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THE COUNTRIES WE VISITED

Namibia

Following our successful expedition to Namibia in 2004 - a country famous for its stark beauty and captivating scenery - students and staff alike were eager to return.

Our journey started in Windhoek where hire vehicles were waiting for us and once packed up we drove to the Waterberg Plateau Park, an impressive sandstone plateau ~ the porous nature of which allows many natural springs to rise up and accounts for the lush vegetation which characterises the area. The plateau summit is home to many rare species including black and white rhino, leopard and roan antelope. There are also breeding programmes for these endangered species. Here we spent one night camping at Bernabe de la Bat Rest Camp, before embarking on a ‘wilderness trail’ the following afternoon.

Having set up camp on the plateau summit, the following three days were spent on guided game walks where, with the help of local guides, we had the opportunity to visit some of the hides and track animals such as white rhino. The intention of this time was to experience isolation and become close to the wild. We only had basic facilities and needed to take all our provisions with us.

Next we travelled to the Etosha National Park. The first two nights of our stay were at Okuakuejo and our final night at Namutoni. Etosha’s rest camps offered excellent game viewing opportunities as they are located inside the borders of the Park and have a floodlit waterhole attracting a great variety of wildlife from dawn to dusk. The Park is dominated by the vast Etosha salt plan. Many water holes exist around the edges of the pan and they are joined by a network of well maintained gravel roads. The plan was that we would take game drives as soon as the gates opened and again in the afternoon to give us the best chance of seeing the cats. Species present in the Park include lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, rhino, giraffe and zebra, in addition to many antelope and bird species. Black rhino are almost guaranteed at night at the Okaukuejo Camp waterhole.

Before leaving the delights of Namibia we drove to Popa Falls.


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Leaving Namibia behind we then found ourselves, once again, facing yet another long drive as we travelled along the western side of the Okavango Delta to Maun (Botswana’s tourist capital). We spent one night camping just outside Maun.

Lying immediately to the north of South Africa, Botswana offers wildlife as diverse and abundant as that found anywhere else. Many areas are still largely undeveloped and untamed.

Our second night was spent bush camping on the edge of the Okavango Delta exploring the area on foot or by mokorrow (a dugout canoe) with local guides. This mode of transport was very much dependent on water levels. While these wetlands are home to relatively few large game animals (elephant and antelope), the clear waters and the myriad of small islands are home to an astounding number of birds, plants and smaller species of animal. After a final morning in the Okavango region we returned to Maun, where a further night was spent camping just outside the town.

Next up was a two night stay near to the Chobe River. Our itinerary included a visit to the Chobe National Park and an afternoon ‘sun downer’ boat trip, where we got the opportunity to see hippo, crocodile and a wide variety of birds at close quarters.


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Having passed the halfway stage of our expedition we crossed the border into Zambia, via the Kazungula Ferry. Blessed with 17 waterfalls, including the spectacular Victoria Falls, Zambia promised days filled with adventure and scenic beauty.

It was a short journey to Livingstone, where we established camp at Liyoyelo Farm. The farm, situated in 105 acres and fronting the banks of the Zambezi, was our base during the 10 day project phase of our trip.

By the time we arrived the school building was complete, but was an empty shell. Our job was to paint and decorate the building, construct storage and furniture and time permitting establish a garden. Our aim was to turn the empty shell into a visually stimulating and exciting place to learn.

The final two days of our expedition provided the opportunity for us to undertake a number of adventure activities which are to be found in the area. These included visiting Victoria Falls, a game drive in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, gorge swing, elephant back safari, river boat trips, flights over the falls etc. etc.


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Date

Jul 11
Jul 12
Jul 13-16
Jul 17-19
Jul 20
Jul 21
Jul 22
Jul 23
Jul 24-25
Jul 26
Jul 27-Aug 05
Aug 06-07
Aug 08
Aug 09

Day

01
02
03-06
07-09
10
11
12
13
14-15
16
17-26
27-28
29
30






Depart London Heathrow
Arrive J’burg. Onward flight to Windhoek.
Establish camp at Waterberg Plateau Park.
Travel to Etosha National Park
Long drive to Popa Falls.
Travel to Maun in Botswana
Travel to edge of the Okavango Delta.
Return to Maun
Drive to Chobe River front.
Cross the border into Zambia.
Undertake community project.
Livingstone. Various activities.
Flt Livingstone to J’burg. Leave for Heathrow
Arrive Home

 

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