Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016





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    Default Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Good afternoon

    We are heading to Botswana in just over a month's time / September (2016) and we have just received our Camp Site Numbers for Moremi + Savuti.

    I am finding it hard to find a camp layout / map for Xakanaxa...
    Has anyone ever camped on "Xakanaxa XA9" before? We would really like to know if this is a good camp site or not.

    Also, on our previous trip to Botswana (2011), we couldn't reach Xakanaxa because we were told that the road was flooded... does anyone know what the road conditions look like at the moment in Xakanaxa area.

    We would also appreciate an update on road conditions between Maun / Mababe Gate and Savuti... is "Sandridge Road" (left) still the way to go? (we were told that the "Marsh Road" (right) should be avoided in 2011)

    Also the road between Khwai (North Gate) and Savuti... we couldn't use this road in 2011 either because it was flooded... does anyone know the current conditions?

    If anyone has done these routes recently, we would appreciate it if you could give us an update on road conditions / current estimated travel times:
    Maun to Savuti
    Savuti to North Gate
    North Gate to Xakanaxa
    Third Bridge to Maun

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to any replies
    Best regards
    Vicky

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by VickyV View Post
    Good afternoon

    We are heading to Botswana in just over a month's time / September (2016) and we have just received our Camp Site Numbers for Moremi + Savuti.

    I am finding it hard to find a camp layout / map for Xakanaxa...
    Has anyone ever camped on "Xakanaxa XA9" before? We would really like to know if this is a good camp site or not.

    Also, on our previous trip to Botswana (2011), we couldn't reach Xakanaxa because we were told that the road was flooded... does anyone know what the road conditions look like at the moment in Xakanaxa area.

    We would also appreciate an update on road conditions between Maun / Mababe Gate and Savuti... is "Sandridge Road" (left) still the way to go? (we were told that the "Marsh Road" (right) should be avoided in 2011)

    Also the road between Khwai (North Gate) and Savuti... we couldn't use this road in 2011 either because it was flooded... does anyone know the current conditions?

    If anyone has done these routes recently, we would appreciate it if you could give us an update on road conditions / current estimated travel times:
    Maun to Savuti
    Savuti to North Gate
    North Gate to Xakanaxa
    Third Bridge to Maun

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to any replies
    Best regards
    Vicky
    The roads should still be dry then. All these main roads are bone dry now. Entire marsh road bone dry, bottom section very bumpy if towing, top section fine and the road to take. Road from Mababe Gate turnoff to Khwai a good gravel road with bad spots. All main tracks in Moremi and Savuti are dry and driveable. I think Savuti to North gate took me 4 hours, but stopped to eat on way. North Gate to Xakanaka will take about two hours if driving straight there. Third Bridge to Maun is about 4 hours as well.
    Andrew


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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by AMacAfrica View Post
    The roads should still be dry then. All these main roads are bone dry now. Entire marsh road bone dry, bottom section very bumpy if towing, top section fine and the road to take. Road from Mababe Gate turnoff to Khwai a good gravel road with bad spots. All main tracks in Moremi and Savuti are dry and driveable. I think Savuti to North gate took me 4 hours, but stopped to eat on way. North Gate to Xakanaka will take about two hours if driving straight there. Third Bridge to Maun is about 4 hours as well.
    Good morning Andrew

    Thank you so much for your information, much appreciated.
    So you think the Marsh Road is the better road to take now and not Sandridge Road? How long does it take you to drive from Maun to Savuti at the moment?

    We also took about 4 hours from Maun to Third Bridge last time...the only roads we haven't driven before is Savuti to North Gate and North Gate to Xakanaka, so thank you for the estimated drive times so we know more or less what to expect and plan our days.

    If you don't mind me asking, how much fuel does your tank take / use and how many Jerry Cans do you carry?
    We had a problem with fuel last time... we had to go back to Maun twice to refuel which wasted time... we had a 90litre tank only on the vehicle (Toyota Land Cruiser) and 5 Jerry Cans! We do spend a lot of our time out driving (game drives) though... most of the day so we probably use a little more fuel than people that only go for a 2-3 hour game drive a day...we normally head out just before daybreak, come back to camp for lunch (when it is too hot to photograph) and then head out again until late afternoon so we get back to camp before dark to shower, etc. before heading to bed.

