Advice please- Rescue Botswana at night.





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  1. #1
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    Default Advice please- Rescue Botswana at night.

    My son and I have to rescue someone broken down near Sepupa. They have to be back by Monday. So we plan to leave on Friday at lunchtime which means we will be travelling at night. I have travelled the Kang route at night once before and vowed never again. Unfortunately now, circumstances leave us no choice.

    My question is would the route via Francistown, Nata, Maun, Toteng be better at night than the Jwaneng, Kang, Ghanzi, Toteng route. Is the counter clockwise route maybe better fenced / safer by comparison at night ?

    Recommendations would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Sneaky Pete; 2015/10/08 at 11:52 AM.
    SOMETIMES I WAKE UP GRUMPY,
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  2. #2
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    Pete, in my opinion neither route will offer any advantage over the other in terms of animals.

    Keep the brights on as much as possible, slow down to 80ish and hold thumbs - good luck.

  3. #3
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    We did the Buite Pos to Kang road and night one. Really not great. What I did was stick circa 50m behind one of the big trucks and followed him all the way to Kang. It was slow but a lot safer.

  4. #4
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    I would think that the Kang route would be quieter so for that reason I would choose that one.
    If you have good lights you can see quite far but the problem is with oncoming traffic, this reduces vision dramatically.
    I avoid night travel like the pest but if no choice then I don't hesitate to slow right down to a safe speed till the oncoming vehicle is past, then speed up a little.
    a Friend had to get back to SA as soon as possible about 4 years ago, we stayed in Kang and he left at 4 in the morning (winter time) and I got a phone call 2 hours later from him telling us that he hit a donkey and had to be towed.

    Truck came from the front, blinded him and next to the truck he hit the donkey.

    Drive safe...
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  5. #5
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    Sneaky Pete, I do not envy your position. I don’t mean to preach, however neither option is recommend. Is their “Have to be back by Monday” really worth the potential risk of you and your son getting into an accident in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country?

    If you are insisting on doing the night driving, feel free to PM me your details and I’ll send you mine, you may find a local contact helpful in case things do go wrong.

  6. #6
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    If I have to drive at night I prefer driving late (11pm onwards) - less traffic and the cattle seem to be less active then too. The blighters must sleep sometime?


    But oncoming traffic is definitely the worst, most people I know who have hit cattle, donkeys etc have done so when blinded by the lights of an oncoming vehicle



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  7. #7
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    Donkeys in Botswana are the biggest threat. And you don't see a donkey in the dark.
    We can't change the wind but we can set our sails

  8. #8
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    Default Thank so much ....

    Thanks very much for the advice and support.
    I am not looking forward to this trip. We are kind of obligated to help.

    Owner did the rear brakes on his Fortuner himself then brought it in for a service and asked us to check for a "noise" r/h rear. We found brake parts had come loose, repaired, test drove found no noises and returned his vehicle. He got to northern Bots and the rear wheel bearing seized - evidently it caught alight ! Going to collect a s/h diff which we will go and fit on Saturday - he has to be back at work on Monday.

    Rrabots - thanks a lot will pm you our details.
    Last edited by Sneaky Pete; 2015/10/08 at 01:40 PM.
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  9. #9
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    I would prefer the Ghanzi route not because of the animals but less villages. Driving at night is tantamount too suicide. limit your speed at night never go over 80 and take regular stops. May the force be with you as they say in the classics.
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  10. #10
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    Yes James Mackay is correct, further more less trafic at night

  11. #11
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    Eish, if you have to drive at night, equip the passenger with a powerful LED torch like an LED Lenser, NiteCore or Maglite LED and get them to constantly scan the side of the road for eyes. Kudu are a real danger, as are warthog. Hitting a warthog is a bit like hitting a bag of solid cement.

  12. #12
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    He won't loose his job for not being there on Monday.

    An you can spare a Friday.

    DON'T drive a night there.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks Tony. My son is quite relaxed about the trip, but I can remember "my trip from hell" after which I swore never ever to do this again. We were road testing a Freelander 1 and even though it had good lights I was on the edge of my seat. You see the cats eyes blinking and realise there is some p[itch black animal out there you as yet, cannot see. My sons vehicle has very good lights but I am still going to "boer maak 'n plan" because with the freelander we had a hand held spotlight and yes it was a big help - but to hold that for +- 800km got to make a plan !!!!

    Thanks guys for the help and support. Got the s/h diff loaded, tools etc., stock up with padkos and cold drinks tomorrow. Make sure everyone at work knows what to do and get going as soon as possible.
    SOMETIMES I WAKE UP GRUMPY,
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Kudu are a real danger, as are warthog.
    Where Pete is headed - so are Elephant

  15. #15
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    At least Ellies block out about 50 cats eyes


    "hey they mustn't have laid down any more cats eyes from here onwards, unless..... STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP!!!"



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  16. #16
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    Default We made it .........

    We made it safely. Thanks to all who offered advice.

    We managed to get away by 10.30am on Friday took an hour getting through the border due to Bots officials "understaffed" (1.00 pm). The Lobatse bypass is tremendous, take a Left turn immediately after the border post, fill up with Shell diesel at the new truck stop (diesel only) and continue up the hill for the bypass. The section to Jwaneng is fenced so that was a breeze. After Jwaneng the fences are non existant (so obviously animals on the road) but the road condition was excellent and the road verge grass fairly short. We got to Kwang by about 7.00pm so only about an hour and a half in the dark. From Kang to Ghanzi the road was virtually void of animals for some reason and again road verge and road itself great. The 190km to Sepupa was not great as was to be expected. Plenty animals, Kudu, etc. and the road is in a bad state. arrived at 4.00am

    We had the new diff in loaded and showered and on the road by 1.00 pm. Overnighted at Kang and home by 1.00 pm Sunday.

    Good lights properly adjusted a must.
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  17. #17
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    Great stuff. Glad you got back OK


    Anyone reading though, please don't take this as a green light to go night driving on these roads on a regular basis... eventually luck will run out and a running Kudu will appear out of nowhere



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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyrag View Post
    Great stuff. Glad you got back OK


    Anyone reading though, please don't take this as a green light to go night driving on these roads on a regular basis... eventually luck will run out and a running Kudu will appear out of nowhere
    Or a donkey or a Cow. In fact around Jwaneng we have had a few cases of collisions with horses.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyrag View Post

    Anyone reading though, please don't take this as a green light to go night driving on these roads on a regular basis... eventually luck will run out and a running Kudu will appear out of nowhere
    Agree 100% with this statement.

    Glad all worked out for you Pete.

  20. #20
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    Reading this I cannot wonder if it might not have paid to sub contract the work to a local Botswana garage to repair. Then when the customer gets back you can do a check and confirm the job has been done to standard.

    the costs of travelling that far, lost time etc must have been very close to the cost a Botswana local will have charged to do the work. Factor in the risk and then it seems worthwhile.

    What say you Sneaky Pete

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