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Unlimited fun with Unlimited Tours on a Mobile Safari - 4Rivers at Kwando plus Vic Falls excitement - Green season January 2024


Hads

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Last year I turned 50 and I decided I wanted to experience something different on go on another Safari adventure.

I got plenty of feedback and idea's from @Alex The Lion, @michael-ibkand @Africaloverand @madaboutcheetah.

 

I wanted to do a mobile safari with my family and finish off with a lodge somewhere (with a good chance to see Wild dogs).

Our Mobile Safari - this was a toss-up between Unlimited Tours https://www.unlimitedsafari.com/ and Letaka Safari's https://www.letakasafaris.com/

Both seemed awesome companies with very good reputations.

In the end I decided to go with Unlimited Tours.

Why?? Well firstly they were flexible with travel dates, they gave 50% off for kids under 12 which helped on budget and their guides had very good feedback.

I worked closely with Tom from Unlimited who helped put the itinerary together.

They have 2 guides, Moses Ntema (I think he is the owner) and Joster.

We were allocated Joster, firstly he is fantastic and was great with kids and has the eyes of a Martial eagle. I will talk more about Joster and the rest of the team during the report.

As we were going in the Green season, I was very nervous about getting too much rain and effecting our trip.

Well after the first 2 days on Safari on our way to Khwai, I thought this could be a disaster as the heavens opened up (more on that later)

 

Our itinerary looked like this:

Vic Falls - 14th - 16th January 2 nights, we stayed at the Drift Inn lodge - https://driftinnvicfalls.com/ 

We then travelled by road from Vic Falls early morning arriving at the Botswana border near Kasane.

This day was a massive travel day of about 350km's from Vic Falls to Khwai - there were doubts we could do it, especially with the weather.

Kasane to Khwai is about 250 - 270 km's I think.

Mobile Safari - 3 Nights in Khwai from 16th to 19th January

Mobile Safari - 3 Nights in Moremi (Xini Lagoon) from 19th to the 22nd of January.

Kwando 4Rivers lodge - 3 nights from 22nd to 25th January

 

Here are a few intro photo's - I won't get back to the report for a few weeks due to work commitments.

 

The trip was an absolute adventure and the whole family had a ball.

We had no shortage of rain the first couple of days, magic rainbows, plenty of predators, vehicle breakdowns, and getting stuck - and plenty of fun :) 

 

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Edited by Hads
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Treepol

From elephants to butterflies, I'm looking forward to this TR when you have time to write more.

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Africalover

@HadsI am thrilled that you seemed to had a great Safari with UTS. You can never go wrong with them.

I am so much looking forward to your trip report.

Cheers.

Michael

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offshorebirder

Nice intro @Hads  I too am looking forward to this trip report.

 

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@Hadsgreat start!  looking forward to more.

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Atravelynn

Those butterflies are compliments of green season.  350 kms in a day is ambitious!  Looking forward to the report.

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michael-ibk

A great teaser!

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Thanks all for jumping onboard the trip so far.

@Africaloverthanks again for your recommendation for UTS, they did not let us down.

The weather made things interesting at times though :) 

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Posted (edited)

VIC Falls.

We stayed at Vic falls at a small bed and breakfast called Drift Inn.

I was very impressed by the cleanliness and the homely feel to the place. From memory they had about 7-8 separate rooms each with an ensuite.

The managers who run the place from memory are Maxwell and Emelia, they looked after all our needs and transfers (airport and tours etc). Breakfast was full English breakfast.

You could help yourself to tea and coffee whenever you wanted to.

It had a lovely pool with an honesty bar, it was a great place to relax and have a swim and cold drink and read a book.

I highly recommend this place if you're looking for something nice and clean with very good hosts.

The local Taxi company they used was called EMMANUEL Taxi's , emmanueltaxis@yahoo.com +263 772 645 104, we had a driver called Lemon who picked us up from the airport and other small trips we did. Very good reliable service. 

