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Cats Protection Zambezi River Adventure and Lion Conservation Visit

11th Aug 2022 - 21st Aug 2022

11 days/Zambia /Moderate to Challenging

Overview

After flying from London on an indirect flight you will arrive in Zambia and transfer to the Zambezi where you will meet your canoe guides and support team, freshen up and commence the canoe expedition. You will arrive at your first campsite late this afternoon, situated on a river bank or small island.

After a good night’s rest you will spend three further days canoeing the Lower Zambezi River, the territory of wild crocodiles, hippos and elephants. Travelling through Zambia by water is not only a great personal challenge, but it gives you a unique perspective on the country’s natural beauty, landscapes and wildlife.

After completing your canoe expedition you will transfer to Livingstone, home of Victoria Falls, where you will stay for the next two nights. You will take a visit to the lion conservation project where you will spend the day learning about their conservation efforts and activities throughout Africa. On the way back to Livingstone you will take a visit to the magnificent Victoria Falls.

The next day you will transfer to Botswana to spend two days visiting the superb Chobe National Park. Over the two days you will take part in two game drives and a river cruise, giving you three fantastic opportunities to spot a wide range of wildlife.

On your final day in Zambia you transfer back to Lusaka where you will have your last night and a celebratory farewell dinner. The following day you will go to the airport for your flight home, which may arrive the next day depending on flight schedules.

A moderate to challenging trip. This is due to length of time spent canoeing each day, wide ranging temperatures and basic camping conditions. You should arrive in Zambia with a good fitness level to ensure fast recovery from each day’s exertions.

You will be accompanied by professional English-speaking, first aid trained guides,and support staff. You will also be accompanied throughout by a first aid trained Different Travel Company UK tour manager, and a Cats Protection staff member.

The area of the Lower Zambezi River you will visit is quite wide with tree-lined sandy banks either side. August, the dry season, is a good time for animal spotting on the banks of the Zambezi as the inland streams start drying up and animals travel to the river bank for water. As you paddle downstream you are likely to spot plenty of elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Don’t worry; your local guides will navigate you through the river so you can admire these incredible creatures without disturbing their territory. It is also possible you will spot buffalo, giraffe, the occasional zebra and wildebeest, and if you’re very lucky you may spot a lion or a wild dog. The Zambian sunrise and sunsets are immeasurably beautiful and the entire landscape changes colour as the sun moves through the sky, reflecting off the calm waters.

August is a great time to visit Zambia. It is the middle of the dry season and the coolest month to visit. Temperatures range from 23-27°C during the day and drop to around 0-8°C at night so it’s important that you bring warm layers for the evenings. The weather should be dry and calm with low water levels on the river. Although the temperatures and conditions above are historically accurate, climate change can impact the seasons so you may experience uncharacteristic conditions during the trip which are out of our control. Should this happen the guide will assess the situation and make decisions to ensure the best enjoyment and ultimately safety of the group as a whole.

The day starts with hot drinks and biscuits then after several hours canoeing you will stop for breakfast which will comprise produce such as eggs, pancakes, fruit, toast, bacon, sausages etc. with more hot drinks. Lunch will be an assortment of cold meats, salads, breads and cheeses and dinner will involve a main meat dish with vegetables and potatoes rice or pasta. Dietary requirements can be catered for if we are notified in advance. There is always plenty to do at meal times so get involved and help your guides with preparation.

During the canoe expedition, camp will be set up each night on the banks of the river, or on small islands. You will share two-man tents (two to a tent) which have incorporated mosquito netting. Sleeping bags and thin sleeping mats are provided but you may bring your own mat, for extra comfort. During your days in Livingstone you will stay at a Jollyboys Backpackers lodge (twin or triple share rooms with shared bathroom facilities), you will camp overnight intents at Chobe National Park (two to a tent) with mats and blankets provided, and you will stay in small huts at a Eureka lodge in Lusaka on the final night (twin or triple share with en-suite bathroom facilities).

During the canoe expedition, water will be drawn from the river for washing. You are recommended to bring environmentally friendly shampoo and soap products to keep pollutants to a minimum. Lush (www.lush.co.uk) products are worth considering. Toilet facilities comprise a hole dug into the ground with a small privacy tent. You should bring your own supply of toilet paper and a small pack of baby wipes for general hygiene throughout the day. Used toilet paper must be packed away into a nappy sack or similar and disposed of in the bin at the campsite; toilet paper (and other litter) should never be left on the ground.

The minimum age is 18 (or 16-17 if accompanied by an adult). There is no upper age limit. An ideal candidate would be someone who enjoys being out of their comfort zone, likes to try new things, has a good level of fitness, is healthy and determined and has a flexible and open minded personality.

