Another day, another brilliant sunrise. We enjoy our river outlook for as long as possible before meandering to the dining area for breakfast. We dine in style under thatch with lofted views over the Kwambo’s glistening waters.
Before the end of today, we would have set foot in 3 different countries during our self-drive safari, so there isn’t much time to hang around soaking up the ambience after breakfast. We are on the road to Kongola within the hour.
After that it’s a short 2-hour trip to Ngoma Bridge Border Post along the B8. The journey is uneventful and scenic, traversing the by-now-familiar wooded landscape of the Caprivi.
Our entrance into neighbouring Botswana goes off without a hitch. Our passports, entrance fees and proof of vehicle ownership are all that’s needed. The entire process takes only 30 minutes. We do have to surrender a small bag of oranges from our cooler box though. Not as a bribe – Botswana does not allow any fresh meat, eggs or fruit across its borders.
After Ngoma Gate, almost our entire experience of Botswana is taken up by the lush Chobe flood plains on either side of the road. Being quite a busy road, it’s not the best way to enjoy the rich experiences that Chobe National Park has to offer. Now and again, a few zebras gaze unconcernedly at us as we drive by, but we don’t see much else.
Almost 3 hours later, we stop for burgers and pizza at Pizza Plus in Kasane. This cheap and cheerful spot has a casual vibe and is bustling with local lunchtime trade as well as fellow travellers.
After lunch, we’re off along the A33 on the way to Zimbabwe.
Floating into Zimbabwe
A few minutes later, we are knocking on Zimbabwe’s door at Kazungula Border Post. While the red tape at this crossing is minimal, the ferry is a little nerve-wracking.
We join the queue of traffic waiting to board and eventually we’re underway on one of Africa’s largest ferries, crossing one of the continent’s most notorious rivers – the Zambezi.
Once we are back on dry land it’s just over an hour’s drive to A’Zambezi Lodge, our home for the next few days. Once again, if it wasn’t for the efforts of our travel agent, we would never have been able to afford this 4-star accommodation.
We’ve heard much about the exceptional hospitality at this resort and we’re not disappointed. Although we’re suitably impressed by the lush gardens and inviting swimming pools, we don’t have the energy to indulge after a long drive.
Fortunately, a short nap in our comfortable garden-facing suites does the trick to refresh us for our sunset cruise along the mighty Zambezi. We board the large flat-bottomed boat and set off with all the other guests for an introduction to this watery paradise.
As we sip on our sundowners, the boat makes its way slowly upriver, allowing us the chance for a close-up look at bulging-eyed hippos and a view of fish eagles swirling overhead. On our way back, we are lucky to spot a herd of elephant ambling down to sip at the water’s edge on the opposite bank.
We enjoy dinner on the deck at the Amulonga Restaurant. The cuisine is excellent. I enjoy a tower of sticky beef fingers perched atop fresh vegetables, while my companions settle for steak and chips.
A pleasant surprise comes in the form of a band of traditional dancers. We’d love to linger but memories of our comfortable lodgings beckon and it’s early to bed for these adventurers.
I fall into slumber lulled by the gentle sound of the Zambezi River making its way towards Victoria Falls.
Did you catch the last episode in our “Cape Town to Namibia” series, Road Tripping Around Namibia – The Caprivi Wilderness ? If not, hit the link and join us on this exciting adventure. The Rainforest Area of Victoria Falls National Park opens at 6 am the next morning, and our road trippers are well on time to enjoy the sights and wonders of Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls.
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