Richard and I set off on 21 May 2018 on a dream trip, with our trusty Toyota 3 l D4D Hilux, carrying Klippie, our roll-on-roll-off camper system packed to the hilt so we would be as self-sufficient as possible. The adventure was exactly that – this is not a holiday – lots of driving which with our heavy load and sometimes dodgy roads and drivers, required serious concentration. Camping is also a little bit of work, but thank goodness – one needs things to do! Basically it was an anti-clockwise trip – following the eastern side (mostly) heading north, then from the Serengeti, Tanzania, heading south along the western side towards home. We arrived home on Thursday 23 August 2018, so we were away for 3 glorious months.
Total Distance : 17 348km
Approximate amount fuel used: 1 955 litres diesel
Approximate average fuel consumption : 8,87 km/l or 11,27 l/100km
Fuel cost: approximately R 30 320,00
No. of punctures: ZERO ! incredible considering the roads and terrain we traversed. We had fitted the car with new BF Goodrich All Terrain tyres before we set off, and clearly that paid off.
Maintenance Issues: None to speak of. The only thing that broke on the car was an after market fit for our second battery – the battery bracket mounting came loose after enduring the corrugations of Nxai Pans!
Getting stuck: Nuanetsi River – crossing – completely our fault as we had not deflated tyres, and we stopped in the middle of the river on a sand bank to assess the rest of the crossing. We had recovery gear and the Holloways towed us out. In the Serengeti we used our recovery gear again – this time on a truck that had gotten wedged in a small river with black cloying mud. It was good to be able to help others – one never knows when you might be in a situation needing help!
This is where we went
Richard’s favourite bits/highlights:
- the technical driving on the 4×4 Lebombo Trail, Kruger National Park
- Tiger fishing along various rivers
- Sailing on a dhow with outriggers
- Snorkelling on Maziwe Island off Ushongo Beach, Tanzania
- Photography opportunities of animals and birds, and night shots
- Relaxing at Kapishya Hot Springs, Zambia
- Lake Tanganyika
- Activities at Chobe Safari Lodge
- Great Migrations Camp and their hospitality
- Our daughter landing up joining us
Sue’s favourite bits/highlights:
- Bush camping in KNP and seeing parts of the park most people don’t get to see
- The incredible scenery of Gonarezhou, Zimbabwe, and Chilo Lodge
- Nxai Pan and Baine’s Baobabs
- Liuwa Plain – everything about it – scenery, birds, hyaenas, birds, people, birds
- the people of Zambia
- the remoteness of Bangweulu & Lavusi Manda
- Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
- Hot Air Balloon Trip in Ruaha
- Camping “on the beach” at Beach Crab resort, Tanzania
- Hiking to the top of Sanje waterfalls, Udzungwa Mountains
- Seeing Ngorongora crater – literally took my breath away
- northern part of the Serengeti and being part of the wildebeest migration in the area
- the leopard we saw in the Serengeti – thank you Amani and the GMC crew
- The non-racialness of Tanzania
- the people we met along the way and new friends we made
- traveling with friends and being able to share experiences
- our daughter landing up joining us
The bad/not so great – everyone asks us this
Well, there was genuinely no bad things or events. No crime, no feeling threatened, no bribes, no disasters. We did avoid major cities, and the few things that were vaguely unpleasant all happened in more urban areas. It is a matter of being aware and not make one self a target – tricky with a car packed full of things people may want to relieve you of :). Just about being as sensible as one can be.
- Some of the roads e.g. northern part of the Great North Road, Zambia (T2) & the Serengeti – biggest corrugations/ruts ever
- Tunduma Border post – because there is no signage (now they are operating out of new premises, so maybe this has improved??), and every truck goes through this border post. It is chaotic, and one lands up having to use the services of the touts/runners/helpers – just make peace with it – have the US cash available, and put it down to an experience. We got through in an hour – hugely quick.
- Zambian side of the Kazungulu Ferry border – again being harassed by people wanting to assist you – again we just did it, and put it down to part of the adventure. If you know that this is the way its done, you save yourself a great deal of stress 🙂
- Beggars and people selling stuff on the streets in Arusha – coming up to your car. I think it was hard to deal with because we hadn’t seen any of this for the previous 2 months of our trip in terms of the slightly aggressive nature of these people. We only encountered one beggar in Lusaka, and otherwise if people came to the car selling various wares, and you politely and smiling indicated you were not buying anything today, they smiled and moved on. People are just trying to earn an income.
Those were our “worst” experiences.
Please feel free to contact Richard (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions regarding planning a similar trip – we learnt so much from other people’s blogs, websites and people we met along the way. It all helps with the planning and figuring out what you would like to see and experience.
Would we do it again??
For sure! Say when, and we will be on our way!!