Overseas Adventure Travel
Ultimate Africa Tour Review
July 19 through Aug 9, 2022


Due to the length of the review, it is in six parts to help with the download time. The links to the other pages are at the top and bottom of each page. 

Page 1:  Fly to Johannesburg; Karongwe Game Reserve, South Africa; Hwange NP, Zimbabwe
Page 2:  Hwange NP, Zimbabwe; Kafue NP, Zambia
Page 3:  Kafue NP, Zambia; Chobe NP, Botswana
Page 4:  Chobe NP, Botswana; Okavango Delta, Botswana
Page 5: 
Okavango Delta, Botswana; Bwabwata NP, Namibia; Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Page 6:  Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; Return home


Day 11 - Kafue National Park, Zambia

We were given a break with a 6:30 AM wake up call.  We really didn’t need it since we had been hearing some pretty loud animal noises during the night and morning.  The hippos were very active with their chatting.  The birds were very loud once there wasn't any light in the sky.  A wake-up call was never needed at this camp.

As we left the cabin to head for breakfast, we looked at the beautiful scery behind our cabin.  As we passed by the area that had been wet the night before.  It had dried some, but we saw the below footprint in the mud that hadn’t been there the night before.  With all the hippo noise we had heard, we assumed that it was a hippo.  That might explain why there had been a water leak if a hippo had stepped on the water pipes right there next to the cabin.  I took a photo of it for the guides to identify for us. 


When we got to breakfast, we were told that it was an elephant footprint.  So, an elephant had walked past our cabin in the night.  I’m sure glad he didn’t trumpet and wake us up.  That would have been a very rude awakening.   We were enjoying the lodge and location along the river as the sun was rising.  This was a very nice lodge.


After breakfast, as usual, we headed for the trucks.  Early in our game drive, we saw a saddle-billed stork.  Quite a pretty colorful bird.

During the drive, I was fascinated with the candelabra tree.  It looked like a cactus with a tree trunk. 

We saw a fish eagle up on the high branches of a tree.

We then came across an antelope species we hadn’t seen before, a defassa waterbuck.   There are so many different antelope species.  I’m glad the guides could tell them apart.


We were entering a large savannah area.  Many areas we had been to have controlled burns to reduce the tall grass and allow new green grass to grow.  The new grass comes up very quickly and the animals love it.


As we were driving through the savannah, we saw a couple of large, yellow-billed storks with a jackal walking in front of them.  They were a lot bigger than him, so he kept walking toward the road.

He was on a collision course with our truck, so he sped up and beat us to the other side, but not before I could take a pic of him.

The big expanse of golden grass was so pretty.  Putting a zebra in the middle of it made it even better.

In the field was a roan antelope.  They are one of the larger species.  He raced across the field to beat us across the road.  He had no problem at all.  They are very fast.  In the field he was heading to was his girlfriend who was nursing her baby.


Driving along Neddie stopped so we could see a couple of crowned cranes.  Just beautiful birds.


This terrain was so different from any of the other parks we had been or would go to.  It felt like we were in the Africa we had seen on TV documentaries.

We came up to a clump of vegetation where we saw a lion pride.  There was a mother with three five-month-old cubs.  Talk about a photo frenzy! 


I will put too many photos here, but it was an amazing encounter.



I loved the cubs.  They are just too cute.


At one point the mother came in front of our truck and laid down right behind us.  Since I was in the last row, I was able to take photos between the seats.


Neddy told us that they had killed a red lechwe antelope.  It was in the brush where we originally saw them.  As the family moved to a different place, we were able to drive up and see the remains of their kill.  We left the area, and close by saw vultures dining on the head of a red lechwe.  That was how the guides knew what had been killed.  The remains we had seen in the bush weren’t recognizable.


We watched them for a while.  It was interesting watching them trying to show dominance over the other vultures.  They would strut around with their wings spread out to appear bigger pushing away the competition.

A little further away we saw the herd of red lechwe’s that the victim had probably been a part of.


We saw a lot of hippos hanging out in a pond.  There was so much wildlife in this national park.  We were having a great time.

A few minutes down the road we saw another herd of red lechwe’s.  Two of them were fighting.  They were really going at it.


Further down the trail we saw a fish eagle on the ground.  The others had all been in trees.  I wish he had been closer for a better pic.

