Day 4: Livingstone - Kasane

Kasane Travel Blog

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border crossing into Botswana
Our first day of the tour proper, and probably the most boring day of the whole tour. The morning was spent in Livingstone, allowing people a final e-mail check or some shopping before we would leave Zambia.

Each truck Acacia Travel uses has a name, and our home for the next three weeks would be the Kavana. These trucks are custom built for overlanding expeditions and no two are the same. Basically it is a truck, with a type of coach cabin on the back of it. Inside there are 24 seats, a couple of tables, baggage racks and individual lockers. Furthermore there's a fridge, a power point for recharging camera batteries and a radio with jack for MP3 players. On the outside of the trucks there are many compartments for the camping and cooking gear.

Although this is meant to be a holiday, everyone has to do some chores on the road.
border crossing into Botswana
Besides from having to pitch your tent every night, the group was also divided into four teams, who had to assist with cooking, washing up, packing and cleaning on a daily basis. Riaan and Juliana are very relaxed though. While with some overland tours you have to cook for the whole group as well, Juliana likes cooking so much, that she does it every night, with the assistance of the cooking team of the day. This made that the food every night was a genuine feast. Not the type of pasta or rice dishes one can expect if you let a group of total strangers cook for 14 people, but hearty stews, stir-fries or barbecues instead. Always with several side dishes and desert. Guess we're very lucky to have them as our guides.  

It was a short drive to the border. We crossed the border at the point where the Chobe river flows into the Zambezi, a natural crossroad where four countries meet: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
border crossing into Botswana
We headed into Botswana by ferry and it was marvellous to see how crossing the border involves knowing (and bribing) the right people in order to jump the queue and get a ferry across the river. I wondered what would happen if you'd travel here on your own, unaware of the queue jumping system. You could be here all day, and then you'd have to make sure to take the right ferry so as not to end up in the wrong country.

At the Botswana control post things went as smooth as they had gone in Zambia, and half an hour later we had reached the town of Kasane, which would be our base for the first two nights. So far this whole overlanding had been a very easy and leisure experience.

We stayed the night at the Thebe Lodge, another campground/hostel/lodge combination, once again with a terrific bar overlooking the river.
campsite in Kasane, the first night with the whole group
Different river though, the Chobe instead of the Zambezi, and the waterfront actually has to be fenced here, to keep the wildlife out and the tourists in.

As there were three Acacia groups staying at this camp-site together, the guides had decided to organise a joint barbecue. It would be an opportunity to get to know each other, while the guys that had come from Nairobi would have a last night together with their old group as well, as they were heading to Johannesburg from here.

The getting to know each other was done by a special South African drink, called “Mother's Daughter” of which Riaan always has a bottle available on the truck. With a alcohol percentage of 70% this stuff is lethal. Each person was required to stand up in front of the group, tell a little bit about their work and travel experience and then down a shot of Mother's Daughter and say their full name straight after. If you'd fail to say your name, or hesitated, you'd have to drink another shot.
Surprisingly enough the girls fared much better than the boys.

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border crossing into Botswana
border crossing into Botswana
border crossing into Botswana
border crossing into Botswana
border crossing into Botswana
border crossing into Botswana
campsite in Kasane, the first nigh…
campsite in Kasane, the first nig…
we welcome you to our home
we welcome you to our home
How many Dutch, Belgians and Itali…
How many Dutch, Belgians and Ital…
Kasane
photo by: jeffy