In late 2009 Chris finished his graduate studies and we celebrated by traveling to Africa. We’d had three long years to save/plan and while it blew our travel budget for the next few years, it was definitely worth it.
Our trip was three weeks in length and we spread that over five countries. The plan was to join a Botswanan safari for the first portion and then drive through South Africa to Mozambique where we hoped to relax on the beach and do some diving.
We traveled through five countries in Southern Africa
(lightly shaded blue areas):
- South Africa
Our route was as follows:
Days 1-3 – Victoria Falls, Zambia
Flights: 9 hour flight from London to Johannesburg, South Africa, followed by 1 hr 40 min flight from Johannesburg to Livingstone, Zambia.
Activities: Canoeing, local village tour, river cruise, Devil’s Pool/Tea on Livingstone Island, Victoria Falls
Days 4-14 – Wildlife Safari, Botswana
Accommodation + Activities: 10-Day Camping Adventure with Wilderness Safaris
in Zambia (specifically Victoria Falls) and in Botswana (Chobe, Linyanti, and the Okavango Delta). Ends in Maun, Botswana. Incredible
Flights: Several short flights between safari camps plus a flight from Maun to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Day 15-20 – Beach, Mozambique
Drive: 650kms (400 miles) from Johannesburg, South Africa to Ponta do Ouro, a resort area of the farther southern part of Mozambique.
Accommodation: We stayed at a resort called Ponta Mamoli, which is no longer there, which is good as I don’t think I’d recommend staying there. It’s been replaced by the White Pearl.
Activities: scuba diving, hiking, horseback riding
Drive from Mozambique back to Johannesburg. Flight from Johannesburg to Seattle, via London (9 hours each).
Leopard – Linyanti, Botswana
What We Would Have Done Differently
In hindsight, we would have skipped Mozambique and gone to Cape Town, SA. And we would have flown, not wasted two days driving 800 miles across South Africa.
Mozambique was nice, except we weren’t taken with the resort and a storm blew through, making for dangerous diving conditions. We visited at the end of September and the weather was rainy and cold. It wasn’t terrible; just not fantastic. Such is life when you travel, right? You win some, you lose some.
Little bee-eater, Okavango Delta, Botswana