Extending my Botswana trip a few days into Zimbabwe

Jan 15th, 2009, 09:15 PM
  #1  
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Extending my Botswana trip a few days into Zimbabwe

Before my tour this June spending some time in Botswana (Okavango, Moremi, Savute, Chobe) I was thinking of adding a few independent days in Zimbabwe, or maybe Zambia. AAC's list of best times of year to visit where suggests Matobo and southern Hwange and Matusadona.

I don't see as much about these parts of Zimbabwe in recent posts, and I'm skeptical about 2+ year old posts. Any thoughts? Great lodges? What are the transport options short of a long drive through Zimbabwe?

Thanks!
-- Ethan
FoggyEthan is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 03:31 AM
  #2  
 
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FoggyGuy, are you not aware of the near catastrophic situation now going on in Zim They are eating everything that walks (including elephant) and Cholera is widespread. Do some research.......
Temba is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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It sounds like he's done some research and all the reports about those areas are over 2 years old. From what I've been reading here some people continue to go to Zimbabwe despite what the news says. I would be interested to hear what is going on in these specific areas regardless of what the news says.

Gritty is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Volunteerisim is a good thing-let us know how it is in Zim. Ya right
Ted
Temba is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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I enjoyed my trip to Zimbabwe this past August.
We started at Mana pools and ended in Hwange. Both are great places.
I'll see if I can find and top my report and photos for you.
cybor is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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Found and topped for you;
Zimbawe/Botswana pictures & trip report Botswana/Zimbabwe.
cybor is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 08:55 AM
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Well Cybor congratulations, thanks to indiscriminate tourists, Mugabe continues to get enough foreign currency to survive. Estimates are that 97% of the monies spent by foreign nationals goes to his government. That means 3% to the people. The sooner he is overthrown the better and the only way to bring that about is to stop supporting his dictatorship. Many political scientists, both government and non government (in the US), believe that without those tourist dollars and the support of the South African Government, Mugabe would have been overthrown long ago. Tourisim is nice but one should not put aside human rights, dignity and the suffering of an entire population when the greater good would be done by stopping the flow of money to such a deadly government.
Ted
Temba is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Dearest Temba,
I will not waste my time arguing with a self professed expert and pot stirrer.
We can agree to disagree and leave it at that.

Have a wonderful day!
cybor is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 09:09 AM
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cybor it is indeed wonderful to have this exchange with you. You post opinions on everything and know so little. Have a Wonderful Day.
Ted
Temba is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 09:43 AM
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we spent 5 days at hwange in mid nov 08.
wildlife was okay but nothing exceptional.
people were extremely friendly.

we choose to support the people directly and sacrify these 30$ visafee and 20 NP fee.

of course the camps are owned by white zim but they employ black staff which supports large families at home - wherever that is.

i just yesterday got a mail from the hide/hwange stating that colera is not a topic at camps.
of course they are desperate waiting for business but i doubt they are jeopardizing reputation by sending out false information.

the hide is a very nice camp directly facing a large waterhole.
the safari vehicles are due to be updated, re-built whatsover.

so if you ask for accommodation which is favourable make sure you get the confirmation that their vehicles upgrading will be done by june.

i would not hesitate to go back in a minute!

the falls are supposed to be FULL still in june. at least when we visited in june 07 they were.

div

ah ja - somalisa is also supposed to be a nice accomm. in hwange. maybe you like to check that out as well.

both camps are roughly 2 hrs drive from vic falls and another hour from gate to camp.

div
divine54 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 12:47 PM
  #11  
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There will be no bickering in my thread! Information providing and personal experiences only, please.

This subject of helping the government came up when I did research into Burma, sometimes referred to as Myanmar. I found no consensus of opinion, however. If there are unbiased stories that show tourist dollars are a large part of propping up Mugabe, then please include a link. In Burma, tourist dollars may have had some influence but were not the government's main source of income, and it was possible to avoid hotels owned by military families.

