Trip report Botswana (missed the cattle track)





Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Springs
    Age
    70
    Posts
    1,233
    Thanked: 2

    Default Trip report Botswana (missed the cattle track)

    This was a very event full and somewhat disapointing trip. Gert and myself worked for about 3 months to prpare our vehicles for the trip. Made bumpers for Gert's Raider, drawer systems for his vehicle and mine (long w/base G wagon) Everything was copleted the week end before we left. Then the "sports" started.
    1) Gert and his fiance, Kim, went to the Transkei for the mid week. Tuesday his rear wheel bearing packs up. Can not get the spares out of the stores due to load shedding the computers are all off. Got the vehicle fixed on the Thursday.
    2) Friday before we leave my wife gets ill and is admitted to the hospital for tests. Test all ok and she is discharged on Friday night.
    3) Friday afternoon at 16h30 my car breaks the prop shaft between the gear box and transfer case. Luckly I do have a spare.
    4) Saturday morning we replace the prop shaft........can't bget any gears. When the prop shaft broke it bent the selector arms.
    5) Now had to transfer everything from the long w/base to the short w/base. All our work on the drawer system was in vein!!!!
    At last we could start our trip.

    Sunday 20/4

    We leave Springs at 4 am. Arrive at Martins drift border post. They ask for our vehicle registration papers............ we forgot to swap the papers from the long w/base to shortie!!! Well we just handed the long w/base papers to them. They go in on the computor check that it is not reported stolen came back handed us back the papers and wished us a good trip. Now isn't that a luck for inifficientcy!! We fill up at Martinsdrift at BP7,95/l for diesel. Sherwood, which is 10km down the road BP7,45/l Got lekker ripped off.
    On our way to Francistown my car was slower than normal. Could not get more than 80kph out of her and she is very heavy on fuel. Booked into the camp sites of Marang Hotel. Can really reccommend them BP44/person. Here my car would not start. Gert had to tow me to the camp site. Found an in line fuel filter blocked. By passed the filter and the car was back to normal.

    Monday 21/4

    Day started off with Gert having a puncture. Changed the wheel and got it fixed at Maxipress in Francis town. Filled up with diesel (BP7,40/l) and off to Nata. Car ran well. Filled up at Nata (BP7,45/l)On we went on the Gweta road to get to the cattle track. WE took an off road track to Naxi pan national park. T4A showes the track but sais the road is closed. We took in any case, just for the fun. It ends on the eastern border of Naxi pan Nat park. The road is badly over growen and we had to stop every 4-5 km to clear the grass seeds from the radiator seed cover. Came up to the border fence and turned north to the top. Unknowen to us this was a vet fence and not a park fence. We should have turned left for about 4km to reach the end of the fence and then we could follow the park border. But a lesson learned. When we finally realised our mistake it was to late to turn around. We camped wild next to the fence.

    Tuesday 22/4

    We carried on along the fence. Stop!! I had a flat. A stick as thick as my finger stuck into the tyre. Changed the wheels. bout an hour later, stop!! Gert has a flat. Changed wheels and off we go. Got back onto the Nata/Kasane tar road about 40km from Nata. Cleaned out the radiators and set off to Kasane. Pulled in at Pendamatenga to refuel (BP7,45/l). Gerts car won't start!!! All the lights come on but the started motor won't turn. Must be the immobiliser!!! I had to pull statr him. Stopped at Gazangulu to get the tyers fixed. Pull started gert again and on to Ihaha. Got to the camp site at 6h45 and was dark already. pitched camp.

    Wednesday 23/4

    Got our first view of the Chobe river!!! Wonderfull. In September 2006 when we where there, the river consisted if pools of water, now it is a massive river about 200m wide at the camp site. Checked Gerts car. The solenoid on the starter fell apart. We had some luck with bad luck!!!! Found all the parts laying on the wish bone!! Had to go back to Kasane to get screws, which was impossible. Eventually found some in an old scrap bin. Went back and fixed the starter. While we were gone a hippo came over from an island and was grasing in the river right in front of the camp site to the delight of Merle and Kim. Went for a game drive and came across a herd of Buffalo. About 800-1000 in the herd. Saw a lot of elephant, some antilope including the Sable.

    Thursday 24/4

    Packed up and moved on to Linyanti. In my "wisdom" I decided that we must take the route across the plains rather than the normal route along the cut lines. The track across the plains have a lot of tracks leading off it and no signs. Even though we had a GPS we still got totally lost. Hence my new nick name "Livingstone" Had to back track to the right track. Gert once again had a puncture. Got to Linyanti at about 16h30 only to find the gate open but not manned. Office locked. Proceded to the camp site and set up camp. Gert and myself fixed the spare wheel. Did not see any game in this area.

