Zambia 2011 Please comment





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  1. #1
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    Post Zambia 2011 Please comment

    Hi All

    After several trips to SA / NAM / BOT we would like to visit Zambia & Zambia next year. We are equiped with offroad version of Hilux 3L diesel and roof tent; GPS with t4a. We like camping but also some lodge from time to time.

    Would you please comment on our planned trip and suggest where to stay for a swiss, tousend of miles away in the north and in the middle of snow

    Thanks a lot (and from my wife ).

    Tom
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    Last edited by Tom Swiss; 2011/01/27 at 04:18 PM.

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    Hi Tom.

    Why are you planning to go from Livingstone to Lusaka to "Kafue"? Firstly, you are missing out on a nice drive up the river from Itezhi Tezhi to Mukambi, and secondly, what do you mean by "Kafue"? It really is just a dull boring drive from Liv to Lusaka, and then on the tar out to Kafue......so unless you have to be in Lusaka for something important, I'd give it a miss.

    Have you got a booking at Busanga Plain? You know you aren't allowed to self drive there.............you have to book with one of the three operators on the plain..........Mukambi being the obvious one.

    The biggest weakness in your plan, however, is that you haven't included the McBride's. A visit to McBride's Camp should be compulsory for anyone who goes within a 500km radius of the place!!

    I am not familiar with Zwischenhalt....where is it?

    The other general comment I would make is not to book everything, and not to adhere to a strict timetable. Stuff goes wrong. The only thing you really need to book in advance is Busanga Plain....everything else you can just turn up, or email the day before.

    Don't forget your Avon Skin so Soft.......the tsetses are hell otherwise.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2011/01/08 at 03:09 PM.
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    Hi Mike

    Thanks a lot.

    That's exactly what I asked for.

    So lets wait for some other comments so i may revise the whole thing. And include McBride. Kafue is just mentioned entrance an the park awaiting some sugestions where to stay.
    Busanga Plains we know - but last year there was a special offer for camping for people of this forum. So we just started a request if they intend to do the same this year.

    Sorry for the thing Zwischenhalt; it's German and means that we intend to have a stopover somewhere as we are not shure if we may drive it in one day.

    Tom

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    Tom,

    I'm sure you will get more response if you copy your schedule straight into a post here, rather than having it as an attachment. You could copy and paste it inito your first post.

    Busanga is about a 5 hour drive from the main road. You will need a couple of days up there at least, so Mukambi-Busanga-Mukambi is 4 days minimum. I believe that the special offer for forum members is for 3 days on the plains, but more to the point, I am fairly sure it only applies in October. It really is that good that I would consider altering flights if it meant being able to spend some time there.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2011/01/08 at 03:08 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    .
    Have you got a booking at Busanga Plain? You know you aren't allowed to self drive there.............you have to book with one of the three operators .
    Mike
    I don't think this is correct. It's something Wilderness Safaris try to promote, but here's an internal WS memo from 2006 that was sent to me prior to our trip to Kafue:

    WS: "There are no private concessions in the Kafue National Park, such as those we are used to in countries like Botswana, and therefore Wilderness Safaris has strategically taken over these camp concessions that do exist (with 5km radius zones of exclusivity) so that we effectively have unfettered and exclusive access to the area. For this reason we have chosen a remote area of northern Kafue around the Busanga Plains and have clustered all our camps around this area. This gives us an area in excess of 9 000 square kilometres where we are the only operator. Even around this area there are very few operators and certainly none that offer a product or experience on a similar level. Self drive individuals are permitted to drive through the park and do theoretically have access to the roads in our area, but due to remoteness and inaccessibility of the area these are few and far between and we do not anticipate any impact on the experience we offer."

