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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 24 Jul 2007
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Location: South Africa
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South Africa Tips: Moz/Zim/Bots/Zam/Namib?

I'm planning a trip and would appreciate any knowledge about visas, road conditions, petrol availability, or whatever.
Can anybody tell if I need a yellow fever vaccine for this route?
Visa costs and if they need to be arranged ahead of time (I'm from the US on a temp res permit in SA).
From the Berg, through Swaziland, up to Chimoio, Moz, then to Harare, then Bulawayo.
From there, either up to Vic Falls and over into Bots/Namib from Zam, down to Ghanzi (or maybe over into Namib from that arm that sticks out to Zam)
Or to Nata and Gweta, then across to Ghanzi,
Then from Ghanzi, either down to Gabarone and back into SA, or west into Namib and then down through Windhoek, and back to SA.
Any ideas or comments would be much appreciated!
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Old 24 Jul 2007
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I dont have many tips for you yet..
But when do you plan on riding out? November i'l start and take the first half about the same route
So I will keep this topic on my list for hot spots i should visit as well.
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Old 24 Jul 2007
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Hi Adam, I'll try to answer a few things: Road conditions are generally good in most of SA and Nam. In Nam there are loads of dirt roads, any decent map will indicate which are paved and which aren't. In all of these countries you can get as rough as you want, there are plenty of off-road opportunities. In Namibia I rode through sand dunes for the first time. All the sealed roads are fine- at the least the ones I rode on. The arm towards Namibia you referred to is the Caprivi strip. This is a nice area where elephants roam. The Zambezi river has plenty of crocs and hippos in it. If you should find yourself in this area, don't make a mistake and miss Malawi. It's a beautiful country with some of the friendliest people in the world. I believe you'll be needing a carnet for your trip, I'm not sure what that temp-res visa does for you. I'm betting you'll need a carnet. The ZAA can tell you and issue a carnet if need be. You don't need visas for most of the countries you mentioned. Check the State Department's website for up to date info. Consular Information Sheets If you visit Vic Falls in the dry season, you'll want to walk across the bridge into Zimbabwe to see some water as the Zambian side will be dry. Zimbabwe will issue you a visa on the spot for something like $50usd. Fuel is widely available and I never carried extra until further north. No one ever asked for my Yellow Fever document. You'll want to look into malaria meds for your trip. I started taking Malerone in Windhoek as I recall. Windhoek is a cool town where you'll find a couple good bike shops. Have a great trip! H.
"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world..." L.B. Armstrong. www.davesgreatescape.net

Last edited by hook; 24 Jul 2007 at 14:30. Reason: carnet info
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Old 28 Jul 2007
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im not so sure about Zim at the moment.
I've come up through there and I just feeel its getting more and more desperate every day and desperate people could do desperate things and I cant blame them.
Namibia is great, visit Fish river canyon and Soussesvlei in the east and there is a great place to ride Quads on the dunes in Swakupomund just for fun.
If you cross the border from Bots to the caprivi there is a great lodge to stay called Mahungu lodge. it is right on the Okavanga river and you can see lots of hippos and Elephants easily.

Zambia is fine, just watch out for potholes.
Malai is not to be missed but slow down, its full of people like you couldnt imagine.

have a great trip
Life is for Living - so Live
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Old 29 Jul 2007
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I'm going in late October, Steven. Will I see you?
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Old 29 Jul 2007
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For a temporary import a carnet is definitely necessary. Try to get one from your local automobile association.

Roads are generally fine in Southern Africa, ranging from "mostly tarmac" in South Africa to 85% gravel roads in Namibia. Cant say about the more northerly states like Malawi etc.

South Africa, Namibia & Lesotho offer a lot of scenic roads and as for NAM very remote and solitary areas. The countries further north have a less pronounced infrastructure - or should I say: They represent the "real" Africa ;-) Beautiful! You didnt mention Lesotho, but I consider it as much more exciting than Swaziland.

Botswana is rather flat and boring to ride, but their game reserves are dont offer the infrastructure like eg. the Kruger NP in S.A., but there you are really "in the bush", camping in the wild, keeping off the predators with a campfire. But I doubt whether you will be allowed inside on a bike, except for the transit roads passing through the Chobe NP and a few others. There you go zig-zagging through heaps of elephant dung - quite scary ;-)

For local information and contacts take a look at the following South African bikers' site:

Only when we pause to wonder
do we go beyond the limits of our little lives.
(Rod McKuen)
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Old 31 Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by acjeske View Post
I'm going in late October, Steven. Will I see you?
Hi Acjeske,

I'l depart from Cape town on 12 november myself but ride the other way round, first Namibia then Zambia.
We meight drink a somewhere in Zambia then

Check out my tread if you want to, its:
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