Whence the Slow Donkey reference? The donkey bit has nothing to do with any misperceived stubbornness from Anne nor any physical attribute of mine. Our tractor-like Land Cruiser 76 series 4.2 diesel station wagon is slow (but oh so steady) and is disparagingly referred to as a donkey.

It was with “tremendous anticipation and barely contained excitement” that the date for our trans-African journey drew closer. It had been a long time coming and with my specifically planned retirement just over a year previously, I had plenty of time to prepare for this adventure of a lifetime. In principal we have no time limits set for this trip. We envisage more or less a year away and are most fortunate in not having to apply strict budget constraints. We plan to drive there and also all the way back. The “there” has not been finalized but will possibly be as far as Egypt. To claim the iconic Cape to Cairo trophy is not on our agenda. We will start off on our own to allow the flexibility of only having our own whims to consider. Our main focus will be on wilderness areas, wildlife and the isolation and beauty of the more out of the way destinations. We both love the coast as well. We would also like to immerse ourselves somewhat in the local culture and meet the locals where appropriate. In my opinion we have the capability needed to visit the most remote of destinations.


As time has passed so has some perspective been obtained. For those planning to visit any of these countries I hope the lists will give some idea of my personal opinions. Most of the lists are in no particular order and in fact are probably incomplete.

In order of preference.
1. Tanzania
2. Kenya (a very short head behind, not quite as wild as Tanzania).
3. Uganda
4. Botswana
5. Zambia
6. Namibia
7. Rwanda
8. Sudan
9. Ethiopia.




• Anne having her one and only asthmatic attack at Khama Rhino Sanctuary, presumably from the Permethrin sprayed onto the inside of the RTT before leaving.
• Tree rats in vehicle fom CKGR northwards for some weeks.
• Nearly picking up a puff adder at Sunday Pan CKGR.
• Tick infestation at Passarge Pan campsite no 2, CKGR.
• The very tough mutton ribs bought at Beef Boyz in Maun.
• Sandy campsites in Savuti, Chobe NP.




This report appeared in our regional daily newspaper, The Daily Dispatch, from which I borrowed the title for our daily blog. Published on Monday 22/2/2016. The journalist is a very keen self-drive traveler himself. The weekly column entitled "The Chiel" often addresses conservation and wildlife topics. I have been busy with some Powerpoint presentations to various interest groups and have more coming up.

"UP AFRICA: not for sissies

The journey home. Thursday 14 January, day 281, week 36. Ithumela Camp.


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”. – Marcel Proust.


• Botswana.

• Ithumela Camp in Palapye.

• Distance covered 649km, taking 7hr 30min.

Another early start. We were really not sure how far we would get this day. Both Nata Lodge and Woodlands near Francistown seemed a little close. Gaborone seemed too far.


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