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Offline RooiBaron

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Zimbabwe advice please
« on: March 11, 2013, 12:11:42 pm »
Hi All

I'm thinking about doing a +- 12day trip through Zimbabwe to Vic falls and back end of the month over easter. I've never been to Zim and have no real knowledge about what to see and where to go there.

Any suggestions?

The more offroad the better!

Any advice will be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
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Offline Karel Kat

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 12:14:43 pm »
Bike or car? Some sights worth seeing are in the game reserves and possibly a bit dicey on a bike, I also don't know if bikes are allowed in all of the reserves.
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Offline RooiBaron

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 12:45:47 pm »
Want to do a bike trip!

Yip, guessing the big game reserves won't allow bikes.
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Offline Steyn

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 01:14:28 pm »
Ek ry saam met RooiBaron. 
Soos genoem beplan ons 'n biketrip vir 12 dae. 
Begin en eindig Gauteng. 
Ons het gedink aan Zim en Mozam omdat ons dit nie eintlik ken nie, maar ons kan enige roete beplan wat in die tydraamwerk gaan inpas.  Ander voorstelle is baie welkom.  Ons wil so min as moontlik op die hoofpaaie / teerpaaie ry. 
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Offline Avontier

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 01:42:45 pm »
In my opinion, Zim is kak. Many might tell you otherwise, but that's just my experience of it. Beitbridge is the worst border post I've ever been through (and I have passed there quite a few times in the last 5 years, most recently Sept last year), and at the end of Easter it will be a nightmare.

I am all ears as to what others might suggest regarding alternative routes to the Falls, as the main routes are really dangerous and unpleasant to travel.

If Vic Falls is the destination, I would probably go through Botswana and enter Zim at Plumtree, or even better still, do the Hunters road in north western Botswana (really tough and sandy leeuwęreld) and enter Zambia via Kazangulu. Make sure to spend a few days in Kasane. It is one of my favourite places in Southern Africa. Kazangulu crossing on the Zambian side is no picnic either, with all sorts of bureaucratic bullshit and taxes.  

When entering Botswana, avoid Groblersbrug in the busy seasons and rather opt for the more remote posts like Stockpoort, Zanzibar, Platjan, or Ponddrift.
 

Offline Adventurer

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 02:26:10 pm »
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=55617.0

We had a jol, loved it, although the borders are a mission, the rest is easy, had no hassles besides Beit Bridge, lovely people.
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Offline Karel Kat

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 03:00:58 pm »
Having never been there on a bike, my experience is otherwise very limited but I can agree with most of the advice given here eg avoid Beit Bridge at all costs. The people are incredibly friendly and if you return the compliment and have a bit of patience your trip should be hassle-free as far as human interaction is concerned.

If you are the touristy type you would probably want to see Zim's big four: Vic Falls, Kariba, Great Zimbabwe (the ruins) and Matobo. A possible route to fit these in would be through Botswana up to Kasane or entering Zim through Pandamatenga (see map). From there it is a short stint to Vic. The next stop could be Mbilisi on the southwestern shore of the lake. Some people take the (expensive) ferry from there to Kariba but the road as marked should be very doable on a bike albeit with some serious patches of thick sand.

You may want to find out if bikes are allowed in the Chizirira game reserve that is on your way to Kariba (the town) by road. The view over the Zambezi rift is truly something to behold. No need to be wary of big and dangerous game in this particular reserve as its remote location has made it a favourite target of poachers. Kariba town is also a nice camping stopover. From there you can attempt Mana Pools (even if bikes are allowed I would be a bit wary as elephant, hippo, lion and the likes roam all over the place and through the unfenced campsites. You will feel better if you know you can look up the safety of an enclosed vehicle should need be). From Mana or Kariba you can shoot south to Chinoyi, Gweru (cool stopover at a game park just outside town), Masvingo  and Great Zimbabwe before going west again, perhaps overnighting at Buluwayo and exiting at Plumtree (Botswana) after seeing the Matobo's.

