[Report]Freelander 2 in Moremi, Savuti, Kasane and Kubu Island





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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up [Report]Freelander 2 in Moremi, Savuti, Kasane and Kubu Island

    Some details of our trip to Moremi, Savuti, Kasana and Kubu Island.

    We're absolutely new to off-roading and therefore I was a bit nervous for several reasons:

    1. fuel consumption was an unknown factor
    2. how will a Freelander 2 do in Moremi and Savuti (specially the electronics that simulate diff-lock)
    3. camping in the 'wild' with no rangers around, specially after warnings on this forum about hyenas in 3rd Bridge

    The car is a Landrover Freelander 2 S TD4 (so diesel) with manual gearbox. It is fitted with a Frontrunner roofrack (bad for fuel consumption at higher speeds)
    The distances, avg. fuel and avg. speed were taken from the car's trip computer.
    I decided to post this so others with the same car have a reference.

    The weather conditions were dry for Moremi, Savuti and Kasane. The first little bits of rain were encounterd around Planet Boabab and Kubu Island.

    Thu 23/10/2008 Jo'burg to Palapye

    departure Jo'burg (Roodepoort) 09:15
    arrival Palapye 17:00 (Itumela lodge)
    distance 529 km
    avg. fuel 9.5 l/100km
    avg. speed 90 km/h

    Note on Itumela:
    braai facilities and bar

    Fri 24/10/2008 Palapye to Maun

    refuel (P8.07 / liter)
    tried 2 ATMs to get pulas without success
    breakfast at local Wimpy

    departure Palapye 08:25
    arrival Maun 17:00 (Sitatunga camp)
    distance 633 km
    avg. fuel 8.7 l/100km
    avg. speed 82.1 km/h

    found 'working' ATM at Boiteko Junction (just before Serowe)
    refuel in Rakops (P8.09 / liter)

    Note on Sitatunga:
    access road is a little preparation for Moremi (sandy)
    pool and bar area
    pizza / burgers on the menu
    special suppers on request (I assume for bigger groups)

    Sat 25/10/2008 Maun

    last minute shopping for meat, liquor and some other stuff
    tried to get some extra pulas, but ATM out of order
    waiting for rest of group to arrive (5 other cars)

    Sun 26/10/2008 Maun to 3rd Bridge

    refuel and fill up jerrycans (P8.18 / liter)

    departure Maun 10:00
    arrival South Gate 12:30
    distance 125 km
    avg. fuel 8.1 l/100km
    avg. speed 52.4 km/h

    refueled 10 liters from jerrycan to lowercentre of gravity a bit
    deflated tires to 1.8 bar

    departure South Gate 13:00
    arrival 3rd Bridge approx 16:00
    distance 51.5 km
    avg. fuel 12.7 l/100km
    avg. speed 17.3 km/h

    Note:
    Pajero + trailer stuck in sand, so we had to spend some time on recovery

    Tue 28/10/2008 3rd Bridge to Xakanaxa and back

    Left early (can't remember time)
    Breakfast at Xakanaxa
    Boat trip (10:30 .. 13:00); R385 per hour (11 people so R35 pp per hour)

    distance 56.3 km
    avg. fuel 13.8 l/100km

    Note:
    on the way back, one of two Prados stuck in mud as driver was to cautious
    on the way back, Freelander 2 stuck in sand due to overheating brakes (1 km before camp)

    Thu 30/10/2008 3rd Bridge to Savuti via swamp/marsh road

    departure 3rd Bridge 08:15
    arrival North Gate 10:45
    distance 56.8 km
    avg. fuel unknown and avg. speed unknown as my better half fiddled with the trip computer

    departure North Bridge 11:20
    arrival Savuti 16:25

    distance 109.6 km
    avg. fuel 10.3 l/100km
    avg. speed 24.6 km/h

    Note:
    marsh road was good except for some hardened ruts; the last 5 km or so are very sandy
    sand in savuti camp nearly caused Freelander 2 to get stuck as we stopped in thick sand, but it managed on its own to get out

    Sat 01/11/2008 Savuti to Kasane

    departure Savuti 08:05
    arrival Kasane approx 13:00 (toro lodge)

    distance 180.8 km
    avg. fuel 9.6 l/100km
    avg. speed 43 km/h

    Note on toro lodge:
    staff very helpfull
    lunch and breakfast OK, but the one dinner that we had was enough to make us decide to eat elsewhere for the rest of the time
    pool full of sand (probably due to building activities)

    Tue 04/11/2008 Kasane to Nata

    departure Kasane unknown
    arrival Nata unknown (Planet Baobab)

    distance 430 km
    avg. fuel 8.2 l/100km
    avg. speed 75.6 km/h

    Notes:
    main road between Kasane and Nata has a very bad stretch (appox 50 km) with massive potholes
    initially we wanted to camp in the Bird Sanctuary, but that had burned down (probably same fire as nata lodge)