On our way back to the camp we stopped to look at a man-made fish trap.  At certain times of the year, they are allowed to put down more vegetation to keep the fish from going down stream.

Neddy pointed out a baobab tree that he said was 500 years old.  It is a shame that there aren’t any leaves on it during the winter, but it is still a beauty.

We got back to the lodge around 12:30 PM.  It had been a long game drive.  After lunch, we took a short nap to get ready for the 4:30 PM game drive.

We had been warned in the OAT material that Zambia had tsetse flies.  They no longer spread sleeping sickness, but they still have a very mean bite.  We had been told not to wear any blue or black clothing, since it would attract them.  They are much more of an issue in the summer than when we were there.  We never saw or felt any.  The trucks had buckets attached to the back to put elephant dung in.  They light it on fire, so the smoke will repel the tsetse flies.  We didn’t use one, but Golden did.  We were glad we didn’t have to smell it.  It apparently isn’t that bad, but the thought of it is.

Neddy pointed out a plant called the scrambled egg tree.  The ones I took pics of had lost most of their flowers, but you can still see where they get their name from.  They are also called a sunshine tree.


We saw another fish eagle in a tree.  They are a common bird in Kafue.

The most common antelope species in Kafue was the Puku.  They were everywhere.  They look just like the red lechwe to me, but Neddy knew the difference.  We had fun saying the name puku when we saw one in the bush.

We went down to a water hole where there was a crocodile on the prowl for something.

There were also a lot of hippos there.  They look so funny in the water with just their eyes and nose popping out. 

We were all trying to get a photo of one with their mouths open.  With it being late in the day with the sun almost gone, it was difficult to get a good photo.   What was funny was to listen to all of them making noises when one started a conversation. 

We had stopped at the pond for our sundowner.  It was a great place for it with a great sunset.  I loved how the color changed so quickly as the sun sank lower under the horizon.


It had been an awesome day!  We were loving Kafue.


Day 12 - Kafue National Park, Zambia

It was 46 degrees when we woke up.  There had been lots of animal noises last night.  The hippo alarm clocks were very loud and frequent in the morning.  We were looking forward to what would be a very different day. For starters, we didn’t have to wake up until 6:45 AM.  I wish the hippos and birds had known we didn’t need them to wake us up as early as they did.  Since the lodge was on the Lapufa River, we had a choice of doing a game drive or a river ride.  Most wanted to go on the river ride, but the boat wouldn’t hold the whole group.  There would be a morning and an afternoon boat ride.  I was on the morning drive.  Cathy chose to take the morning off and enjoy some free time before the afternoon game drive.

As we left the docking area, we had a nice view of the lodge from the water.  I also took a selfie from the boat.


With it being early in the morning, the river looked so pretty with the reflection of the shoreline in the water.  This was going to be an enjoyable experience.


We knew that we would be seeing lots of birds along the water, and sure enough we saw a hadada ibis shortly after taking off.  The only ibis I had ever seen were the white ones that are all over south Florida where we live.  These had a nice iridescent greenish glow on their wings.  They don’t look much like their Florida cousins.

We then saw a couple of our hippo alarm clocks in the water, one with a bird roosting on it.

We would see many hippos during the morning.  With us being much closer to them in the boat, when we turned a camera on them, they would quickly submerge, and I would get a photo more like the second one.


I just loved the elaborate network of tree roots we could see along the riverbank.

The trees themselves were also spectacular.


We saw many birds and I couldn’t write down the names of all of them on my phone, but I did try to take photos of as many as I could.


We were surprised to see a young puku grazing along the riverbank.  We were concerned about his safety with the river having crocodiles in it.

I enjoyed being able to take close up pics of the hippos when they stayed up long enough.


We pulled over to a tree where there was a flurry of activity going on.  It was full of white fronted bee eater birds.  They were scurrying around and didn’t seem to stay in one place for long.  It didn’t make it easy to take photos of them, but there were some lazy ones that hung on a perch for a bit.


One of the reasons they were flying around so much was that they went back and forth to their homes that had been dug out in the mud on the riverbank. 

We continued the slow ride down the river.  In the distance, we could see the top of a very large baobab tree.  The guide told us that it was 1,000 years’ old. 

