Botswana Overland August 2017 - Trip Report





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  1. #1
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    Default Botswana Overland August 2017 - Trip Report

    Botswana Overland August 2017


    5 Aug we left PE at midnight to travell up to Hartebeestpoort Dam to stay with friends after a 15 hr drive. We enjoyed a Lekker Braai and refreshments.


    6 Aug we left Hartebeestport Dam at 06h00 for a 9 hour drive up to Khama Rhino Sanctuary via Martins Drift Border Post. We spent a day exploring the Rhino sanctuary and saw 11 rhino at one time. On our first night we opened up our Sirlion Steak with good dates bought that afternoon from the Serowe Spar to find it completely Vrot. Took it back the next day and they cut fresh ones for us, after we stank out their store. We saw Rhino, Springbok, Steenbok, Impala, Gemsbok, Kori Bustard, Cape Vulture, Giraffe, Hornbills, Black Backed Jackal, Kudu, Tauraco, Guniea fowl, Ostrich, Waterbuck, Zebra, Squirrel, etc.


    8 Aug we travelled through to Maun, a 6 hour drive (the roads around Motopi were very bad with pot holes) and stayed at Island Safari Lodge Camp. We did a sunset boat cruise and a flight over the Delta (which was to bumpy to take good photos).We stocked up with meat for the next week from Beef Boys and groceries etc. from Spar and Choppies. We saw Elephant, Hippo, Giraffe, Buffalo, Squirrel, Grey Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Fish Eagle, Cattle Egret, African Jacana, Coppery Tailed Coucal, Yellow Bill Hornbill, Cormorant, Black Breasted Snake Eagle, Open billed Stork, blacksmith Lapwing etc.


    10 Aug we travelled from Maun to Dizhana, Mabebe, Moremi, a 3 1/5 hr drive. The road was badly corrugated, the worst section of road on the trip and could not travel more than 40km/h. Arrived to chaos at the camp site, as 3 camp sites had been closed and 1 opened up 2 weeks before we arrived. So bookings and campers from all over were being crammed in. But we had a great stay anyway. Lions & Hyenas kept us awake most nights and saw the footprints in the morning, but we did not see them. Hippos walked through our camp whilst we were having a Potjie. We travelled though to Kwaai and did a Mokoro boat trip. Got surrounded by Ellies on the river, was Awesome. Did a few exploration trips to remote pans around the Mabebe area. Unfortunately we did not get through to third Bridge or Xakanaka as we did not have enough time. Next time and extra 2 days to explore. In Moremi we saw Elephant, Hippo, Squirrel, Buffalo, Impala, Waterbuck, Mongoose, Baboons, Lilac Breasted Roller, Grey Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Fish Eagle, Cattle Egret, African Jacana, Yellow Bill Hornbill, Cormorant, Open billed Stork, Blacksmith Lapwing, Cardinal Woodpecker, Marabou stork, Greenwood Hoopoe, Ostrich etc.
    We Did a few exploration trips to remote pans around the Mabebe area. Unfortunately we did not get through to third Bridge or Xakanaka as we did not have enough time. Next time and extra 2 days to explore.


    13 Aug we travelled up from Moremi through Savuti to Muchenge in Chobe, a 7 hour drive. The sand roads were thick inplaces, but had no problems with 1.5bar tyres in 4x4 high. We spent 4 days exploring the West of Chobe from Muchenge. We stocked up on rations from Kasane, meat from Fire & Ice, Groceries from Spar & Choppies. On 16 Aug the Prado was attacked by a piece of firewood, which went through the bash plate breather and through the radiator. Only discovered the engine overheating when the gauge shot up and steam coming from the bonnet. Apparently the temp sensor does not work when their is no water until it is to late. We were exploring 10km down a remote cutline with permission with no traffic. Luckily we had a Sat phone to call the camp site for help. They fetched us and helped arrange a recovery (Danmar - Kasangula) and garage (Marios Garage - Kasangula). After a full day recovery (recovery vehicle got stuck a few times) we got the Prado to the Garage and managed to get a hire 4x4 (GKT Tours & Rentals) at 18h30. The people who assisted us were fantastic. Luckily we had arranged a special permit (recomended by the recovery guy) to drive through Chobe at night to get back to the camp or we would have been stranded. The garage courier a new radiator from Gaborone but bubbles meant there was a gasket leak or engine crack. We moved across to Senyati Safari camp on 17 Aug. We picked up the damaged Prado on 19 Aug & explored the East Side of Chobe and the north section of the Hunters road. We did a Sunset cruise on 20 Aug. In Chobe we saw Giraffe, Wildebeest, Elephant, Lion, Hippo, Squirrel, Buffalo, Impala, Kudu, Red Lechwe, Wildebeest, Steenbuck, Springbok, Waterbuck, Sable, Gemsbok, Zebra, Mongoose, Baboons, Crocodile, Warthog, Lilac breasted roller, Go away Bird, Grey Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Fish Eagle, Cattle Egret, African Jacana, Yellow Bill Hornbill, Ground Hornbill, Cormorant, Open billed Stork, Blacksmith Lapwing, Cape Vulture, Marabou stork, Blue Crane, Spoon bill, Pelican, Ostrich etc.




