Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    johannesburg
    Age
    34
    Posts
    13
    Thanked: 1

    Default Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    Hi,

    My friends and i are planning a 15 days trip to Botswana for the second half of April 2017 and are doing our research to make sure that we're ready! I am new here and already found a lot of info on this awesome community for self-drive trips in Bots.

    I am now trying to decide if I should go with my Kia Sorento (2.5 CRDI 4WD with low range, 2006) and my own equipment or if I should instead rent a better 4x4 with higher clearance and maybe a snorkel. What would you guys recommend?

    My main concern is that the Kia doesn't have a high ground clearance and that self-driving Moremi, Chobe and the Pans in April after all the rains will be very tricky if not impossible.

    We will be 2 or 3 cars minimum, but for the first part of the trip (Chobe and Savuti) it might only be my vehicle and only meeting my friends at Khwai. We are amateur 4x4 drivers and do not have much experience or expertise to fix a car if we end up breaking down in the middle of nowhere.

    The places we would like to visit:

    Kasane / Chobe River River Front
    Savuti
    Khwai
    Third bridge/ Xakanaxa / South gate or camp outside moremi
    Pans / Kubu Island
    Deception valley / CKGR

    I love my Kia and it performed very well on some light and medium 4x4 trails in SA, but I am not sure that it can handle what this trip will throw at her, especially in April. Do you think that I will be able to do most of the trip with the Sorento? Or should I spend extra money on renting a fully equiped rental 4x4 (Toyota Hilux Double cab) for peace of mind?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    Olivier

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Glencairn, Cape Town
    Age
    67
    Posts
    10,968
    Thanked: 5057

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    I'm not familiar with the Sorento, but the latest Drive Out has an article on them taking four vehicles to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, one of them a Sorento (the others were a Jeep Wrangler, Merc G-Class, Pajero and a Jimny). Although all who took part were very impressed by the Kia, it sounds as if it suffered a lot of damage - shredded tyres, undercarriage damage, and they lost the spare wheel at one point (ripped off from underneath).
    The route you are planning is a lot tougher than the one they did, which only had the offroad section between SA and Mabua to deal with, the rest was gravel.
    I would think twice (again stressing that I am not familiar with the vehicle or its specs).
    Tony Weaver
    2010 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 3.2l diesel
    Previously
    1991 Land Rover 110 Hi-Line 3.5l V8; 1968 2.25l Land Rover SII; 1969 2.6l SIIA; 1973 2.25l SIII
    1983 Toyota HiLux 2l 4x4

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Gaborone
    Age
    73
    Posts
    7,744
    Thanked: 2960

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    As Tony points out.
    You said you love your Sorento, so better keep it safe, meaning parked in a garage whilst you are out in mud and deep sand.

    No need for a snorkel as you won't do any extreme crossings and any rentals will show you the limitations in their contract.
    Look for a Hilux or Navara, if you cant resit a Defender then you are safe in April.

    I would recommend to look into alternatives to Kubu Island, just in case the pans are to wet, so don't try, it could lead to some memories for the next generation
    Walter Rene Gygax
    Kalahari Safari
    ORRA Call: WB58 | ICASA ZRF430
    Nissan Patrol GU TB45
    | Nissan Safari GU TD42 | B'rakah 4x4 Trailer
    E34 - 535i for a bit of nostalgia
    E39 - 540i for the open roads

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    East London
    Age
    52
    Posts
    1,009
    Thanked: 5809

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    From my experience Savuti would be my only concern if I was to take my own vehicle. I found the sand was pretty thick in and around camp compared to other campsites. Having said that we saw an all wheel drive Volvo XC60 in Savuti this past September. A quick Google search tells me that the ground clearance of a Sorento is 185mm and the XC60 is 230mm.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Age
    55
    Posts
    10,293
    Thanked: 10616

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    Hire a 4x4.

    Arrive in the CKGR and the roads look like below, you are going to wish you were in somebody else's car. That was late April 2015.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CKGR 2015.jpg 
Views:	193 
Size:	54.8 KB 
ID:	424342   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CKGR2015 mud.jpg 
Views:	204 
Size:	101.1 KB 
ID:	424343  
    Christa

    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT - sold

    Bushlapa 78 - sold

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ghanzi, Botswana
    Age
    45
    Posts
    2,672
    Thanked: 2371

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    I was in Moremi in April,staying at Third bridge and I can promise you, you will meet some of the biggest challenges of muddy,dip holes along the routes to Third bridge. It was raining daily and some roads very slippery....Im not familiar with the Sorento's performance.....but you really need a 4x4 with good clearance and gread offroad capabilities.
    Last edited by PAT n WOLF; 2016/11/09 at 07:26 AM.

    _______________________________
    2011
    VW Amarok BIturbo TDI 4Motion (SOLD Dec 2020)
    2019 Land Cruiser 79 4.2 S/C
    _______________________________

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Boksburg
    Age
    60
    Posts
    4,109
    Thanked: 787

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    My Buddie has one of those Sorento's
    Has rear diff lock as well

    Ground clearence is good , power excelent. We have done some beach and sand around kosi together and he never looked like battling anywhere.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Outeniquastrand
    Age
    71
    Posts
    908
    Thanked: 259

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    My experience.
    In May (Very important with reference to the density of the sand) 2008 we went to Khutze, through CKGR to Deception and back home. Navara, Pajero with trailer and 2006 Sorento with low range.
    The Sorento chickened out going South to North through CKGR and met up with us in Deception 2 days later. All three vehicles travelled extensively in Khutse and Deception in heavy sand without a problem.
    The Sorento is a strong spacious car and is only lacking ground clearance.
    Recommendation: Lift your Sorento (If it is like you said the one with low range. A few of them came without low range: In general dont go there in any vehicle without low range) and fit higher profile tyres with the money you are prepared to rent another car with.

