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Browsing: Zambia

I stare intently at the petrol gauge while trying to drive with the least possible amount of throttle. I’m in sixth gear, moving at 50km/h, and trying to keep the revs as low as possible to stretch every possible kilometre from what little petrol remains. After 30km, I’m not really surprised to find the dusty town does not have a petrol station – rural Zambia is not a densely-populated place, after all. With little choice, I roll on, towards almost-certain failure. A handful of kilometres later, the engine dies. There is no coughing or spluttering, no indication that anything is…

Journalist Carolyn Dempster joins an Ultimate Adventures tour through Zambia to witness the extraordinary annual bat migration at Kasanka National Park, and finds that the bonhomie of a diverse tour group has some key advantages Let’s be clear. This is not a bland travel tale. The kind where you skim over a script stuffed with adjectives, flick through photos, linger as long as your attention-deficit-disorder will allow, and move swiftly on to the next picture fantasy. No, this is next-level stuff. Stay with me… This story starts before the break of dawn, with the swelling sound of millions of jubilant…

Last month, Andrew Middleton wrote about his journey up north from Mozambique to the top of Malawi, exploring dams, lakes and national parks. It was a tough ride, but the trip back down threw up a few challenges too… This month, he heads from Malawi into Zambia, explores Lake Kariba, and moves into Zimbabwe to the incredible Victoria Falls. Then it’s back into South Africa for the return-leg of an epic journey of 12 500km, through five countries, and all in less than a month. We woke up to a blissful campsite on the Nyika Plateau in northern Malawi, knowing…

For many years, it had been on my wish list to drive from Gauteng to the Serengeti. Flying would be the easiest, but I wanted to drive. I have done numerous 4×4 trips into Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Lesotho, as well as through South Africa, and I have reasonable experience of this type of adventure. However, the Serengeti is over 4 000km away, and this adds a new dimension to travel – especially if one wants to do it in twelve days. So, where does one start to plan a trip of this magnitude? My starting point was to see…

Barefoot Adventurers Club duo, Calum Buckmaster and Willie Badenhorst, have just returned from a seven-month travel fest through eight countries in a 400cc diesel-engined Tuk-Tuk – top speed 40km/h. All to raise awareness for the endangered species of southern Africa. “Eish!” “What are you Mzungus doing?” “From there? To here? In this?” “Barefoot?” “Ah, no, man!” A fairly typical greeting from people we met – including policemen. Friendly, but puzzled and amazed. Fair enough.  It’s not often you see a couple of young blokes in remote Africa in a little cargo Tuk-Tuk. Getting started The idea stemmed from the time…

As travel journalists we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to adventure, but every once in a while, a trip comes up that really excites the senses; something so special you know for sure that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The 15-day African Migrations Expedition was just that; plus I was in for a few surprises. The adventure heads deep into the open Savannah grasslands of Africa, chasing two of the world’s most spectacular migrations from one end of Zambia to the other. My journey, like most others, kind of snuck up on me, in that it had been planned months…

Words Liz McGregor, Images Pamela Schwikkard, Liz McGregor and Alan Hirsch Boat trip down the Kafue River Getting to Kaingu was a mission. Using GPS – there were no signposts – we drove through Itezhi Tezhi, pursued by a horde of tsetse flies, who seem irresistibly attracted to 4×4 exhaust fumes. We turned off onto the “River Road”, which turned out to be a courtesy title, rather than a description of what we ended up driving along. After a few kilometres, we were stopped by a large pool of water. We walked across it, judged it safe to cross, and…

Words & Images Morgan Trimble We were still a day’s drive from our dream destination: Busanga Plains. Hidden away in the far-flung north-western corner of Kafue National Park, this is one of the more remote, secret and fabled features on the continent. We were already hours into the journey before my companion, Ashley, and I stopped for mid-morning coffee. This was at one of the few places where the dirt track through the miombo woodlands breaks into a clearing and offers a glimpse of the Kafue River, and our arrival at the riverbank sent an African Finfoot splashing for safety.…

Words and image by Gordon Stewart My wife, who plans all our routes, has a principle: if you’re going from A to B and it’s a tarred road, rather go via C on a gravel road, even if it is twice as long and takes a lot longer. She reckons that you get to see more of the countryside this way, because the back roads are usually in worse condition than the main roads, so you have to drive more slowly. That, in turn, gives you more time to take in your surroundings. The second reason is that, on all…

It was midday, and had, by now, been raining for almost four hours non-stop. We had just arrived in the Mutinondo Wilderness in north-central Zambia after a week of travel from SA, and things hadn’t gone smoothly. Mutinondo Wilderness, Zambia There’d been a blown head gasket on one of the three Defenders in our convoy, torrential rains, hours of border post delays, hellish roadblocks on the road to Lusaka, manic traffic in the Zambian capital itself and endless electrical problems in the vehicles. Somehow, though, none of those experiences seemed important in light of what we had seen: the breathtaking…

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