Another 2017 Bots Trip





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  1. #1
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    Default Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Hi all,

    I see there are quite a few of us planning a Bots adventure in 2017. I am also planning one in August 2017 (I know I need to book about 3 months ago but hoping for the best) and need some logic checking and advice from those with the experience.

    The premise behind the trip is for us to try setup camp for a minimum of 3 to 4 days as the group likes to take it slow and there are some offroad caravans coming with. (I know we will bog down at some point as well but they are set in their ways).

    1. Northern Tuli Game Reserve - Tuli Wilderness or Limpopo Safari Lodge
    2. Northern Tuli Game Reserve - Tuli Wilderness or Limpopo Safari Lodge
    3. Nata - Nata Lodge
    4. Linyanti
    5. Linyanti
    6. Linyanti
    7. Savuti
    8. Savuti
    9. Savuti
    10. Moremi - Either Xakanaxa or 3rd Bridge
    11. Moremi
    12. Moremi
    13. Moremi
    14. Makgadigadi Pans (Just for the experience - open to recommendations)
    15. Khama

    Please feel free to throw any advice into the hat. I have done some reading and it seems my Linyanti stay is perhaps too long so open to some suggestions there.

    Thanks for all input.

    Regards
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Well, Nata Lodge to Linyanti might be a very long day in a group towing.

    Linyanti is worth a visit, but I will do less time there or skip it completely and split that time between Savuti and Moremi. Also the track between Linyanti and Savuti is a challenge when towing, extremely thick sand. Chances of bogging down more than once is good.

    For Moremi, try to include North Gate as well, very productive area.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Thanks for the reply and advice. Is there a recommended stop over between Nata and Linyanti that will help ease the drive? I see there are a few places in Kasane that could work.

    I am seriously considering leaving the Linyanti leg out and splitting the days between Savuti and Moremi (Perhaps changing camps for the change of scenery).


    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Well, Nata Lodge to Linyanti might be a very long day in a group towing.

    Linyanti is worth a visit, but I will do less time there or skip it completely and split that time between Savuti and Moremi. Also the track between Linyanti and Savuti is a challenge when towing, extremely thick sand. Chances of bogging down more than once is good.

    For Moremi, try to include North Gate as well, very productive area.
    Prado 120 VX V6, ARB Deluxe Bullbar, Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack, Wild Earth RTT

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    The best option to break the Nata - Linyanti long route, is a night in Kasane. You can choose between Senyanti, Chobe Safari Lodge and many more.

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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    And consider Ihaha & Dijara.

    I would skip Moremi, especially North Gate camp. The baboon troop there causes havoc. (And are aggressive towards women & children)
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Thanks for all the really good advice. I have added the stopover in Kasane to break the trip and this has automatically shortened the Linyanti leg. I have also contacted Tara for some assistance with booking as I realize I am a bit late.

    Please keep the advice coming, I am keen to learn some more.
    Prado 120 VX V6, ARB Deluxe Bullbar, Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack, Wild Earth RTT

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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    KDJ contrary to the others I think that Linyanti is very nice. There is not much driving to do and time is spent resting and waiting for the game to walk past. Last July I saw two Kudu bulls fighting for about two hours, wild dogs, several elephants and an array of antelopes- all whilst sitting in my chair.
    As for the much feared sand, there are a few thick patches but with the right tyre pressure and gear selection it really shouldn't be a problem.
    Regards,

    Nico Roets

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    I would prefer to spend my 2 nights after Kasane at Ihaha, rather than Linyanti. Yes, there are a few issues with monkeys and baboons, but IMHO these are far outweighed by the delights of the Chobe riverfront. If you're worried about it being too busy, I don't think it's bad to the west of Chobe Game Lodge.

    I would also spend time in Dijara/Khwai area rather than Savuti. Just one night at Savuti (though you could drive straight through in a long day), followed by 2 or 3 in Dijara.

    Just my 2c worth!

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by nicor View Post
    KDJ contrary to the others I think that Linyanti is very nice. There is not much driving to do and time is spent resting and waiting for the game to walk past. Last July I saw two Kudu bulls fighting for about two hours, wild dogs, several elephants and an array of antelopes- all whilst sitting in my chair.
    As for the much feared sand, there are a few thick patches but with the right tyre pressure and gear selection it really shouldn't be a problem.
    I agree with this.

    Had awesome sightings on the river bank where you camp only a few meters away which included buffalo, hippo, ellies and crocs.

    Linyanti is a jewel.
    Nico Swart

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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    So I have been convinced, Linyanti seems to fit the group well and I have decided to include it for 2 days.

    I will see if we can put the Savuti alternates in as some of the group has already been to Savuti Camp and would welcome the change.

    Thanks again for all the advice, it is appreciated.
    Prado 120 VX V6, ARB Deluxe Bullbar, Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack, Wild Earth RTT

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    So it seems the 1 year rule is very much a reality. I have just given the go ahead for the following:

    2nd to 3rd September: Northern Tuli Game Reserve - Tuli Wilderness
    4th September: Nata Lodge or Elephant Sands
    5th September: Chobe Safari Lodge
    6th and 7th September: Linyanti
    8th - 10th September: Savuti
    11th - 14th September: Third Bridge (I will request for the full campsite fee to be paid to prevent site sharing)
    15th September: Kubu Island
    16th September: Khama Rhino Sanctuary

    Thanks again for all the advice, will have to do another trip to accommodate the other recommendations.
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by KJD View Post
    So it seems the 1 year rule is very much a reality. I have just given the go ahead for the following:

    2nd to 3rd September: Northern Tuli Game Reserve - Tuli Wilderness
    4th September: Nata Lodge or Elephant Sands
    5th September: Chobe Safari Lodge
    6th and 7th September: Linyanti
    8th - 10th September: Savuti
    11th - 14th September: Third Bridge (I will request for the full campsite fee to be paid to prevent site sharing)
    15th September: Kubu Island
    16th September: Khama Rhino Sanctuary

    Thanks again for all the advice, will have to do another trip to accommodate the other recommendations.
    Looks good...remember to leave Third bridge early to accomodate time to do some shopping in Maun before heading to Kubu

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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    A word of warning. It will be a long day from 3rd bridge to Kubu. Take the route from Planet Boabab to cross the pans.
    Regards,

    Nico Roets

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    I agree with Nico, not even entirely sure if 3rd B to Kubu is do-able in a day. Leave 3rd B as early as you can.
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  16. #15
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the advice on the distance between 3rd Bridge and Kubu, it has saved our bacon because I doubt we would have made it even if we left early.

    I wasn't aware of the time to drive between 3rd Bridge and Kubu Island and I have decided to add a stopover in Maun instead by removing a night in 3rd bridge. I have now learnt how to enter two destinations into T4A instead of plain routing to prevent this happening again. Google Maps is also not a great indicator of time.

    So overall I think the trip feels quite nicely balanced and the night in Maun will be a refreshing stop after all the camping.
    Prado 120 VX V6, ARB Deluxe Bullbar, Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack, Wild Earth RTT

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Good move!
    Regards,

    Nico Roets

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    So things are ticking along nicely, Botswana Wilderness have been great with doing the bookings and can really recommend them.