    Friday 25/4

    Packed up and headed for Savuti. Still nobody at the gate. The route to Savuti has streches of very thick sand. Had go over to 2nd gear low range. Bush is very dense, cannot see anything in it. Got to Savuti and checked in for two nights. Nobody there to accept payment. "the collectors has gone to Kasane for their pay. Will be back tomorrow" Set up camp next to the ablutions amungst a clump of trees. Found a lot of elephant, giraffe, zebra, etc. All most had a run in with an elephant. He was standing behind a bush next to the road, completely invisable from the road. As I got to the bush he decided to cross the road. I slammed on brakes he trumpeted, turned around and ran into the bush. I don't know who got the biggest fright, me or him....... I only know my heart was beating at tripple normal rate. Had two badgers visiting all the trash cans at night. Please make sure all your cans are squashed properly to prevent them from cutting themselves or get stuck in a can.

    Sunday 27/4

    Packed up and headed for Maun. Clever me closed my specticals in the RTT. ow I can't see a thing on the GPS. "Livingstone" came to the forefront again and decided to take the swamp route rathe than the sand ridge route. This route is not reccommended. It is in a bad state and partly overgrowen. Took us longer than the sand ridge with it's thick sand would have taken. At Mabebe gate the collectors was on duty and we payed our fees. Due to the level of the Kwai river the normal road is flooded and they made a detour to a drift to cross the river. We missed this turnoff and landed on the route to North Gate. Had to back track to the turn off. Gert of cause first had to get his, by now normal, punture. We crossed the Kwai river at the Mabebe village. Between the turn off to Mankwe and the turnoff to South gate we came across guys that ran out of fuel. Unfortunatly he drove a petrol and not a diesel. Gert hooked him and towed him to Maun. The ladies was now tired of the setting up camp. So we checked in at the Sedia Hotel just out side Maun. Rates BP550/double room breakfast included. Can recommend this hotel.

    Monday 28/4

    After a hearty breakfast we washed down the cars a bit. We replenished some of our supplies and filled up at Rileys. (BP7,50/l) Gert discoverd a slow puncture as well. He went to get it fixed. Got the radiator blowen out at Rileys. OPened the RTT to get my specs. NOW I CAN SEE!!! Of to Rakops. Tar all the way. Refuel at Rakops.......no fuel in Rakops!! Had to drive 60km further to Mabibi to get fuel. The road from Rakops to CKGR is only a twee spoor track. This road has a lot of ups and downs. If you have a sensitive stomach or prone to car/see sickness you better take some tablets before hand. We rerached Maswere gate at 17h30. Lucky our first night was at Matswere. They have build a nice new ablution with hot water and flush toilets, but alsa, signs of neglect is already visable. Her we had one of the most stunning sunsets I have ever seen. Water is availble at Matswere.



    Tuesday 29/4

    Our next campsite was Ekubu 7. Never found it. The bush is very dense and game sittings are far and few. Went through deception valley, Deception pan then turned off to Tau pan. The roads are only tracks and you have to pull off to the side for some one to pass. Please, if somebody shows you the courtecy of pulling off, make sure they can get back on the track BEFORE you carry on. I had to pull two vehicels out that was stuck after they pulled of for other vehicles, which just carried on and left them stranded. We reached Tau Pan at about 16h30 and decided to camp there. Had wonderfull view of the pans. A lot of game on the pans as well. That night the lions did their number!!! They started to roar early the evening already which put Kim on edge. As the night progressed they started to move closer and closer to our camp. Kim is petrified. Here in the early morning hours the lions were roaring and grunting at the camp. Now Kim is almost having an asma attack oout of fear.

    Wednesday 30/4

    Kim just want to move out. There is noway she's going to stay another night at Tau pan. She wants out!!!! We packed and headed for Kharma Rhino sanctuary. Gert gets another flat before we leave the park. Took us 1 1/2 hr to travel the 45km to Rakops. From there to Khama just before Serowe it is tar road all the way. Refueled at Mabibi. Got at Khama at 18h00. Set up camp and then went to the restaurant for dinner.

    Thursday 1/5

    Went for a game drive. Saw a couple of rhino, zebra, widebeest, impala, ostrich, hartebees. Set of for Ellisras. By now I am starting to feel a bit groggy. We went through Martinsdrift border without any hassles. At Ellisras we booked in to the Palms hotel. An excellent stop over. Rates R550/double room breakfast included. THey prefer credit cards to cash. We had one of the best dinners we had in a very long time. They employ one of the best shefs in the country!!! Not only in the food superbly but it is presented in an exceptional way. This is ost surtenly on our must stop over list. I did not finish my dinner and went to bed with a very high fever. Merle and Kim docterd me as best they ncould with what we had in our first aid kit. In the early morning the fever finally broke.

    Friday 2/5

    Merle and Kim drove my car while I rode with Gert. I slept most of they way. Arrived safely in Springs at about 15h00.

    This is atrip that will be remeberd for all the set backs and punctures. Gert had a total of 7 punctures!!!! Merle and Kim decided that our next trip will not have any dust, thinking of Mozambique. Can't wait!!!!

