The entry Botswana was also carried out very quickly. I asked for a 90-days visa; the officer of immigration tells me that I would receive it on my return from Victoria Falls. The payment of the driving permit was carried out in US$ with the change in BWP currency, pula. In Kasane, the first city after the border, I sought the office of Mascom, leading vendor of Internet accesses, with which I bought a 15 GB data Sim card for my 40-days stay in Botswana. Then, having crossed the border with my empty refrigerator, I made some food purchases for two days. Finally I moved towards the border of Zimbabwe to visit Victoria Falls.
The crossing of the border to enter Zimbabwe was a true galley in view of significant number of tourists of tours operators whose agents brought a great quantity of passports of customers remained in the buses while passing the long line of waiting. I waited more than one hour. At the customs I presented the Carnet Passage en douane which were duly filled. In Zimbabwe the currency is the US$. I arrived at Victoria Falls around 14:30 to visit the falls at approximately 100 meters before the border of Zambia. Some think that they are more impressive than those of the Niagara, it is an opinion! The village of Victoria Falls is very, too tourist to arouse my interest. In end of the afternoon I established my bivouac in Victoria Falls Rest Camp for one night before my return to Kasane in Botswana.
|Doctor Livingstone, I presume?|
The path of Victoria National Park above gorges gives a view of the falls without obstacle, but there is neither retreat nor height of view. It is rather disappointing. I decided as a consequence of buying a 25 minute tour by helicopter to have a bird's eyes view. On Sunday, July 22 the helicopter took off around 14:40 for the tour in white and dotted red on the picture of the map. Unquestionably the falls are impressive with an exceptional landscape. They are registered with the world heritage of humanity, UNESCO, here.
|Bird's eyes view|
Flight finished I took again my truck to go back to Kasane, Botswana, by again crossing the border posts of Zimbabwe and Botswana, without deceleration. I arrived at Kasane around 17:30 to bivouac at the entrance of the city behind Shoprite, supermarket, and Puma, gas station. The night was calm. I remained two days to prepare my journey in Botswana by booking bivouacs in the parks.
On Tuesday 24th I settled for two days at Big Five Chobe Lodge, sumptuous lodge and camp-site with private bathroom. I continued tiresome preparation of search for bivouacs for my stay in Botswana.
On Thursday, July 26 I left Big Five Chobe Lodge as of early dawn, 7:00, to traverse Chobe Riverfront where the 4wd of the tour operators are followed in Indian file at the time of multitude to observe fauna. I arrived at the park gate at 7:30 and I reached Ihaha Campsite shortly after midday. Here as in the already visited parks the antelopes of all species abound. I was lucky to meet an elephant. But of course no predator. Apparently I was the only one in Ihaha. I bivouacked not far from the bank of Chobe and I have several times the visit of the antelopes. At the reception it was recommended to me not to leave my vehicle during the night because the camp is not fenced.
On Friday, July 28 I finished the exploration of Chobe Riverfront by traversing the 22 km in 3:00. Then I took the tarred road from Ngoma to Savuti to bivouac at the edge of a pond. The 60 km of the Chobe Riverfront park make it possible to observe a large population of wild animals and birds of all the colors. Admittedly, as in all the parks the “Big Cats” are very difficult to see. This part of Chobe River is mainly a marsh natural habitat of birds, buffaloes as well as hippopotamuses. Antelopes and zebras constitute true herds. I found a bivouac out the bituminized road.
On Saturday, July 28 I left the pond around 8:00 to go to Savuti. The tarred road finished in Kachikau to become a sand track with sometimes very deep and many bumps and corrugated Moreover it was very narrow making the crossing of the vehicles problematic. I traversed the 71 km in three hours. I had booked for two nights at Savuti Campsite.
In the afternoon an Iveco truck came to stop at my bivouac to require hospitality for the night because the camp-site was full. I assured the two people that there was no problem for them as for the other vehicle. They acted of four South-African. In the evening they invited me to share their barbecue.
On Sunday, July 29 I left in search of Big 5 Cats in the Savuti Marsh. I saw many animals as well as birds of all the colors, two elephants but always no lion and other cheetah and leopard. It will be for another time. I have the surprise to have the visit of Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill which was interested very much in the technological equipment of the cabin of my truck.
|Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill|