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TRAVELBUCKET

Zambia

COOKING IN THE BUSH

This surely is my favourite pastime when we are camping in a group – to watch how innovative people can get when preparing a meal with what you have at hand, especially when it is week two of a serious off-road trip.  I myself like to keep things very simple! I prefer to travel as light as possible and keep the kitchen equipment/utensils to the minimum.  Fancy cooking is something that I will attempt when I am at home with all the crockery and cutlery at hand.  After all, this is why we come to the bush – to get back to basics again and appreciate nature.  I can proudly say that I have had a braai in countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Zambia! When camping there are basically two ways to cook – either with a gas cooker or… Read more >

GOING SOLO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK?

Going solo off the beaten track is not for every off-road traveller whether you visit Botswana, Namibia or venture further into Africa past Zambia, going north.  There are pros and cons to it so you need to consider everything.  If you are a social person and like the company of fellow travellers and hate being alone then going solo is definitely not for you.  Groups also provide some security and you can share costs of planned activities. If you like your own company and have some travel savvy then going solo is for you.  Going solo gives you freedom of choice and total independence to change your travel plans on the spur of the moment if something interests you on the wayside. Things that you need to consider when planning your next solo African trip are the following. You will need the ability to navigate.  There are not many countries… Read more >

CROSSING THE BORDER (PART II) – VEHICLE AND INSURANCE

This is probably the most stressful aspect of any border crossing, with the most variables per country, but if you stick to the following you should be more or less okay.  If your vehicle is still under a finance agreement, you will need to acquire a letter of permission from the applicable financial institution. Each institution has its own requirements and procedures to follow as to how to obtain it.  Allow enough time to obtain the required paperwork.  If you are planning to take a trailer or caravan remember to do the same, if financed. Make sure your ID number matches that used on your vehicle documents. If your registration papers show your RSA ID number, then take it with you.  Rather take too much proof than be in a predicament. Take a colour copy of your vehicle’s registration papers. This is very handy. It is a popular document and… Read more >

CROSSING THE BORDER (PART I) – PLANNING

African border posts have an notorious reputation, but it is not as bad as everyone thinks as long as you go prepared and have no illusions.  Most border trouble comes down to inexperience or impatience – not only in Africa, but throughout the world.  The key is to prepare well beforehand and remember every successful border crossing pans out differently in each country as regulations change all the time and is rapidly outdated.  There are general tips that you can follow to ease your encounter at the border post, so consider some of the following tips. SO, THIS SAID, WHERE DO I START?  Right at the beginning.   Planning, planning, planning and some more planning!  Start doing your homework well in advance, because it might take some time to get your ducks in a row and quacking. The number one place to start will be at your documents.  Without a passport,… Read more >

ELEPHANT 101

This post is not about travel as such, but seeing that we had several close encounters with elephants in Mana Pools, Matusadona as well as in many of the Botswana wild parks this may come in handy.  Even in lately in Kruger National Park there were some incidents/accidents. Let’s start off with some interesting and lesser known facts about the trunk of an elephant: Feeling the vibe:  Aside from smell, the trunk is sensitive to vibrations; from the ground it can sense the rumble of faraway herds and even far-off thunder. Mighty muscles:  An elephant’s trunk has eight major muscles on either side and 150,000 muscle bundles in all. It is so strong that it can easily push down trees or roll over a vehicle. Move it:  Like the human tongue, the trunk is a muscular hydrostat – a boneless muscular structure that allows for its excellent maneuverability. Phenomenal sense… Read more >

KABULA LODGE, ZAMBIA

It is early August in Africa.  The days are not sweltering yet and the nights coolish, but not cold.  Actually perfect weather for the African bush! Arriving rather late in the afternoon and after randomly meeting a fellow South African who runs a business in Livingstone we discovered a gem of a shop called Stop Shop (open until late)  in the main street where we could buy everything from beer to fresh bread before heading to Maramba to make camp for the night.  The next morning, after stocking up at the Shoprite in Livingstone, we were heading to Kabula Tiger Lodge in Western Zambia.  Doing shopping at the Shoprite it felt like I was back home.  Everything was familiar, organized and easy to find – you will  even find good old Mrs Balls! Our aim was to do some tiger fishing and birding at Kabula Lodge (S17º02.404 E24º00.892).  On arrival… Read more >

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