Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Worldwide Motorhoming Holidays from The Camping and Caravanning Club. Our Tailor Made Tour. Getting Ready.

Well, we have finally bitten the bullet and booked the holiday.

Courtesy of Worldwide Motorhoming Holidays from The Camping and Caravanning Club. Tailor Made. We are finally going back to Africa and can't wait. Following my last blog of our experience of the presentations days run by the Camping and Caravanning Club, we have booked and confirmed our trip. Unfortunately, we missed the escorted tour, which was fully booked, so we decided to do a tailor made and go on our own. I must admit I was rather apprehensive about setting off on an African tour just with Den, but after a bit more thought we decided we could do it. Positive thinking then. Let's hope!! After all we have been to Africa twice before and survived uneaten.

 As we will not quite have the same backup as an escorted tour we decided to book a 4 wheel drive vehicle with a roof tent. The roads in South Africa are generally very good but we thought on the Namibian leg of the journey a 4 x 4 would be better and we will carry 2 spare wheels. We liked the idea of sleeping in a roof tent, up high away from any crawly creatures. This is the vehicle for the trip from Bobo Campers 4 x 4 . We won't have our own loo and shower but as we are staying on fully serviced sites we thought we would be OK. We could have had a "proper " camper which would suit a lot of people, but we managed well last time without and we could venture on rougher roads with a 4 X 4.

Just hope we can cope with this, should be cosy.

 We will be carrying 2 tents so we have a choice and a spare in case of emergencies or we could have a tent each! As we are doing a one way trip we had to carry both tents. We have been supplied with a comprehensive list of equipment so we won't need to bring anything except personal bits and clothes.

Here we are on our last trip at Victoria Falls. Pretty dry as it turned out but still very impressive. Looking forward to going back to Zimbabwe for another look. 

On the road in the Kruger on our first Africa trip, we were really lucky with our animal sightings. Managed to spot 4 of the big five, only missed out on the elusive leopard.

Running for the gate in the Kruger. You have to be out by sundown or 6.30 pm if you are on a day ticket. We just made it!.

 We were so lucky to spot these African Wild dogs in Botswana. They look so cute but we stayed firmly in the vehicle behind glass, especially as they had puppies with them.Look at the teeth.

We will this time only be staying on fenced proper campsites, so in theory we should be safe without an escort. All the campsites will be booked by the C&CC and we decided to follow the same route they use for their tour. We have also booked two excursions, a day trip to be re acquainted with Vic Falls and a sunset trip......somewhere in the Caprivi strip! We are starting our adventure in Johannesburg and spending a weekend with Den's sister and her husband, our partners in crime on the last adventure. We are then travelling up to the Kruger for a few days, then up through Botswana through the Caprivi strip and into Namibia. A few days in Etosha followed by a meander down the coast, through the desert over a few sand dunes and back to Cape Town. I stuck out for a couple of nights in a boutique hotel at the end with a proper bed and shower! In all the trip will be an epic ( for us) adventure, of 40 nights away. Checking out the campsites we will be staying on, they all seem relatively civilised, we hope. Most of the sites also have restaurants or food outlets so hopefully we won't starve. We are looking forward to trying out some local supermarkets so we can cook ourselves when we want to.

Here's our proposed route, covering four countries. South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia, around 3,500 miles. We have opted to take our own Sat Nav with Tracks for Africa loaded, we have got some maps but should get further directions for the campsites from Bobo Campers. We will pick up a local Sim for the phone and a data Sim for the mi -fi as we will take a mini lap top. With any luck I may be able to write the blog on the hoof.  

Well, we have had all our jabs ( only typhoid needed this time) everything else is in date. Decided we didn't really need rabies, lets hope we don't get too near to wild dogs or bats. Money sorted, we will take mainly South African Rand ( which you can also use in Namibia) a few Pula, left over from the last Botswana trip, some American Dollars for emergencies and the trusty debit and credit cards, there are ATM's in Africa. As we are going into the malaria zone, we have got a supply of Malarone tablets 30 days worth each. Some were left over from the last trip and I managed to get a new supply from Asda, no prescription needed, you do a questionaire with the pharmacist and they were on special offer at only £1.30 a tablet, a bargain! Travel insurance worldwide courtesy of Nat West Black Account, so we're sorted. We are booked on a 747 this time for the 12 hour flight from Heathrow. We have booked two seats in a block of two so the flight may be a bit more comfy. Just a coach trip to the airport to sort out and we're done.

The Camping and Caravan Club Worldwide dealt with all the bookings including the flights. When the flights were booked we were sent the details so we could book and pay for extras like booking specific  seats, which we did. We were able to tweak the route as much as we wanted but we pretty much stayed with the club recommended route as it's our first solo trip. The lovely Tracy from the club was so patient with us dealing with all our queries very efficiently. She also booked a hotel of our choice in Cape Town recommended by a friend Derwent House Boutique Hotel . Everything is paid for in advance, a deposit on booking and the rest 12 weeks before we go. We thought the prices were very reasonable. The only extras we need to pay for are food, fuel, road tolls and national park fees. Out with the trusty credit card a and a few more points to add to our Tesco vouchers for the Eurotunnel, great recycling!

 Roll on the Autumn. By the way Den, you are not allowed to pack until a week before the trip!!