As we got closer, I was disappointed that it was surrounded by trees that were blocking a full view of it.  Then we came to an opening where we could see the magnificent tree.  I was fascinated by the baobab tree and would take a photo whenever I saw a large one.  This one was the biggest we would see.

Since I had my telephoto lens on my DSLR, I had to use my iPhone camera to take a photo of the full tree.  It allowed me to take one of my favorite photos of the whole trip.

Not far away, we saw a small group of puku grazing on higher ground, a much safer place.

This crocodile was down below them.

We saw another hadada ibis that was closer than the first sighting.

Not far away, we came up to some hippos who were standing up rather than submerged, at least for a short time.

Some of the hippos pushed up from the bottom breaching the water, but they were too quick to get a photo of them.  I liked the mother and daughter family photo.

Further along we saw another group of hippos.  I don’t want to overdo the review with hippo pics, but they are such good subjects, when they stay above the water.


We saw so many crocodiles along the banks.  It got to a challenge to see how close we could get to them before they would quickly leave the bank and submerge.  But you had to have your camera ready or you miss them.  They were very fast.

We came to a large group of hippos, so I had to take some photos of them.


Up in the tree we saw a brown hooded kingfisher.  Another pretty bird species.

In another tree further away was a woodland kingfisher.

Then more crocs on the riverbank.  I caught this one going into the water.

Not far away, we saw another one.  This one let us get pretty close and then turned around and headed for the water.  He did resurface to check us out.

We then saw some more white fronted bee eaters that were all standing around the homes rather than flying about.

I was thrilled when the guide pointed out a giant kingfisher in a tree nearby.  He was posing nicely for us.

We headed toward the riverbank where we could see the group that had gone on the game drive waiting for us on the ridge.

As we got closer, we saw a young crocodile close to where we were pulling in.  It had a beautiful skin color.

It wasn’t long before the croc did the disappearing routine as we pulled closer.  We got out of the boat and stretched our legs and told the other group about our river adventure from a distance.  They were there taking a water table raising break. 

After returning to the boat to head back to the lodge, we saw a very large croc basking in the sun.  He looked very well fed.

Further along we saw some hippos walking along the riverbank on the way to the river for a swim.  There was a young baby in the group.  The guide said that it was probably only a week old.  Too cute.


On the way back we saw more hippos, crocs and birds.  We landed back at the lodge at around 10:45 AM.  We had had a full morning with three hours on the river.

Cathy was in the lodge waiting for me.  We hung around enjoying some relaxing time in the beautiful environment.  Lunch was at 11:30 AM.  This camp did have some outstanding salads while we were there.  Below is a pic of the food line.  I liked the message on the casserole.

After lunch we went back to the cabin for a nap.  It was so nice resting while listening to the bird and hippo sounds with the cool breeze coming through the tent.  Right behind our cabin was a animal trail where they would travel between their grazing and drinking locations.

Before our afternoon game drive, Nomsa came out in some native dress to give us a talk about the Zambian chitenge.  It is a 2-yard-long piece of fabric that Zambian women use for many purposes. 

Mr. V had purchased a chitenge in Victoria Falls for each of the women in the group.  It was very nice of him to provide these for them to use during the demonstration, plus they are great souvenirs.

Nomsa showed how to wear the chitenge as a dress.  The way they wear them tells the men a message.  If they are worn high, it means the woman is married.  If low, they are available.


Nomsa then showed us how they make a headdress from the fabric.  The women tried to follow the instructions to make their own.


She also showed us how they use the chitenge to carry young babies on their back, as well as to put on their head to carry a basket of goods.


She then showed us how they make peanut butter by mashing peanuts.  It didn’t take her very long to make it.  She then gave us little spoons to taste the finished product.  It was delicious natural peanut butter and so easy to make.  Africans use a lot of peanut butter in their cooking.  Peanut butter rice was a frequent menu item at the camps.

We had thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience provided by Nomsa.  She did a great job.

We left for our afternoon game drive at 4:00 PM.  We saw a lot of pukus and some kudus in the first hour.  Then we saw a large herd of red ketchways. 

It wasn’t a productive game drive, but it was always nice just enjoying the Zambian countryside.  As we headed back to camp, we saw a controlled burn in progress.  This was the first time we had seen one taking place.  We were surprised that they were able to control the fire by just beating down the flames.


