thank you
    Thanks so much for your help!! Much appreciated! Can you recommend any specific site # for Sunday and Passarge? Or are there just one camp at each spot? I haven't found a map of CKGR in my online search that shows the location of the camps.
    Last edited by debk; 2019/04/22 at 11:58 PM.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Hi Debk

    I'd opt for
    Sunday pan#3 lovely campsite
    Passarge pan#1 nice camp
    ARMOUR TRAVEL AGENCY
    Our services include;Scenic flights+ Helicopter , public campsites, Lodge & hotel accommodations, park permits,mokoro(canoe), boat trip, safari packages and private guide.
    email address: [email protected]/call us on; +267 75062709



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  7. #5
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    Smile Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Possible itinerary: Kasane/Maun
    1. Arrive Kasane ~ May 10?? Airbnb
    2. Kasane – pick up 4x4 & stock up. Senyati Camp
    3. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    4. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    5. Kasane. Stock up. Chobe river boat trip; Senyati camp
    6. Cross into Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls; Victoria Falls Rest camp I will swop things around the border here can get busy, I will drive down to Pandamatenga a breeze of a post, you can fill up at Panda town with cheaper Bots fuel and then Robins is around the corner. Contact Zim Parks to get your preferred sites a year in advance Mr Noel Manyerere is very responsive [email protected]here is his response to my inquiry for May 2020 Kindly note that the 2020 bookings will only be open in August 2019, but you can send you request in July 2019

    The same is true for the best Bots sites as well, who are you talking to to do your reservations and do you know when reservations open?


    7. Hwange NP – Robins - Can we enter Hwange on the north through Matetsi instead of going through Hwange town?
    If not, what order for camps then?
    8. Hwange NP - Deteema
    9. Hwange NP - Deteema
    10. Hwange NP – Masuma dam?
    11. Hwange NP - Guvalala Platform?
    12. Hwange NP - Ngweshla
    13. Hwange NP – Ngweshla. Can we get to Mucheni in one day from Ngweshla? Where can we get fuel?
    Binga looks like a possibility but have read that it's unreliable.
    14. Chizarira NP – Mucheni View
    15. Chizarira NP - Mucheni View
    16. GacheGache -
    17. Kariba – stock up & camp?
    18. Mana Pools NP - Nyamepi riverfront sit I would ditch Nyamepi and do Mucheni all 5 days, you can always shower at Nyamepi
    19. Mana Pools NP - Nyamepi "
    20. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    21. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    22. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1 - have read that it's scary on your own. Would it be best to get a guide or ranger to come with us?
    We are quite inexperienced and would like a wonderful experience.You have a RTT do all you stuff before it is dark like shower and eat and stay in an enclosed area after dark - we used netting to close us in after dark. If you have a guide then you can walk with greater ease. I have been before without guides though.
    23. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1
    24. Chinhoyi Caves NP. Stock up Chinhoyi, camp?? No camping really we stayed at Secret Garden self catering.
    25. Matobo NP - Big Cave?
    26. Matobo NP - Big Cave?
    27. Cross into Botswana @ Plumtree or Warmley (not sure of best route from Matobo). Plumtree
    Stock up Francistown. Camp on way to CKGR Try Makumutu Lodge (Orapa) or Tuuthebe Lodge (Lethlakeng)
    28. CKGR – Kgori
    29. CKGR - Sunday Pan
    30. CKGR - Sunday Pan
    31. CKGR – Passarge Pan
    32. CKGR – Passarge Pan
    33. Khumaga camp
    34. Nxai NP – South Camp
    35. Nxai NP – South Camp
    36. Maun – stock up. Stay at camp on way to Moremi. Would like a quiet camp! stayed at Maun Rest camp last time, lovely camp, terrible neighbourhood with @ 20 dogs and a donkey barking & braying continuously from 8pm -4am. We got no rest. Camping at Sedia hotel was pleasant
    37. Moremi - South Gate
    38. Moremi - Third Bridge
    39. Moremi – Third Bridge
    40. Moremi – Xnakanaka
    41. Maun – return vehicle.
    42. fly out.