    18 Aug whilst the Prado was in for repairs we took a shuttle to visit Vic Falls. Highway robbery for Leighann having to pay US$55 to get a day Visa even though she is a Permanent SA resident. Vic Falls, part of a bankrupt banana republic is more expensive than London or New York. was a real disappointment to see it after 20years as an ex Zimbo. Leighann said she enjoyed see'ing it, even though it was really dry.


    21 Aug we travelled to and overnighted in Nata from Senyati, an 8 hr drive at 70km/h with a lunch break at Elephant Sands. We chilled in the pool and visited the Nata Bird Sanctuary. We did not see much birds on the pans. We saw, Zebra, Ostrich, Steenbok, Wildebeest, Flamingos, Fish Eagle, Blue Crane etc. We decided not to do the Hunters Road down to Nata as the Prado was limping and feedback from all the guides was that there was not much tourist traffic along the road.


    22 Aug we travelled through to Planet Baobab in the Makgadikgadi Pans from Nata, a 2 hr drive at 70km/h. Fabulous accommodation. We stayed in a Rondavel. We chilled by the pool, visited the Nxai pans & Baines Baobabs. We saw Elephant, Steenbok, Zebra, Gemsbok, Ostrich, Wildebeest, Secretary Bird, Bat Eared Fox, Black Backed Jackal, Warthog, Cory Bustard, Springbok, Flamingo, Grey Heron etc.


    24 Aug we travelled to Khama Rhino Sanctuary via Kubu Island through the Makgadikgadi Pans from Planet Baobab, a 9 1/2 hr drive. We had a lovely goodbye from the Rhino right next to our vehicle. We saw Zebra, Hornbill, Squirrel, Impala, Zebra, Rhino, Secretary Bird, Cory bustard, Mongoose, Springbok, Kudu etc.


    25 Aug we travelled to Hartebeestport Dam via Martins Drift border post, an 11 hr drive at 70km/h.
    26 Aug we travelled to Gariep dam to overnight, a 9 hour drive at 70km/h
    27 Aug we travelled home to PE, a 7 hour drive at 70km/h

    The Prado made it back to PE via 1000km offroad through C
    hobe, Nxai Pans, Makgadikgadi pans & 2000km through SA. It is now sitting at an engine rebuilder. decided whilst the head is off to get the whole engine done as it is sitting on 318 000km. The old beast was running well before the damage, not a drop of oil or water for over 5000km since its service. Radiator, rental & recovery cost R15000. engine damage unknown as yet. Full rebuild about R60 000. Waiting to see what Insurance will cover.

    Tips for Botswana
    Don't take your own meat - Botswana Meat is cheaper and good quality if you get it from Recommended Butchers, but plan your purchases for the Vet Lines
    Take your full limit of alcohol and cool drinks with you, alcohol is expensive in botswana
    Take all your dry foods like pasta, biscuits, sugar, coffee etc. They are more expensive in Botswana
    Get your fresh Fruit & Veg in Botswana, Prices are similar to SA,
    but plan your purchases for the Vet Lines.
    Use just enough SA Fuel to get across the border & fill up in Botswana, fuel is at least a 1/3 cheaper, & Come back with a full tank access the border.
    Get your wood on the side of the road in the big towns, it is very expensive at the camp sites.
    Take spare tanks of drinkable water, some sites do not have drinkable water unless you boil & treat it, we had a 40 lt water tank.
    Take 40lt of spare fuel if you are traveling to remote area's, i.e. between Maun & Kasane through Moremi, Savuti etc.
    Take mosquito coils to burn in your tent
    Take plenty Mosquito repellent
    Wear long sleeves & pants for sunrise and sunset hours
    Take a print out of all your bookings and proof of payment, we needed them on a few occasions or would have had to pay twice.

