Botswana Around the Delta Dec 08 trip report





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  1. #1
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    Default Botswana Around the Delta Dec 08 trip report

    Vehicles and equipment:
    1989 Hilux DC 2.2 4Y. Brospeed conversion. Golf Carb, Warn Winch, Ironman Suspension, Long Range Tank, Duel Battery, Outback Drawers, 60L Engel Combi Fridge/freezer, Featherlite RTT, Frontrunner Roof rack, 3 Jerry Cans, Hi Lift Jack and Spade, 60 liter water tanks, 1 x spare. Firestone ATX tires. Eezy Awning. Garmin Etrex Legend HCX Gps. 27MHZ Radio.

    2002 Colt D/c 2.8 TDI. Duel Battery, Outback Drawers, 60L Engel Combi Fridge/freezer, Echo RTT, Frontrunner Roof rack, 2 Jerry cans, Spade, HUGE axe, 40l Water, BFG AT tires Garmin Etrex Legend Hc GPS.

    Although we (in the Hilux) have done many overland trips in many different countries in Southern Africa, we took my Parents in Law, who borrowed my parent’s colt along for the ride. The in Laws live in the UK and prior to this trip has had no 4 x 4 or overlanding experience. They do however have lots of camping experience and have a great sense of humor and sense of adventure.

    15 December 2008. Day 1:
    Pretoria to Khama (551km traveled in 9 hours 44 minutes)
    A long day! Just before setting of I realized that my duel battery was finished. I stopped in Nylstroom’s new Mega World who were out of stock, but managed to get a new Deltec 105 at LA Sport in Vaalwater. (Don’t much remember all the new names)

    The in-laws are not really used to driving long distances, so there was stopping for resting and coffee all the time. It took us a little while to get through the Border at Martin’s Drift. The bottleneck is always paying for the car tax and road tax. The whole crossing took us just over an hour and a half.

    I always stick to the speed limit in Botswana and even slow down to the 80km/h or 60km/h for their crossings, so the going was not so fast.

    We stopped for lunch at the Wimpy in Palapye which is recommended! A little more expensive than SA Wimpy, but good service and the same wimpy taste we all love dearly.

    Because of the Foot and Mouth Scare we thought that we would not be able to move meat around at all inside Botswana. We stopped at the shiny new Shopping centre in Serowe for meat for one night and got some really nice chicken for supper.

    Khama was, as always very pleasant as a stopover. We didn’t do a drive in the afternoon, as we needed to help the inlaws set up camp and get settled. After a great supper it started to rain a little. This storm became heavier and heavier and heavier and lasted about 7 hours. It was still raining when we got up the next morning.

    Day 2:
    Khama to Kazikini camp (589km traveled)
    We started day 2 by breaking up camp in the rain. Welcome to Africa! We had a shower and left for Maun, our lunchtime destination. The track from the campsite to the gate was flooded and we drove in 50cm deep water all the way. My poor Father in Laws first taste of 4x4 driving. Fortunately we had the CB radios, so we could at least talk him through the process.

    We reached Maun around Lunchtime and ate in the Buck and Hunter by the airport. We then went to Riley’s for fuel and supplies. We bought meat for 6 nights and filled tanks and Jerry cans.

    I had booked us on a scenic flight over the delta that afternoon and we checked in at Moremi Air at 16:00. The weather had improved gradually over the day and it was hot and sunny by the time we took of.

    We were in a Cessna 206 with a young pilot who obviously knew his stuff. We were flying at 500ft above the ground and he spotted loads of game and tipped the wings so we could attempt to take some photographs. This was not easy! I have to say that I think the way to do this flight if you want to do some photography is either by Microlight, or Helicopter. Non the less, the price for the 4 of us was a reasonable Pula 2 400 for an hour and it is something that I would recommend!

    From there we drove to Kazikini Camp. It was my first time there and I have to say that I will use them again for sure! It was pretty quiet there. The ablutions were nice and clean and the price very fair. It is just far enough away from Maun so you actually feel like you’re in the bush.