You should arrive in Zambia with a good fitness level to ensure fast recovery from each day’s exertions. Fitness training such as hill walking, swimming, running, cycling, gym workouts, team sports and boot camps etc. are all excellent ways to increase your fitness. Building your core and upper body strength will benefit you greatly, so you are recommended to include resistance workouts (such as push-ups, squats, planks, lunges, triceps dips, bicep curls etc.) into your routine. These exercises can be done at home without any specialist equipment. You can download a number of free apps which will help you train and track your progress. E.g. MapMyWalk, C25K (couch to 5k run), MyFitnessPal etc. Attempting to complete the trip without training may hinder your experience, and the experience of your teammates.

The trip is graded moderate to challenging due to the long days canoeing, basic camping conditions and wide ranging temperatures.

No previous canoeing experience is required (although this would be a bonus) but a good level of general fitness is recommended as the days can be long and tiring. Life jackets are supplied. You will paddle approximately 12-28km per day on the river but there are some leisurely stretches where you can soak up the sights and sounds of Africa. Occasionally you will pull in and walk along the shore, looking out for animals along the way. The water levels on the river stay fairly consistent due to regulation by upstream reservoirs and there are no rapids to contend with.

The canoes are two-man 18-foot Canadian-style fibreglass canoes with containment nets and ropes to ensure both group gear and personal belongings are secure at all times. Each canoe has five buoyancy chambers, while the bucket seats are foam cushioned allowing a reasonable level of back support. Single bladed paddles are used and life jackets supplied. Anything you need for the canoe trip should be packed into a soft holdall which will be packed into a dry bag (provided). Any luggage not required for on the river (large suitcases, hairdryers etc.) will be stored securely.

We require a medical form to be completed by everyone upon registering, and any pre-existing conditions, medications used and other medical issues must be specified. All your medical details are treated in the strictest confidence.

The information will be securely screened by a qualified medical professional, and details provided to your tour manager and local guides so our staff are adequately informed and prepared to support you during the trip. By completing this booking form you are giving consent for us to contact you confidentially with any follow up questions regarding your health.

If you declare any medical conditions you may be asked to provide more information, or we may request to contact your GP. We must be informed if any conditions or medication change, or if new conditions develop. If necessary confirmation of fitness to travel from your GP or specialist may be required.

In the event that your medical issues represent a concern for your safety and wellbeing, or the safety and wellbeing of others in the group, you may be recommended not to take part. If this happens your deposit will be refunded. Please note that we will never unreasonably deny participation on a trip nor contravene the Equality Act 2010.

Essentials

E-tickets + pre-departure info
Passport + copy
Pen and US$80 for visa on arrival
Money / ATM + credit card(s)
LED head torch + batteries
Sunglasses (100% UV)
Mobile phone and charger
Travel insurance information
Camera + spare batteries

Clothing & Footwear

Trainers (suitable for walking)
Reef / Water sport shoes (optional)
Sandals / flip flops
Wide brim hat or cap
Warm hat (for nights)
Neck cooling Cobber (optional)
Canoe / water sport gloves
Socks
Underwear
Long sleeved shirt
T-shirts
Knee length shorts
Long convertible lightweight trousers
Warm fleece/sweater/hoody for nights
Warm trousers/jogging bottoms for nights
Pyjamas/nightware
Neutral colour clothes for game drives
Swimwear

Hygiene

Bio-degradable Shampoo + conditioner*
Toothbrush + toothpaste*
Antiperspirant deodorant*
Bio-degradable shower gel/soap*
Comb/hairbrush
Wet wipes*
Toilet paper* x2 rolls
Nappy bags* for used toilet papper
Waterproof sun cream (high SPF)*
After sun/moisturiser*
Travel towel
Hand sanitizer
Feminine hygiene products*
Nail brush (optional)

First Aid Kit

Prescription medicine
Anti-malaria medication
Insect repellent (max. 50% DEET)
Paracetamol / Ibuprofen
Imodium (Loperamide)
Rehydration (Dioralyte)
Muscle rub (Deep Heat)
Plasters
Anti-histamine tablets/cream
Antiseptic cream (e.g. Savlon)
Indigestion remedy (e.g. Gaviscon)
Lip balm with SPF protection
Decongestant (optional)
Throat lozenges (optional)
Scissors/tweezers (optional)
Spare glasses/contact lenses

Optional

Video camera + charger
Spare memory cards
iPod/MP3 player
Books/diary/playing cards
Power bank/power pack

Luggage

Main luggage suitcase/backpack
Soft kit bag/holdall for canoe/Chobe items
Small day pack
Combination padlock(s) for luggage
Small dry bag for personal items on canoe

Eating and Drinking

Energy snacks
2 x 1-litre water bottles
Electrolyte tablets (e.g. Nuun)
Water purification (Blox aqua tablets)

Sleeping

Ear plugs/eye mask
Sleeping bag liner
Sleeping mat (optional)

Please note: This list is not exhaustive and does not account for your personal taste or preference. It should be used as a guideline only. If you have any questions or queries regarding this list which are not answered in the sections above please contact info@different-travel.com.

