At KAZA’s heart lies the irresistible Victoria Falls. From here, head in any direction to sample highlights of KAZA in the five countries of this massive transfrontier conservation area; Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It’s Africa largest and most biodiverse tourism region, with lots going on behind the obvious fantastic safari and cultural experiences.
While researching and writing the 36-page KAZA brochure in 2020, I engaged with amazing people active in conservation, community and culture projects and owner-run ventures. This included anti-poaching units, seeing how lion-proof cattle kraals were working, along with lion monitors and WhatsApp groups reporting lion movement into inhabited areas. I helped irrigate crops by pumping water from a hand-dug well using a peddle pump like an exercise bike, and saw how beehives swinging on wires around crops kept elephants away. The resourcefulness of people living amongst wildlife never ceases to amaze me.
Water is the dominant and ever-changing feature of the KAZA landscape, and one which determines when and how to get around. I say that having only just made it along the tracks from Katima Mulilo on the banks of the Zambezi, to lovely Serondela Lodge on the Chobe River. It was February and heavy rain had started to saturate deep puddles along the sand roads. A day or two later and we wouldn’t have made it. As floodwaters tumble down the rivers from Angola’s highlands and reach the KAZA area in about May, Serondela sits on it’s own little floodplain island, completely cut off by road, only accessible by boat.
This applies to many of KAZA’s destinations, and is what makes the Okavango Delta so appealing, as well as other more permanent water sources that swell to capacity, like the Zambezi and Chobe/Linyanti Rivers and Lake Kariba. A houseboat has to be my favourite way to potter about these waters, but waterside lodges with excursion boats do the trick.
I’ve experienced them all; camper-boats on the Zambezi, Lake Kariba Houseboat, right up to the most luxurious Chobe houseboats, and 250 safari camps and lodges in all the safari areas. How did this happen? Therein lies a story for another post.
Before booking your safari please read this article about how your choices can make an impact on the people and wildlife you’ve come to visit. It highlights just some of the lodge operators who are using tourism for greater good, like Great Plains Conservation, Wilderness Safaris, AndBeyond and more.
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