Self drive directions
The turn off to Bovu Island is approximately mid-way between Livingstone and Kazungula on the southern side of the main tar road. There are no sign posts to to guide you in (we respect privacy), so you’ll need to take a note of the directions given here if you intend to self drive.
Forest route 4×4 vehicles only
From Livingstone take the Kazungula road for 44 km and you will see two cell phone towers on your left. (-17.777343 25.511343)
From Kazungula take the Livingstone road for 25 km and you will see the two towers on your right. (-17.777343 25.511343)
Drive in towards the towers for 20 meters and take a right turn, another 100 meters and take the left. Then you’ll pass through the Bovu Forest on a Kalahari sand road for about 7 km, come down the hill and the road will turn right under the electricity lines. Count the poles and at the 14th (fourteen) pole take the left fork. After 3 km through the Mopane woodland you will come into Lizazi Village, drive straight through the village slowly, then another 200 meters (-17.8570 25.5204) take a sharp right and that will take you to the harbour. After off loading you can leave your vehicle in the shade under the Mahogany tree and the island staff will come over to collect you.
Village route 2×2 vehicles with high clearance (dry season only)
From Livingstone take the Kazungula road for 41 km and you will see a cement sign saying Mandia Basic School (-17.778843 25.552633) on your left, (there are a few huts on the right side of the road selling charcoal). Turn left.
From Kazungula take the Livingstone road for 28 km and you will see a cement sign saying Mandia Basic School (-17.778843 25.552633) on your right, (there are a few huts on the left side of the road selling charcoal). Turn right.
Drive down the dirt road alongside a farm fence and then at the bottom of the hill take the right fork sign Mandia Basic School. Past the hand pump, over the bridge and then keep the school buildings to your right side and follow the little road around behind the teachers houses and keep going through the villages. Please drive slowly as there are sometimes children and elderly. After 4 km from the school, you’ll see a football ground on your left, then a little further along is a church building on your right, then another 100 meters and take the little track on your left (-17.8576 25.5229). It’s about another 200 meters to the harbour. After off loading you can leave your vehicle in the shade under the Mahogany tree and the island staff will come over to collect you.
Both routes can be difficult to pass during the rainy season Dec-Apr and only with a 4×4 vehicle. The forest route has some deep mud through the Mopane woodland, often referred to as ‘Black Cotton Soil’. Even a 4×4 tractor would probably get stuck. At this time of the year it’s best to contact Brett (by WhatsApp) on the island the day you intend to arrive and ask for the best route to take and the general condition of the road you intend to use.
We don’t advertise Bovu Island by having sign posts along the road, this is to keep the island private and to not have people just visiting for a look around. That’s why please make a note of the directions prior to your visit. The villagers in the area are extremely polite and will always point you in the direction of the island, you merely need to say “Hello, Bovu Island?”. We do not encourage you to give people lifts for directions as they might hassle you for ‘a little something’. However, should you get your vehicle stuck in the mud and need the villages to help you push your way out, it’s fine to give them 20 to 30 Kwacha for them to share amongst themselves, although the person who you hand it to, probably won’t share it!
On the Kalahari sand road through Bovu Forest, please try and keep your speed down to around 25km and hour. You might be excited that you have nearly arrived at the island, but speed and driving in 2×2 will create corrugations that destroy the smoothness of the surface. Also take care when descending and ascending the steep part as it is very windy and difficult to see oncoming traffic. Although not many vehicles use the road apart from us.
Please ask one of our staff to arrange for a night watchman to look after your car during the night when it is parked on the mainland. This costs U$3-50 per night and we will supply his evening meal. This charge will be added to your final bill upon departure. You do not pay the watchman directly. During the day, your vehicle is safe, as it is parked outside a homestead. Before driving away, you are most welcome to give away any unwanted food items in your car that you might not need to this little homestead should you wish. But please, not litter.