Botswana June 2014 in a Suzuki Jimny - proposed itinerary





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  1. #1
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    Cool Botswana June 2014 in a Suzuki Jimny - proposed itinerary

    I have joined the Suzuki Jimny clan in February 2014, and although this is my first post, I have eagerly followed what other owners have been up to in this forum!

    We are planning our first serious overland trip to Botswana for June 2015. This will be my first time to northern Botswana. We will be 2 Jimny's and 2 couples. The trip is being planned around June because our crazy friends want to do the Victoria Falls half-marathon on the 28th of June. A booking agency has indicated availability for the following itinerary:

    16 June - Johannesburg to Francistown
    17 June - Baine's Baobabs
    18 June – Maun-Audi campsite
    19 June - 21 June Third Bridge
    22 June - 23 June Savuti, Chobe
    24 June - 26 June Ihaha, Chobe
    27 June - 28 June Victoria falls
    29 June - Francistown
    30 June - Johannesburg

    SWAMBO was a bit worried but I convinced her everything would be a breeze. To ensure that these kind of trips would happen again in the future, I will have to ensure that the experience is enjoyable for SWAMBO.. I therefore have the some questions and concerns on the planned itinerary and routes, and would appreciate advise. I have read numerous threads and trip reports in the forum, but not sure if anyone has done the same route with a Jimny in June.

    1. Will fuel be a problem for the stretch from Maun to Kasane? I can carry 40l in jerry cans on the roof rack, which provides me with 80l total. Kilometre wise it seems fine, although I have no idea what the consumption will be like in those conditions. Normally I get around 12km/l and 10km/l for off-road driving.
    2. Will the water levels pose any problems, or will there be alternative routes? We don’t have snorkels.
    3. Are there any members who own a Jimny and has fitted a dual-battery system? I would like to keep the beers cold!

    I am looking forward to the replies!
    Chris

    Current - 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser with some extras
    Ex - 2015 Ford Ranger XL Plus 4x4 D/C P/U RSI Canopy
    Ex - 2014 Suzuki Jimny - Amada Xtreme 40mm suspension upgrade and Eezi-awn k9 roofrack (sold )

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I do not have Jimmy but have done the trip before.

    Enough space for wood,food,beer,tents,chairs etc will be a problem IMHO.

    Fuel consumption...........no clue.....but I guess about 8km/l

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryskat View Post
    I do not have Jimmy but have done the trip before.

    Enough space for wood,food,beer,tents,chairs etc will be a problem IMHO.

    Fuel consumption...........no clue.....but I guess about 8km/l
    Thank you Gryskat. I have also thought about it and came to the conclusion that we might have to do a drive back to Maun the day before leaving for Savuti, and a drive out to Kasane upon arrival in Ihaha, to resupply and refuel. The distance I calculated from Maun to Kasane, using our planned route is 456km. I I use 8km/l, we have a range of 640km, which might not be enough if we want to go on game drives or if there is any diversions.

    I have had some fun and swearing packing the Jimny before for long camping trips, but have learned to pack more economically whilst still taking along goodies. Most of our equipment is small and lightweight as we are also keen hikers.

    The only remaining problem will be firewood. Excuse my ignorance, but will there be firewood for sale inside the parks? Or do we need to take everything in?

    Best Regards
    Chris

    Current - 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser with some extras
    Ex - 2015 Ford Ranger XL Plus 4x4 D/C P/U RSI Canopy
    Ex - 2014 Suzuki Jimny - Amada Xtreme 40mm suspension upgrade and Eezi-awn k9 roofrack (sold )

  5. #5
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    With a fairly generous allowance for game drives we usually cover just over 600km on the routes between Maun and Kasane. I would be interested to see what distance others cover on this route. With 80l at 8km/l it will be a little tight perhaps. Many Jimnys do this route and hopefully someone will chip in with personal experience. With the relative shortage of packing space you are going to need to be ruthless to avoid overloading. I see this as your biggest, but not insurmountable challenge.

    We all know the Jimnys excellent capabilities in sand but I am not as sure about the water crossings. They will be fairly deep in June but with circumspection you should be fine. Especially after Khwai Camp make sure that you are taking the shallowest of the choice of crossings. Perhaps wait for an oncoming vehicle to cross first so you can see the best line and judge the depth and also ask them to hang around briefly for backup. Walking the crossing first is obviously a good policy.

    If you feel that fuel is getting a bit short then consider using only one of the Jimnys for game drives. Also after Savuti if fuel looks tight, it may be wise to drive straight through to Kasane on the tar road to fill up and then return along the game drive river route to Ihaha. You will have plenty of time to do this with an early start.

    There appears to be a lot at stake on your trip and it will be important for possible future trips that things go well. I think you will be fine and that this will be the first of many such trips.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for the reply Stan.

    Are there routes that can be taken to totally avoid some water crossings? Or are there no options around? Also, how safe is it to walk water crossings seeing that crocodiles are known to be found in the delta.

    I did not know that there is a tar road from Savuti to Kasane. Is there any good maps that you can recommend for those parts? Then I might stop asking all these silly questions.
    Chris

    Current - 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser with some extras
    Ex - 2015 Ford Ranger XL Plus 4x4 D/C P/U RSI Canopy
    Ex - 2014 Suzuki Jimny - Amada Xtreme 40mm suspension upgrade and Eezi-awn k9 roofrack (sold )

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    Stan - What is your feeling about water and Third Bridge? Should Jimny's avoid this camp?

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

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    Ungie, the road is only tarred for the latter third of the route from Savuti to Kasane. The first two thirds is still deep sandy tracks. I have not been there since the road from Katichau has been tarred, but apparently this has made a massive difference from the very corrugated roads for this stretch. Near Ihaha, as you re-enter the reserve, there is a tarred public road cutting directly across the reserve to Kasane.