    We had slightly damp tents and bedding from the previous night’s storm, but managed to get them dry enough to sleep comfortably.

    Day 3:
    Kazikini to 3rd Bridge and Game Drive. (115KM traveled)
    The drive to South Gate is always fantastic! We saw loads of game and drove really slowly. At the gate I noticed that all the building work was done. I asked the guard about the houses outside the gate that told me they were staff houses. We stopped in the campsite for a coffee and inspected the brand new ablution facilities. They are really nice! Well design, well built and clean and neat. Plenty of water and water pressure, but no hot water to speak of.

    The drive from South Gate to 3rd Bridge was interesting. The bird life was phenomenal and the game was plenty. We saw large herds of Letchwe and found one herd with an Albino in it. I’m not sure how common this is, but I have never seen any albino animals accept for Giraffe.

    The road was as wet as I have ever seen it, but not too hard to drive. We reached 3rd bridge by lunchtime.

    Ranting time:
    I made this booking in April of 2008 and specifically asked for a certain number campsite. When we arrived there, there was some idiot with a GP plate car camped in his Coleman hiking tent in our campsite. This really PISSES me off! We have all camped in Botswana without prior bookings, but I thought that we all understood that you then camp in a place where there is no number, so not to STEAL someone else’s booking.

    Anyway, we got the place under the big shady trees by the old ablution blocks. We managed to open our tents, dry our bedding and have some lunch. A few baboons came through camp that afternoon and although I had to chase one cocky bugger out of my canopy, they didn’t really bother us.

    We left on an afternoon drive heading towards Xakanaxa’s lodges. We were told that 3 days before there had been a Buffalo killed by lions.

    Although the delta’s water level seemed quite low, they had obviously had a lot of rain before we got there. The roads were very wet and we drove though mud hole after mud hole. It was not difficult driving, but obviously quite slow going.

    We never found the lions or the dead buffalo, but the game and bird sightings were plenty! We took about 3 hours to drive 40km.

    That night we were visited by the resident 3rd bridge Hyena and my Father in Law suddenly realized that we were not joking when we insisted that they do not walk around after dark.

    Day 4:
    3rd Bridge to Xakanaxa (57km traveled)
    We got up early and drove to the Mboma Boat station with the intention of doing a Makoro trip. This road was fairly dry and the going easy. We saw plenty of game on the way and reached Mboma in good time.

    4 years ago my wife and I did this makoro trip. It was Ok, but we didn’t really intend to do it again. With her parents though, we decided to take them there and join them. What a pleasant surprise that was! The price is Pula120 per hour per boat. The guiding seems to have been formalized. The guides now wear some uniform and they tell you about the history, the plants, the animals and the birds. Our guide was exceptional and had a lot of very scientific knowledge about everything in this environment. I would very much recommend this makoro trip to anyone!

    In order not to drive the same road twice, we took the longer road back to 3rd bridge. This is obviously the road less traveled! It was quite overgrown and sometimes hard to find the track. The game viewing wasn’t that great, but the fun driving more than made up for it.

    Our plan was to reach 3rd bridge again for lunch and was greeted by massive herds of game on the planes just outside of camp.

    We spent a relaxing afternoon in camp and left there at about 15:00 for dead Tree Island and Xakanaxa. I asked the GPS for the shortest route, saw some warnings about water crossings, but took that road anyway. Our first obstacle was a 50-meter water crossing. I walked it, found it to be waist deep and decided to have a go. This was done with no issues. The next crossing was the same, and the next, and the next….

    Some amount of water later we found the bridge to dead Tree Island which was overgrown and out of use. The road next to it was fine with a little puddle to get thorugh, but the going was easy.

    Dead tree island is such a spectacular place! We saw plenty of game there and the weather was nice to us. We could see big thunderstorms all around us, but we were mostly in sunlight. I wish we had the time to spend a few more day there.

    We made camp just before dark, but by this time the in laws were also very efficient in setting up camp. We were sitting next to the fire, cold beer in hand before it was dark.