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by JGN View Post
    Possible itinerary: Kasane/Maun
    1. Arrive Kasane ~ May 10?? Airbnb
    2. Kasane – pick up 4x4 & stock up. Senyati Camp
    3. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    4. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    5. Kasane. Stock up. Chobe river boat trip; Senyati camp
    6. Cross into Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls; Victoria Falls Rest camp I will swop things around the border here can get busy, I will drive down to Pandamatenga a breeze of a post, you can fill up at Panda town with cheaper Bots fuel and then Robins is around the corner. Contact Zim Parks to get your preferred sites a year in advance Mr Noel Manyerere is very responsive [email protected]here is his response to my inquiry for May 2020 Kindly note that the 2020 bookings will only be open in August 2019, but you can send you request in July 2019

    The same is true for the best Bots sites as well, who are you talking to to do your reservations and do you know when reservations open?


    7. Hwange NP – Robins - Can we enter Hwange on the north through Matetsi instead of going through Hwange town?
    If not, what order for camps then?
    8. Hwange NP - Deteema
    9. Hwange NP - Deteema
    10. Hwange NP – Masuma dam?
    11. Hwange NP - Guvalala Platform?
    12. Hwange NP - Ngweshla
    13. Hwange NP – Ngweshla. Can we get to Mucheni in one day from Ngweshla? Where can we get fuel?
    Binga looks like a possibility but have read that it's unreliable.
    14. Chizarira NP – Mucheni View
    15. Chizarira NP - Mucheni View
    16. GacheGache -
    17. Kariba – stock up & camp?
    18. Mana Pools NP - Nyamepi riverfront sit I would ditch Nyamepi and do Mucheni all 5 days, you can always shower at Nyamepi
    19. Mana Pools NP - Nyamepi "
    20. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    21. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    22. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1 - have read that it's scary on your own. Would it be best to get a guide or ranger to come with us?
    We are quite inexperienced and would like a wonderful experience.You have a RTT do all you stuff before it is dark like shower and eat and stay in an enclosed area after dark - we used netting to close us in after dark. If you have a guide then you can walk with greater ease. I have been before without guides though.
    23. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1
    24. Chinhoyi Caves NP. Stock up Chinhoyi, camp?? No camping really we stayed at Secret Garden self catering.
    25. Matobo NP - Big Cave?
    26. Matobo NP - Big Cave?
    27. Cross into Botswana @ Plumtree or Warmley (not sure of best route from Matobo). Plumtree
    Stock up Francistown. Camp on way to CKGR Try Makumutu Lodge (Orapa) or Tuuthebe Lodge (Lethlakeng)
    28. CKGR – Kgori
    29. CKGR - Sunday Pan
    30. CKGR - Sunday Pan
    31. CKGR – Passarge Pan
    32. CKGR – Passarge Pan
    33. Khumaga camp
    34. Nxai NP – South Camp
    35. Nxai NP – South Camp
    36. Maun – stock up. Stay at camp on way to Moremi. Would like a quiet camp! stayed at Maun Rest camp last time, lovely camp, terrible neighbourhood with @ 20 dogs and a donkey barking & braying continuously from 8pm -4am. We got no rest. Camping at Sedia hotel was pleasant
    37. Moremi - South Gate
    38. Moremi - Third Bridge
    39. Moremi – Third Bridge
    40. Moremi – Xnakanaka
    41. Maun – return vehicle.
    42. fly out.
    Thanks for your input, JGN.
    Now I have more questions: If we do cross at Panda, that looks as though we will have to backtrack to Victoria Falls. I am assuming you think it's worth it to avoid Kazungula? I live in NZ and we have no border crossings. We have only crossed from Namibia to Botswana and back to Namibia and those 2 borders were very easy. So I am assuming this border is different.

    If we do cross at Panda, what would you suggest for the order of camps in Hwange?

