Victoria Falls - one-day four-country tour?

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Mar 5th, 2005, 02:00 AM
  #1
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Victoria Falls - one-day four-country tour?

I read in a guide book that it is possible to take a one-day four-country tour -- it reads "minibus transfer through the Matetsi wildlife area in Zimbabwe to the Kazungula border, refreshments on the Chobe River (Botswana), and a cruise through Namibias Kasai wetlands to Sikoma Island (Zambia), where a short bush walk is undertaken with Zambia guides. After lunch, guests are transferred by boat to Chobe, famous for its huge elephant herds, for a final 3-hour game drive, before returning to Zimbabwe or Zambia. Kalahari Holiday Tours...Vic Falls Village agents are Matopo Tours"

I thought this might be a way to say I had been to two additional countries (Botswana and Namibia) when I go to Vic Falls. I already have my month in Africa tightly planned. Vic Falls is an add-on before going home. I don't have more time to spend in either country (Botswana or Namibia) on this trip to Africa, unfortunately. A few days ago I emailed the supplier representing this day trip mentioned in the guide book but have not yet heard anything.

Any thoughts? Anyone ever do this? Also wondering if I could just book once I get there.

Thanks for any input.
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Mar 5th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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Why don't you not do it but just "say" that you did. Even by not going you'll see just as much of Botswana and Namibia as you will on this silly escapade.
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Mar 5th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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Michael,

I agree. I had started to type out a response, but then I abandoned it, thinking what is the point? Wanderlust obviously wants to add two more countries to his list while not seeing much more than I have seen in Peru and England while at the Lima and London Heathrow Airports (no, I do not include those countries on "my list").

I am amused by the fact that this tour states that it will be driving a minibus through Matetsi. Anybody that has ever been to Matetsi will know that there is no way a minibus will be driving anywhere, except adjacent to Matetsi on the main (well paved asphalt) road from the Victoria Falls Airport to Botswana.
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Mar 5th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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Rocco, with all the times you are transferring at Heathrow, on an upcoming trip it may be worthwhile adding a short layover of a day or so. I've been to London at least 40 times, and I always find new things to do. But even with one day, there's plenty to see.

Michael
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Mar 5th, 2005, 05:29 PM
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Michael,

I haven't bought my air yet from LAX - London Heathrow so I am only locked in for 19 nights in Africa. I may just decide to leave a day earlier in order to do this, as it would really give me two complete days in London by doing so, as some of the flights from Los Angeles arrive in London before Noon.

Alternately, I arrive back in London just before 7AM, and then need to wait all the way until Noon to fly back to Los Angeles. That may be a good option, but I am worried by that point, after 19 nights in Africa, that everybody in my party (myself included) may just want to get home.

The weather will probably be as nice as it gets for either an end of August visit or for a late September visit. I will have to see how this all works out.

Right now, more than anything else, I am concerned with what I am going to see out of Star Of Africa very shortly. They just announced that they will be adding two bush camps in the northern part of South Luangwa. With the price that I am paying for my charter flight to North Luangwa (about $2,500 to fly from Lower Zambezi - North Luangwa - South Luangwa), I may need to reconsider North Luangwa for this year if the Star Of Africa bushcamps look like they are going to be a nice alternative.

Kutandala, however, does look very nice and has excellent feedback from past guests. It just may prove to be $3,000 more than Star Of Africa's bushcamps, that's all. Even so, I think I will end up going, but I am glad to see Star of Africa open up bush camps and that will be very interesting to see what they come up with, as they are a very upmarket company, as far as Zambia is concerned.

Anyway, I found a very nice photo album on PBase (www.pbase.com) with a photo album that includes photos from a couple's visit last year to Kutandala in North Luangwa, Mwamba in South Luangwa, Little Kulala in the Namib Desert, Skeleton Coast Camp, and Little Ongava in Etosha.

http://www.pbase.com/gallery?gallery_id=2463759
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Mar 6th, 2005, 04:58 AM
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Well, I must say I had not expected such a harsh reply. I have in the past found this board to be quite helpful. These responses were not. I realize that it is best to spend time in a country, and there is never enough time. I am always wanting "just one more day" in places. My question to you is "how much time do you need to spend in a country to say that you have been there?" In going to Vic Falls, one generally goes to Zimbabwe and / or Zabia. Does it "count" to say you have been to either if you are only there parts of a day?
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Mar 6th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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As far as I'm concerned if you only pass thru an airport you're "in a country." As to whether one "visited" a country... give it a half-day or more. If you want to take this "one-day, four country tour" and only have one day - then do it.
 
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Mar 6th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Personally I don't think I'd bother...
Not just because I don't have a burning need to say I've been somewhere unless I feel I really have (though I can totally understand where you're coming from) but because it sounds like it's going to be a very long and tiring day which will give you more memories of transport than of anything much that you see...
BUT if you think you'll enjoy it - GO FOR IT!!
If we never did the things others tell us not to bother with we'd occasionally miss something we absolutely adored against the odds!
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Mar 6th, 2005, 06:48 AM
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Don't know the logisitics of how you'd do your 4-country daylong excursion. If you find out and follow through, please post it.

Can you count those countries visited? I think whoever buys the plane tickets, makes the trip, and pays the costs gets to make their own counting rules.

On the other hand, will Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia be counting YOU (as a visitor)? Only your passport knows for sure.
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Mar 6th, 2005, 07:08 AM
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Wanderlust123, technically, I guess you only need to be in a country for one second to say that you've been there, but what audience are you so interested in impressing by telling them that you've been to Botswana and Namibia, but you can't speak intelligently about either because you spent less than a few hours in either country.

Unlike you, I guess many of us are not interested in traveling for the sake of saying "we have been there."

But, if you're flying from Europe to Vic Falls, you will fly over Libya, Central African Republic, Chad and so on. Can't you claim to have "been there" because you violated their air space.

Maybe I'll go to see one minute of "Million Dollar Baby" this afternoon, and then tell people I saw it. Or read the first page of a new novel, or stop in for bread at a hot new restaurant.

If you're living life according to a checklist, then the four country-four hour trip is perfect for you. In my opinion, it laughable.

The Travelers Century Club, in a bid to boost membership, counts airport transfers and cruise ship ports-of-call visits as sufficient contact to claim to having visited that country. There are no firm rules so in the end its up to you.

My personal requirements, I guess, would require at least half a day, a meal, stopping to visit a notable site or two, but I haven't yet spent so little time in a country that I've had to question whether I have been there, and I have been to over 90 countries. For a small country, like Vatican City or Monte Carlo or Macao, I guess I'd be willing to add them to my list even if I didn't spend a full day.
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Mar 6th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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Wanderlust -

I haven't done this trip, so can't help there. In regards to your questions regarding if you should book when you get there... My general rule of thumb is that if your heart is set on it, book before you go. If you'll be o.k. with missing it, take the chance and book there.

My personal inclination would be to take advantage of several of the other opportunities in the Vic Falls area - elephant safaris, river cruises, white water rafting, etc. Other than that, did you look at the day trip to Chobe? That might let you see a little bit more of Chobe without the whirlwind of the 4 country tour.
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Mar 15th, 2005, 11:38 PM
  #12
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Ok, I have reconsidered my itinerary and am re-focusing on the Rwanda trip portion, where I would like to spend more time. This will likely limit my time at Vic Falls to one full day and two nights. Thanks for the input.
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