    Day 5:
    Xakanaxa to Khwai community camp (94.7km traveled)
    Our original plans were slightly changed. We were told that the river road, as well as the more Southern road to North Gate were closed. The only way to go was to get back to South Gate, then take the cutline road to North gate, adding 40km onto our planned distance.

    As there are both maintained roads, we decided to let mom in Law and my wife have a go at the driving thing. My wife has loads of experience in this, so that was no issue. Mom in law simply followed her lead and with some coaching on the radio, the going was efficient and easy. The road was very wet with deep water crossings and we got water over the bonnet many times. The surface under the water seemed fine and there was no getting stuck.

    We had a plan to stop for a shower at North Gate, but got there at 10:45, so we had to leave the park. We still crossed the original bridge over the Khwai River, but they were almost finished with building a brand new bridge that is much higher, and will be much smoother that the one we know.

    We checked in at the community office, got GPS co-ords for our campsite and started the drive. We were a little later than planned, and drove fairly fast to try have lunch at our campsite.

    On the way there, the road very wet, we found a poor soul stuck in a puddle to the chassis. This guy, and his pregnant wife had been stuck for 3 hours when we found them and although the engine wasn’t drowned, the cab of the car was flooded and the pair of them caked in mud from head to toe. It didn’t seem like they had any recovery equipment.

    Fortunately we managed to winch them out fairly easily and decided to take the detour dry track rather that attempt their route.

    It’s always nice to be able to help people in need and I hope that when I need help, someone will be willing and able to help me.

    We reached camp at about 14:00, had some lunch, a bush shower and relaxed for a while. Our bush shower consists of water Jerry can (blue one), a 12v Coleman shower and mom in laws shower cubicle Christmas present. The jerry can spent its time on the roof and the water was already hot. We added 2l of boiling water to the mix to make it a really nice experience. We have experimented with many different ways of showering, and found this to be the best by far!

    That afternoon we drove west along the river. The game was plenty, the hippos playful and the bird life unbelievable! This is by far my favorite part of Botswana.

    We got back to camp before dark, set up, was about to light a fire when a few guys in a Landover stopped close to us. They told us that they saw some wild dogs close by. We quickly put down one of the Rtt’s, jumped in the colt and drove in the direction they indicated. About half a kilometer from our camp we found them. It was a small pack of 7 dogs that just killed an impala. Being careful not to blind them, I shone a spotlight on the ground in front of them and we could watch them eat away and interact. We stayed with them for about an hour, and although they were not done yet, we decided to let them be and return to our camp.

    They obviously did a good job if finishing of the impala because we never heard jackal or hyena that night.

    Day 6:
    Khwai Community Camp to Savute (128km Traveled)
    We woke early and set of for Savute. I started the day nervous about the infamous mud works and the start of the Sand Ridge road. We got to the turn of to Savute quite quickly, and just before those mud works start, there was huge tree across the road….

    There was however, a brand new surfaced road with a sigh pointing to Mababe gate. We cruised at 40km/h all the way to the gate with no mud at all! I almost felt cheated.

    At the gate the guard told us that even the sand ridge road was really difficult, but there was also a new road to Savute to the West of the Sand ridge road.
    This was the same idea. New, surfaced and easy to drive…. To a point. Although there was no serious mud to talk of, we crossed though pool after pool for about 7km at one stage, never getting faster that 10km/h. We still reached Savute camp by lunch.

    Our lunch was interrupted by a little thunderstorm, but fortunately the awning is very quick to set up and very efficient… for 2 people. It’s a little crowded with 4 under it.

    For an afternoon drive we decided to go south to Marabou pan and just hang out there. We saw lots of elephant and massive herds of impala and zebra. A truly relaxing afternoon. We got back to camp just before dark, set up and….

    Ranting time:
    There were 4 GP vehicles camped out by the ablution blocks. They elected to enjoy the noises from their iPod a lot more that the sounds of the bush and it seemed that they were quite drunk already. They had all the gear, the caravans, the trailers, the fancy vehicles, but no respect for their environment, or the people who had to share it with them.