    So an update:
    2nd Sept 2017: TBC - See below my thoughts.
    3rd Sept 2017: TBC
    4th Sept 2017: Pelican Lodge Chalets, Nata (Nata Lodge and Elephant Sands Chalets are fully booked)
    5th Sept 2017: Chobe Safari Lodge, Rondawels, Kasane
    6th - 7th: Linyanti Campsite, Chobe (Cl1)
    8th - 10th: Savuti Campsite, Chobe (CV4)
    11th - 13th: 3rd Bridge Campsite, Moremi (MT3)
    14th: Island Safari Lodge, Maun
    15th: Kubu Island Campsites
    16th: Khama Rhino Sanctuary Chalets
    17th: Home

    I initially planned for 2 nights in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve with some posts mentioning that Tuli Wilderness Camp is a good visit but after looking at the websites and considering that only guided game drives are allowed in the area (per the website), I am having second thoughts. Is there perhaps a better way to spend the 2nd and 3rd getting to Nata that anyone can think of?
    Prado 120 VX V6, ARB Deluxe Bullbar, Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack, Wild Earth RTT

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Hi all,

    An update on the trip. We returned yesterday after an incredible adventure and experience. Just some notes and an update on road conditions and general learning and experiences that we had.

    I apologize for the length of this but hope it helps answer some of the questions that I had before setting off.

    General Learning and Experiences



    Tyre Pressures and Getting Stuck

    We were towing a Conqueror Companion with a Land Cruiser 79 D/Cab V8 as well as a Prado 120 V6 and had no issues with getting stuck. The tyres were deflated to around 1.5bar to help with the areas with deep sand and this proved successful. We did nearly get the Tow Rig stuck in Savuti with maneuvering around but nothing a little back and forth and low range couldn't fix.

    Towbar Trouble

    The Land Cruiser is fitted with a Dual Sparewheel Carrier with a Towbar Receiver attached with 8 bolts and upon arriving in Linyanti Gate we found the 6 bolts holding the towbar receiver bolts had fallen out and under the towing load had bent the towbar plate around 45 degrees down and the caravan was still attached forming a V shape. We ended up using bottle jacks to lift the caravan and towbar receiver to a point where we could detach the caravan and attach the caravan to the Prado to get into camp for the night.

    We ended up having the bolts replaced at the Linyanti Lodge and that saved a trip back to Kasane. The damage caused by the tow bar effectively plowing in areas whilst it was bent caused further damage that was unseen until Maun where Kavango Engineering helped us replace some of the chassis bolts and weld where we couldn't replace bolts due to the spare wheel carrier shifting and fuel tank that was in the way. We were exceptionally lucky that the spare wheel carrier held as long as it did as there was only 3 of the 8 bolts on the sides holding it in place.

    The major lesson here for us was that if you are dependent on towing make sure you check your towing rig and setup, we assumed that nothing would go wrong with the vehicle and that the caravan was the biggest risk and we had that thoroughly checked but neglected the vehicle.

    Fuel
    We did around 650 to 700km on the Leg from Kasane - Linyanti - Moremi - Maun and this included decent game driving and that. Both the Land Cruiser and Prado used similar amounts of fuel and effectively we were on average 20 to 24L/100km. We had an additional 40L of Diesel for the Cruiser and 20L for the Prado and although we probably didn't need the additional fuel as both vehicles have 180L tanks, it was comforting to know that it was there and helped reduce stress and I would definitely do it again.

    Campsites
    We need to thank Tara from Botswana Footprints on all the camp sites booked. A short review below:
    - Linyanti (CL1) - An amazing camp site with an awesome view and big shady tree. A bit far from the ablutions as the closest one is not operational.

    - Savuti (CV4) - Right on the canal and is really big with a big shady tree that was welcome in the heat. Really far from the ablutions but it seems that is Standard in Savuti unless you get the RSV campsites.

    - 3rd Bridge (MT3) - Massive Sausage tree that again helped with shade. It was just flowering so made the cars and caravan sticky but overall an experience of note. We saw no baboons or monkeys but Hippo and Hyena are visitors and can be a pest. A good torch is recommended.

    Fridges and Power and Ice
    The heat really does hammer the batteries and fridges and we ended up having to drop the freezer temperatures to -6 Celsius to stay ahead. If you are towing a caravan, solar panels are a must and were the only way we could keep up. The Companion has 2*105ah batteries and we used 2*125w Solar Panels to get us over the worst.