 

Drift advisor has more info - https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g293761-d1197856-Reviews-Drift_Inn-Victoria_Falls_Matabeleland_North_Province.html

 

Drift inn 1.jpeg

The family dog is very friendly and keen to play.

Drift inn 2.jpeg

 

Drift inn 3.jpeg

Edited by Hads
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Posted (edited)

As we only had 2 nights in Vic falls we were very busy.

This is my 3rd trip to Vic falls but first with my wife and kids and I wanted them to get a great experience here.

Day 1 - We did an evening Dinner river cruise on the Zambezi on the Zambezi breeze - the food and service were excellent. 4 course meal with unlimited drinks.

 

Day 2 - Morning - We did a tour on Livingstone island to Devil Pool,  https://devilspool.net/ , this was a fantastic and exhilarating experience for the family, a little scary though as the water was flowing fast.

             Lunch - Look out Cafe , kids also did the Gorge swing. 

             Afternoon - we walked the Vic falls and took a visit to the Vic Falls hotel.

             Dinner - BOMA restaurant - great fun evening with traditional food and entertainment.

 

Evening Dinner Cruise - by this stage I felt that I was starting to relax and get into the groove.

Photo's with I-Phone only.

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The clouds were building.

Zambezi River 4.jpeg

 

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Zambezi River 10.jpeg

Edited by Hads
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Posted (edited)

Day 2  - Livingstone Island, Devils Pool tour.

This was our highlight of Vic Falls.

Getting to swim and hang at the end of the Falls was amazing, 100 metres below is the jagged rocks and thousands of litres of water pouring over the falls per second.

Because the water was reasonably high and the flow quite fast , 2 guides held onto both legs as you got to experience hanging at the edge of the falls.

I  went first but felt quite anxious and nervous when my wife and kids did it, your full trust in the 2 guides with your family, one slip and they are over the edge :( .But all went well and we had a wonderful experience.

We were picked up at our lodge at 7.30am and then crossed the border into Zambia. We went through the formalities and signed indemnity forms then got on a small boat and transferred to Livingstone island, about a 5-10 minute trip.

We checked out the Angel falls first before entering into the Devil Pool, to get access to Devil Pool you cross a fast-flowing section of river and hang on tightly to 2 ropes. I remember one lady trying to go across started to panic and she was helped by 2 guides.

All I-Phone photo's.

Livingstone 1.jpeg

Boarding the boat taxi

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Welcoming drink

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My youngest - the 2 guides are holding onto his feet :) 

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My eldest

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My middle 

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You can see on the map below Livingstone Island - Devils pool is in the Blue circled area

Livingstone 20.jpeg

After our swim in the Devils Pool we all enjoyed a lovely breakfast and coffee - the whole group was buzzing.

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Livingstone 21.jpeg

Edited by Hads
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Posted (edited)

Once we returned back to Vic falls town we went had lunch at the Lookout Cafe

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Edited by Hads
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Posted (edited)

After the kids did the swing we went and had a wonderful walk through the Vic Falls.

Devils Cataract

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Livingstone Island and were we swam and were held by our feet at the edge of the Falls.

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After a lovely walk through the falls I took the family to the famous Vic falls hotel.

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Edited by Hads
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Posted (edited)

To top off our adventure-filled day we went to the BOMA restaurant and experienced a wonderful traditional night of Zimbabwean cuisine and dance.

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Eating Mopane worms

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Edited by Hads
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Peter Connan

I guess you have heard the one about Van der Merwe the Vic falls tour guide? When the lady asked him whether tourists often fall over the edge at Devil's Pool, he said "no ma'am, only once".

That looks like a scary experience. When we were there we really only had time for the walk along the edge (we had driven in from Bots on a day visit and the border crossing had been pretty slow), but the water was a lot higher than during your visit, as we were all soaked to the bone, and you guys all looks reasonably dry.

 

There is so much to do there, but it looks like you did most of the worth-while experiences, except maybe the helicopter flight.

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Hi @Peter Connan, Van Der Merwe surely has a sense of humour.

Interestingly though apparently one of the guides may have gone over the edge, not sure whether or not to believe the guide who took us :mellow:.