    By the way: That same Sorento now has 130 000 odd km, new engine and turbo. Engine was fittted by someone in KZN, back here the turbo blew. Kia fitted the new turbo but could not get the turbo to"match" with the engine. The car is stationary for more than a year. I think my son in law (He bought a Prado in the mean time) will exchange it for R70 000. If you interested PM me

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Brits
    Age
    41
    Posts
    2,091
    Thanked: 475

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto Betta View Post
    From my experience Savuti would be my only concern if I was to take my own vehicle. I found the sand was pretty thick in and around camp compared to other campsites. Having said that we saw an all wheel drive Volvo XC60 in Savuti this past September. A quick Google search tells me that the ground clearance of a Sorento is 185mm and the XC60 is 230mm.
    Just out of interest but I found the ground clearance to be 208mm but anyway. Your car should be able to make the trip without hassle, but if you dont feel safe doing so then rather go the hired route.
    Renault Duster 1.5Dci 4WD

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    68
    Posts
    71
    Thanked: 9

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    In 2008 we were a convoy of 4 vehicles including a Sorento with low range towing a small off road caravan Jurgen Oryx and did the delta and Savuti to Kasane trip.
    The trip was in October and very little water crossing but extreme thick sand with high middelmannetjies and the Sorento was plowing them down with the low ground clearance.
    The trip was still a success and no major damage was experienced.
    I cannot comment on wet conditions
    2015 Ford Ranger DC 4x4
    Sprite tourer SP traded in
    2015 Sprite Swing

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bloemfontein
    Age
    68
    Posts
    515
    Thanked: 199

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    I believe that ground clearance measurements are taken with the vehicle unloaded, so be careful with those figures. If you can load your Sorento with approximately the load you would carry to Botswana, people included, then re-measure. I believe that you'll agree that its not designed for over-landing as such.

    If were in your shoes, I'd hire the appropriate vehicle for your trip.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Witbank
    Age
    66
    Posts
    57
    Thanked: 17

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    I went there in September with an Audi Q5. The Kia will make it but with it's low ground clearance all the tupperware underneath will stay in Bots. Audi clearance is 200mm and all the covers tore off. Regards, Kobus

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    johannesburg
    Age
    34
    Posts
    13
    Thanked: 1

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    Thanks a lot for all the advice and suggestions, really appreciate it! I think that I will play it safe and hire a hilux or similar to get the most of the trip without the stress.
    Aside from maun4x4 and Bushtrackers in Joburg, do you have some recommendations for good value 4x4 rental companies?

    Well noted for CKGR, Savuti and Kubu at this time of the year, we will monitor the rains and road conditions closely before going there!

    Thanks
    Oli

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    swakopmund
    Age
    52
    Posts
    4,572
    Thanked: 1315

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobusve View Post
    I went there in September with an Audi Q5. The Kia will make it but with it's low ground clearance all the tupperware underneath will stay in Bots. Audi clearance is 200mm and all the covers tore off. Regards, Kobus
    How much did that cost you ? Got a Quote on a cover (plastic) off course that got a tear between the screws that holds it in place where you hit a dune crest in the middle of the vehicle ( read poor break over angle ) , was shocked at stealers price . Took it off myself and plasti welded it for n$ 50 bucks , works a treat .

    Bmw do have a steel plate aftermarket replacement (covers the whole belly of the vehicle) they use on their x5's they use for their off road experience vehicles. wish I could get hold of that.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Alberton
    Age
    63
    Posts
    7,566
    Thanked: 5445

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Olivier Mauritius View Post
    Thanks a lot for all the advice and suggestions, really appreciate it! I think that I will play it safe and hire a hilux or similar to get the most of the trip without the stress.
    Aside from maun4x4 and Bushtrackers in Joburg, do you have some recommendations for good value 4x4 rental companies?

    Well noted for CKGR, Savuti and Kubu at this time of the year, we will monitor the rains and road conditions closely before going there!

    Thanks
    Oli
    try Tara from Botswana footprints [email protected]
    Stranger

    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

    GOF Club

    2004 Gen 3. 3.8i petrol V6 (PAJTU)
    X Factor Bundutop trailer (designed by me)
    1998 Blister Fender Pajero 3500 24V (PAJ) (Sold)
    BMW R1200R

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to Stranger For This Useful Post:


  17. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kathu
    Age
    36
    Posts
    47
    Thanked: 8

    Default Re: Looking for advice: Botswana with a Kia Sorento - April 2017

    We were the in June 2015, my Ranger T6 had no issues, but my father in law's Navara had ground clearance issues in the parks with high middelmannetjies, no damage but the bash plates scraped them.

    If you stay on tar and gravel roads and take game drives with your friends or safari vehicle you should be fine.

    Enjoy, we will also be in Bots end of April, beginning of May.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may post attachments
  • You may edit your posts
  •