    Daily game drives were a must to help the car fridges to work.

    We learnt to avoid putting in things in the fridge/freezers during the day and keeping the cars open to avoid heat build up saved some batteries.

    We struggled badly with ice and couldn't find much of the stuff on our trip through the parks. You can try the lodges but some are very open to helping and others not so much but worth a try none the less.


    Road Conditions

    Kasane - Linyanti
    The road from Kasane to Linyanti on the Cut Line is in decent condition with some patches of deep sand.

    Linyanti - Savuti
    We traveled the cut line back to the turn off and continued along the main transit route to Savuti after the issues we picked up with the caravan. This route is decent and after the Savuti gate we used the Airfield Road as we were told this is the less sandy and bumpy route. The airfield route is the one I would take again as the main Savuti road isn't great.

    Savuti - 3rd Bridge
    We drove Sand Ridge Road and it proved to be terrible in places and okay in other places. In hind sight we should have looked at using the Marsh Road but I would definitely enquire at the Gate about the recommended route.

    Moremi has definitely taken a beating with the flooding and the roads around Xaxanaxa aren't in the best of condition. The road between 4th Bridge and 3rd Bridge is deeply rutted with the infamous shakes testing anyone's sense of humor. Water Crossings were experienced on the transit road by Khwai heading towards North Gate but if you have time you could look for a more suitable crossing if you are uncomfortable. The other water crossing was at 3rd Bridge (33 inch Tyre Height)
    Last edited by KJD; 2017/09/18 at 11:24 AM.
    Prado 120 VX V6, ARB Deluxe Bullbar, Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack, Wild Earth RTT

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  21. #19
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by KJD View Post
    Hi all,

    An update on the trip. We returned yesterday after an incredible adventure and experience. Just some notes and an update on road conditions and general learning and experiences that we had.

    I apologize for the length of this but hope it helps answer some of the questions that I had before setting off.

    General Learning and Experiences



    Tyre Pressures and Getting Stuck

    We were towing a Conqueror Companion with a Land Cruiser 79 D/Cab V8 as well as a Prado 120 V6 and had no issues with getting stuck. The tyres were deflated to around 1.5bar to help with the areas with deep sand and this proved successful. We did nearly get the Tow Rig stuck in Savuti with maneuvering around but nothing a little back and forth and low range couldn't fix.

    Towbar Trouble

    The Land Cruiser is fitted with a Dual Sparewheel Carrier with a Towbar Receiver attached with 8 bolts and upon arriving in Linyanti Gate we found the 6 bolts holding the towbar receiver bolts had fallen out and under the towing load had bent the towbar plate around 45 degrees down and the caravan was still attached forming a V shape. We ended up using bottle jacks to lift the caravan and towbar receiver to a point where we could detach the caravan and attach the caravan to the Prado to get into camp for the night.

    We ended up having the bolts replaced at the Linyanti Lodge and that saved a trip back to Kasane. The damage caused by the tow bar effectively plowing in areas whilst it was bent caused further damage that was unseen until Maun where Kavango Engineering helped us replace some of the chassis bolts and weld where we couldn't replace bolts due to the spare wheel carrier shifting and fuel tank that was in the way. We were exceptionally lucky that the spare wheel carrier held as long as it did as there was only 3 of the 8 bolts on the sides holding it in place.

    The major lesson here for us was that if you are dependent on towing make sure you check your towing rig and setup, we assumed that nothing would go wrong with the vehicle and that the caravan was the biggest risk and we had that thoroughly checked but neglected the vehicle.

    Fuel
    We did around 650 to 700km on the Leg from Kasane - Linyanti - Moremi - Maun and this included decent game driving and that. Both the Land Cruiser and Prado used similar amounts of fuel and effectively we were on average 20 to 24L/100km. We had an additional 40L of Diesel for the Cruiser and 20L for the Prado and although we probably didn't need the additional fuel as both vehicles have 180L tanks, it was comforting to know that it was there and helped reduce stress and I would definitely do it again.