*Please consider eco-friendly or biodegradable options. Consider shopping at Little Footprint Gifts.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Thursday 11 August 2022):

Depart London
Fly overnight from London to Lusaka on an indirect flight.
Meals: None

Day 2 (Friday 12 August 2023):

Lusaka–Lower Zambezi
Arrive in Lusaka where you will be transferred to the Lower Zambezi (approx. three hours) to freshen up, meet the local team for a safety briefing, pack your bags and commence the canoe expedition.
Meals: lunch and dinner

Days 3-5 (Saturday 13 – Monday 15 August 2022):

Lower Zambezi
You will spend three full days on the river in this spectacular natural landscape, paddling downstream each day under the heat of the African sun, and occasionally pulling in to walk along the river bank to spot more wildlife. The days are long so you are advised to have a good level of general fitness, although no previous experience is required. As you wind your way down the river, home to a wide variety of wildlife, keep your eyes peeled for elephants,hippos and crocodiles. It is also possible you will spot buffalo, giraffe, the occasional zebra and wildebeest, and if you’re very lucky you may spot a lion or a wild dog. Each night you will camp in tents on the river bank or on small islands for a truly wild African adventure.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 (Tuesday 16 August 2022):

Zambezi-Livingstone
Today we travel to Livingstone (approximately eight hours’drive, with plenty of stops en-route) and check into Jollyboys, our home for the next two nights.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 (Wednesday 17 August 2022):

Livingstone–Lion Conservation–Victoria Falls
Today is an early start for your visit to the Lion Conservation project. The visit may be at either the Zimbabwe or Zambia branch (this will be confirmed before departure). You will spend the day learning about lion conservation work throughout Africa and find out more about the plight of big cats in the region. On the way back to your accommodation you will take a visit to Victoria Falls, locally known as Mosi oa-Tunya which means ‘the smoke which thunders’. This 108m vertical chasm is a sight to behold, and one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8 (Thursday 18 August 2022):

Livingstone–Chobe National Park
Today you have an early start as we drive to Botswana (approx. 1.5 hours) to spend the next two days in the magnificent Chobe National Park. Once you have completed your border formalities you will start the day with a three hour river cruise along the Chobe River, famous for its large herds of elephant and buffalo. Look out for baboons and other primates, the stunning fish eagle, goliath heron and openbill stork. After lunch you will go on an afternoon game drive (10 people per vehicle), where elephants, giraffe, buffalo, zebra and hippo are abundant. It is also common to spot lions and, if you’re lucky, the occasional cheetah or leopard. After an exhilarating day you transfer to your campsite where your guides and camp cook will prepare a hearty dinner before settling in around the campfire and listening to the sounds of Africa with your team mates.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9 (Friday 19 August 2022):

Chobe National Park-Livingstone
Today you have another early start as we take another game drive before saying farewell to Botswana and transferring back to Jollyboys for our final night (approx. 1.5 hours). The rest of the day is at leisure.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10 (Saturday 20 August 2022):

Livingstone-Lusaka
You depart Livingstone today and transfer back to Lusaka (approx. six hours’ drive, with plenty of stops en-route). You will arrive at Eureka Lodge this afternoon. Eureka lodge is located on private game park and with wildlife inhabiting the area, it is not unusual to walk around the grounds and spot a giraffe, zebra or herd of impala.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11 (Sunday 21 August 2022):

Lusaka-London
You will transfer to the airport for your return flight to London today, and depending on flight times you may arrive into London the next day.

N.B. Adventure travel can be unpredictable so this itinerary may change due to unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, and the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your guide and tour manager will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £360 (You may pay this in up to 3 instalments)

and then either…

Sponsorship: £4800

or

Flexi: Pay £1250 trip costs and fundraise £2,400

You will also need to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharges not included (currently approx. £330).

SPONSORSHIP

There is a minimum sponsorship amount for the tour that you are required to raise in order to participate.

  • A £360 registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • £3,840 (80% of fundraising target) is to be raised by 19 May 2022.
  • The remaining £960 (20%) must be raised by 15 December 2022.
  • The amount the charity receives is at least 50% of the minimum sponsorship total.
  • You will also need to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharges not included (currently approx. £330)

FLEXI

This option is for those who choose to pay some of the trip costs (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves while still raising some funds for the charity.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost balance is payable to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.

What's included

  • Return flights from London
  • Local transfers and transport in Zambia and Botswana
  • Accommodation (tents while canoeing and at Chobe National Park, rooms in Livingstone and basic huts at a lodge in Lusaka)
  • All meals and drinking water as per itinerary
  • Donation to lion sanctuary
  • National Park fees
  • English-speaking local expert guides and support staff
  • Different Travel UK tour manager

What's not included

  • Any necessary vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis
  • Airport taxes and fuel surcharges (currently approx. £330)
  • Spending money (tips, drinks, souvenirs)
  • Transport to/from UK airports
  • Travel insurance
  • Multiple-entry Zambian visa  (current cost US$80)
  • If we visit Zimbabwe you will also need a Zimbabwe visa (current cost US$55 on arrival).  This will be confirmed before departure
  • Personal equipment

Got a Question?

If you’ve a question about this challenge that you can’t find the answer to within the given information then complete this quick form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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