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Northwards to Zim (19/11)

SOUTH AFRICA | Tuesday, 19 November 2013 | Views [1280]

So, after all the preparation, we finally headed north yesterday, heading for Zimbabwe and in particular Bulawayo. From the various options we decided to travel through Botswana. This provided the added excitement of 2 borders to cross rather than 1. I wasn't unduly worried by the thought of the Botswana border as I didn't require a visa but the knowledge that I had to get a visa to enter Zimbabwe was with me for most of the day. (Their website made the requirements sound pretty stringent and I was hoping I hadn't missed anything of the list of paperwork it said I required.)

Botswana was fairly straight forward. After 40 minutes or so sorting paperwork at the border post it was a fairly simple, although long, drive through to the Zim border, with a quick stop for late lunch around 4'ish. The main hazards of driving in Botswana seem to be; goats on the road, cows on the road and goats on the road!
We arrived at the Zimbabwe border around 5 along with the rain but just ahead of the coach loads of people and the heaviest of the rain. The customs post didn't go as badly as I'd feared. It seems that all the paperwork I'd prepared was not actually required and all they were interested in was a valid passport in my hand and a bundle of dollars in my wallet!
The drive to Bulawayo was completed in the dark, with Travis behind the wheel and the rest of us cow spotting in the light of the headlights. The road was new and in very good condition but speed was limited by the said cows. At one point Travis was forced to demonstrate his driving prowess with some evasive manoeuvring while braking, to slide between the gaps in a small herd of big cows crossing in front of us. Just after this we came to appreciate this even more when a car travelling in the opposite direction showed us just what might have happened had we hit one. The car was a write off but it's passengers were all ok so we trundled on and arrived in Bulawayo around 9.

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