Because I do not know the continent and because I am unable to take my companion Pearl I decided to sign up to the Camping and Caravanning Club Southern African Tour.
The Club do 2 African tours;
South Africa - The Garden Route, which runs from around Cape Town along the south coast of South Africa towards Durban.
Southern Africa - This tour starts in Johannesburg goes north into Botswana, then into Namibia and back into South Africa ending in Cape Town.
I decided to opt for this tour for
- If I was going all that way I might as well explore as much of the continent as possible. (Unfortunately I could not afford the time or money to do both tours).
- After having read the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall-Smith which are set in Botswana I wanted to visit that country. I hope that my experience will be more like the ones described in the books rather than what is usually portrayed on the TV.
Though there are 14 motorhomes taking part with tour escorts we do not travel in convoy. We can leave when we like; arrive when we like; stop on route for as long as we like. We just have to be at the campsite by the end of the day.
There are some communal events such as our trip to the Victoria Falls. Also there is a "sweeper-upper" who follows the last motorhome to ensure we do not have any problems such as punctures which apparently are very common and we all arrive safely.
Having spoken to my vet, who is South African, he said because it is so hot the rhythm of the days is different to here in the UK. Things start about 6am when it is cool. By early afternoon there is little happening until early evening.
He suggested setting off early. When it gets dark, which it does very quickly to relax and prepare for the next days activities; (ie. sleep)
We estimated a travel time of 100km an hour. In order to make the most of my journeys and not feel rushed, I should halve that (50km an hour). Some routes I should reduce it even more (25km and hour) to allow for stoppage due to animals etc on the road. This sounds like a good plan.
Not long now.