So this has been a long time coming…. a match made in HEAVEN!
Completion of the Frankmobil1 (FM1) and the need to add Zimbabwe as a destination to the Safarifrank offering… where better to put the new vehicle through its paces than some of the wildest places in Africa!
Welna and I were so excited to see the final product when we arrived in Maun. And we were not disappointed!
The project is a collaborate effort between Safraifrank, Iveco, Expedition Vehicles Australia, Travelander and Kavango Extreme. What a Team to produce one of the BEST overland vehicles in Africa!
The road trip route took us from Maun to Pandamatenga, Hwange, Vic Falls, Binga, Kariba, Mana Pools, Lower Zambezi and Livingstone before returning to Maun via Kasane, some 4000 kms in just over 3 weeks!
In Hwange we spent some time walking with one of the local legends Spike Williamson at Hwange Bush Camp.
We also bundu bashed our way to Jozibanini in the south of the Park (7 hours for 110km’s!) where we had one of the best ellie sightings ever!
We were impressed with the vibe in Vic Falls where there seems to be many new initiatives and it remains a safe and friendly environment. How can one ever tire of views like this…
The back road from Binga to Kariba… enough said…. anybody in the know would tell you that it is one of the most ‘interesting’ roads in Africa. Well it took us 10 hours to do the 500km and the FM1 did an AMAZING job to say the least! Despite its size and weight it is incredibly ‘surefooted’ and absolutely flies over some of the worst corrugation imaginable, thanks to the large wheels/tyres and King shocks…. pretty unbelievable in fact.
At Mana Pools we spent an incredible time with another Zim guiding legend, Andy Smith. Cruising the channels of the Zambezi in a canoe and walking the flood plains with him is one of the best safaris that one can do and an experience not to be missed.
Welna and I then camped at Chitake Springs (about 40km inland from the Zambezi at Mana Pools) one of our favourite spots in Africa. True to its reputation as one of the wildest places in Africa and not for ‘first timers’ or the faint hearted, we had another incredible time there. The Travelander camper once again made our day when we were able to setup camp in 30 seconds when it was getting dark pretty fast!
The next stop was Lower Zambezi in Zambia where we stayed at some great spots and also enjoyed the varied terrain and activities on offer in this jewel of a Park.
The last stop was Livingstone where we explored all the town has to offer and stayed at the very romantic Sindabezi…
Once back in Botswana and on the way to Maun we had a great ellie sighting next to the road, what a great way to finish an incredible road trip.
Suffice to say that the Frankmobil1 exceeded our expectations and we can’t wait to put it through its paces again on the Liuwa expedition in November, BRING it on!