Another full day in Vic falls would of been nice, we jammed in as much as we could in 2 nights.

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Treepol

Lots of great family memories made on this trip @Hads

 

 

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Atravelynn
On 3/18/2024 at 12:21 AM, Peter Connan said:

I guess you have heard the one about Van der Merwe the Vic falls tour guide? When the lady asked him whether tourists often fall over the edge at Devil's Pool, he said "no ma'am, only once".

 

:P

 

Such adventurous children.  The top of the falls and the swinging ropes make my knees weak!  I did like the pretty rainbow!

 

Edited by Atravelynn
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Alex The Lion

Looks like a wonderful trip @Hads

 

You have some very fortunate children!

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AfricIan

This is looking like a fantastic trip @Hads, we were at the falls with the children some 27years ago and our plan was to visit the falls then go to the VF Hotel for a drink & cake however we didn't think 4 drowned rats would get the most enthusiastic of welcomes at the hotel :wacko:.  Whilst Vicky & I have returned to the VF Hotel since, it's still missing from the childrens list :(.

 

Good to see the Boma is still going strong & Mopane Worms are still on the Menu - you haven't told us what the childrens opinion on the worms were :unsure:

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Wow that brings back some memories...I actually did the Devil's Pool myself and it was the thrill of a lifetime---I don't know what got into me, I can't believe I did it! I am with that panicking lady though...getting across to the pool was the worst part, and I also needed help!

 

But zip-lining...uh, no.  Looks like the kids and all had a fabulous time!

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madaboutcheetah

Moses was one of my first guides in Botswana .... about 20 years ago!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it .....

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  • 4 weeks later...

Apologies I should have a few days available now to get back into this trip report.

Thanks to all who are following along thus far.

 

I will give a detailed run down of our trip from Vic falls to Khwai - yes we did this in one day .............. :). Some of you may find it interesting.

I was contacted a few days before we left by our tour operator Tom and he asked if we would be interested in flying from Kasane to Khwai instead of flying due to decent rains that had fallen 

As a family we thought long and hard about it but in the end it would cost us another $450-500USD each to do this and this plus I thought it would be nice to see the scenery along the way, so we opted with the long drive of approximately 90 km's from Vic Falls to the Bots border and then about 270kms from Kasane to Khwai.

 

We were picked up at 0700 hrs by Bush Track Safari's (Lucky was the driver) and we arrived at the Kazangula border post around 0800 hrs in pouring rain (this was a sign of things to come this day).

Once we checked through customs we were taken to Chobe Safari lodge were we were to meet our Unlimited tours guide Joster (an amazing guide, I highly rate Joster).

When we arrived Joster was unfortunately late due to car troubles he had the night below.

Joster travelled up from Maun to Kasane the day before in bad weather and had car trouble due to the pouring rain, poor Joster did not get much sleep the night before due to being stuck on the side of the road for awhile with Buffalo's close by.

Considering what he went through he did an amazing Job driving through difficult roads with lakes of water and getting us safely to Khwai.

We did not get our camera's out at all due to the rain the whole day.  All these photo's are with an I-Phone at low resolution.

 

Waiting at Chobe Safari Lodge enjoying a coffee - we put some dry clothes on as we got very wet at the border post.

 

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Our chariot for the next week

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We left Chobe Safari lodge at around 10 am - we had only another 270km's to go and because of the rain it was a real adventure :) 

Before not too long we were travelling through the Chobe Forest reserve where we saw our first Sable (3 lovely bulls) , ground hornbill, hyena and Elephants.

Joster advised us to put the poncho's on - yes we needed them :) 

 

Leaving Chobe Safari lodge - let the Safari begin.

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Poncho's ready

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Poor quality photo in the rain of the Sable's

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Common scene on the journey to Khwai - water everywhere.

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More rains coming and the rain was heavy..........

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Ghoha gate

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Chobe forest reserve

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Oops upside down :( 

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Butterflies at Ghoha gate

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Ghoha gate through to SAVUTI there was plenty of rain and water

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Edited by Hads
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