    We are spending our first 5 days in Savuti (straight from Maun)
    Then 3 days at North Gate
    4 days at Xakanaxa and
    3 days at Third Bridge
    (first and last days/nights at old Maun Rest Camp)

    We are hoping that our fuel will make it until after North Gate... so we would go back to Maun from North Gate before we go to Xakanaxa and Third Bridge...otherwise we will have to go back to Maun from Savuti before we go to North Gate.

    Thank you once again for your time
    Best regards
    Vicky

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Hi Vicky
    I would rather stay at Dijara than North Gate. North Gate has a problem with monkeys and baboons, we were raided by both, lot more animals around Dijara and more secluded. From North Gate to Maun is around 120 km. Get a T4A paper map, it gives you distance and real time travelling time. Camp 9 at Xakanaxa is closest to the boat station, not as secluded as the others. The roads will be fine, contact Tara at Botswana Footprints
    for up to date info, also if you want to book at Dijara. You could possibly arrange with Andre at Dijara to stock diesel for you(ask very nicely) A drive along the Kwai river
    is a photographers dream.

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by Wise one View Post
    Hi Vicky
    I would rather stay at Dijara than North Gate. North Gate has a problem with monkeys and baboons, we were raided by both, lot more animals around Dijara and more secluded. From North Gate to Maun is around 120 km. Get a T4A paper map, it gives you distance and real time travelling time. Camp 9 at Xakanaxa is closest to the boat station, not as secluded as the others. The roads will be fine, contact Tara at Botswana Footprints
    for up to date info, also if you want to book at Dijara. You could possibly arrange with Andre at Dijara to stock diesel for you(ask very nicely) A drive along the Kwai river
    is a photographers dream.
    Hi

    Thank you so much for your reply and info.
    Unfortunately we have already booked an paid for all our campsites...North Gate was actually one of our favourite spots last time and the only place we saw Wild Dogs on our whole trip... but we will definitely keep "Dijara" in mind for next time

    We have maps & books from last time, we just wanted to check if there are any road conditions that would alter our expected travel times, etc. I will certainly check with Tara at Botswana Footprints for updates as well... she did our bookings for us this time...less hassle than doing it all on our own like last time

    We really are looking forward to a few new routes and driving along the Khwai River
    Thanks for the info on Xakanaxa XA9 Campsite... do you mean by "not secluded" that it is a 'through-road' for people going to and from the boat station? Or just that it doesn't have a lot of trees/shade? I presume it is also miles away from the Ablutions?

    Thank you once again
    Kind regards
    Vicky

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by VickyV View Post
    Good morning Andrew

    Thank you so much for your information, much appreciated.
    So you think the Marsh Road is the better road to take now and not Sandridge Road? How long does it take you to drive from Maun to Savuti at the moment?

    We also took about 4 hours from Maun to Third Bridge last time...the only roads we haven't driven before is Savuti to North Gate and North Gate to Xakanaka, so thank you for the estimated drive times so we know more or less what to expect and plan our days.

    If you don't mind me asking, how much fuel does your tank take / use and how many Jerry Cans do you carry?
    We had a problem with fuel last time... we had to go back to Maun twice to refuel which wasted time... we had a 90litre tank only on the vehicle (Toyota Land Cruiser) and 5 Jerry Cans! We do spend a lot of our time out driving (game drives) though... most of the day so we probably use a little more fuel than people that only go for a 2-3 hour game drive a day...we normally head out just before daybreak, come back to camp for lunch (when it is too hot to photograph) and then head out again until late afternoon so we get back to camp before dark to shower, etc. before heading to bed.

    We are spending our first 5 days in Savuti (straight from Maun)
    Then 3 days at North Gate
    4 days at Xakanaxa and
    3 days at Third Bridge
    (first and last days/nights at old Maun Rest Camp)

    We are hoping that our fuel will make it until after North Gate... so we would go back to Maun from North Gate before we go to Xakanaxa and Third Bridge...otherwise we will have to go back to Maun from Savuti before we go to North Gate.

    Thank you once again for your time
    Best regards
    Vicky
    Hi Vicky. My tank takes 160 litres. I dont take any jerry cans with, this fuel has always been sufficient for me. I don't usually do a Maun to Maun round trip, I usually do Maun Kasane or vice versa. You must do masses of driving to fill up twice and use the jerry cans. We usually do a morning and afternoon drive each day and still have fuel to spare. I don't tow a trailer which also helps with my consumption.

    I did not drive the direct road from Maun to Mababe gate, as I went via Third Bridge/Xakanaka, so I am not sure of conditions North of the the South Gate turn off. I am sure it would be bumpy but dry. Savuti to North Gate is easy with the March road dry and the new road between the Mababe Gate turn-off and North gate. The worst pieces are the sandy bits close to Savuti camp (once one joins the Sand Ridge road again off the marsh road) itself and the bumpy section at the bottom of the marsh road. Khwai camp at North Gate is lovely, we had no baboons at all two weeks back, but the monkeys are very naughty!
    Andrew


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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by AMacAfrica View Post
    Hi Vicky. My tank takes 160 litres. I dont take any jerry cans with, this fuel has always been sufficient for me. I don't usually do a Maun to Maun round trip, I usually do Maun Kasane or vice versa. You must do masses of driving to fill up twice and use the jerry cans. We usually do a morning and afternoon drive each day and still have fuel to spare. I don't tow a trailer which also helps with my consumption.

    I did not drive the direct road from Maun to Mababe gate, as I went via Third Bridge/Xakanaka, so I am not sure of conditions North of the the South Gate turn off. I am sure it would be bumpy but dry. Savuti to North Gate is easy with the March road dry and the new road between the Mababe Gate turn-off and North gate. The worst pieces are the sandy bits close to Savuti camp (once one joins the Sand Ridge road again off the marsh road) itself and the bumpy section at the bottom of the marsh road. Khwai camp at North Gate is lovely, we had no baboons at all two weeks back, but the monkeys are very naughty!
    Hi Andrew

    You had almost double the amount of fuel tank than what we had, hence the Jerry Cans... and we did do masses of driving too though It also depends on how many days you are there for... we are going for almost 3 weeks this September so lots of driving.

    We would also like to do a Maun - Kasane trip one year as well and see more of Chobe.
    We will try the "Marsh Road" this time then, thanks
    Yip...sand is what we remember most from Savuti... our campsite included!
    Interested to see the new road between Mababe Gate and North Gate.

    We also didn't have any problems with baboons or monkeys (touch wood) at North Gate... but people in a campsite lower down had a baboon grab a ladies vanity case out of their tent late afternoon... we just heard them all screaming and a lady shouting "Hy't my vanity case! Hy't my vanity case!"...hehe shame. We then heard a guy laughing and saying "Don't worry, we will find the guilty baboon tomorrow... he will be the one wearing lipstick!" LOL

    Thanks for your reply... have a wonderful weekend

    Regards
    Vicky

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Enjoy the trip Vicky, these areas are still some of my all time favourites!
    Andrew


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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Hi Vicky.
    We just returned from Moremi last week, staying at Kwhai and Xakanaxa. We camped on site number 8 although we were booked on 5 and 6. There was a double booking that we could not establish the reason for. Be that as it may we had a wonderful time! The site is relatively open, shade could present a challenge. The road is dry except for Xakanaxa to Third Bridge where we encountered water crossings about 2km before third bridge.
    Enjoy the trip!!

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Hi Vicky,

    I would not sweat about campsite 9 at Xakanaxa. It is right at the end and in my book fairly private although the closest to the boat station. Sites 7 and 8 do not have great shade but 9 is good.
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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by AMacAfrica View Post
    Enjoy the trip Vicky, these areas are still some of my all time favourites!
    Thank you Andrew...I'm sure we will have a great trip...really looking forward to it I will post some photos with updates of campsites and roads on our return for reference for future travellers

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Hi Vicky,

    I would not sweat about campsite 9 at Xakanaxa. It is right at the end and in my book fairly private although the closest to the boat station. Sites 7 and 8 do not have great shade but 9 is good.
    Thank you Stan How would you compare the 'boat station' at Xakanaxa to that of Third Bridge? Is it bigger / very "busy"? We went for a boat ride from Third Bridge last time but have never seen Xakanaxa. I guess being far away from the abblution is not so bad as we usually go for a shower, etc just before sunset so we can be back at our campsite before dark...so we could drive if we have to if it's very far...we had to do that at Savuti...especially with the amount of sand to and in our actual campsite and the distance from the bathrooms...it made more sense to drive there. As for the shade...it would be great as we will be attempting mid-day naps in a ground tent so we only have to put the rooftop tent up and down once a day...the amount of driving and photography we do can be quite exhausting...so it would be nice to have a shaded tent for a nap when it's too "hot" for photographing Thank you once again for your reply Regards, Vicky

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Hi Vicky,
    As said before by others camp site 9 at Xakanaxa is fairly distant from ablutions, so if you are afraid to walk at night you rather have your showers during day light.
    There is only 1 further (#10) which is adjacent tot the boat station, but don't worry, they are not operating after dark.

