Tamzyn's 21 day Cape Town to Vic Falls Overland trip continues in full force. Read on for the penultimate account of this epic adventure.
Day 19: Chobe National Park
Botswana’s Chobe National Park is where we are headed today. Elephants literally line the roadside on our way to the park, so close to our Overlanding truck we can almost reach out and touch them. We come across two breeding herds with their adorable babies in tow. After our ten-hour overlanding truck ride we arrive at our Chobe camp site and spend the afternoon exploring, reading and enjoying the cool waters of the pool. Tantalizing Treats Trymore (the official cook) whips up a scrumptious meal of sadza (maize map) and peanut butter relish which we all wolf down greedily before listening to the next day’s itinerary. Then we all spin off to find a quiet spot under the star studded sky and listen to the hippos and hyenas calling to us from the other side of the fence. Aside from a few camp sites, nothing else is fenced in Chobe and you can often see herds of elephants, buck and even the odd lion walking down the main street. How frickin’ cool is that!
Day 20: Chobe National Park
We have an early start this morning for a 5:30 am game drive through the Thebe Area of the Chobe National Park, and we are spoilt for choice with some of the insane game viewing. Hippos, elephants, Cape buffalo, crocodiles, impala and baboons, we get to see it all and plenty of it! The Chobe National Park is one of the best game viewing areas left in the whole of Africa and is home to the biggest surviving elephant population. We all can’t believe how lucky we are to be appreciating this buffet of wildlife in such a lush setting.
After lunch we walk into the Village of Kasane and explore the local markets and food vendor stalls lining the streets. There is a variety of local cuisine to try, but I can’t quite wrap my head around biting into a dried fish head and so opt for a Mopane Worm instead. They are a bit salty and taste like sardines. So much for being a vegetarian…as they say: ‘when in Rome...’!
Cruising the Four Borders
Our sunset cruise takes us to the meeting point of the four borders of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia and gets us up close to an enormous elephant bull wading on the river bank. It is fascinating to watch the herds of elephants greeting each other, playing in the shallows and protecting their babies from the lurking crocodiles. You get such a sense of the intelligence, gentleness and strong family bonds of the herds. We even see a crocodile try to sneak up on a baby elephant- it’s exciting stuff!
Day 21: Victoria Falls
We cross our final border into Zimbabwe today. It’s an hour’s drive to Victoria Falls and as we round the corner we can see the impressive spray and mist clouds rising up from kilometres away.
Exploring Victoria Falls I meet Sunshine, a born and bred Rastafarian local who offers to show me around Victoria Falls on an exclusive personal tour. He leads me around the local arts and craft market, introducing me to his friends and their stalls crammed with curios and hand crafted wares. Everyone is extremely welcoming and accepting and keen to show me their sculpting, beading and weaving skills that their parents have passed down to them.
The Big Tree
Sunshine and I then hike along the banks of the powerful Zambezi River, which is in full and furious flow at the moment. He shows me the local fishing and swimming spots before we head off to see the Big Tree of Victoria Falls. The dramatic 16 metre high baobab is around 1,500 years old and could easily take twelve people to form a chain around it. The tree is like a map to the history of the town with carvings from as early as 1930!
Watch this space for the final installment of Tamzyn's epic adventure. [Read part 8 here] For information about Overlanding in Africa or to find out more about this trip, contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com