    We are going to book camps through our 4x4 rental company who can do bookings in both countries. We will book early as I'd like to give them our finalised itinerary by mid-May.

    You suggested skipping Nyamepi and camping the 4 days at Mucheni. Could you tell me your reasons for this suggestion?
    Thanks for the suggestions for camps!

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by debk View Post
    Hi,

    We live in New Zealand and did our first self-drive 39 day safari in May/June last year in Namibia & Botswana and LOVED it!!!
    We are avid campers but had no experience with 4x4 driving or the kind of camping and wildlife you have in your beautiful countries.
    WOW...it was the highlight of 5 months travel. So much learned and experienced: lions at the edge of camp, elephants and hippos walking through our camp, the night sounds and skies, the birds (I wasn't a bird enthusiast before, but definitely am now), the landscape, the people. What a magical place, which we want to return while we still can.

    We are fit and active, 63 and 68 years old, and will be doing this on our own in a rented 4x4 with RTT.

    After research & reading threads and getting help, suggestions and shared wisdom from forum members (thank you very much!), we have a basic itinerary for May 10- June 20th, 2020 (approximate dates at this point). I am getting an early start in planning as I am following the advice to book early to get the camps we want.

    All suggestions or changes to the itinerary are appreciated. Please share your thoughts, ideas & wisdom if you feel inspired.
    We have visited Chobe & Moremi in 2018 and would like to visit them again.

    Possible itinerary: Kasane/Maun
    1. Arrive Kasane ~ May 10?? Airbnb
    2. Kasane – pick up 4x4 & stock up. Senyati Camp
    3. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    4. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    5. Kasane. Stock up. Chobe river boat trip; Senyati camp
    6. Cross into Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls; Victoria Falls Rest camp?
    7. Hwange NP – Robins - Can we enter Hwange on the north through Matetsi instead of going through Hwange town?
    If not, what order for camps then?
    8. Hwange NP - Deteema
    9. Hwange NP - Deteema
    10. Hwange NP – Masuma dam?
    11. Hwange NP - Guvalala Platform?
    12. Hwange NP - Ngweshla
    13. Hwange NP – Ngweshla. Can we get to Mucheni in one day from Ngweshla? Where can we get fuel?
    Binga looks like a possibility but have read that it's unreliable.
    14. Chizarira NP – Mucheni View
    15. Chizarira NP - Mucheni View
    16. GacheGache -
    17. Kariba – stock up & camp?
    18. Mana Pools NP - Nyamepi riverfront site
    19. Mana Pools NP - Nyamepi "
    20. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    21. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    22. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1 - have read that it's scary on your own. Would it be best to get a guide or ranger to come with us?
    We are quite inexperienced and would like a wonderful experience.
    23. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1
    24. Chinhoyi Caves NP. Stock up Chinhoyi, camp??
    25. Matobo NP - Big Cave?
    26. Matobo NP - Big Cave?
    27. Cross into Botswana @ Plumtree or Warmley (not sure of best route from Matobo).
    Stock up Francistown. Camp on way to CKGR
    28. CKGR – Kgori
    29. CKGR - Sunday Pan
    30. CKGR - Sunday Pan
    31. CKGR – Passarge Pan
    32. CKGR – Passarge Pan
    33. Khumaga camp
    34. Nxai NP – South Camp
    35. Nxai NP – South Camp
    36. Maun – stock up. Stay at camp on way to Moremi. Would like a quiet camp! stayed at Maun Rest camp last time, lovely camp, terrible neighbourhood with @ 20 dogs and a donkey barking & braying continuously from 8pm -4am. We got no rest.
    37. Moremi - South Gate
    38. Moremi - Third Bridge
    39. Moremi – Third Bridge
    40. Moremi – Xnakanaka
    41. Maun – return vehicle.
    42. fly out.