    The road to Savuti I would recommend the marsh road, albeit being slow because of the damaged clay surface, you don't have the risk of bogging down in deep sand.
    There are alos more options to encounter wildlife on this stretch.

    I think other questions have been answered competently, so you are in good hands.
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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by Rieghardt View Post
    Hi Vicky.
    We just returned from Moremi last week, staying at Kwhai and Xakanaxa. We camped on site number 8 although we were booked on 5 and 6. There was a double booking that we could not establish the reason for. Be that as it may we had a wonderful time! The site is relatively open, shade could present a challenge. The road is dry except for Xakanaxa to Third Bridge where we encountered water crossings about 2km before third bridge.
    Enjoy the trip!!
    Hi Rieghardt, thank you for your reply. We were also shocked to see someone in our campsite when we returned from a morning game drive at Savuti last time...we showed the other couple our booking papers (booked about a year in advance)...they left to go talk to a ranger at the entrance and never returned. Thanks for the info on the road between Third Bridge and Xakanaxa...we will be driving between those two campsites. Thank you once again and have a lovely day

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    Hi Vicky,
    As said before by others camp site 9 at Xakanaxa is fairly distant from ablutions, so if you are afraid to walk at night you rather have your showers during day light.
    There is only 1 further (#10) which is adjacent tot the boat station, but don't worry, they are not operating after dark.

    The road to Savuti I would recommend the marsh road, albeit being slow because of the damaged clay surface, you don't have the risk of bogging down in deep sand.
    There are alos more options to encounter wildlife on this stretch.

    I think other questions have been answered competently, so you are in good hands.
    Thank you for your reply Yes we will be doing our showers late afternoon so we can be back at our campsite before dark...we normally stop at the ablutions as we come back from our last game drive on our way back to our campsite It would be nice to take a slightly different road to Savuti this time (Marsh Road instead of Sandridge Road)...looking forward to it. We didn't get bogged down anywhere last time (touch wood)....but we did come across 2 other vehicles that did on Sandridge Road...both of them with "bakkies" with their spare tyres UNDERNEATH their vehicle. Our Toyota Land Cruiser was a machine I am getting more and more excited about our trip just thinking and talking about it I will give a trip report as soon as we get back Thank you once again and have a lovely day further

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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by VickyV View Post
    Thank you Stan How would you compare the 'boat station' at Xakanaxa to that of Third Bridge? Is it bigger / very "busy"? We went for a boat ride from Third Bridge last time but have never seen Xakanaxa. I think the two boat stations are pretty much equivalent.

    I guess being far away from the abblution is not so bad as we usually go for a shower, etc just before sunset so we can be back at our campsite before dark...so we could drive if we have to if it's very far...we had to do that at Savuti...especially with the amount of sand to and in our actual campsite and the distance from the bathrooms...it made more sense to drive there. After dark we usually are able to make a plan regarding quick ablution requirements. We in fact also shower during daylight. Being far from the ablutions, almost on the end, means there is not much vehicle or even pedestrian traffic past your campsite at no 9. I in fact prefer those closest to the boat station for this reason.

    As for the shade...it would be great as we will be attempting mid-day naps in a ground tent so we only have to put the rooftop tent up and down once a day...the amount of driving and photography we do can be quite exhausting...so it would be nice to have a shaded tent for a nap when it's too "hot" for photographing Shade for a ground tent should not be a problem at all. Enjoy your trip and looking forward to the report back.

    Thank you once again for your reply Regards, Vicky
    Final comment, when the marsh road is open it is a nicer drive than the sand road, better scenery and more animals.
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    Default Re: Botswana (Moremi + Savuti) - September 2016

    Sorry for hi-jacking this thread, but it might not require to create a new topic.

    I will overland from Joburg back to Paris from August to December 2017. We start through Botswana.

    At this period of the year (mid-august): what would be the time of driving to do Maun - Savuti - Kasane

    Is it doable in 3 days?

    Many thanks

    Pierre

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