The 6th Classic Safari Challenge - 2017

9 October - 5 November 2017

Classic Safari Reports

Safari Diary from the Victoria Falls Hotel - Zimbabwe - October 22

Day 10: Chobe to the Okavango Delta - Delta force - No one was allowed a lie in today, we were scheduled to fly into the Okavango Delta, one of the highlights of the rally, from the modern and efficient Kasane airport.

As such, the rally awoke to the unmistakeable sound of the inhabitants of the nearby Chobe River greeting the day in their own inimitable way, grunting, groaning, screeching and squawking.

Over the course of the morning, a squadron of Cessna and Kodiak bush planes ferried the rally to various camps via remote landing strips. The flight into the Delta, and the Moremi Game reserve, was approximately one hour which meant that by midday, all crews were ensconced in the kind of African style luxury that harks back to yesteryear.

The next forty eight hours passed in a haze of, breakfasts,  lunches, high tea, sundowner drinks, long siestas, dinner and game drives. Some of us were lucky enough to see a pack of wild dogs select, chase and dispatch an impala, as our skilled and knowledgeable guides pressed their heavy duty Toyota Landcruisers deep into the bush so we could slowly tick off the ‘big five’.

Away from the dusty and bumpy land based safaris, there were boats trips to get up close and personal with hippos, crocs and all manner of wading and diving birds.

Surely one of the wonders of the natural world, the cool and clear Okavango, flowing from way up in Angola into Botswana, had perfectly refreshed the crews. And, judging by the reactions upon returning to Kasane, for everyone concerned, this had indeed been a worthwhile diversion. An evening cruise up the Chobe gave everyone a chance to compare notes before dinner on the lawn illuminated by a spectacular electrical storm.

Day 13: Cresta Mowana to Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe - We were back behind our own wheels today as we made the short run to the border crossing into Zimbabwe.

Our destination was the fabulous colonial era Victoria Falls Hotel, where a mid rally Gala Dinner was planned in the Livingstone room. Most crews arrived well before lunch time and wasted no time booking themselves onto excursions and adventure activities for which this area is famous.

Tomorrow is a rest day and what better place to reflect to take some well earned time out?

Day 14: Rest day - Victoria Falls Hotel - Colonial service - This magnificent hotel has lots to offer on a rest day.

The Victoria Falls are one of the wonders of the world and  ‘the smoke that thunders’ or ‘mosi-o-tunya’ is pretty much at the bottom of the hotel gardens. A sheet of falling water falling at around 1,000,000 litres a second is a fantastic sight and could be viewed either by walking down to it or flying over it on one of the helicopter tours which proved very popular.

Crews were free to spend the rest of the day and the evening exploring the town and enjoying some of the local restaurants.

Some light fixing, fettling and bodywork repair went on in both the carpark and the spa.

Syd Stelvio



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