    Fortunately they got quiet by about 9PM and we could still manage a few hours of peace and quiet in the African bush.

    Hyena and an elephant visited us during the night. They didn’t bother us at all though.

    Day 7:
    Savute Camp to Ihaha (148km Traveled)
    Wow! This was a seriously scary drive! We left Savute early (6:30am) our friends for GP were awake and already on the beer with the iPod blaring. We decided on the shortest way to Ihaha. The main road to Gcoha gate was incredibly flooded! Anyone who knows this road might remember that one little bit of cotton mud by the Gcotcha Hills. This made me worry. The whole road was pretty much a river. At some stage we traveled for 7km without leaving water once. It was only when someone passed us from the North that I started relaxing a bit. Surely they had to come from somewhere.

    The going was slow and hard and tiring and when we reached the cotton mud we selected a detour though the bush. There was no traction at all and we were slipping and sliding on the driest track we could find. We managed to negotiate this part without getting stuck though and happily made the gate in good time.

    The road thorugh the forest reserve was easy because of the wet sand and the cut line road was much the same. The roads though the villages were in good condition apart from one or two places where the road was pretty much eroded away.
    We made Ihaha camp at around 13:30. We once again had lunch under the awning, hiding from both thunderstorms, and mid day sun.

    Ihaha is my other very favorite place in Botswana. Even with that amount of water in the veldt, the game viewing is simply out of this world! We took 4 hours to drive 20km that afternoon. We were “stuck” inside herds of elephant more than once, saw mega herds of impala, puku, Letchwe and Zebra. On the way back to camp we were held up by herds of elephant so much that we got back just after dark. Not ideal, but by this time we could pitch camp within 10 minutes.

    Day 8:
    Ihaha to Nambwa Community Camp. (218km Traveled)
    For the previous 6 days I had noticed that the hilux’s engine wasn’t 100% happy. There was a slight lack in power and some pinging. I found this a little strange as I have an electronic dizzy now and shouldn’t have to re-set the timing all the time.
    It was the first time we drove tar roads at reasonable speeds in about a week.

    We crossed the border at Ngoma Bridge without any issues at all. The whole crossing took us less than 30 minutes. On the way to Katima I could hardy get the Hilux up to 100km/h and started to worry a little. We arrived in Katima without hassle, paid our cross border charges, filled up with fuel, and went on our merry way.

    Suddenly the Hilux had oodles of power and we were cruising comfortably at the speed limit. We had a little giggle at the “Beware of elephants” signs next the road and the “open air butcheries” the locals had.

    We reached Nambwa around midday. Now let me tell you… This place is paradise! Massive shady trees on an island with great ablutions and 100% privacy! What a great place! At R70 per person per night for camping, you cannot find better. It is slap bang in the middle of the Kaprivi and makes for a great stop over place.

    We send the inlaws on an afternoon game drive. We didn’t even bother. They saw lots of game; we spotted lots of birds from our hammocks.

    We will most definitely stay there again!

    Day 9:
    Nambwa to Drotsky’s Cabins. (265km Traveled)
    We left Nambwa at around 9am after a well-deserved lie in and morning shower. The Hilux was happy as can be. We crossed back into Botswana just after 11AM and this was the very first time someone asked to look in our fridges. Fortunately we had no meat to confiscate. We headed for Shakawe where we shopped in a brand new Choppies supermarket that has everything! We filled up with fuel and made Drotsky’s well in time for lunch.

    This was my first time at Drotsky’s and I have to say that I was a little disappointed. The lodge looks great and the huge shady trees are really nice, but we were cramped in-between two other campsites and after feeling like we were the only people around for a week or so, we felt just a little crowded.

    We did take a boat out in the afternoon which is a very worthwhile experience and not too expensive. We spotted a Pearl’s fishing Owl that was a first for us, millions of other birds. We also saw ample crocks and some Hippo. Our cost for 4 people camping and 3 hours on a boat was about Pula 1 000 in total.