    I've been doing a lot of research for the last month and although it's still a year away, I'm getting excited already. I find the trip reports and wisdom shared by forum members, very inspiring.
    Hi Debk

    For your stay at Victoria Falls, I would recommend Explorers Village. I have stayed there a few times and must say that it is better than the Victoria fall Rest camp.
    https://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/...s-village.html

    If you do travel to Binga via the back route, I also have some chalets and lodge on the Zambezi river that you may want to stop over at for a relaxing stay.
    https://www.ndabiri.com/

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by MariusvdM View Post
    Hi Debk

    For your stay at Victoria Falls, I would recommend Explorers Village. I have stayed there a few times and must say that it is better than the Victoria fall Rest camp.
    https://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/...s-village.html

    If you do travel to Binga via the back route, I also have some chalets and lodge on the Zambezi river that you may want to stop over at for a relaxing stay.
    https://www.ndabiri.com/
    Thanks, MariusvdM, I will definitely check out Explorers Village and ndabiri. Our itinerary hasn't been finalised yet so all suggestions are appreciated.
    Can you comment on what has been suggested re: crossing into Zimbabwe at Pandamatenga instead of Kazungula? And then how to organise camps accordingly in Hwange. I imagine that we would exit the northern section, go to Victoria Falls, then enter the southern section. But that would mean missing the drive through the park??

  13. #9
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Bushlore have a “fixer” at the Kazungula border crossing who will get you across without any problem. That was our first major border crossing on our trip and it was fairly chaotic, so having Alex doing everything for us was great. We got the hang of the border crossings quickly after that.

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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by JulieM View Post
    Bushlore have a “fixer” at the Kazungula border crossing who will get you across without any problem. That was our first major border crossing on our trip and it was fairly chaotic, so having Alex doing everything for us was great. We got the hang of the border crossings quickly after that.
    Julie, Thank you yet again. I will definitely approach Bushlore and ask for their help. We might do well to have a "fixer" with us for most of the trip ; )

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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Thanks for all your very helpful comments and suggestions. We are pretty close to a final itinerary and will give it to our booking agent next week. I know it's an entire year away but I am so excited already just thinking about all the wonderful experiences we are going to have.
    I've been having so much fun exploring all the options that have been suggested.
    I am really grateful that you have taken the time to share your knowledge and wisdom so freely and generously.
    If anyone is thinking about coming to New Zealand, please feel free to reach out and I will help where I can.

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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by debk View Post
    Thanks, MariusvdM, I will definitely check out Explorers Village and ndabiri. Our itinerary hasn't been finalised yet so all suggestions are appreciated.
    Can you comment on what has been suggested re: crossing into Zimbabwe at Pandamatenga instead of Kazungula? And then how to organise camps accordingly in Hwange. I imagine that we would exit the northern section, go to Victoria Falls, then enter the southern section. But that would mean missing the drive through the park??
    Hi Debk

    The only comment I can advise on is that Kazangula crossing is not that bad as long as you get the timing right.
    Usually the morning is when all the tourists and the day visitors cross to Victoria Falls.
    There are also plenty of trucks during the day.
    You also have your usual locals crossing to buy their daily supplies.
    All in all its not too bad and I guess you can't really predict what it would be like on the day you wish to cross.

    Panda is a very quiet crossing. Sometimes you may be the only one there.
    They are fairly efficient and as long as you don't take through stuff that is not allowed then it's pretty much plain sailing.
    The road is pretty bad in some sections but you do drive through the park so you get to see some animals.

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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Apologies for my silence I was out of range for a few days
    Thanks for your input, JGN.
    Now I have more questions: If we do cross at Panda, that looks as though we will have to backtrack to Victoria Falls. I am assuming you think it's worth it to avoid Kazungula? I live in NZ and we have no border crossings. We have only crossed from Namibia to Botswana and back to Namibia and those 2 borders were very easy. So I am assuming this border is different Backtracking to my mind is not the issue if you consider the benefits of Panda. I have seen what other have said about the Kazangula crossing like all other Zim crossings it is pot luck you can find it easy or a long slog. I once took Aussie friends across to Zim and they were really shocked about the complexity and other issues at the Zim side of the border. I still strongly recommend that you consider Panda. You cannot compare The Nam/Bots border with the Zim border. Us locals will tell you it is ok, we are used to it

    I do trust that you know what the requirements are to enter for the vehicle.