The drive back in the dark was the best part of the excursion.  Although it was the first night drive that there were a lot of bugs.  We saw a mongoose, hyena and a civet cat; but there was no way to take photos in the low light.  We also got to see a large African porcupine.  The other truck had seen one the previous night, but we hadn’t; so, we were pleased to see it also.

That night after dinner we would have to pack again for our Botswana portion of the trip.  We were ready for our next chapter of the adventure.


Day 13 - Transfer to Chobe National Park, Botswana

After breakfast we got into the safari trucks for our cold bumpy 2-hour ride to the Livingstone airport.  We arrived around 9:00 AM and boarded as soon as the luggage was loaded onto the planes.  Once again it was an interesting flight because we were low enough to view the terrain.

After landing, we got on a bus and took a tour of the local market.  We drove down the different streets with Mr. V pointing out what the vendors were selling.  It was a much larger market than I had expected to see.


Mr. V had a great activity planned next for us.  We were going to a rhino sanctuary, where we would get to see the endangered white rhinos close up.  On the way there, our bus driver was pulled over in a radar trap.  He had been going 43-mph in a 40-mph zone.  He talked to the police, paid a $20 fine and was free to go.  That’s a lot easier than how it is done in the US.  It would seem that everyone would be pulled over when they stop you for 3-mph over.  Also, $20 is much harder to earn in Zambia than the US.   

We drove into the fenced park and went about a half mile before we stopped to meet with the armed security team who were going to show us the rhinos.  They briefly told us about what they do and what we needed to do to remain safe.  Even though the rhinos in the park were used to humans, that didn’t mean that one might not wake up with an attitude and give us some trouble.

After a short walk through the bush, we were thrilled to see the rhinos resting under a shade tree.  I was so glad to see that they had their full horns, since the ones we previously saw were shaved down to protect them from poachers.  We were all moving around taking photos from every angle to get the best shots.  It was a bit disappointing that they were all laying down.


We moved around to the other side where one stood up to model for us.  This was such a treat to be able to see these magnificent animals so close up. 


We were only with the rhinos for about ten minutes, but we loved every minute of this unique experience.  After leaving the park, we drove about 30 minutes to the Kazungula Bridge over the Zambezi River that connects Botswana with Zambia.  A deal to build the bridge was completed in 2007 by the two countries.  Construction began in 2014 and was finished in May 2021 after a Covid delay.  It was an impressive looking bridge.  It was built with a curve in it to avoid the borders of Zimbabwe and Namibia.  Mr. V told us that it is the only place that four countries meet at one point.  If that point wasn’t in the middle of the Zambezi River, it would be a very popular photo opp.


Prior to the bridge’s completion, all traffic had to be ferried.  It was a very slow process with trucks sometimes having to wait days to cross.  One of the old ferry terminals was still in place, while the other had already been knocked down.

We were quite pleased that the bridge was there, since the OAT final docs had told us that we would be taking the ferry across.  That could have taken a long time.  I am sure that OAT will update the info in the future.

After completing the immigration process for leaving Zambia and entering Botswana, we had about an hour’s drive through Chobe National Park to our camp for the next three nights, the Baobab Camp #2.  We were very pleased that we could get there on highways in a bus rather than safari trucks.  Unfortunately, the AC wasn’t working on the bus.

We had a lovely greeting as we arrived with festive singing/dancing going on.  This was going to be a great camp.

As we walked down the wooden path to the lodge, we could see that this was a gorgeous facility.  There were so many areas to sit and look out on the wilderness.




We had a view of the Chobe River below.  On the other side of the river was Namibia.

They had put out drinks and some delicious snacks for us since it was afternoon teatime.  They were delicious.  The camp manager, who was actually a manager in training, was named Lati.  He gave us our orientation talk and set us on our way.  Over the course of our three day stay, he was great.  He will make an excellent manager when his training is completed.


After we had settled in a bit, Marianne came over to the group and told everyone that they had to check out the restroom.  As people would go, they would come back and say that it was special.  I didn’t need the bathroom, but my curiosity got the better of me and I checked it out too.  It had a large window positioned right in front of the commode looking outside.  Definitely a unique setup.