    It is not a bad place at all, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to stay there again.

    Day 10:
    Drotsky’s cabins to Tsodillo Hills. (70km Traveled)
    This was a nice relaxing day for us… Or that was the plan. Also our first time to Tsodillo Hills, we were pleasantly surprised by the surfaced road from the tar road. We arrived at the office, requested a guide for the afternoon and made our way to the most remote campsite, Malatso. After a relaxing mid day under big shady trees, we drove back to the office to meet our guide.

    She was a young San woman who informed us that the cost of the guide is a MAXIMUM of 50 Pula. We followed her on the rhino trail and very quickly discovered why the fee was so little. I don’t think these people really have any training of guiding experience. She didn’t tell us anything that the guidebooks didn’t, but it is always nice to support community projects.

    Halfway though our walk the heavens opened! An I don’t mean little English raindrops; I mean the biggest baddest thunderstorm you can imagine! The footpaths turned into torrents and the rain was so heavy that the visibility was no more that 15 meters. We asked the guide if we could hide out in a cave and wait for the storm to pass. She told us that the storm of the previous day lasted 8 hours, and we should definitely move on.

    We finished the walk in the rain, got in our vehicles, made it back to our campsite and managed to make a “dry camp” with the help of the awning and an old tarpaulin. We decided to not pitch the tents until the rain subsided… Which it didn’t…

    Our camp help up well and we managed to cook dinner and eat without getting wet. We pitched the tents at 9pm and went to bed in the rain. By this time we were 100% comfortable with the rain proofness of our new Featherlite tent and had a good night’s rest despite the rain.

    I have to say that one should plan at least 2 nights at Tsodillo Hills to be bale to fit in all the walks. I definitely will go back there and explore more.

    Day 11:
    Tsodillo Hills to Sitanguga Camp (377km Traveled)
    We awoke to a glorious summers day. We drove to in-between the two hills and did parts of the rhino walk again, this time being able to see where we were going.

    We had a shower at their ample ablution facilities and headed out for Maun.

    It’s always hard for me to turn back home. This was particularly hard as we had limited time and lots of miles to do it in. We had lunch on the way by the roadside and reached Sitatunga Camp around 15:30. When I booked the campsite, I also booked a table in their restaurant for that evening, as it was Christmas day. Because of the Vet fences, we had no meat with us, so no plan B.

    At the camp were told that the restaurant was closed for the season. We were put in a campsite between 4 overland trucks I was not a happy camper. We drove into Maun, found many of the supermarkets open, and so had no trouble getting hold of food for dinner. Strangely enough, we could find no bottle store open and was told that they were all closed until after New Year. Strange that you would close a bottle store between Christmas and New Years….

    We had a great dinner and relaxing evening. Problem was… The overlanders (we call them the noisies) decided to kick of their party just after 10PM. I was really pleased when I heard the guide turn the music down at 12:00, only to erupt again with what can only be described as a competition between trucks to see who could make the loudest noise. This was “enhanced” by a bunch of fireworks. We could do very little but dive into our wine supply until it was finished.

    Without ranting I will simply say this:
    We have to have a little tolerance for other kinds of travelers. I’ve heard that many campsites in Africa now split up overland trucks and “normal” people. However… Sitatunga camp will never see me again. I experienced it as a hole for drunken overlanders with zero respect for nature or other people, the staff was unfriendly and inefficient and when looking at my receipt, I saw that we were charged for fire wood which we never received. The ablutions were atrociously dirty and there was no hot water as advertised.

    Day 12:
    Sitatunga to Khama (536km Traveled)
    We were all a bit tired when we left Sitatunga camp. We stopped at Riley’s for fuel and then left for Khama for our last night in Botswana. It was overcast and cool and the going was pretty easy. 40km out of Maun I noticed that the Hilux was pinging again and had less power than it should have had. Driving west and South we had to open fridges at every Vet fence, as we are all used to doing.

    We pulled into Lethakane in search of wine and found a brand new Super Spar with everything you can possibly need. It had a Spar Topps bottle store…. Closed until after New Year. It is however something to remember for future travels to this area.

    After a well-deserved lunch by the roadside, we reached Khama at about 15:00. We managed to get some wine in their restaurant… at restaurant prices.

    We pitched camp, but decided to go for a drive in the Colt late in the afternoon. We have stayed at Khama many times before, and have done many drives. We have however never actually seen Rhino there.

    This time, not expecting to see any, we saw 5 Rhino in 3 groups. NICE!!!

    After dark it got very cold and we were reminded that Africa can through surprises at you all the time. We were all in long trousers, warm jackets and wooly hats. We had a great dinner with nice wine and fell sound sleep in yet another rainstorm.

    Day 13:
    Khama to Pretoria (551 km Traveled)
    Last days are always a little sad. This was quite an efficient day for us though. We stopped in Serowe for fuel and headed for Martin’s Drift. I noticed that the Hilux was 100% happy again. It suddenly hit me that the only times I had problems was after fuelling at Riley’s. So now the question is: Do they have contaminated fuel, or do they water it down? Before this trip I always refueled at the garage by the Spar and never had a problem. I’ll obviously do that again from now on.

    We reached the border early, crossed without incident and in about 35 minutes. We reached Warm Baths for lunch and spoiled ourselves with O’Hagan’s and reached home by 15:00

    Some notes:
    Before this trip I bought a new Featherlite tent from Frontrunner. I also got a table that slides in underneath the roof rack. I have to say, that apart from my trusty Engel 60l Combi, these are now my favorite bits of camping equipment. The tent is super comfortable and 100% waterproof even in torrential downpours. We had it completely closed on 1 or 2 nights and experienced no condensation inside it at all! It seems very easy to put up and down and definitely saves a little time.

    The table is an absolute pleasure! Takes no space, takes 20 seconds to put up and 20 seconds to put down. It is big enough for 4 people to eat at and a really comfortable height.

    This was my first trip with the VW carburetor in my 4Y. My average fuel consumption over the whole trip was 7.2km/l, which is almost 2km/l better than what I was used to. It should have been even better if it wasn’t for the bad fuel from Riley’s.

    You have to have a little sense of humor and be well equipped to go to Botswana in the rainy season. We saw rain every single day and was in it probably half the days. We were ready and prepared for it, which made it fairly easy to cope with. However… If you’re not prepared, I think it can be a very unpleasant experience.

    I am really pleased that I managed to experience Botswana for the past five years. The changes between July 2003 and April 2008 were not significant at all, however the changes from April 2008 and December 2008 were incredibly noticeable and sad. It used to be a country reserved for adventurers and nature lovers and it had many challenges of simply making your way to the next place.

    Ill mannered and disrespectful people from South Africa marked this trip mostly. No wonder they don’t want us there any more. I was mostly ashamed of being South African. Botswana have built new roads which I think makes it a little too easy for non adventurers to get access to this place which once was paradise.

    I wonder where next we could go without being disturbed by these hooligans! Wherever it is, I think I might keep it to myself.
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  2. The Following User Says Thank You to freeflyd For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
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    leke trippie.. im jealous!!
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    Nice comprehensive report. Next time I am going to spend more time on the Kwai. I agree it is one of the best places in Bots, but both times I've been there, seem to race past it on the way to Savuti. Thanks, enjoyed reading your report.
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    Fantastic trip, and report!

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    Excellent report, Dawie!


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    A super report bringing back fond memories.

    Regarding the noisy folk in GP reg vehicles - that was something we also noticed during our trips but they were not always South African's who were making the noise. Many were Europeans out on a jolly in hired vehicles with no sense of their wonderful surroundings.
    Margaret

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    That is a fantastic report, and interesting to hear how these areas are when it is wet. Thanks for taking the trouble to write so much.

    I reckon your whole trip was worthwhile just for that brilliant hippo photo.........one of the best I've seen! Are you planning to put more of your photos elsewhere on the site?

