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luangwablondes last won the day on June 9 2012

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About luangwablondes

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  1. 180 litres is plenty of fuel. You don't need to add jerry cans. However, in Zambia and Tanzania, petrol stations are fairly rare compared to where you've been before. So don't get in the habit of passing one up. The next one maybe a long ways away or even out of diesel. Be aware of speed limits. Zambia uses radar guns in a few unusual places and they expect payment on the spot. Check the web for Shoprite locations enroute(buy a couple plastic egg holders if Bushlore doesn't supply them). Stock up as shopping in between is not dependable. Although you will find stuff like eggs and some fruit at local markets is common. The small stalls for bottled water, soda, beer, and some necessities the locals need too- to really see Africa, you must get out of the vehicle and check things out. Get the T4A books for Zambia, Tanzania, and Malawi. Online you can find where to buy them in Africa or email them. They will have good information for the self drive. Makes it look easy. For roadblocks, not a lot you can do except smile, greet the officer(s), be friendly throughout and take off those sunglasses. Carry some extra cokes(no diet stuff) and packs of cigarettes in case things appear to have the potential of going south. There are lots of roadblocks in Zam and Zim, but nothing to really worry about as long as you keep it light. I've been through hundreds of them and never had a real problem. The keywords to remember....Common sense.
  2. @Africalover That happened in 2001. Just one of many unexpected things that occurred on my safaris.
  3. I had a bit of an unusual experience. This wasn't the 1st time I have had a close encounter, so I wasn't unhinged about it. It was about the beginning of June. I left South Luangwa NP driving in my landrover, going to North Luangwa NP midday. I knew that I was not going to make it and planned on camping, on my own along the way. I made it North of Luambe NP and found a spot off one of the hunters tracks. Built a fire, made dinner, enjoyed a couple Mosi beers, the night sky and the symphony of the evening. It was getting cold and late, so I climbed up into my rooftop tent. In the middle of the night, I felt the landy move. Looking out I could see a couple lions laying by the glowing coals of the fire. Being the person I am, I decided to look underneath me. There inches under the tent(and me) was a lion on the bonnet. A little unnerving. I quietly slid back, zipped up the mesh, and eventually fell back to sleep. In the morning, my bunkmate and her buddies were gone, thank-you very much.
  4. You can also try The Expedition Portal.
  5. Avon's Skin So Soft has a good reputation.
  6. @@pault In the 90's, the Kenya border post was several kilometres from the border. If things haven't changed and memory serves, I believe if you would have followed the track further, the Tanzanian border post would be a couple hundred metres beyond the actual physical border. If that is still the case, in all probability, you never drove into Tanzania. I camped one night at the Kenya border post. Usually rangers visit during the night in these circumstances. But apparently the local lion pride was doing their job. They came through twice.
  7. I crossed at Sand River a couple times in the nineties. At that time, Kenya was not allowing any traffic into Tanzania. Tanzania was begging for more tourists and Kenya was doing what it could to keep safaris within Kenya and originating at Nairobbery. It was quite easy for me to go through the border on the Tanzanian side. The difficulty was on the Kenya side. Once at the Kenya border post, it was apparent the only way in was to bribe the officials. After those negotiations, me and my 4x4(The Beast) were not fully legal within Kenya. To drive the reverse direction for years was near impossible, except by going through customs formalities in recent years in Nairobi 1st. And that is not well known. Lots of issues involved going either direction unless all functions can take place at the border.
  8. The murder rate has been dropping in the USA, and yes I am aware of the Chicago homicides. You need to compare apples to apples. Hoping this wikipedia page has some accuracy. Traveling around SA, Kenya and 3rd world countries requires a bit of common sense. It isn't Kansas and it always amazed me people think it is just like home.
  9. For the countries you are visiting, Bushlore has loads of experience and very good backup. Avis is one of the newer players to this.
  10. Sorry. That's an adventure I recommend you pass on. If that section is not paved or an all weather road now, it's one to avoid. If memory serves, someone mentioned to me that there is black cotton soil. I used to work nearby in North Luangwa NP. In May, at the beginning of the dry season, there were parts of tracks that were just starting to dry out into an incredibly hard surface but still sticky, gooey mud just below. In February it could be just mud.
  11. Looking better, but between points 31 and 32, is that section open in the rainy season? And then there is the Kafue.
  12. I did it several times between 1996 and 2002. Each time at least 6 - 11 months. The last couple times I had the opportunity to include managing a photographic safari camp. The funds issue was easily controllable back then. Everything was so much less inexpensive.
  13. The trick is not to plan too much. Have the flexibility to do things not in the guide books or what others have done. Too many people take to the highways in a rush when there are many interesting alternate routes and adventures available.
  14. Zambian 4x4s tend to be more expensive and many operators are not reliable or have well equipped vehicles. Hemingways(Livingstone) has a good reputation. The 4x4 operators I have heard about in Zimbabwe do not offer well equipped 4x4s or commonly provide a land cruiser, hilux or land rover.Just depends on what you need and where you are going in MP. The South Africa and Botswana operators have a long history of experience and generally provide better rentals. Just go with the name operators.You want to find someone that has well maintained 4x4s or will be able to provide backup if something happens, and know what paperwork to provide. Also, be sure you have campsite reservations in Mana Pools before you commit to a rental. Another issue might be bush walking. I think independent walking has come to an end and you may need a guide.

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