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Does anybody know if there is a border crossing connecting Mana Pools (Zimbabwe) to Lower Zambezi (Zambia)?

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Apr 30th, 2004, 03:24 PM
  #1
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Does anybody know if there is a border crossing connecting Mana Pools (Zimbabwe) to Lower Zambezi (Zambia)?

They are right across from each other and I would love to have the opportunity to spend a few nights at Chiawa, followed by a few nights at Chikwenya (Wilderness Safaris).

Thanks.
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Apr 30th, 2004, 05:00 PM
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Roccco,
when I went on a canoe safari that started on the Zambian side we weren't even allowed to stop off for lunch on the Zimbabwean bank of the river.

The nearest crossing point is upstream at the Lake Kariba dam. I've crossed there a number of times and although they give tourists priority over the local buses you can spend quite some time on the bureaucracy.
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Apr 30th, 2004, 06:39 PM
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That is so frustrating, to be a few hundred feet away from the border but not able to cross into the opposite country.

The last thing I want on a holiday is to deal with a complicated, out of the way, border crossing. Too bad, as I think a combo of Chiawa Camp or Sausage Tree Camp and Chikwenya or Ruckomechi would be a great combo. I think I will enquire further on this one. For next year, I would like to spend six to eight nights on safari at two separate camps before making my way to the Western Cape for a week and then ending with a week split between Mala Mala and Singita Lebombo/Sweni.

Chikwenya

http://www.eyesonafrica.net/Producti...wenya_imgs.htm

Really, this is one of the very few places that I would venture into Zimbabwe for, with the others being Amalinda in Matobo Hills, Makalolo Plains in Hwange and Ruckomechi in Mana Pools.

Amalinda Camp, Matobo National Park
http://www.eyesonafrica.net/Producti...s/amalinda.htm

Makalolo Plains, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
http://www.eyesonafrica.net/Producti...alolo_imgs.htm

Ruckomechi, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
http://www.eyesonafrica.net/Producti...rucko_imgs.htm

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Apr 30th, 2004, 06:47 PM
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Well to be honest, Roccco, I'm glad there isn't (smiley face!). And probably never will be - you'll see what I mean when you see the width of the flood plain.

But there is a bridge at Chirundu which is where the highway from Harare crosses into Zambia - and that's much closer than Kariba and a stone's throw from the Lower Zambezi Park.

Mana is one of my favorite places - you lucky thing, you!
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May 1st, 2004, 11:43 AM
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Alice,
I was wracking my brains to try to remember it and of course you'r right it's at Chirundu!
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May 1st, 2004, 11:54 AM
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Roccco,
On the question of visiting the Matobos...I stayed at the Matobos Hills Lodge last time I visited the areas...it's certainly not as luxurious as Amalinda but we had a fabulous guide. One of the best I've ever had.

One thing to consider about this region is that it's much less focused on wildlife though it's possible to see rhino in the area.

For me the highlights of the area are the wonderful rock laden vistas, the fascinating rock art and the possibility of visiting what is often described as "communal areas".

The lodge should be able to organize a trip to a local home, community or school which can be fascinating and a truer picture of Africa as lived by Africans.

This is particularly interesting in the Bulawayo aarea where the Ndebele people paint the outside of their homes (thatched mud rondavels) with wonderul mural.

I hope this is of interest.
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May 1st, 2004, 03:52 PM
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Roccco I would like to find out your background and how come you know so much about all areas. Are you in the travel business?
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May 1st, 2004, 06:00 PM
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alanag,

Am I that obvious?!

Although it seems like I have way too much time on my hands and that I must be in the travel industry, I am not. I just prefer spending time in Africa, even if it is electronically, rather than doing other manly types of activities such as sports, automobiles, household activities, etc., and other than walking my dogs (a couple of whom are usually at my feet while I write these things), I don't have any children that need any time or attention.

I am self-employed and that does make for flexible hours, or at least the ability to "work" on Africa while I am at the office.

Although my knowledge is fair on South Africa, good on Botswana, Zimbabwe and Tanzania and very good on Zambia, I wouldn't be able to tell you the first thing about Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda, Lesotho, Swaziland or any other African country, at least not yet.

I use this knowledge, to be honest, to mostly try to avoid travel agents/tour operators, but it also assists me when I do need to deal with travel agents/tour operators. If an agent/operator tries to steer me someplace expensive, I have the wherewithal to request an alternate location that I know will be a lot less.

I would like to think that I am a consumer advocate, in some way or other, on this board, but I wouldn't be here if I didn't have an undying passion for Southern Africa.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Now, I have a question for you. Have you sent out the refund yet to your unsatisfied customer, and if so, what percentage of the total tour was refunded?

I think we will all be able to rest a little easier with your presence once this has been resolved.

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May 3rd, 2004, 08:22 AM
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I have sent her a partial refund. She will get the rest in the next 2 weeks. Roccco, I will not go into details on this refund.

If you would like to email me direct fine. I will not use this forum to discuss all the confidential details. I share your love for Africa. I try to always give the traveller quality product at a fair profit for my time and knowledge. I am not a company that puts high profits on a low end package just because of a name. In the past my company has always been known for giving a client want they are looking for - for the right price.

The comments above have nothing to do with the 'Sandy' safari. It just addresses that I believe in what you are doing - I find too many books and websites give 'prejudicial' information - and try to sell a client a product that they are financial involved in. I give a client - what they are looking for, try to keep it in their budget and comfort level.

Qualifying a traveller is the key to any successful safari operation.

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May 3rd, 2004, 04:54 PM
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alang,

Thank you for speaking candidly.

I think any traveler would be lucky to have an agent that finds them the very best possible lodges for the very best possible prices, even if those prices happen to be $750 USD pppns, if that is the case with a certain area.

I do have a question for you, if you don't mind. Why is it that I can sometimes get lower pricing from a lodge that an agent claims they can get? Am I just pushing the right buttons, or is the agent's markup just far higher than she/he will admit?

I would not mind going through an agent one bit, for example, if all I was paying was a 10-15% markup, but when I am saving 30-50% by going direct, I just don't see the need for a tour operator/agent, and this is after dealing with seemingly very qualified operators that should be doing plenty of business with these lodges.
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