    You badly need to buy the Tracks4Africa map of Botswana. Most 4x4 outfitters and Outdoor Warehouse have it, or Google and buy online.

    Paul, apparently the bridge at Third Bridge had deteriorated since I was last there. Part of it is apparently under water, but heavier vehicles than the Jimny are getting through. Hopefully someone can update us.

    This water is not the real concern. The main hazards are after you cross the newish bridge at Khwai on the way to the Mababe Depression. There is a route that I have never used, from the South Gate area, bypassing Khwai and the water hazards, passing outside the reserve and taking you to the gate at Mababe. You should see this route on a decent map. If you backtrack on this route to avoid the water crossings you will have to fill up with fuel near Maun. Perhaps someone can update here as well?
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    This water is not the real concern. The main hazards are after you cross the newish bridge at Khwai on the way to the Mababe Depression. There is a route that I have never used, from the South Gate area, bypassing Khwai and the water hazards, passing outside the reserve and taking you to the gate at Mababe. You should see this route on a decent map. If you backtrack on this route to avoid the water crossings you will have to fill up with fuel near Maun. Perhaps someone can update here as well?[/QUOTE]

    Hello, We drove this d - tour in august. It was a long stretch and at some places very deep sand. It was well sign posted.

  10. #10
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    In Afrikaans and on another forum but I think you will find some answers here
    http://wegryforum.weg.co.za/threads/...Jimny+Botswana

  11. #11
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    Thank you Stan. Luckily it is starting to sound that my road is doable, although I still have to do some careful planning regarding logistics. Luckily there seems to be contingency plans available. I saw a photo somewhere on the forum of a Jimny crossing the water at Third Bridge, and some other locations. I showed it to swambo and she seems to be more keen on the trip now.

    Dankie Woolf. Ek sal dit lees.
    Chris

    Current - 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser with some extras
    Ex - 2015 Ford Ranger XL Plus 4x4 D/C P/U RSI Canopy
    Ex - 2014 Suzuki Jimny - Amada Xtreme 40mm suspension upgrade and Eezi-awn k9 roofrack (sold )

  12. #12
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    You should be OK almost everywhere. Two comments for consideration are one: Ride height (middelmannetjies and water) and two: Wheel tracking too narrow? (gauge) in the thick sand from Savuti to the tar road leading to Ihaha.

  13. #13
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    agree with Tron and also note that your ground clearance will further be reduced with the Jimny loaded and reduced tyre pressure....best gauge will be to confirm if someone else has done this route in a similar vehicle and packing setup. The problem with the deep sand in the savuti area is that it's a continious bumpy ride and one can't really maintain momentum. My average speed en route to Savuti was around 20km/h

  14. #14
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    From the Wegry Forum report it seemed that they drove from Kasane to Khwai through Savuti. From the description it seems that it was quite bumpy and sandy. Worst case is that I will have to borrow my dad's large fuel guzzler 4x4.
    Chris

    Current - 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser with some extras
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    Do that, it is a safer bet.

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    I got back from my trip on Monday. My wife and I did Lekhubu for 2 nights alone. We then met friends in Maun (also driving a Jimny) and did the trip to Xakanaxa, then to Savuti via Khwai and sand ridge (although we drove the first 24km on the Marsh road - not recommended), then to Ihaha and finally Kasane and the Victoria Falls.
    Chris

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  17. #17
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    On the point of the dual battery, consider a battery portapack from National Luna. Once you have the wire from the main battry rigged up, it becomes pug and play as all the electrical are in the box. It does not need to live in the vehicle 24/7

    http://www.nationalluna.com/PPPack.htm
    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    On the point of the dual battery, consider a battery portapack from National Luna. Once you have the wire from the main battry rigged up, it becomes pug and play as all the electrical are in the box. It does not need to live in the vehicle 24/7

    http://www.nationalluna.com/PPPack.htm
    I used a HCDP portable power pack on the trip, and a Brad Harrison connection in the back of the car . Unfortunately the DC charger unit stopped working on the first day. I had to run the fridge directly from the car's battery (far from ideal!) from the Brad Harrison in the back. Is the National Luna Power Pack more robust?
    Chris

    Current - 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser with some extras
    Ex - 2015 Ford Ranger XL Plus 4x4 D/C P/U RSI Canopy
    Ex - 2014 Suzuki Jimny - Amada Xtreme 40mm suspension upgrade and Eezi-awn k9 roofrack (sold )

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ungie View Post
    I got back from my trip on Monday. My wife and I did Lekhubu for 2 nights alone. We then met friends in Maun (also driving a Jimny) and did the trip to Xakanaxa, then to Savuti via Khwai and sand ridge (although we drove the first 24km on the Marsh road - not recommended), then to Ihaha and finally Kasane and the Victoria Falls.
    Those Jimnys are awesome, I've got a lot of respect for them. In fact, if there was a service agent closer than 500km away from me I'd own one! Glad your trip went well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ungie View Post
    I used a HCDP portable power pack on the trip, and a Brad Harrison connection in the back of the car . Unfortunately the DC charger unit stopped working on the first day. I had to run the fridge directly from the car's battery (far from ideal!) from the Brad Harrison in the back. Is the National Luna Power Pack more robust?
    I got mine with the Pajero when I bought. It has done all the trips in the past two years with the same battery and shows no signs of wear. Works really well and it also connects to my other 105ah battery and charges that too. People say the HCDP tech is better. i would not know. Mine is not broken why fix it.

    It also works well in load shedding.
    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

    2004 Gen 3. 3.8i petrol V6 (PAJTU)
    X Factor Bundutop trailer (designed by me)
    1998 Blister Fender Pajero 3500 24V (PAJ) (Sold)
    BMW R1200R

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