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    OK....it is a bit of a subtlety. Self driving is allowed, but camping on the plain is forbidden, other than at the 3 camps which simply do not take self-drivers (except for the special Forum deal of Mukambi). As it isn't really possible get onto Busanga and back from the nearest camp, Lufupa, in a day, and as the roads on the plain are different every year, and treacherous, the net effect is that self driving just isn't possible. Whether it is allowed or not is academic.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2011/01/09 at 05:28 PM.
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    just to join in the busanga debate you can camp at Lufupa and drive to busanga its 80 kms and we did it at the onset of the rainy season it was hard and very wet it is douable in a day and if you go in july I should imagine the tracks would be drier, that said you would have less daylight hours therefore less time on the plains,so as mike said probably better to go with Mukambis offer.One other point the crossing at Chirundu is not a good border crossing and by all accounts there is nowhere to stay, I would take a detour down to Kariba for a hassle free border and in Kariba there are plenty of options to stay plus the attraction of the dam wall itself.From Kariba to mana is an easy drive about 4 hours if I remember.

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    Hi agree Mukambi a must...camping near Chirundu - Gwabe Lodge - next to the river...camping and lodge ...[email protected] (close to pontoon over Kafue River )

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    Thanks for all the hints so far. We have already adopted our plan.
    Actual I'm struggeling a little bit with the start of the trip.
    We are landing at 14:00 approx and Livingstone
    - then we go to Mukambi. When we drive via Ithezi Tezhi how much days do we need. We would like to make it in 2 days. Is this possible and how much time would we need ?
    - Where to spend the night on the way to Mukambi ?
    - Mc Bride we see, but we then we have no time for other parts of the Kafue. So the plan is 2 days at Mukambi and 2 nights at Mc Bride - pls comment.

    Rgds
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Swiss View Post
    Thanks for all the hints so far. We have already adopted our plan.
    Actual I'm struggeling a little bit with the start of the trip.
    We are landing at 14:00 approx and Livingstone
    - then we go to Mukambi. When we drive via Ithezi Tezhi how much days do we need. We would like to make it in 2 days. Is this possible and how much time would we need ?
    - Where to spend the night on the way to Mukambi ?
    - Mc Bride we see, but we then we have no time for other parts of the Kafue. So the plan is 2 days at Mukambi and 2 nights at Mc Bride - pls comment.
    Rgds
    Tom
    Tom, not sure of your route, but you can get from Livingstone to Nanzhila Plains safari camp in one day (don't try and leave the day you fly in, spend the night in Livingstone), turning off the main road at Kalomo, camp at Nanzhila, and if you push hard, you should make Mukambi in a day from there easily. Itezhi Tezhi is en route to Mukambi.

  11. #11
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    Tony has that spot on. Just don't attempt the "Cordon Road" into Nanzhila without checking first. It was impassable last year.

    Mike
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    Mike, don't you mean the river road, not the Cordon road - the Cordon road is the westerly route from Dumdumwedze and is mainly through Kalahari sandveld, that even when wet is very firm. The river road is usually impassable until mid to late July if there has been late rain.
    Tony Weaver

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  13. #13
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    Tony thanks for help.
    That's on the website: Head due north on the Lusaka Main Road: at Kalomo, 120 kms from Livingstone, turn left at the Kalomo Hotel follow the road through the village market, over the railway bridge and bear left at the District Administrators House, now a National Monument, and follow the road for a further 70kms to Dundumwedzi Gate sections of this road are in very poor condition, so 4x4 driving might be necessary. After the gate, which is now the Kafue National Park, follow the track for a 3km distance to a fork in the road in the dry weather you may take go straight, which will take you up the eastern side of the Nanzhila River, but do NOT take this road if its wet! If you are in any doubt, take the left turn and follow the Cordon Road for a further 65 kms in a northerly direction and turn right at the Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp sign.

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    No Tony, I did mean the Cordon road...........large trucks had dug ruts (trenches) deeper than any 4x4 could cope with. I don't think that it will be passable again without work.......but as always, the advice is to check locally before attempting the route.

    Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    No Tony, I did mean the Cordon road...........large trucks had dug ruts (trenches) deeper than any 4x4 could cope with. I don't think that it will be passable again without work.......but as always, the advice is to check locally before attempting the route.
    Mike
    Ouch. That's nasty, especially as that is the only viable route if it is wet. The scouts at the Dumdum gate always know the latest info on the road conditions.

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    So we will see what the scouts will say - we will anyhow start early.