    I have often seen "GP" but never knew where they were from.......what does it stand for? (Remember, I'm English!!). Overland trucks are the first thing you look out for in any camp-site, I reckon. Give them the widest possible berth! (Although, the drivers can sometimes be really helpful and are usually fed-up of their passengers). Next worst are the people who leave their car doors open so that the entire camp and miles of bush can benefit from hearing their music at top volume......

    Tut-tut.........breaking the back-in-camp-by-sunset rule at Khwai.......but what a great sighting!!

    Mike

  9. #8
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    Mike,

    GP stands for "Gauteng Province" which is pretty much Pretoria and Johannesburg.

    We also fondly refer to it as "gangster's Paradise" which always gets a laugh from officials.

    For some strange reason, Botswana people often say that it stands for "Good People"

    We sometimes say it stands for "Groot (Big) Potholes"

    The wild dogs were so close to camp, that we could see them from there. So I wouldn't really classify that as night driving. I'm sure the officials would have disagreed, but sometimes you can bend the rules for spectacular things...

  10. #9
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    Great trip and great trip report, Dawie. I won't bore you with details of all the crayfish, black mussels, alikreukel and fish, all washed down with the Cape's finest white wines, that we had while you were having such a terrible time in the bush!

    Re the bush hooligans: It's a trend we've noticed over the years, and it's getting a lot worse, particularly in Mozambique, where the fancy vehicle usually also tows a trailer full of quad bikes and/or jet skis. With the overland trucks, a quiet chat to the driver or courier usually gets them to turn the music down - I guess they thought that Christmas Day was an exception.

    Tony
    Tony Weaver

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    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

  11. #10
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    Great trip and great report.We expect to do something similar but shorter in December (09) and will learn from your experiences. Have a V10 Touareg so not that keen on water crossings at waist height (unless vertically challenged??) although I will be looking into slipover connectors for the air intakes to move them to a highr point at the back of the engine.

    Quattro
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  12. #11
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    We were there December 07 and there was almost no water on the roads, so it is the luck of the draw I think.

    If you stand next to your vehicle, you'll be amazed how high the air intake really is. You'll have to drive though stupidly deep water before you drown it.

    The one thing I should mention is that you do drive through some serious shrubs and bushes, so I would recommend something like "Auto Armour" or some paint protection before you take your shiny expensive toy there.

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    Dawie, excellent report! Got back last night from our 3 weeks in the delta and Nxai Pans, busy with the report as we speak!!

    I also have a fair amount of ranting to do about bush hooligans and music.... Cannot believe I drove all that way to be forced into hearing what I expect on the South Coast during December!!!

    Report and pics to follow...
    So much to see, so little time...

    2000 Gen2.5 V6 Pajero

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    After reading your report again, I realised you and I spoke at Ihaha! You warned me of the 7kms of water as we passed each other on the road!
    So much to see, so little time...

    2000 Gen2.5 V6 Pajero

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    Small world!

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    Great report, and I agree Kwai is one of the best places to visit!
    Frans
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    Default Kwai not for GP and Overlanders

    A great report! But I think that we must stop saying how great Kwai Concession is! It’s over priced, no facilities, flies, flies and deep sand, little sightings of wildlife, oh; do not forget the Moremi thorns, punctures galore! No cellphone reception and a very strange thing, little or no GPS coverage, must be the reflection from the Kwai River, you can get lost so easily! I wish to stay there forever!
    Crossing deep water is not so much a problem if you have a snorkel, BUT, it is the bearings of pullies that gives up. I crossed many more than waist high crossings without any problems but could not reach the SA border due to a seized water pump( one year) or a faulty alternator (one year) or seized aircon pullies another year. The seized aircon bearings were not a major problem, but the other were a little bit of a MAJOR problem! Also, Moremi’s thorns provided a lot of exercise; down loading spare tyre from the roof rack and back a few times. But, yes, your report is fabulous.
    Last edited by opsafari; 2009/05/26 at 02:45 AM. Reason: Forgot to add regarding river crossings

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    OK I'll Edit: Khwai is terrible! No one should go there! Except for us few...

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