    Andre
    Last edited by AndreG; 2008/05/04 at 05:07 PM.
    Andre van Rensburg<br>Swambos baby V6 Pajero shorty<br>My overland vehicle "Datsun" 3.3l v6 hardbody d/cab.<br>Play vehicle Sizuki SJ413. Mods: Toyota 2c Diesel engin and 5 speed gearbox, 50mm lift<br>Love the bush, overlanding and crazy about animals.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    1,106
    Thanked: 3

    Default

    Dude!!!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles... We did a fairly similar trip about a week ahead of you and had a BLAST!!!!

    What tyres do you guys use? I'm amazed by the amount of punctures!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Windy City
    Age
    48
    Posts
    15,685
    Thanked: 3476

    Default

    In the end, punctures + problems, I still think you had a much better time than me at home!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Kempton Park
    Age
    53
    Posts
    13,875
    Thanked: 1006

    Default

    Dirk, jys reg en jy moet weet jy kamp lekkers saam kortgert en andre [kim en merle included] Ek het begin tel aan daai punctures en het darem woes geklink, sifdraadbande! Bly julle is darem veilig terug! Jammer die drawer sisteem was n waste maar die sal later gebruik word. Dit is ook hoekom jy nie alleen sulke trips doen nie! Dis darem ook n groot hulp as jy die goed kan regmaak........sal maar n datsun saam stuur volgende keer!!!!
    Training: 4x4, bushmechanics, recovery, defensive, 4x4 trucks
    Supply and manufacture: Recovery gear, Custom 4x4 installations and manufacturing, 4x4 equipment
    Angel Construction
    Turnkey Construction solutions [Indoor shooting ranges, safe rooms, shops and shopfitting, Rainwater harvesting, Solar]
    IP CCTV, electric Fencing, Automation, Gates, Stainless steel Fabrication
    You name it, we can probably build or manufacture it.

    [email protected]
    +27824453301

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Springs
    Age
    70
    Posts
    1,233
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    Freeflyd,
    We were also amased, actually stunned!!!!Gert had 1 year old Cooper AST tyres. I have had the same tyres on for more than 3 years and. Did Botswana twice, Mozambique twice, 3 river trips, Beracka, Hennops and a lot of other places as wel and never got a punture. My current tyres are Maxxis Bighorns. I would not have had a punture, but the road was so overgrowen that at places you loose the track and end up driving through a Mopani bush. It was one of the old branches that stuck into my tyre. I still have the piece of branch that came out. Will place a foto.

    Dirk,
    Jy is reg. Met al die teenspoed het ons dit nog steeds baie geniet. Sal eeder weer deur al die drama gaan as om by die huis te sit.

    Andre
    Andre van Rensburg<br>Swambos baby V6 Pajero shorty<br>My overland vehicle "Datsun" 3.3l v6 hardbody d/cab.<br>Play vehicle Sizuki SJ413. Mods: Toyota 2c Diesel engin and 5 speed gearbox, 50mm lift<br>Love the bush, overlanding and crazy about animals.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hermanus
    Age
    60
    Posts
    1,826
    Thanked: 18

    Default

    Andre, you said you drove across the plains from Kasane to Linyanti. Is that via Satau and Parakaunga villages? Sounded like it was a long day, was it worth it?
    FJ Cruiser
    Echo Kavango

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    PTA
    Age
    44
    Posts
    1,181
    Thanked: 8

    Default

    Thanks vir die trip report, altyd goed om te hoor van mense se ervarings

    Bly om te hoor julle is vuilig terug en dat julle dit geniet het. Jammer julle het die Cattle road gemis ek weet julle het baie uitgesien om die Cattle road te doen.... - maar sien dit eerder as n rede om terug te gaan.
    D4 V8
    Live life on the edge... you get a better view !
    Disco 3 Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STt7DmJeeVc

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Springs
    Age
    70
    Posts
    1,233
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    Hoffie,
    You are spot on, and it was a very long route and I will not recommend it. We left Ngoma bridge at about 12 noon and only got to Linyanti at about 17h30. The route itself was not so bad, but boring. No game to see and bush very dense.

    Tiaan,
    Man ek probeer myself nou oortiug dat ons die cattle track aspris gemis het sodat ons 'n verskoning het om weer te gaan!!!

    Andre
    Last edited by AndreG; 2008/05/06 at 07:36 PM.
    Andre van Rensburg<br>Swambos baby V6 Pajero shorty<br>My overland vehicle "Datsun" 3.3l v6 hardbody d/cab.<br>Play vehicle Sizuki SJ413. Mods: Toyota 2c Diesel engin and 5 speed gearbox, 50mm lift<br>Love the bush, overlanding and crazy about animals.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 2015/11/29, 04:16 PM
  2. Trip report Botswana, Zim and Caprivi
    By Johann Maartens in forum Botswana
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 2011/08/16, 05:23 PM
  3. Kgalagadi, Kaa Concession, Mabua Trip Report
    By freeflyd in forum Botswana
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 2011/02/04, 03:02 PM
  4. Trip Report - Moz, Niassa Park, Malawi - P. de Wet
    By PierredW in forum Mozambique
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 2011/01/11, 09:12 AM
  5. Jhbg / Botswana / Zimbabwe trip
    By Chakarinet in forum Zimbabwe
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 2010/02/06, 02:21 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •