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Need suggestions

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I plan to visit Zimbabwe and Botswana in February of 2000. I will be traveling with two other people and we have already bought round-trip tickets from San Francisco to Harare and will be there for about 23 days. While we would like to spend about 8-10 days on safari between Zimbabwe and Botswana, we would also like time to explore the life and culture in Zimbabwe and spend time in villages and in cities surrounding Harare and Bulwayo. I will be traveling with two other people (ages 28-34) and we would like to go on a safari in the following places:

Okavango Delta (5-6 days)
Hwange National Park (4-5 days)

We would also like to spend 2 or 3 days in Victoria Falls where we would like to go white water rafting and hiking. I have been told that Mana pools is closed in February so a canoe trip on the Zambezi is not an option. We are low to mid-budget travelers and would be willing to rough it, however our time is limited and want to make the best of the time that we have to spend in Zimbabwe. I am looking for suggestions as to where to go, as we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin. In addition, we do really want to get a feel for the people and culture.

We have not yet bought any in-country plane tickets, but we are willing to travel by public transport (train and bus) as we do not plan to rent a car.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Hara

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