Oh yes, one advantage of going by bike is that you do not pay a toll fee at the numerous "toll stops" that seem to be put up at random every morning. Otherwise things are cool, the shops in the bigger towns are fairly well stocked, the US dollar will serve you well, cigarettes are dirt cheap and I found it to be a very friendly country.

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Offline RooiBaron

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 05:13:36 pm »

Thanks for the advice guys. Awesome RR Adventurer!!!
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Geotraveller

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 06:23:15 pm »
If you are going to the Falls, send me PM with dates and I will see what i can do for ya. My old stomping grounds in another life and I still have mates there.
 

Offline Tonteldoos

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 09:11:11 pm »
Personaly I would not enter Mana with a single vehicle or on a bike..
Some tasters.. :biggrin:
Being stranded on the road might lead to you becoming road kill.. Hiena, Elephant, Hippo patrols the camp along with some other. None the less beautiful place!!

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Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 09:17:39 pm »
Hi, send me a pm with your email address and I'll send you my routes...did Zim in May 2011 and 12, really great trips and country.

Wayne
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline RooiBaron

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2013, 10:19:44 pm »
@Tonteldoos - Mana poele lyk moerse lekker! Lyk of julle 'n lekker wille tyd daar gehad het! Ek dreig nou al jare om te gaan, maar stem, daai is 'n trip om in 'n hok gedoen te word...
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Offline Tonteldoos

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 10:48:43 pm »
@Tonteldoos - Mana poele lyk moerse lekker! Lyk of julle 'n lekker wille tyd daar gehad het! Ek dreig nou al jare om te gaan, maar stem, daai is 'n trip om in 'n hok gedoen te word...
Daai Desember trip was seker een van die beste trips in my lewe.. Ek en my seun is via Bots na Vic Falls  - Livingstone  Met die pont oor en al Zambie burokrasie. Livingstone was awesome to deur Zambia na Kariba. Daar my broer ontmoet net buite Mana se ingang en 'n paar dae spandeer in Mana. Beste tyd! Terug via Chinhoyi en Mazvikadei waar my broer bly. Laaste pitstop was die Zim ruines en terug na SA 12dae in totaal  maar ek het gewens ek het nog en maand gehad (met die gepaardgaande geld  :biggrin:

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2013, 02:17:40 pm »
did this trip happen.. is there a RR??

I am hopefully doing Zim 2nd - 12 Aug
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Tonteldoos

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2013, 11:01:02 pm »
did this trip happen.. is there a RR??

I am hopefully doing Zim 2nd - 12 Aug
Did it ala 4x4 as Mana Pools was on the cards, hence no RR..
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2013, 11:52:23 pm »
I was referring to RooiBaron
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline RooiBaron

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2013, 07:46:56 am »
@ Fuzzy Muzzy - nope, didn't go at the end. Did a awesome 5000km (of which about 4000km offroad) tour through our own country. Still busy writing the RR.

Anyway, I sent you an email with some Zim info that I received from other members.
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2013, 09:02:39 am »
Spot on, thanks a mil  :thumleft: looking forward to seeing your RR

Muz
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Nox

Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2013, 09:05:06 am »
Hi,

Don't want to start a new thread, so hope this fine.

My wife requested we drive with our trusty Tblack to VicFalls over december, but after reading this post, I am not so sure on the best rout, Zim attractions and better border posts to cross.

I have no problem driving in sand, if I go on a solo ride, but I know my better half will insist on those 3 boxes being loaded, and when ipI say loaded, I mean loaded!!!!

I want to have a fun trip, and if we go throug Botswana, that will be cool as well, but should I not consider to take our 4 x 4 Hilux and do the trip?

My concerns are the conservation areas and we want to be back in Bloem in 12 days?

Your thoughts please!
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Zimbabwe advice please
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2013, 10:22:15 am »
excuse my ignorance but what is a Tblack ?
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0