4WD-5. Zambia 2015 Expedition. Extended episodes

This page lists the 16 episodes of the 2015 Zambia and Malawi Expedition. These are extended length videos that are not confined to TV lengths, which means that we included almost everything we shot, and the story is more interesting.

These videos document an expedition undertaken to find out if Zambia is indeed what it claims – ‘Africa’s Friendliest Country‘. And also to find out if, with minimal equipment and a stock four-wheel drive pickup, an exciting and ambitious African bush safari can be completed safely and in comfort.

Zambia

Part-1. Preparation

Andrew works with various gear resellers in Johannesburg to equip the stock Isuzu KB 4×4 pickup that he and Kate will be driving to Zambia. He shares experiences with items like camp chairs, cooking gas, GoPro cameras and more. The episode concluses with a visit to the Getaway Show, South Africa’s biggest outdoor trade show, where he has his Leatherman services and buys a hat. This introduces the idea that driving a stock vehicle, with just the basic list of accessories for the trip, might just be enough to have a truly awesome experience. Zambia and Malawi will be the acid test.

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Part-2. Packing Light

The vehicle preparation continues with fitting a aluminium canopy. Why aluminium and how strong are they really? A roof rack built by Ezi-Awn is fitted, followed by one of their roof tents. Finally, Andrew’s favourite tyres go on, but this is a new model. Some advice follows about fitting tyres in a bush environment. 17 minutes. The trip begins with Andrew and Kate on the road in Botswana.

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Part-3. Botswana to the Zambezi

Andrew, accompanied by his well-travelled daughter Kate, drive through Botswana, wild camp at the roadside, cross the Okavango River and enter Zambia. After a first night stop at Camp Nkwazi on the Zambezi River, the next stop is the virtually unknown Ngonye Falls en route to the fabled Luiwa Plains in the far, remote, north-west of the country.

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Part-4. Heading West

The episode begins at the edge of the Zambezi River, where Andrew advises on border crossing issues, and then finds that the Isuzu’s load-bay is awash with stinking diesel. Andrew and Kate then clear up the mess before heading to Ngonye Falls, dubbed by some and the second Victoria Falls. More products are introduced including Parakito mosquito armbands. The episode concludes as the first of many river-crossings is negotiated on the route up to Luiwa Plains.

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Part-5. Heat

The episode opens on the morning at Ngonya Falls campsite, where Andrew shows the rudimentary fittings and bathrooms. As the sun rises, the springtime temperatures soar, as the Isuzu heads further west and onto the plains on the approach to Luiwa Plains. The river crossing is delayed by a broken pont, after which dust, roadworks and terrible roads slow progress to a crawl. The second river crossing goes a bit quicker, but not enough to save the day. Andrew and Kate bed down in a dilapidated lodge with serious and comical health and safety issues.

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Part-6. Luiwa to Kafue

The episode opens after a long day in the truck, with a few river crossings behind us, but running behind on schedule. We find ourselves in the town of Kalabo, close to the Luiwa Plains National Park. Slow going has meant that we have been unable to enter the park. Our rest stop reveals some comical health and safety concerns, but a bright new day expected. Due to time issues, we are forced to forgo Luiwa Plains, and head east to Kafue National park, which is where we spend the following night – camped on the river in an idyllic setting.

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Part-7. Kafue National Park

Day-7 and our visit to the Kafue National Park. A more relaxed day spending time in a local town buying air-time to be able to communice with our loved ones at home – the first time in seven days. On the drive through Kafue to the Kufala Campsite we saw very little game animals, but were troubled by tsetse flies. The afternoon and evening is spent in the reserve talking about the African bush experience.

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Part-8. Bush-wise in Zambia

Time spent talking about expeditions in Africa and advice on how to stay safe. The day concludes with a return to the river camp, and a close encounter with an elephant.

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Part-9. Remote Wilderness

Morning breaks on the Kafue River as we take a boat trip into the National Park. Far more rewarding that the road trip, the morning sunlight on the water is spectacular. The drive continues towards the Luangwa National Park, the part of the Zambia expedition that I had been most looking forward to. We cross the bridge over the Luangwa River, and it’s depressingly dry. A long, tiring day on the road is rewarded by one of the finest wild bush camps I have ever enjoyed.

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Part-10. Wild Camp

We wake in one of the most spectacular wild camp sites I have enjoyed for many years, located close to the Luangwa National Park. Animals surround our humble campsite. We talk about some kits we are using on the expedition, as well as talk about roof-top tents, and the tyres that we chose for this trip.

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Part-11. Magnificent Luangwa

Luangwa National Park is extraordinary. It’s day ten. The day is spend exploring more of the area, rich in game and even though this is not the best time of year, animals still abound. For the first night we stay in luxury accommodation at Flat Dogs camp. From there is Croc Valley Camp, and a game drive to remember.

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Part-12. Magnificent Luangwa-2

The game encounters in South Luangwa are extraordinary. In this episode I indulge myself with some rich animal photography and sound recordings. The episode concludes as we hit the road and head further east toward Malawi.

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Part-13. Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is everything I had dreamt of an more. First introduced to Lake Malawi as a child reading an Africa picture book, my visit here is the culmination of 40 years of wanting to see the Lake for myself. We are staying at Blue Zebra lodge, a luxury camp on placed on an island. Arriving two hours late for our rendezvous, we narrowly miss our ride to the island, so my first impressions aren’t what I hoped they would be. But the island is truly magical, and Kate and I take canoes out onto the lake to look for some illusive rare fish.

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Part-14. The Heart of Africa

Lake Malawi experience is extraordinary for both me and Kate. Today we go snorkelling in the gin clear waters and later drive northwards to experience true Malawi. Roads are congested with trucks and bicycles, so the going is extremely slow. But the reward of watching the fisher people at work is an awesome African experience.

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Part-15. Lower Zambezi

Our expedition concludes just outside of the Lower Zambezi National park, camped at Mvuu (Hippo) Lodge on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. kate goes fishing while I talk about what a rich, learning experience Zambia and Malawi has been.

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Part-16. Finale. What we have learnt.

This is where the bits that were not included in the travelogue are presented. We talk about the Isuzu KB pickup, the tyres, the canopy, our favourite bits of kits, and the concept of travelling light, with minimal equipment, and how that turned out. Also, I talk about how this series was photographed.

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Extra. How I shot the Zambia Expedition.

This is an intro to the series, and gives insight as to how I shot the series, and the camera equipment I used.

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The End