Thanks to those who've shared their stories, particularly cybor's epic retelling of her bronchitic travels! 8-)

I was looking at Matobo particularly because it had some amazing looking landscapes. I expect that much of my time in Botswana will involve fairly uninteresting landscapes, so it might make for some good variety.
FoggyEthan is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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Hey FoggyGuy, soory you have trouble with facts. Try looking at this weeks Wall Street Journal on Zimbabwe and Mugabe. Police and Military paid for with foreing currency while doctors, teachers and healthcare workers go unpaid and must negotiate for payment in foreign curreny in order to buy a bit of food. Perhaps you consider the WSJ a biased newspaper, I don't. Your feeling about Myanmar suggests a certain insensibility that has no defense. Sounds like your looking for a cheap safari at any cost. Hope you find what your looking for, I know we wont be staying at any of the same places. Good screen name..........
Ted
Temba is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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Foggy,check out the Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, January 14, 2009, "World News-Crisis Worsens in Zimbabwe As Mugabe Tightens Grip", page A4. Cholera has taken more than 2,000 lives and infected 40,000 since October. HIV/AIDS patients eat medicinal herbs dug from the ground, the Zimbabwe government has predicted that that epidemic could get worse in the rainy season which peakes in January or February and ends in late March. Soldiers and police hunt down civilians searching for foreing curreny in order to survive. A quote from the article by an army captain states "we are paid in Zimbabwe dollars and we have no other means of survival". The highest ranking officers are paid in foreign currency derived from guess where? When ruthless leaders murder their own people the result is the same whether it is called genocide or not. Innocent people are dying at the hands of a ruler who is kept in power by the small but important trickle of foreign currenies into his treasury. See why your comment about not wanting any bickering on your thread leaves me cold. If you are driven to find a cheap safari extension, why not consider Darfur. ou asked about Zimbabwe and now you have some answers, sleep well.
Ted
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Jan 16th, 2009, 03:44 PM
  #14  
 
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FoggyEthan,

I'm responding only in regards to the geography and wildlife I experienced back before there were any political problems in Zimbabwe. So this news is older than 2+ years.

First back to Botswana and your concern the terrain may be dull...Botswana landscape where you'll be is mostly flat, but the delta and other areas that may be flooded offer beautiful sparking blue and green vistas. Some parts are tropical with palms. I recall photographing bands of gold, green, and orangish grasses that had no animals in them, just because they were so lovely. You may find some giant baobab trees dotting the landscape. So it's not boring terrain.

Zimbabwe transport options: I flew from Kariba in Zim to an airstrip in Hwange. For one person, flying may beat hiring a vehicle driver. I think it was a scheduled charter.

For Matoba, I flew into Bulawayo on a big plane from a regular airline, South Africa Air, I think. Matoba Hills is a short drive (under an hour) from the city. The lodge where I stayed, Amalinda, arranged transport.

Transport, especially charters, can be tricky, and that's where an Africa agent can help arrange it.

In the park:
Hwange--The herds of eles at the various pans were some of the most impressive elephant viewing I've ever seen. This was especially true at sunset. Biggest herds of sable I've ever seen or been able to photograph. Great night drives.

The Hide is logistically fairly easy to get to with lots of action at its waterhole. It is a sizeable lodge. Further into the park are the more intimate tented camps. I stayed at Linkwasha and there is Makalolo to name a few. Some have swimming pools that eles drink from.

Apart from the pans at sunset, I don't recall the scenery being that different from Botswana.

Matoba--This is a more managed park not far from an urban area. There were lots of black and white rhino. You could track both species on foot, which was exciting.

There also were ancient rock paintings in caves that you could easily get to.

The scenery here is unique with lots of stacked boulders. Matopos means bald head, I was told, and that's what some of the rock formations resembled.

Amalinda is a luxury cave lodge built into the rocks. I thought it was fascinating and unique. You could walk the extensive paths near the lodge unescorted and the waterhole drew in lots of baboons and warthogs. I loved the place and didn't want to leave even after 4 nights.

I'd keep up with changes and developments that would affect travel to Zimbabwe if you decide to go there.
atravelynn is offline  

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