Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience





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  1. #1
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    Default Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    Hi, we're planning a self drive through Namibia and Botswana. In botswana we're planning to drive through Chobe and Moremi from the Kasane area to Ilaha, Savuti, Khwai and third bridge/Xakanaxa, then Audi camp (Okavango visits) and driving back to Namibia..

    None of us are experienced 4x4 drivers, and we've never driven through water or deep sand. We've got some experience with bad gravel and dirt roads though. Our trip are scheduled to be in may, but i'm considering moving it to september if it's better driving conditions then. I guess both the flooding of the Okavango (approximately april - august?) and the wet season will make the road conditions more difficult., with more mud and water on/around the roads. Do you think the road conditions is better in september?

    I haven't found any detailed information about how the road conditions are in the national parks month by month, just accounts of how its been in single instances earlier years.. As inexperienced drivers i think river crossings definitely will be the most difficult.

    I've read a lot on this forum, and found a lot of useful information. I'll appreciate all tips and recommendations.

  2. #2
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    Question Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    Hi Bfs
    Do not doubt yourself. Those roads are travelled every day so if you pick up problems help will arrive shortly. The roads dry out quickly after the rains. In May it will not be a problem . Driving on sand is not that difficult, simply deflate your tyres and drive early in the morning when the sand is still cold. I have been on those roads towing an off-road trailer with no problems. The rising water levels reach there peak towards June but do not normally affect the roads you will be travelling on. I would rather go in May, Sept is far busier, in fact some camps may already be full, it is dry and dusty. Get one of these maps. https://tracks4africa.co.za/maps/about/paper/. Good luck

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    I did exactly the same. Do not worry about it. Botswana is such an easy place to drive around and i do not think you will have any problems. Take a good pump with,lots of time and patience and you will be fine. Try not to rush the trip and treat yourself to some nice accommodation. The mud there is better as it is not as sticky and more like sea sand being wet.
    Pieter in Randburg
    2011 Fortuner 4x4 Diesel Auto
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    Previous:
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    Land Rover 110 Tdi (This one broke too many times)
    Land Rover 90 Series IIA (I miss this one the most, but not the oily hands)

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    Quote Originally Posted by Randburg View Post
    ..... The mud there is better as it is not as sticky and more like sea sand being wet.
    Haha! Erm.......no. Maybe for some parts of Moremi, but not the whole of Botswana. There is this thing called black cotton soil. It has taught some hard lessons.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2018/01/14 at 03:33 PM.
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    @ bfs. I will stick to May or alternatively October/November which will have the least chance of water on the roads.

    We have been through Moremi in April, May, August and November. November remains my favourite.

    In May you will find no water from the flood at all. Pools of water might be found, but this will be from localized seasonal rain. By the same notion, the rains were so severe in 2017 that 3rd Bridge campsite was flooded, cut off and closed for about 6 weeks and the bridge partly washed away.

    The flood waters WILL influence the tracks you drive on, that is why there are dry and wet season tracks around Xakanaka and a dry and wet season route approaching Khwai North gate from Xakanaka and some smaller game drive tracks will be completely inaccessible. Some very deep water crossings can be found in June to August during the flood period depending on the severity of the flood.

    Do not ever underestimate a water crossing in Moremi no matter what the season or what the reason for the water might be; many, many vehicles have drowned there. Seasoned overlanders will do everything in their power to avoid any form of water crossing. If you stumble on a track where the pools of water keeps getting deeper and longer, turn around. There are always alternative tracks between the 3 camps.
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT
    BushLapa 78 Now a Boskruier but with the same Zambia and CKGR bush stripes


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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    Two water crossing that will give you an idea. As others have said, your route sees a lot of traffic, so in an emergency, someone will pass. You live once, so be aware of your surroundings and do it.



  9. #7
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    The rain season in Botswana usually stops in April and dries faster due to hot conditions here in northern parts of Botswana.. So i will suggest that just stick to you dates if you have already booked because peak season month and its very difficult if you haven't booked already for 2018.

    Oka swamps travel and tours agency
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    Last edited by skmorotsi; 2018/01/15 at 11:13 AM.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    I see you are from Oslo, so I assume you will have a rented car.
    Read all the small line in the contract.
    A lot of companies do not allow water crossings and if you have water damage all costs are for your account also the recovery costs, just to be aware.

    Have a good time

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    Make sure you have a Sat phone...if you need recovery, call me on +26773511685....

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    I am doing pretty much all the same camps but starting from Kasane and working myself down to Maun. I am also there in May.

    I will be travelling alone and would not call myself a 4X4 expert but have done many of these trips.

    Always be careful and don't underestimate the forces of nature. With a good car and lots of commons sense, I find it reasonably safe. The odd time I have had problems, people have always stopped to help.

  13. #11
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    .

    Do not ever underestimate a water crossing in Moremi no matter what the season or what the reason for the water might be; many, many vehicles have drowned there. Seasoned overlanders will do everything in their power to avoid any form of water crossing. If you stumble on a track where the pools of water keeps getting deeper and longer, turn around. There are always alternative tracks between the 3 camps.
    This is very sound advice.

    Often the rental 4x4's are the Hilux 2.5's. Their torque is lacking at low revs and you therefore need quite high revs in the very sandy sections, which means you may want to engage low range more often. If one is observant in Moremi, you will see that there is always a different type of bushy, grey vegetation growing on the very sandy sections. One can actually see this in advance and you can change to low range in advance.
    Andrew


    Land Cruiser 76 (4.2)

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    Hi BFS,
    I have sent a PM to you.
    BR Håkan

  15. #13
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    Default Re: Self drive in Moremi and Chobe with little 4x4xexperience

    Hei,
    Jeg ser dere er norsk fra Oslo, same som meg. Gjerne ta kontakt via mine inbox hvis dere vil ta en prat om turer i regionen.
    Jeg har bodd 7 år i Zambia og Malawi og har vært flere gangen i Chobe bla.
    Hilsen Philippe

    Ps: Sorry to everyone who doesn t understand norwegian

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