When I booked our African Adventure 2011 holiday, I left all the little nitty-gritty details to the travel agent to arrange. So apart from the fact that we were going to Zimbabwe and Botswana, and a knowledge of the pre-booked activities we had chosen to do, we had no idea of the what, when and where’s of this holiday. I don’t usually do things like this. I like to be in charge of the details, to plan ahead – spontaneity is not one of my strong points. But this week I had the opportunity to just sit back and let others do all the work for me, and let me tell you, being in charge is highly overrated.
I knew that we would be flying to Livingstone in Zambia and then someone would pick us up and take us to our hotel in Botswana. When we finally made our way past Customs, a driver was waiting for us, lounging on a railing while holding up a little sign displaying our surname. He ushered us onto a big 36-seater bus and acted the tour guide while we drove through the streets of Livingstone, pointing out important buildings and sharing interesting facts. Once outside the town, he helped us spot zebras and giraffes while we sped along the highway that slices through the Mosi-ua-Tunya National Park on the way to the Kazungula border post.
To our surprise, the border post turned out to be a river crossing. It took us all of five minutes to have our passports stamped, before our suitcases were loaded onto a powerboat and we were on the Zambezi. The captain made a point of telling us when we had reached the exact spot where four countries meet – Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia – the only place in Africa to share so many borders. The journey took roughly twenty minutes and, despite my bad boating track record, we landed on the shores of Botswana without incident.
Amazingly, getting our passports stamped here took even less time than on the Zambian side, and before we knew we had loaded our twin suitcases into a 4×4 game drive vehicle and were off towards Chobe for the first three days.
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