    If we do cross at Panda, what would you suggest for the order of camps in Hwange Start north and work your way south and exit at Main Camp to Vic Falls.

    We are going to book camps through our 4x4 rental company who can do bookings in both countries. We will book early as I'd like to give them our finalised itinerary by mid-May. Great stuff, also check with them how they will get you ready for the Zim entry, i.e. the vehicle requirements - I know things are relaxed now, but requirements remain requirements.

    You suggested skipping Nyamepi and camping the 4 days at Mucheni. Could you tell me your reasons for this suggestion Nyamepi is the main camp and compared to ZA or Etsoha main camps still great, Mucheni is in a class of its own, you have the site for yourself. You can visit Nyamepi and shower there when you do a game drive. Being alone on the banks of the Zambezi is incomparable.
    Thanks for the suggestions for camps![/QUOTE]

    I do hope my responses suffice. Just note for Mana I have always booked a year in advance and I seldom got the exact camps I asked for - be prepared to be flexible.

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  20. #14
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by JGN View Post
    Apologies for my silence I was out of range for a few days
    Thanks for your input, JGN.
    Now I have more questions: If we do cross at Panda, that looks as though we will have to backtrack to Victoria Falls. I am assuming you think it's worth it to avoid Kazungula? I live in NZ and we have no border crossings. We have only crossed from Namibia to Botswana and back to Namibia and those 2 borders were very easy. So I am assuming this border is different Backtracking to my mind is not the issue if you consider the benefits of Panda. I have seen what other have said about the Kazangula crossing like all other Zim crossings it is pot luck you can find it easy or a long slog. I once took Aussie friends across to Zim and they were really shocked about the complexity and other issues at the Zim side of the border. I still strongly recommend that you consider Panda. You cannot compare The Nam/Bots border with the Zim border. Us locals will tell you it is ok, we are used to it

    I do trust that you know what the requirements are to enter for the vehicle.

    If we do cross at Panda, what would you suggest for the order of camps in Hwange Start north and work your way south and exit at Main Camp to Vic Falls.

    We are going to book camps through our 4x4 rental company who can do bookings in both countries. We will book early as I'd like to give them our finalised itinerary by mid-May. Great stuff, also check with them how they will get you ready for the Zim entry, i.e. the vehicle requirements - I know things are relaxed now, but requirements remain requirements.

    You suggested skipping Nyamepi and camping the 4 days at Mucheni. Could you tell me your reasons for this suggestion Nyamepi is the main camp and compared to ZA or Etsoha main camps still great, Mucheni is in a class of its own, you have the site for yourself. You can visit Nyamepi and shower there when you do a game drive. Being alone on the banks of the Zambezi is incomparable.
    Thanks for the suggestions for camps!

    I do hope my responses suffice. Just note for Mana I have always booked a year in advance and I seldom got the exact camps I asked for - be prepared to be flexible.
    [/QUOTE]

    JGN, thank you for taking the time to give me very detailed responses to my questions. I understand the situation much more clearly now, which will help in our decision making.
    We will definitely follow your suggestion to enter Zim at Panda, as well as your other suggestions, too. I had enquired of our rental company about crossing into Zimbabwe, and they assured me that all would be in order, but I will now ask for more details re: the vehicle requirements, etc. Better to have more knowledge before encountering issues that could have been avoided, had we known.
    I appreciate your kindness and generosity in sharing your knowledge so freely.

  21. #15
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Our latest itinerary - will email booking agent with this itinerary on Friday so any further thoughts/suggestions are appreciated!
    If you have favourite campsite #'s at any of these camps, please shout out.

