This article is about holidays to Africa, where I was born. It explores the best way to visit the wild and unspoilt regions of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana including Victoria Falls, Kariba Dam and Chobe River.
Having grown up in Southern Africa, I have a special passion and interest for this part of Africa. I was born in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia as it was called then) and went to High School in Harare (called Salisbury in those days). I went to University in South Africa and worked briefly in Johannesburg before moving to London over 25 years ago. I still have a passion for, and fond memories of, the nature and outdoors of the Zimbabwe and surrounding parts of Africa. Today it still remains a wilder, and more unspoilt part of the world, than some of the more popular safari areas like Kenya and Kruger in South Africa.
The Golden Triangle and The Flame of Africa
At the World Travel Market held in London, I caught up with and interviewed Brett McDonald who runs a company called Flame of Africa that focuses on tourism in what he calls “The Golden Triangle”. This is the amazing Victoria Falls and the massive 230 kilometre long Lake Kariba (both of which are on the Zimbabwe/ Zambia border), and the Chobe River in Botswana.
For me, the Victoria Falls remains my most favourite and impressive destination and attraction I have ever visited. You can listen to my podcast about it, and read my article on The Victoria Falls as well as the stunning Royal Livingstone Hotel on the banks of the Zambesi to see why. You can also watch a video of bungee jumping off the bridge that runs between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Tips for Travellers Podcast about Flame of Africa’s Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba and Chobe Trips.
I have made a podcast of my interview with Brett McDonald from Flame of Africa as part of my Tips for Travellers Podcast. You can listen to my Tips for Travellers Podcast with Brett McDonald online by clicking this link, or subscribe to the Tips for Travellers Podcast on iTunes and download there to listen on the go.
Brett McDonald of Flame of Africa has Pride, Knowledge and Passion.
Flame of Africa developed out of the old Flame Lily Tour company that had been created in 1958 to promote tours around Zimbabwe. Brett bought Flame Lily Tours and developed a tourism business, after having lost his farm and possessions in Zimbabwe as a result of the farm invasions and take overs driven by the government there.
He is incredibly positive about the region despite this upheaval, and offers a number of unique travel options that he can package as a bundle to ensure travellers see the most of the region.
This includes things like:
• Luxury boat charter on Lake Kariba. The Lady Jaqueline that can be chartered at around 600 euros a day for up to 23 people. It has a chef on-board and can travel the whole length of the lake should you want to.
• The Zambesi Queen, which is a luxury boat on the Chobe River in Botswana. It has 14 cabins holding a total of 28 people and departs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This luxury vessel can only travel 23 kilometres, due to the depth of the river, but it travels through an area that has the highest density of wild animals of anywhere in the world. So you will see huge amounts of wild life. This costs about 300 euros per person per night.
• He also though can arrange tours and accommodation in Victoria Falls and the Hwange Game Reserve close by. As he has all his own vehicles and lots of contacts (over 3500 in his mobile phone alone!) he can offer great prices. He usually mixes the expensive elements like the boats with cheaper but quality places on land to get an overall affordable package.
Take a listen to the podcast and hear his passion and advice. You will want to book after listening to him. He recommends you work directly with them as they can then discuss and tailor it all. You then are in their hands from landing until departing, so all is guaranteed to run smoothly.
I love the region, and was even more excited after talking to him. I need to get back there again very soon!