Orapa to Kubu Island





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  1. #1
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    Default Orapa to Kubu Island

    Hi would really appreciate some input or advice. we are travelling to Kubu Island, makgadikgadi Pans, this Friday. We do not have a GPS but do have maps - however I believe these will be over-rated. What are the roads to Kubu like at the moment - in light of the drought I would imagine quite passable & dry? And secondly please any input - are the tracks clear to find?? How does one find Kubu island from Orapa on the Southern side.
    Many thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Kubu Island

    Magwasa

    You have two challenges. 1) Your information is outdated, Bots had higher than normal rainfall in the last month, Bots is drenched and water levels are very high and people got stuck elsewhere. 2) There are no roads, just tracks and many of them. I strongly recommend that you get a GPS with T4A. The question is are you equipped to deal with black cotton soil should you get stuck.

    Also phone the office that manages Lekubu in Mmatshumo and hear if the roads are ok. They are normally very positive as they have local knowledge and gets through because of that. For most other deciding which track to take or which line and open water is all about luck.

    From Lethlakana to Mmatshumo is ok )sand), this is where the office is, on your right as you enter the village. From the village to the vet fence in the area of Matsalankwe are just tracks, many of them, but most converge on the gate. Aske the gate keeper if vehicles have come through.

    From the gate turn right and follow the track up to a sign post turning right indicating Kubu, this is the southern route and it crosses SW Sowa Pan - I am convinced you will not get through here. The wet patches start just west of the gate and it get worse as you enter the pan areas.

    The northern route crosses parts of the pan with some sticky spots till you get to the cattle outpost Tshwagong, here you turn west and later south again and approach Kubu from the north.

    The trick is to stick to the track that can be under wide water, not easy. If you veer off, you will get stuck.

    Even if the office says you will get through, have recovery equipment and go with 2 cars, one waiting to see if the first gets through the water and wet spots.

    When I was there after unseasonal rain I assisted with a number of recoveries of people who thought the grassy parts would be firmer.

    It will be good to hear what the office says. I know that if you call early you can schedule their visit to the site to coincide with your arrival. See if you can arrange an escort. When we went north towards Lekubu, the official came back after having escorted a group through.

    Good luck, but get that GPS. You can pick up cheap 2nd hand ones and get the T4A map set.

    Johan

  3. #3
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    Tshwagong turn west? Should that not be east?
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  4. #4
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    Just spoke to guys who have a cattle post just past Kubu, he says the rd from Mmatshumo to Kubu is fine

    PS you don't need a GPS - from Mmatshumo to kubu all roads seem to lead there
    Last edited by PeteMorrie; 2015/04/14 at 10:11 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Kubu

    Tswagong is NE of Kubu, so one should turn west (or right) and then SW towards Kubu.

    Johan

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    Many thanks to all for your time & input. Much appreciated. Thanks PeteMorrie for speaking to the guys, we'll be there Friday.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGN View Post
    Tswagong is NE of Kubu, so one should turn west (or right) and then SW towards Kubu.

    Johan
    I am not sure if I agree with those directions.
    For me Tswagong is NW of Kubu Island and you are directing to come from the South (being Mmatshumo).

    In this case I would turn right at the gate, meaning direction SE (general direction not necessarily immediate direction as the road winds).

    Is your map upside down by any chance we had this before.

    Edit:
    By the way Letlhakane to Mmatshumo is all tar (since some years by now).
    Last edited by Kalahari Safari; 2015/04/14 at 04:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magwaza View Post
    Many thanks to all for your time & input. Much appreciated. Thanks PeteMorrie for speaking to the guys, we'll be there Friday.
    Please keep us posted. We will be there on 01-05-2015. Would hate to miss it due to the rain, as I have never been there.

  9. #9
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    Thank you Kalahari Safari. Wim apologies but I will not be able to keep you posted as we will still be out of comms then. Hope the other guys are able to.
    Thanks again all.

  10. #10
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    Wim - I keep a weather page for Letlhakane, even though we are 40 odd km from the pans you can get an idea of what's happening see https://ourbots.wordpress.com/letlhakane-weather/

  11. #11
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    Thanks Pete. Much appreciated.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the input. We got there fine without a GPS, just a map and a compass. Road was good - small stretch of mud just before the island but easy to get through - guys with a trailer battled and had to be towed out. Wim, hope you had fun!
    Thanks again for the positive input from all.

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