    1. Arrive Kasane ~ May 14?? AirBnB
    2. Kasane – pick up 4x4 May 15th. Senyati Camp. May do chobe river boat next morning before heading to Ihaha.
    3. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    4. Chobe ~ Ihaha
    5. Kasane. Stock up. Senyati camp. Chobe river boat trip if didn’t do on 16th
    6. Cross into Zimbabwe at Panda. Hwange NP – Robins
    7. Hwange NP - Deteema
    8. Hwange NP - Deteema
    9. Hwange NP – Masuma dam
    10. Hwange NP - Guvalala Platform
    11. Hwange NP - Ngweshla
    12. Hwange NP – Ngweshla
    13. Victoria Falls. Camp Victoria Falls Rest camp? Restock.
    14. Binga - Masumu lodge - Is it reasonable to get to Binga from Victoria Falls in one day?
    15. GacheGache
    16. Kariba – stock up & camp Lomagundi Lakeside Association camp
    17. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    18. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    19. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni – guided walk with ranger?
    20. Mana Pools NP - Mucheni
    21. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1 - take guide or ranger?
    22. Mana Pools NP - Chitake 1
    23. Chinhoyi Caves NP. Stock up Chinhoyi. Camp??
    24. Matobo – Big Cave camp
    25. Matobo NP - Big Cave camp
    26. Cross into Botswana @ Plumtree. Stock up Francistown. Camp on way to CKGR at Makumutu Lodge (Orapa) or Tuuthebe Lodge (Lethlakeng)
    27. CKGR - Kori camp #3
    28. CKGR - Sunday Pan Camp
    29. CKGR - Sunday Pan Camp
    30. CKGR – Passarge Camp
    31. CKGR – Passarge Camp
    32. Khumaga camp
    33. Nxai NP – South Camp #2
    34. Nxai NP – South Camp #2
    35. Maun – stock up. Camp: Sedia Hotel Riverside Campsite or Audi camp
    36. Moremi - South Gate
    37. Moremi - Third Bridge
    38. Moremi – Xnakanaka
    39. Moremi – Xnakanaka – boat trip
    40. Maun – return vehicle
    41. fly out.
    Last edited by debk; 2019/04/30 at 03:19 AM.

  22. #16
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Just got a big surge of jealousy reading that itinerary!! Looks awesome.
    Bushlore have all the papers you need for border crossings, all together in one folder. We had no trouble at any of our border crossings.
    Enjoy!

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  24. #17
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by JulieM View Post
    Just got a big surge of jealousy reading that itinerary!! Looks awesome.
    Bushlore have all the papers you need for border crossings, all together in one folder. We had no trouble at any of our border crossings.
    Enjoy!
    Julie, I'm giggling as you just got back from FOUR months away! I seem to have been bitten by the Africa bug. Not so sure about my partner as I think this may be his last time there. Me, however, I am already thinking about looking for a traveling companion for subsequent trips if he does decide he's had enough.

    Thanks for the info re: Bushlore paperwork. I will check with them again before we get there.

    The itinerary looks awesome due to all the very kind & generous forum members who are willing to share their experience, knowledge and wisdom with me. ; )
    Last edited by debk; 2019/05/04 at 03:09 AM.

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  26. #18
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Deb, couple of points to your itinerary from my side:

    I don't find any sense in using Panda to enter Zimbabwe, and then backtracking back to Victoria Falls later on. Doesn't make sense at all. Kazungula border post between Botswana and Zimabwe is one of the easiest and most straightforward border crossing in this part of Africa. Really, it can't be easier than there! Part of the confusion with it comes from the fact that there are two border crossing at Kazungula: one with Zimbabwe and the other one (via ferry over Zambezi) with Zambia. Now, that border with Zambia really is notorious, and rightly so. It is chaotic, confusing, stressfull. Many overlanders use fixers to help them clear their border procedures there and no surprise that Bushlore apparently has one of their own there.

