Planning my first bots trip.





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  1. #1
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    Question Planning my first bots trip.

    Hi there

    I have been told that for 4x4 trips this is the best place to get advice!

    I'm wanting to do a trip through botswana. I want to enter from kgalagadi, go up to the delta and then come back down via the nxai pans. Is this a possible trip?

    Questions: how much time should I allow for this trip?
    Where are good places to stay along this route?
    What would you recommend as very important to take along?
    Is it possible to get hold of food, fuel etc along this route and where?

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
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    Hi John.

    This is possible but you will have to allow yourself at least 3 weeks for this sort of trip. If you do not have time for such a long trip rather split the trip in two or even three smaller trips.

    According to me Botswana can be devided in 3 sections/trips:
    -Southern Botswana, which will include Central Kalahari reserve and the Mkgadigadi pans. On this trip you should visit CKGR for at least 4-5 days and then onto the pans, Khubu Island and onto Kukonje Island. This trip can take you between a week or two depending on the time you like to spend at each spot.

    -Delta, this includes Muan, the Delta, a boat trip into the Delta and Chiefs Island(an absolute MUST) Moremi and Nxai pans. Stay in Muan and take a boat trip to Chiefs Island, stay on the Island for a day or two and then back to Muan. Nxai pans deserve at least two to three days. Moremi deserves at least 3-4 days. There you allready have a 10 day trip.

    -Northern Botswana, this obviously includes Savuti, Chobe and while you are there...sommer Vic Falls as well. Just those three will keep you bussy for at least a week.


    Then remember: when traveling in Botswana(esp in the reserves and sand roads) takes MUCH longer than expected! Just as one example.....the 190odd km between Savuti and Chobe can take you in excess of 8 hours depending on conditions, and this is if you do not get stuck.........

    Another example is Nxai pans. From the road/gate to the camping spots around the water hole is only 30km but this piece of road will take you at least a hour to a hour and a half. And that is if you do not stop at Bains baobabs.........


    My point being....rather split your trip up and go back again......your wife will only moan if you spend 12 hours a day in the car, every day, for two weeks because you wanted to do all in one trip.

    I am sure the real Botswana experts will be along soon to give you even better advice!

    Enjoy planning your trip! It is half the fun!
    Last edited by Regard; 2012/12/08 at 08:37 AM.

  3. #3
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    P.s.....Botswana is a relatively well developed African country and in most of the bigger towns like Serowe, Muan, Francis Town etc, etc you will even get shops like Woolworths, Spar etc, etc......

    Never worry about food! Their meat might even be better than ours!

    Fuel is the only thing you need to keep an eye on. Esp if you drive a petrol vehicle. Not because it is not available but becuase of the distance between towns and the heavy going on the deep sand roads.

    Places to stay are every where esp when going to the delta/Muan......from VERY exlusive and expensive 5 star lodges to camping spots and backpackers.
    Last edited by Regard; 2012/12/08 at 09:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    I thought it was quite ambitious. Game wise in the CKGR and nxai pans what time of year would be good?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johndejager View Post
    I thought it was quite ambitious. Game wise in the CKGR and nxai pans what time of year would be good?
    CKGR all year

    Nxai pans best during dry season, June-October.

    Delta, definitely June, July (Delta wet season)

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    Nxai pan is best in the dry winter months where the game is all around the water holes. In CKGR it is similar except that during summer you have more fauna and the pans are hosting the grazers, consequently the predators are not far.
    In winter CKGR is mainly dry and you find the water holes more attractive.
    Last edited by Kalahari Safari; 2012/12/08 at 08:49 AM.
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    Thank you.

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    Is it still possible to go through the border there close to twee rivierin? What route would you recommend as I'm leaving from Cape Town.

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    Enter at TR, at the entrance is a new building and make border paperwork there. No problem.
    The building is shared from the two countries.
    Stay one night at Rooiputs (Botswana Side), one at Nossob SA side),
    two at Mabuasehbue (Botswana Sidee) to see something of the park.

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    Thanks! As to camping in CKGR what would you recommend?

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    Piper Pan, Deception Pan, Passarge Valley

  12. #12
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    Thanks very much!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regard View Post
    .........


    My point being....rather split your trip up and go back again......your wife will only moan if you spend 12 hours a day in the car, every day, for two weeks because you wanted to do all in one trip.
    Halleluja! Somebody that gets it!

    John, you say it is your first trip to Botswana. Now I know that CKGR has been mentioned and it most is certainly worth a visit, but maybe get to know Botswana a bit first and learn more about travel there, then do it. The CKGR should be taken very seriously in the wet season. Then muds, a winch and another vehicle is a must.

    Your plan of KTP, Delta, Nxai pans is feasible if you leave enough time, 3 weeks should do nicely.
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  14. #14
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    Have a lot of 4x4 experience and am planning on taking a second vehicle aswell, as I have heard some stories about CKGR. But that is why we want to go, for the adventure.

    Is there good emergency response in that area?

  15. #15
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    There is no emergency response. You will have to take a Satphone and I hope you are with Tuffstuff, otherwise your Satphone will not help you much.
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT
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    Thanks for the advice

  17. #17
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    PS, a trip to the CKGR is unlike a trip to any other reserve in Botswana because of the lack of water and the remoteness.

    You have to much more kitted in terms of water and fuel carrying capacity than for a trip to any other reserve. Yes you hear wonderful stories about the CKGR but even if you have a lot of 4x4 experience you have to treat it with utmost respect.
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  18. #18
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    That's why I'm on here to get advice.

    How much fuel do u recommend?

  19. #19
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    Fuel depends on what you drive, how long you want to go, when you go, where you enter and exit.

    We had 190 L of diesel for 7 days. Used about 140 L but my Prado turned out very fuel efficient and we did not go into the very sandy bits. We were also lucky to find diesel both going in and out. Not everybody is so lucky, Rakops is very unreliable.

    Water we had about 50 L of drinking water and 140 L of washing water. We filled up our 20 L cans twice at Sunday pan waterhole for washing, but you can never count on finding water at a waterhole. In April Sundaypan was the only operational waterhole in the entire park. 3 people, 7 days.

    Just another observation, I do not know what sort of 4x4 experience you have but playing on trails differs vastly from tackling an area like the CKGR. I say this in the nicest possible way. It is a totally different type of preparedness and level of knowledge and experience. Again, treat the CKGR with the respect it commands and then some.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2012/12/08 at 12:38 PM.
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  20. #20
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    I was a field guide for seven years in various area and on various terrain everyday. On and off road, getting stuck and getting out. I have done advanced 4x4 courses for working in that industry. With that industry also comes a vast amount of respect for what can happen in the bush. I will not go into an area unprepared and I really appreciate any advice on the area.

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