After getting familiar with the lodge, we headed to our cabin.   We were pleased to see that it was more of a cabin than a tent.  It had a door which we preferred over unzipping a canvas flap and separate screen to get into the room.  We liked the attractive wooden flooring.  The mosquito netting wasn’t necessary when we were there, so when housekeeping closed them around the bed during their evening maintenance, we would tie them back up when we returned after dinner.



We had a large balcony with a view.


We were thrilled to see that the shower was in an enclosed area with a shower curtain to keep the water in the shower.  By now, it didn’t take much luxury to make us happy.


And best of all, we had electricity in the room so that we could charge our electronics at any time.  They had European and US outlets.

Since we had arrived at the camp at close to 3:00 PM, we didn’t have a lot of time before our first game drive.   After setting up in our cabin we returned to the lodge meeting place.  The two guides were Ledi and Six.  As with all the camps, they were great guides and people.


Chobe was quite different from the other camps we were at because they had a highway going through it.  Our camp was just outside the park property, which meant that we would have to go to the park entrance close by and get signed in and signed out when we left after our drives.  The park wants to collect their $22 per person entrance fee, but they are also very cautious about keeping track of who is in the park.  They also want to make sure they leave the park.  We would learn why in a presentation later during our visit.  Once again we had covered safari trucks.  Unlike the others, these had fixed windshields.


Starting our drive on the highway, I got a kick out of the warning signs. 

Once we left the highway and entered the park dirt roads, we had some very different riding conditions.  Because we were in the Kalahari Desert, it was sand below the surface vegetation.  So it was weavy like driving on beach sand as well as very bumpy.  The worst of it only lasted about 30 minutes on that road. 

Shortly after we were on the dirt road, we saw some giraffes.

Not far away we saw a baobab tree that was filled with large bird’s nests.

When we got closer, we could see the birds that built these nests, the red-billed buffalo weaver.  They were very productive and constantly working on their nests while we were there.

As we drove around Chobe, we were pleased to see so much wildlife.  They were all enjoying the green fields.  Botswana has two main wildlife areas.  The one in the north is on the Chobe River and in the south is the Okavango Delta, where we would visit in three days.  Mr. V told us that Chobe would have the most animals of any of the parks we had been to.  He was right.

We came to an area where a female common waterbuck was standing guard on a termite mound. 

The rest of her herd were grazing.

We saw a white-browed sparrow-weaver sitting on a tree nearby. It builds nests similar to those we saw its cousin, the red-billed buffalo weaver, constructing.

Every park we went to had a different terrain, wildlife and trees.  OAT was giving us an excellent variety to be able experience so much of Africa.  I thought that the umbrella thorn acacia tree was so pretty.

We came across a different bird running around on the ground, the Crown Plover.

As we were driving along the river, we could look up and see other lodges along the ridge, like ours was further down the road. 

A short drive away was a group of giraffes.  They were very active with eating drinking and playing.  A bird was pecking off some parasites on the giraffe's head.


It was entertaining to watch them bending over to drink water.  They walk around so elegantly, but they look so clumsy when they are drinking.  We got a kick out of how they snap right back up when they have finished drinking.

A large kori bustard was walking amongst the giraffes.

We stopped for our sundowner with a beautiful sun setting.

The reason that Ledi had brought us to this particular spot for the sundowner was that he had been seeing elephants slowly coming down the hill below where many lodges including ours was.  He knew that we were in a good position to see them when they came to the water.  It was also a great spot to watch the sundown.  After the sun went below the horizon, the sky really turned on the colors.

Suddenly, the elephants arrived they were moving quickly to the water.  Because it was so dark, I couldn’t get a good photo.  The photo I did take shows what they looked like and their fast movement.  It also shows the lodges on the hill. 

After the great drive, we returned to the lodge.  The dining table was set for us.  We liked the glass covers they used to keep bugs out of our drinks.


After our enjoyable dinner, we enjoyed walking down the well-lit wooden path to our cabin.  We enjoyed having the electric hot water heater for our showers.  We were surprised that we didn’t have flaps covering the bedroom windows to keep it warmer in the cabin.  It had been warmer during the day, so it must be warmer at night in Chobe than the other camps we had been in.  It had been a very good day.



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