    Note on Planet Baobob:
    absolutely briljant experience due to staff attitude (Rosanne and others)
    bar and nice big pool


    Thu 06/11/2008 Planet Baobab to Kubu Island

    departure Planet Baobab 09:00
    arrival Kubu Island 15:30

    Refuel in Nata (P8.08 / liter) as nearest petrol station was out-of-order due to power failure and one car needed refueling before going to Kubu Island

    distance (dirt road only) 95.9 km
    avg. fuel 10 l/100km
    avg. speed 24.7 km/h


    Fri 07/11/2008 Kubu Island to Khama Rhino Lodge (near Serowe)

    departure Kubu Island 08:45
    arrival Khama Rhino Lodge 13:00

    distance 243.2 km
    avg. fuel 8.2 l/100km
    avg. speed 65.5 km/h

    Note:
    the road through the pans was slightly muddy (estimated between 1 and 2 cm mud layer) at two or three places but travels a lot faster (1.5 h for approx 80 km) than the road between Nata and Kubu Island

    Sun 09/11/2008 Khama Rhino Lodge to Jo'burg

    departure Khama Rhino Lodge 08:30
    arrival Jo'burg 17:00

    refuel in Boiteko Junction (P8.07 / l)
    also bought some chicken (kind of KFC) and fresh bread for breakfast on the road

    distance 638.9 km
    avg. fuel 8.9 l/100km
    avg. speed 89.2 km/h

    ==================================
    Answers:

    1. Fuel consumption was no issue; we carried 50 liters in jerry cans on the roof and a friend carried another 20 liters for us and we only used 20 of that.
    2. According to experienced off-roaders in our group, the Freelander 2 did surprisingly well (as did the driver according to one of them )
      Some advice from my experiences:
      switch DSC off when off-roading; we forgot it on a trip to Baines Baobab and the DSC warning light kept on flashing on bouncy stretches. It spoiled the trip as we did not know what was going on and decided to end the trip
      only use the special 4x4 modes when absolutely necessary;the problem that we experienced is that with longer distances in thick sand the brakes will start overheating as they are constantly applied and released to 'simulate' a diff-lock. Therefore I eventually decided to only use the special off-road modes when necessary and try as much in normal mode as possible.
    3. Hyenas in Moremi were not a big issue although one raided our camp at night (while we were sleeping) and dragged a full 100 liter storage box 300 m into the bush
      Baboons might soon become an issue as one of them jumped into cars to find food


    And that's it for now. I will start working on photos and a little website but that will take a while.
    Last edited by sterretje; 2008/11/12 at 06:58 AM. Reason: fixed up some typos

  2. #2
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    This Fred is useless without pics!
    Everything is a hammer.
    Unless it is a screw driver.

    Then it it a chisel.

  3. #3
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    Default Moremi

    On request, some photos from the Moremi part of the trip
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  4. #4
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    Default Savuti, Chobe and Kubu Island

    And some more for the other parts of the trip
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  5. #5
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    Pic's or no pic's, some very useful info, thanks for taking the time to share the info with us.

    Makes me want to go overlanding!!

  6. #6
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    I know this is a 4x4 forum and all that, but how much of that trip could you do in a normal car. I do not have a 4x at the moment, and would love to do a trip like that, but only have a platkar...
    Mercedes W123 300D, runs on Mother Natures Goodness.
    Powered by the Sun, the Rain and the Earth.
    Have now covered 220 000Km on veg oil.
    Oh, and an Isuzu 280DT.

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    Sterretje, Thank you for a great report.
    Motivated me to start planning my trip for next year...
    D4 V8
    Live life on the edge... you get a better view !
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    Tiaan,

    When are we going This looks like good fun.....
    Last edited by BigRed; 2008/11/12 at 08:27 PM. Reason: spelling
    "A turbo: exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster "
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZuluCowboy View Post
    I know this is a 4x4 forum and all that, but how much of that trip could you do in a normal car. I do not have a 4x at the moment, and would love to do a trip like that, but only have a platkar...
    You can get up to South Gate (gravel road) but I would not go further in a nomal car, mostly because of ground clearance (middelmannetjies are high in places). And you need a bit of power (so a 1300 cc or so will not do in my opinion).
    Kubu can probably be done in the dry season, coming from the Nata side. From the other side (Lethakane), you have one or two difficult spots that I would not do in a normal car.

    But I'm not a specialist.

