Because I've always wanted to...
In July I spent two weeks travelling down parts of the Chobe and
Upper & Lower Zambezi rivers. My first stop was Ntwala, a
heavenly six room camp surrounded by lush vegetation and the waters
of the Zambezi. Second stop a rather civilised house boat on the
Chobe River in Botswana. Thereafter I visited a selection of
outstanding properties along the banks of the Zambian and Zimbabwe
sides of Victoria Falls. After crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge I
spent several days exploring the local town and enjoying the
multitude of activities available - not the zip lining or the
bungee jump off the bridge for me however!
After my highlight heli trip - pictured above - I headed into
Hwange National Park to explore the many safari camps that are on
offer in this beautiful area. Finally I flew over the Kariba Dam to
an area that is known as the Lower Zambezi where there are a number
of wonderful camps mostly, with one exception, on the Zambian side
of the river.
Below I have selected what I feel are some of the best of the
bunch but by no means the holy grail such is the variety and choice
available to everyone. The flow of water over the falls along with
the low humidity, hot clear days and cool nights makes June -
September a perfect time to visit this stunning part of Africa.
The parks in Zimbabwe, along with the charming town of Victoria
Falls were indeed a pleasant surprise, after all one imagines
regarding recent Zimbabwe politics.
With my best wishes,
Nick Matthews, Laterallife London, UK.
Tongabezi/ Sindabezi - Zambia
Upstream of the falls, Tongabezi would certainly be my pick of
the bunch. If what you enjoy is a small and beautifully stylish
well run hotel, with sumptuous accommodation dotted along the banks
of the river with stunning views of the Zambezi, then Tongabezi is
the one for you. The hotel is situated 20 minutes by road from
Ten minutes away by boat downstream is the smaller, more lateral
option of Sindabezi - not a place for children but certainly one
for those seeking real peace and quiet.
This was the owner's private island retreat which has now been
opened up to visitors of theirs who are happy to stay in luxury
tented accommodation. It has no electricity - just paraffin lamps,
a camp fire and the stars
The Elephant Camp - Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe
This camp, just ten minutes away from the falls, is simply the
perfect place for a family. There are twelve magnificent tents with
en suite bathrooms, wooden decking and plunge pools overlooking the
Part of the experience at this camp is meeting and interacting
with the Wild Horizon elephants which are used for elephant back
There is also the opportunity to meet the resident Wild Life
Trusts ambassador - Sylvester the Cheetah. He was rescued as a cub
and is often seen walking around at breakfast time… on a lead!
The Hide - Hwange National Park - Zimbabwe
Just a twenty minutes charter flight from Victoria Falls and you
will find yourself at The Hide Safari Camp. It is a great favourite
and has been located in the National Park for nearly twenty years.
The camp recently underwent a complete refurbishment and is now one
of the most luxurious in the Park.
It is beautifully managed with a magnificent watering hole right
in the front of all the accommodation, so excellent game viewing is
guaranteed whatever the time of day.
The luxury tented suites are more than one would expect but for
those with a sense of adventure spend a night at the Dove's Nest -
a tree house camp right out amongst it all!!
Ruckomechi Camp - Mana Pools - Zimbabwe
This camp fits in well if you are visiting Victoria Falls, The Hide
in Hwange National Park and then you fancy a few days on the river
with an abundance of game and bird life thrown in.
Boating and kayaking trips are a must do here and if like me,
you have "always wanted to …" catch a Tiger Fish then, as you will
see from the picture, this is a great place to stay!
Elephant, leopard and lion were all very much around to be seen
as well as all the usual bird and game suspects.
Nick's Tiger Fish!
The waters of the Kariba Dam and the Upper and Lower Zambezi
Rivers are teeming with these aggressive, bony, inedible fish!
From July onwards, as the water temperature rises, fish up to 10
kg can be caught. This was a mere 4.4 kg - but it ticked the
"Because I've always wanted to catch a Tiger Fish" box!!
What makes the fishing such a special experience are the views
of the Zambezi, with the Rift mountains as a backdrop as you gently
float down the river.
It was a really unique Africa moment!
The Mongol Rally 2013
Laterallife was proud to be a co-sponsor of these intrepid young
men with the Nissan Micra opposite! The
rules - the car must have an engine size of 1.2
litres or less and there is no set route or help provided along the
way. Essentially, if you get in any sort of trouble it is up to the
individual teams to sort it out! The trip -Leg
1: Bodiam Castle-Romanian coast. Leg
2:Romanian coast to Georgia. Leg
3: Georgia-Turkmenistan Border with
Uzbekistan. Leg 4:Uzbekistan to
Kazakhstan. Leg 5: Kazakhstan to
Russian Mongolian border. Leg 6:
Mongolia, the Chinggis Khan hotel in Ulaanbaatar