    Campsites
    We need to thank Tara from Botswana Footprints on all the camp sites booked. A short review below:
    - Linyanti (CL1) - An amazing camp site with an awesome view and big shady tree. A bit far from the ablutions as the closest one is not operational.

    - Savuti (CV4) - Right on the canal and is really big with a big shady tree that was welcome in the heat. Really far from the ablutions but it seems that is Standard in Savuti unless you get the RSV campsites.

    - 3rd Bridge (MT3) - Massive Sausage tree that again helped with shade. It was just flowering so made the cars and caravan sticky but overall an experience of note. We saw no baboons or monkeys but Hippo and Hyena are visitors and can be a pest. A good torch is recommended.

    Fridges and Power and Ice
    The heat really does hammer the batteries and fridges and we ended up having to drop the freezer temperatures to -6 Celsius to stay ahead. If you are towing a caravan, solar panels are a must and were the only way we could keep up. The Companion has 2*105ah batteries and we used 2*125w Solar Panels to get us over the worst.

    Daily game drives were a must to help the car fridges to work.

    We learnt to avoid putting in things in the fridge/freezers during the day and keeping the cars open to avoid heat build up saved some batteries.

    We struggled badly with ice and couldn't find much of the stuff on our trip through the parks. You can try the lodges but some are very open to helping and others not so much but worth a try none the less.


    Road Conditions

    Kasane - Linyanti
    The road from Kasane to Linyanti on the Cut Line is in decent condition with some patches of deep sand.

    Linyanti - Savuti
    We traveled the cut line back to the turn off and continued along the main transit route to Savuti after the issues we picked up with the caravan. This route is decent and after the Savuti gate we used the Airfield Road as we were told this is the less sandy and bumpy route. The airfield route is the one I would take again as the main Savuti road isn't great.

    Savuti - 3rd Bridge
    We drove Sand Ridge Road and it proved to be terrible in places and okay in other places. In hind sight we should have looked at using the Marsh Road but I would definitely enquire at the Gate about the recommended route.

    Moremi has definitely taken a beating with the flooding and the roads around Xaxanaxa aren't in the best of condition. The road between 4th Bridge and 3rd Bridge is deeply rutted with the infamous shakes testing anyone's sense of humor. Water Crossings were experienced on the transit road by Khwai heading towards North Gate but if you have time you could look for a more suitable crossing if you are uncomfortable. The other water crossing was at 3rd Bridge (33 inch Tyre Height)
    Hi Brian,

    We saw you guys at Linyanti (camped next to you). Glad to hear you were able to sort the towbar.

    Will send you a link as soon as my trip report is done and will also email you those pics of the ellie raiding the back of your Cruiser.

    Regards,

    Stephan
    Stephan

    4x4: 2018 Isuzu KB250 D-Teq 4x4 DC
    Platkar: 2019 Suzuki Baleno GLX

    "All of us get lost in the darkness. Dreamers learn to steer by the stars"

  22. #20
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    Default Re: Another 2017 Bots Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Groenman View Post
    Hi Brian,

    We saw you guys at Linyanti (camped next to you). Glad to hear you were able to sort the towbar.

    Will send you a link as soon as my trip report is done and will also email you those pics of the ellie raiding the back of your Cruiser.

    Regards,

    Stephan

    Hi Stephan,

    It's Kyle posting, good to hear from you guys again. How was the drive to Kasane and home? More importantly, how was your Tiger Fishing?

    Looking forward to the pics and your trip report. We ended up doing that water crossing that you told us about and was a bit hair raising in my Prado as there was a moment it looked a bit deep for me.

    Regards,

    Kyle
    Prado 120 VX V6, ARB Deluxe Bullbar, Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack, Wild Earth RTT

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