    And don't forget that you're probably more concentrating on the driving than on the environment around you so it might not be a rewarding experience.
    Last edited by sterretje; 2008/11/12 at 05:21 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRed View Post
    Tiaan,

    When are we going This looks like good fun.....
    June/July - will you be joining?
    D4 V8
    Live life on the edge... you get a better view !
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiaanS View Post
    June/July

    Ek gaan hopenlik ook daai tyd daar wees! Dalk sien ons julle daar!
    Everything is a hammer.
    Unless it is a screw driver.

    Then it it a chisel.

  12. #12
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    Hi Sterretje
    Does that Frontrunner roof rack make a noise when you're driving? I just got a quote from Landrover for the roof rails & bars. Thinking of getting the Frontrunner now...
    Tx

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    Nice report! I find the don't use special modes MOST interesting. Thanks for that and the pics! And now I see this thread's date...
    Last edited by dieselfan; 2010/08/21 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Saw date

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    Sterretjie,

    excellent report...and awesome pics. It looks like your group really enjoyed it and I'm glad to see the 'softroaders' getting some action as well.
    Offroad junky
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    Default Sand

    Hi Sterretji,


    On the issue of Special modes.

    Yes switch the DSC OFF on sand.

    But, in sand you should use the sand mode or else the breaks WILL overheat.

    In essence what the sand mode does is älmost completely disable the "electronic diffs" that are implemented by the brakes.

    The sand mode, almost completely disables TC and changes the throttle response and in the auto, alows the motor to rev high before changing gears in order to maintain momentum. It also tightens up the Haldex to achieve the equivalent of a CDL.

    We have a RRS and a Freelander 2 which we use on fairly tricky stuff.

    On both of them it is imperative that you know what you are doing with regards to mode selection. Get it wrong and you will get stuck and/or overheat the brakes. Get it right and you will be happy with what it can achieve.

    I just wish the manufactureres of all these special features (not just LR) would publish full details of what each mode does to the cars systems.

    Cheers
    Keith
    Cheers

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    Hi people, did not know that this thread is still alive. To make up for it, a link to more photos. Sorry, navigation on that site sucks a bit and needs to be reworked.

    @sharky2
    Yes, the roofrack adds some noise; and you have not much (but enough) clearance when opening the sun roof

    @dieselfan
    thanks

    @offroad junkie
    yes, SUVs should be used a bit more what they are intended for; we're not really off-roaders but this trip was something that we didn't want to let go

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Hi Sterretji,


    On the issue of Special modes.

    Yes switch the DSC OFF on sand.

    But, in sand you should use the sand mode or else the breaks WILL overheat.

    In essence what the sand mode does is älmost completely disable the "electronic diffs" that are implemented by the brakes.

    The sand mode, almost completely disables TC and changes the throttle response and in the auto, alows the motor to rev high before changing gears in order to maintain momentum. It also tightens up the Haldex to achieve the equivalent of a CDL.

    We have a RRS and a Freelander 2 which we use on fairly tricky stuff.

    On both of them it is imperative that you know what you are doing with regards to mode selection. Get it wrong and you will get stuck and/or overheat the brakes. Get it right and you will be happy with what it can achieve.

    I just wish the manufactureres of all these special features (not just LR) would publish full details of what each mode does to the cars systems.

    Cheers
    Keith
    Thanks for that feedback. The DSC was a mistake from my side (just forgot to switch it off) and when the DSC could not handle it any more, the orange triangle lighted up causing some cautious panic.

    With regards to the sand mode: our 'incident' happened after driving a whole day in the sand in sand mode; that contradicts your statement regarding the 'electronic diffs'. Any thoughts?
    Thinking about it, this was probably also what was happening in Savuti after driving in heavy sand in sand mode.

    And I absolutely agree with your last statement.

    WimS

  18. #18
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    Default Fuel Usage

    We are planning a trip to Moremi and Savuti from Maun Jan –Feb 13. We have a SWB Diesel Pajero with a 70 Ltr tank and an extra 80 Lts on the roof rack. Can anyone please advise on fuel required. Our proposed itinerary is below.
    Day 1 Maun to Third Bridge
    Day 2 Third Bridge to Xakamaxa
    Day 3 Xakamaxa to Third Bridge
    Day 4 Third Bridge to South Gate
    Day 5 South gate to Maun (Re-Fuel)
    Day 6 Maun to North Gate
    Day 7 North gate to Savuti
    Day 8 Savuti
    Day 9 Savuti
    Day 10 Savuti
    Day 11 Savuti to Maun

  19. #19
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    Hi Timmor,

    We did most of the same route in the same vehicle, except we were towing an off-road trailer. We left from Maun with a full tank + 80l on the roof + 40l on the trailer. With the thick sand and the many game drives, we arrived in Chobe with 20l.

    You don't say whether you are towing, so if not, you should have no problems with your current fuel. The sand around Savuti drinks fuel.




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    Default Thanks

    Vnielsen, Thanks for the reply really useful. We are not towing, but have the weight of a roof top tent.

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