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JulieM

Calling all self-driving experts - how does this route look?

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gallery_22974_1410_499697.jpg

 

This is my draft itinerary for our 14 week trip through Southern and East Africa from late Feb to late June 2018.

 

Our plans at this stage are to start with a northern circuit Tanzania safari - details to be arranged - because late Feb would be a good time to be there for the migration, and then to do an extension to Zanzibar for a few nights. Then we'd fly to Johannesburg to collect a vehicle and start the trip as shown, ending in Cape Town. I think we'll book the first part of the trip - KTP, CKGR and the Delta, and then a few key places along the way, but not every stop to give ourselves some flexibility.

 

Thoughts anyone?

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The first part of the drive was inspired by @@cheetah80 - visiting the meerkats looked very cool!

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Would we be able to camp at @@KaingU Lodge in mid-April?

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Would we be able to camp at @@KaingU Lodge in mid-April?

 

Hi Julie, yes you would indeed be able to camp then.

No real need to book at that time as it is not peak season.

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Great! Hopefully we'll see you then!

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July, I presume the dots do not give any indication of the time spent in each area?

 

In Botswana, you seem to have covered most of the good spots, but in SA you will be missing quite a lot of the nice areas. Especially the wild coast and the Baviaanskloof. Hopefully, in the stretch from PE to Cape Town, you will also take a few detours inland, to places like Outdshoorn, Prins Albert and so forth? I cannot speak for the countries further north.

 

Best wishes for the festive season.

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Hi @@Peter Connan and thanks for the response.

 

The dots are really just there as route-indicators and you are correct - they don't give an indication of the time spent.

 

We will definitely do detours along the PE to Cape Town route. We could include Baviaanskloof then.

 

I have already worked out that I need to change the route, because I will run out of time on my 90 day South African visa, and then on re-entry you are only allowed another 7 days. So I'm thinking of starting in Johannesburg, heading over to Swaziland and Lesotho, before going to Port Elizabeth and on to Cape Town. Then we'd head up to the KTP and beyond. We could include the wild coast if we did it that way. On the return leg, we'd go from Zimbabwe back to Johannesburg to drop the car off.

 

But, I can't decide if we should do Swaziland and Lesotho or spend more time further north. Have you visited there? What do you think?

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Hi Julie,

This seems like a very ambitious trip plan to me, actually, I think its too ambitious. Have you read Stan Weakly's trip report in the 4X4 South African forum? he went all the way up to Egypt and had quite the adventure. he would be the one to ask for help, since he has done this.

So 14 weeks time will give you 98 days and you have 50 spots on the map. That's an average of less than 2 days in each spot, not counting driving time from A to B. I have no idea if you have seen many parks on your list already or if all this is new to you? what are your priorities?

Just for a time comparison: you have been reading my self-drive TR and we spent 44 days, roughly half your time, on the WDH, KTP, Maun, Moremi, Chobe, Etosha, WDH loop. The timing felt just right, not rushed, but no wasted days either. So take that as a guideline for timing your drive. In some places you may want to be three or more days, while other days will be spent to get from A to B and are not much fun, but necessary.

So I would start by plotting in the absolute must-see places and give them a day value, the work down your list, but include the time it takes from A to B and there will be snags with that anyway.

Your plan as is, would be way too far for me with too many spots to just check off rather than be and enjoy.

You could also make this two separate self-drives: one start in Arusha and see the best parks in TZ, fly to Jo'burg, then do another loop as far up as south Luangwa, but leave all things South Africa for another, separate trip

 

The migration in TZ in February involves not as much movement as the wildebeest giving birth in the lower Serengeti, but maybe this is what you meant by migration?

Ok, just some food for thought. Cheers!

 

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Thanks @@KaliCA and of course you are correct. Since posting this I really spent some time with the maps and worked out travelling distances and realised it was a completely mad plan! I've enjoyed reading your report and will be taking notes from it. Right now - back to the drawing board!!

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@@JulieM...and you must be very brave!

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@@JulieM I have to say that I admire you-especially because I simply can't drive in Africa. On my first trip I tried, and unfortunately had a minor accident.

I simply don't have the nerves for it.

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I don't feel brave - a touch adventurous maybe. Hubby is a very competent and confident driver (and person overall), so I'm not worried. Of course we'll take care and not take unnecessary risks, but I reckon we'll be fine.

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gallery_22974_1410_479274.jpg

 

New route!

Start in CapeTown, do the garden route then hot-foot it up the country to the KTP, then into Botswana and beyond. Don't do Tanzania (other than the start safari) and then head back to Johannesburg. It is at "Slow Donkey" pace, and borrowed heavily from his trip. I'm happy with this plan.

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Much much better. So glad you are takiñg Stan's trip as your guide line. No need to re-invent the wheel. As you are early, it will be wonderful to get the Moremi and Chobe locations booked as soon as they become available. For us it was more than a year in advance.

Here is a super-imposed visual of how the SA /Bots distances compare to distances in Europe. Quite a wake-up call, Isn't it? But you being from AU, must be used to long-haul trips.

The map was done by the moderator of the Swiss Namibia forum, Chrigu. post-47216-0-14497400-1483158083_thumb.png

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Looking better, but between points 31 and 32, is that section open in the rainy season? And then there is the Kafue.

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That section through Kafue in April...could be tricky. The spinal road is probably ok, but you need to get to it from the Livingstone-Lusaka road. In May it would probably be fine, but could still be challenging.

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Looking better, but between points 31 and 32, is that section open in the rainy season? And then there is the Kafue.

I'll have to look into that - thanks for the heads-up!

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@@KaliCA - We are pretty used to long haul driving and seeing a lot of countryside and landscape is all part of the adventure

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That section through Kafue in April...could be tricky. The spinal road is probably ok, but you need to get to it from the Livingstone-Lusaka road. In May it would probably be fine, but could still be challenging.

Hubby loves a good challenge!

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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.

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Thanks @@luangwablondes - I'll look into it more thoroughly, and we might have to play it by ear by the time we get to that point (which should be the end of April). My plan is to only have the SA and Botswana parts booked so we can adjust to road conditions and any other things that may come up at the time.

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Hi Julie who are you hiring your 4x4 from? It's an epic trip looking forward to the trip report! Pen

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Hi Julie who are you hiring your 4x4 from? It's an epic trip looking forward to the trip report! Pen

Not sure yet but we're looking at a Bushcamper from Bushlore, or Avis have an awesome looking Ford Ranger which is really well kitted out. Waiting on quotes.

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@@JulieM Avis won't let you take a vehicle into Zimbabwe

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For the countries you are visiting, Bushlore has loads of experience and very good backup. Avis is one of the newer players to this.

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