    Further question is regarding from Kafue to South Luangwa - we use basecamp and they mention approx 19h for the whole trip. But the speed used for calculating may be adopted.
    What is the real time needed ?

    So we have to make a stop and intend to stay at the Luangwa Bridge Camp. Got any better idea.

  17. #17
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    Don't stay at Bridge!!!

    No, your best bet is to stay at Pioneer Camp, Lusaka (it is on the outskirts past the airport, right on the Great East Road, so ideally located), then set off early for Chipata (Mama Rulas camp). This is 555 km, and will take at least 7 hours. It is then a further 2-1/2 hours from Chipata to Mfuwe (Sth Luangwa entrance & camps)....although if the new tar road is finished it may be down to half that time.

    Mukambi to Lusaka is about 4 hours........and it is at least an hour to get across Lusaka.

    Is it worth it? .......Absolutely! SLNP is utterly fantastic.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2011/01/14 at 08:26 PM.
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    Apart from the little bit in Kalomo itself, the 70km to
    Dumdumwedze was in excellent condition at the end of November. The only thing to look out for are the speed bumps at the entrance and exit of the villages - they are not easy to see and are severe! One of our vehicles had its front suspension badly damaged on one of them. If this had not happened we would have made Nanzhila to beyond Kalomo in daylight and we left after an early lunch.
    We did not go via the cordon road on the advice of Brad at Nanzhila. The other route was still passable but very sticky in places.

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    Default Revised Route

    Thanks for the hints and remarks so far. As we want to see as much as possible we made a rather large trip and some daily trips might not bee possible.
    Therefore we ask for double check by you :

    Day 1:
    Landing in Livingstone 12:30, take car (off road hilux with whinch & snorkel, roof tent, tanl 150l diesel). Go shopping and have a rest at the Protea Hotel.

    Day 2:
    Drive to Nanzhilla. Camping. 262km; 8.5h

    Day 3:
    Drive to Mukambi. Self Catering Tent. 240km; 6h

    Day 4:
    Stay at Mukambi. Game drive or relax

    Day 5:
    Drive to Busanga Bush Camp. Full service camp. 150km; 7h

    Day 6:
    Stay at Busanga Bush Camp.

    Day 7:
    Drive to Mc Bride's Camp. Camping. Via North 240 km or south 350km ? 10h?

    Day 8:
    Stay at Mc Bride's. Walking Safari

    Day 9:
    Driving east. Pioneer Camp Lusaka. 275km; 7h

    Day 10:
    Drive to Mutinondo. Mutinondo Wilderness. 610km; 9h

    Day 11:
    Stay at Mutinondo. Have a walk and have a beer .

    Day 12:
    Drive to Kaingo Camp via route 05/escape road. 253km; 10h

    Day 13:
    Stay at Kaingo

    Day 14:
    Stay at Kaingo

    Day 15:
    Driving west. Pioneer Camp Lusaka. 600km; 11h (is this to much ??)

    Day 16:
    Drive to Kariba and crossing boarder to Zim. Lomagundi Lakeside Camp. 220km; 4h.

    Day 17:
    Drive to the Mana Pools. Nyamepi Camping. 170km; 3.5h

    Day 18:
    Stay at Nyamepi

    Day 19:
    Stay at Nyamepi

    Day 20:
    Drive to Matusadona. Tashinga Camp. 420km; 10h

    Day 21:
    Drive to LVI. 470km; 10h. Hotel open depend on experience Protea.

    Day 22:
    Car return. Leaving for JNB at 13:15.

  20. #20
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    Day 9 - Suggest you stay at Fringilla's Lodge instead of Pioneer Camp. Pioneer is out of your way and you back track through the city the next day. Makes no sense and in the AM, traffic can be bad. Get a jump on the drive to Mutinondo

    Instead of driving to Matusadona, as much as I like the park, one day drive there will be tough on you. Driving into the park and out the next day, and continuing on to Vic Falls is another that makes absolutely no sense. No time for game drives. Stay an extra day in Mana Pools, then cross back into Zambia and return to Livingstone. Its all a paved road once out of Mana Pools.
    Last edited by luangwablondes; 2011/01/16 at 11:54 AM.

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