    But you will certainly not get a fixer from Bushlore to help you to cross into Zimbabwe at Kazungula. Simply, as there are no fixers hanging around that border post. As no one need them there. As it is so easy and straightforward. This border post is used daily by many day visitors to VicFalls and to Chobe from both sides of the border and those daytrips would not be possible or make any sense if that border was so problematic. True, it can get rather bussy in the early morning and evening hours because of those day trippers, but if you avoid those "rush hours", it will be a breeze for you to pass that border crossing into Zimbabwe.

    The fixer from Bushlore and actually whole chaotic border crossing procedure at Kazungula that Juliem mentions, actually applies to Bots-Zam border. JulieM was crossing from Botswana into Zambia, not into Zimbabwe. Don't let this confuse you and make you change your original plans the wrong way. IMHO, with your itinerary, the only logical route would be: Kasane - Kazungula into Zimbabwe - Victoria Falls - Hwange - Binga - .... This saves you about one day worth of driving on boring tar roads compared to your current plan with using panda into Zim and then backtrack from Hwange to Vic Falls and back to Hwange town. It's just waste of time, IMHO.

    BTW, in CKGR, I think the consensus is that campsite #2 is by far the best one in Passarge Valley.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
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  28. #19
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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post
    Deb, couple of points to your itinerary from my side:

    I don't find any sense in using Panda to enter Zimbabwe, and then backtracking back to Victoria Falls later on. Doesn't make sense at all. Kazungula border post between Botswana and Zimabwe is one of the easiest and most straightforward border crossing in this part of Africa. Really, it can't be easier than there! Part of the confusion with it comes from the fact that there are two border crossing at Kazungula: one with Zimbabwe and the other one (via ferry over Zambezi) with Zambia. Now, that border with Zambia really is notorious, and rightly so. It is chaotic, confusing, stressfull. Many overlanders use fixers to help them clear their border procedures there and no surprise that Bushlore apparently has one of their own there.

    But you will certainly not get a fixer from Bushlore to help you to cross into Zimbabwe at Kazungula. Simply, as there are no fixers hanging around that border post. As no one need them there. As it is so easy and straightforward. This border post is used daily by many day visitors to VicFalls and to Chobe from both sides of the border and those daytrips would not be possible or make any sense if that border was so problematic. True, it can get rather bussy in the early morning and evening hours because of those day trippers, but if you avoid those "rush hours", it will be a breeze for you to pass that border crossing into Zimbabwe.

    The fixer from Bushlore and actually whole chaotic border crossing procedure at Kazungula that Juliem mentions, actually applies to Bots-Zam border. JulieM was crossing from Botswana into Zambia, not into Zimbabwe. Don't let this confuse you and make you change your original plans the wrong way. IMHO, with your itinerary, the only logical route would be: Kasane - Kazungula into Zimbabwe - Victoria Falls - Hwange - Binga - .... This saves you about one day worth of driving on boring tar roads compared to your current plan with using panda into Zim and then backtrack from Hwange to Vic Falls and back to Hwange town. It's just waste of time, IMHO.

    BTW, in CKGR, I think the consensus is that campsite #2 is by far the best one in Passarge Valley.
    ortelius, thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts about the border crossings. You expressed my initial thoughts too about back-tracking. It's so difficult having not done this before, to know the best way to organise our itinerary and we will definitely take your suggestions on board.
    The information shared by forum members is always appreciated and has been invaluable. I am continually inspired by how generous the people in this community are with their time and help.
    Thanks also for heads-up re: Passarge campsite #2.

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    Default Re: Help please with Botswana & Zimbabwe Itinerary May/June 2020

    [QUOTE=debk;4138814]
    Thanks also for heads-up re: Passarge campsite #2.

    Passarge 2, was always high on the list, but we were there last year and the main shade tree has lost most of its branches, so in future we will rather use 1 or 3. The branches have been broken off high up, so I am more inclined to think it was a wind-storm and not elephant damage, as some people have speculated.
    Malcolm
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