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Zambezi Volunteer trip logistics

Anonymous
Mon, 09/16/2013 - 10:49

Hello,  just hoping to touch base with anyone else heading of on the Zambezi volunteer experience departing 25 October.  I know there is another family of four coming!  We are currently working through all the logistics of what jabs we need (we are flying via Jo'burg so we are going to play safe and have the yellow fever course - oh goody!) and working out exactly what paperwork we need to produce to get the arrival visa.  Do we need tons of stuff or does handing over the US$50 do the trick?

We were supposed to be flying direct with BA but they are cancelling the route as of two days  after we fly out!!! So it was a hasty re-book with SAA which takes us via J'burg but only for a couple of hours and gets us to Lusaka within 30 mins of the group flight.

Any tips from Zambia old-hands would be very welcome - this is my first African trip and the first time we have taken our two daughters (14 and 12) somewhere a bit adventurous.   Should be an eye opener for them!!

Sarah

Anonymous
Mon, 09/16/2013 - 23:23

Hi. I think we must be the other family of four to whom you refer! We have two boys aged 15 and 14 ( but 16 and 14 by the time we go). I have a feeling we may be the only people on the trip as, when we booked, exodus told me there was one other family with girls aged 13 and 11 - that was quite a long time ago, so I'm guessing they're yours.
We are going this Saturday to get all our jabs. We are travelling via Nairobi, so I guess we'll need to get yellow fever just in case of any delays. My friend who is a nurse who does travel clinics says we should probably have rabies too - are you having rabies? I have no idea about the visas - I really must start getting organised. It's the first time we've taken the boys anywhere quite so adventurous, but Richard and I have been to Zimbabwe before - Richard grew up there. He's very at home in the wild with animals. I, on the contrary, am completely bloody terrified!

Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:01

Yes - that's certainly us!  I was told there was one other family of four booked which must be you. We booked it so long ago and there was so much time to get everything sorted, but now it's like the ground is rushing towards me at an alarming speed.  We weren't going to bother with rabies but your message prompted me to look into it a bit further and now I think we should, especially as there seems to be a general shortage of the antidote if you do have a problem while you're away.  But the spacing of the three doses means we need the first one like yesterday, so I'm busy trying to find a local clinic.   The girls are starting to wonder exactly what sort of place we are taking them to if they need all these jabs and they're getting slightly anxious about the "bathroom" arrangements (especially if there are boys coming too!).  I've assured them I'll be taking my trusty trowel but that didn't seem to help.  I emailed Exodus about the entry visa and you just need your passport (min 6 months before it expires) and a crisp USD50 note each and you get it on arrival.  I'm Sarah, hubby is Alex, and the girls are Phoebe and Amy.  Looking forward to meeting you!!

Anonymous
Tue, 09/17/2013 - 13:59

Hi, we are Sally, Richard, Charlie (16) and Joe (14). Thanks for the info about the visa, I will make sure we have our dollars. I am equally worried about the timing of the jabs - we are only going in for our first lot this Saturday so I don't know if we will have time to fit them all in. My work means that I am notorious for not being able to make appointments at the last minute, so I suspect I'll have problems. We are quite "outdoorsy" so quite used to basic/no toilet facilities. The only thing that can be awkward for girls is time of the month. My friend who is a nurse (again!) takes her two teenage girls on exodus holidays every year and she always gets them on the pill for a month or so, so that they won't have a period while they're away. Don't worry about the embarrassment with our boys - although they don't have sisters they're quite down to earth about things. It's more the practicalities!

Anonymous
Thu, 09/26/2013 - 22:37

Hi
Read your posts with interest. Did this trip with my daughter (15) 2 years ago.
Amazing. We had all the jabs to be safe but didn't really need them.
The things you take for the school are well received-we took pens, seeds etc but they wanted coats. Guess anything is helpful.
We made friendship bracelets in the class out of cut up carrier bags, so if u have an idea for the classroom -take it-powder paints maybe.
Clothes wise we took far too much as we didn't change in the evening-it was dark early eve and sat round a camp fire. Wear that bikini for impromptu swimming.
The camping is comfy at the perm camp with great wc and shower facilities. The wild camping is fab and a paddle serves to dig that hole.
The canoeing was more than we thought-about 60k over the trip-fingerless gloves (cycling type) would have been useful.
Chilled wine is provided each evening and the hotel for first and last night has a bar.
Hope this helps and that you have as good a time as we did-an experience not to be forgotten.
Carole

Fri, 09/27/2013 - 16:30

for taking the time to get in touch and share your experiences and tips.  My husband's ears pricked up when I read out the bit about the chilled wine, but I'm not sure if this is still the case.  I will definitely add gloves to the packing list.

Radek at Exodus was v helpful on logistics and the need for various dry bags as most of our stuff will be coming in the canoes with us.  Did you take everything along on the canoeing part of the trip?  I’m hoping that stuff we take out for the school can be transported separately.

Just a few questions if you don’t mind: what time of year did you travel and did it get cold in the evenings (there’s a mixture of advice on that subject)?  Were the mozzies a problem?  I don’t want to be unnecessarily paranoid about slathering everyone in insect repellents but don’t want to get munched either. 

Many thanks – hope you have some more exciting trips planned.

Sarah

PS - watched a programme about crocodiles last night – probably shouldn’t have!

Anonymous
Fri, 09/27/2013 - 18:23

Hi
No problem
Didn't need dry bags...just took things in a hold all and it was fine - unless you're planning on falling in !
I get bitten all the time but there was no problem-we did cover every inch of skin at night though-hoody zipped up, leggings and socks n shoes.
I went in August and it was chilly -vest top and hoody.
The school stuff came with us in the bags as did all the food, wine, furniture etc
Head torch each is a must - it's pitch black by tea time.
Bed early and up early.
Hope to have helped and feel free to get in touch if you want to ask anything else.

We all said w wish we could have talked to previous holiday makers and not just reps-which is why I posted in the first place.
Have a good one- we doing camels and kasbahs at half term-so hope it is a good one too
Carole

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 16:00

Blimey - Less than a fortnight to go! Carole - thank you so much for your advice, really useful, and I hope you enjoy Morrocco.  We went there a few years ago and it is an amazing place.  Just don't get lost in the Marrakech souk - when a bloke started trying to sell us a falcon, my husband and I realised we might have wandered off the tourist trail!! If you have the opportunity, go to the city tannery.  It's a bit like visiting hell but fascinating and you will never complain about your job again, ever.

Hi Sally - How is your prep going? I'm starting to get a bit more organised with any outstanding kit requirements etc and we just have the third and final rabies jab outstanding.  I'm sure that when I was in my 20s I just threw some stuff in a bag the evening before and headed off.

Really looking forward to meeting you, which all being well will be in the arrivals lounge at Lusaka.  I think you're due to land at 12.05 and us at 12.30.   

Sarah

Anonymous
Sat, 10/19/2013 - 15:33

Hi Sarah -

I fear I am still (at the age of 50) behaving as you did in your 20's - nothing packed yet and I imagine it will be thrown in a bag on Thursday night (or lunchtime Friday!).  I did book the parking for Heathrow airport last night, and am just about to go out and buy some head torches, so some progress.  We have one final lot of jabs to go on Tuesday - rabies, hepatitis and typhoid.  Have had yellow fever, 2 rabies and 2 hepatitis so far.  Also picking up the malaria tablets on Tuesday.  

Richard has been showing me some scary photos he has found on the internet of people canoeing in the Zambezi with elephants rearing up out of the water right in front of them.  Not putting me at ease at all!

Look forward to seeing you in exactly a week.  Yikes!   Sally. 

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