A budget tourist’s experience

Traversing the green covered land across the Chobe District, it is evident that both animals and humans have enjoyed the late December rains.

The trees and grass are blossoming and the Chobe area enroute to Kazungula and Kasane becomes even a shorter drive from the capital city Gaborone, as wildlife is easily visible to any tourist’s pleasure. The elephants cross the roads into the wilderness and it is amazing how much respect this animal commands. The handful traffic comes to a standstill as some take a moment to photograph the elephant from closer distance; it is certainly interesting to see this gigantic animal carry on with its normal life naturally and not in a game park. It becomes even beautiful to see it graze alongside its calves. Botswana has the highest population of elephants in Africa with over 212 000 herds.

Kasane is one tourist attraction in this country that enjoys the influx of local and international tourists during the festive season. Meeting fellow tourists and backpackers from as far as South Korea and Germany who had never seen a live elephant or hippo also came as a nice experience. The route between Maun and Kasane also seems to be a common and a must do for most tourists. The road trip from Gaborone to Livingstone Zambia, takes us through Ghanzi, Maun, Kasane, Kazungula and finally Livingstone, a tourist town in Zambia about 80km from Kasane. Visiting Kasane is a bargain if you intend to see the Victoria Falls either on the Zambian or Zimbabwean side because a day’s trip is possible from Kasane.

The Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the World; no matter how many times one has visited this place before, it remains a breathtaking experience that for some is true tangible evidence that there is a supreme being who created this earth and its wonders. From Livingstone town we get a taxi for a 15 minutes-drive to experience the Victoria Falls also known as Mosi oa Thunya. Things can really be simple for a budget tourist who mingles with the locals. From getting the public transport from Kazungula border post into Livingstone, negotiating taxi prices in a foreign country, a currency we barely understand and learning a few words of the vernacular in two days, my travel mates and I managed to maneuver our way into the land of the famous Chipolopolo, the name of Zambia’s national soccer team.

This town has everything on sale in the streets, from beer, whiskeys, condoms and even forex. Befriending locals makes everything cheaper as they always know a cheaper way of doing the expensive tourist activities in their towns. For tourists with a big budget, it is easy to rely on tour agencies to coordinate and organise all their planned activities and that remains uncommon for a backpacker who carries a tent throughout the trips. Mosi oa Thunya and David Livingstone, who is said to have discovered the Victoria Falls in 1855, are valued in this town. The town is named after David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and the local beer is name ‘Mosi’ after Mosi oa Thunya.

The roaring sound of falls is heard from as far as the Zambia/Zimbabwe border post in Livingstone and if you listen carefully, it could be a sound to meditate under. History says the waterfalls have been in existence from approximately 250 years. Bungee jumping and bridge slide are common tourist activities at the famous Victoria Falls Bridge. The bridge has been in existence for close to 110 years, creating a link between Zimbabwe and Zambia and easing trade and transportation.

Last modified on Friday, 10 January 2014 10:28

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