    What we took but did not use
    2 plate gas cooker & grill, only used the single ring
    2 boxes of Cappuccino
    1 small box of Rice
    1 small box of sweets
    Emergency Rations - Energy bars, tins of bully beef, beans & fruit, but will take them any way.

    What I would do differently
    Spend an extra 2 day days in Moremi and 2 days less in Chobe
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    Last edited by Danman67; 2017/09/02 at 11:47 AM.
    Regards
    Danman67
    1999 Toyota Prado 3lt Deisel

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Botswana Overland August 2017 - Trip Report

    Great trip! so many memories.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Botswana Overland August 2017 - Trip Report

    Thanks for sharing. Pity that the wood put a damper on your trip. Good luck with the insurance.
    Steve
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    Default Re: Botswana Overland August 2017 - Trip Report

    Great report. The prado problems didn't dumpen your spirit. That how we holiday, car breakdowns are part of the trip.

    2011
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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Botswana Overland August 2017 - Trip Report

    Thanks for a nice report! Great trip!

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    Default Re: Botswana Overland August 2017 - Trip Report

    Thanks for sharing - we are also believers in carry a Sat Phone.
    "To look is one thing, to understand what what you see, is something else"

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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Botswana Overland August 2017 - Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Danman67 View Post
    Botswana Overland August 2017


    13 Aug we travelled up from Moremi through Savuti to Muchenge in Chobe, a 7 hour drive. The sand roads were thick inplaces, but had no problems with 1.5bar tyres in 4x4 high. We spent 4 days exploring the West of Chobe from Muchenge. We stocked up on rations from Kasane, meat from Fire & Ice, Groceries from Spar & Choppies. On 16 Aug the Prado was attacked by a piece of firewood, which went through the bash plate breather and through the radiator. Only discovered the engine overheating when the gauge shot up and steam coming from the bonnet. Apparently the temp sensor does not work when their is no water until it is to late. We were exploring 10km down a remote cutline with permission with no traffic. Luckily we had a Sat phone to call the camp site for help. They fetched us and helped arrange a recovery (Danmar - Kasangula) and garage (Marios Garage - Kasangula). After a full day recovery (recovery vehicle got stuck a few times) we got the Prado to the Garage and managed to get a hire 4x4 (GKT Tours & Rentals) at 18h30. The people who assisted us were fantastic. Luckily we had arranged a special permit (recomended by the recovery guy) to drive through Chobe at night to get back to the camp or we would have been stranded. The garage courier a new radiator from Gaborone but bubbles meant there was a gasket leak or engine crack. We moved across to Senyati Safari camp on 17 Aug. We picked up the damaged Prado on 19 Aug & explored the East Side of Chobe and the north section of the Hunters road. We did a Sunset cruise on 20 Aug. In Chobe we saw Giraffe, Wildebeest, Elephant, Lion, Hippo, Squirrel, Buffalo, Impala, Kudu, Red Lechwe, Wildebeest, Steenbuck, Springbok, Waterbuck, Sable, Gemsbok, Zebra, Mongoose, Baboons, Crocodile, Warthog, Lilac breasted roller, Go away Bird, Grey Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Fish Eagle, Cattle Egret, African Jacana, Yellow Bill Hornbill, Ground Hornbill, Cormorant, Open billed Stork, Blacksmith Lapwing, Cape Vulture, Marabou stork, Blue Crane, Spoon bill, Pelican, Ostrich etc.


    The Prado made it back to PE via 1000km offroad through C
    hobe, Nxai Pans, Makgadikgadi pans & 2000km through SA. It is now sitting at an engine rebuilder. decided whilst the head is off to get the whole engine done as it is sitting on 318 000km. The old beast was running well before the damage, not a drop of oil or water for over 5000km since its service. Radiator, rental & recovery cost R15000. engine damage unknown as yet. Full rebuild about R60 000. Waiting to see what Insurance will cover.
    It is so good to hear how the end of your trip was. I am really glad that you are both home safely. It was a pleasure to meet you both. Fingers and toes crossed that insurance will cover most of it.

    Bronwen

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Botswana Overland August 2017 - Trip Report

    Thanks for the report and, especially, the tips - very useful.
    Land Rover Defender Puma

    Previous ride: Defender 90 tD5

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