Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please





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  1. #1
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    Default Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    We have over the last 5 years been steadily exploring new places and getting a little more confident about 4x4 trips. Over this time, we have visited the Okavango Delta, the Kgalagadi, Namibia and Mabua. Now planning our next trip in Botswana. i would value advice from the experts on our plan, and options.

    Here is the itinerary:

    21 April: Johannesburg to Kalahari Rest Camp in Kang
    22 April: Kang to Drotsky's Caves (Gcwihaba)
    23 April: at Drosky's
    24 April: Drotsky's Caves to Aha Hills
    25 April: Aha Hills to Tsumkwe
    26 April: Tsumkwe to Drotsky's Cabins (via Rundu)
    27 April: Drotsky's Cabins to Tsodilo Hills
    28 April: Tsodilo Hills to Popa Falls Rest Camp
    29 April: Popa Falls to Senyati
    30 April: at Senyati
    1 May: at Senyati
    2 May: Senyati to Muchenje
    3 May: Muchenje to Dizhana
    4 May: at Dizhana
    5 May: Dizhana to Woodlands stopover Francistown
    6 May: Woodlands to Johannesburg

    We have left things a little late. We can't get a booking at Ihaha so taking Senyati instead. We can't get a booking at Savuti so looking at Muchenje instead.

    A few questions that I would appreciate comments on:

    1. Is Kang to Drosky's Caves doable in one day. Tracks4Africa says is 8 hours and 51 minutes. Has anyone done this route recently? From what I read, the last bits could be very think sand and slow going.

    2. On 26 April, is it worth driving from Tsumkwe to Drotsky's Cabins, via Rundu? Would it make more sense to drive Tsumkwe back to Nokaneng and on to Tsodilo. I realize that this means some backtracking but we are keen to go to Tsumkwe and to Tsodilo, so needing to figure out whats the best way to get from Tsumkwe to Tsodilo.]

    3. Any advice on the Muchenje stop-over? Should we do two nights there and two nights at Dizhana instead of one night at Muchenje and three nights at Dizhana?

    4. Any advice on Dizhana? Would Khwai north gate be a better option?

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    I feel tired just looking at your plans. Too much driving, not enough coffee brewing along the way, and remember that in April the days are getting short.
    Some specifics:
    • Kang to the Caves is not on. Even if you convince yourself that by leaving at first light you can do it, what would be the point? You will be doing the attractive and interesting track when dog tired and with the day darkening and the setting sun directly in your eyes.
    • Unless you have reliable information that there is water in the Pans in April (unlikely I think), I would cut out Tsumkwe. To go from there via Rundu is also crazy. What I would do is to go from AHA Hills directly to Tsodilo camp, and spend two nights there so that you can walk and see the sights.
    • From there you get to Drotsky's Cabins.
    • Popa Falls to Senyati in one day also looks more like work than holiday, but I haven't really analysed it.
    Last edited by RodS; 2018/02/02 at 05:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Agree with Rod. Kang to Drotskys Caves will take you more like 12 hours. And fuel planning may be critical, Sehitwa may be dry so Ghanzi may be the last fuel stop. Tshumkwe is relatively reliable fuel, but may be dry on occasion. To go all the way there and then round via Rundu is a waste without including Khaudum. Popa to Senyati is do-able, but you will bypass the lovely Kwando area. Also, Popa is worth a double nightstop to visit Mahangu and Buffalo. Unless you plan fishing I would give Drotskys cabins a miss.
    I would do Joburg - Ghanzi 1 night (do-able in one long day), Ghanzi to the Caves 2 nights, Caves to Aha 1 night, Aha to Tsodilo 2 nights (via Nonakeng to refuel), Tsodilo to Popa 2 nights, Popa to Kwando area 2 nights, Kwando to Senyati, etc.
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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Valodia, your trip involves too much driving. Kang-Drosky, Dizhana-Woodland. This are long distances. Is it worth driving from Kasane to Dizhana for just a day and half, then to Woodland. Why not extend your stay in Kasane and then last day at elephants sands, then to JHB

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    I would have written the same in essence as the gents above, but I wanted t await other comments beforehand.

    I think that zig-zag plan of yours is far from optimised.
    Try to add value to the trip for time at a destination, leave out the long distance days and take the shorter route where possible.

    As said there is no point in going to Rundu, or from Aha hills to Nam then back to Drotzki, keep to the Botswana parts and extend the time staying in a place.
    Similar, leave out Dizhana and keep to the Kasane F-Town route, maybe add Hunters road for a bit of fun.
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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Agree with the raised concerns. There is way to much driving involved. Poppa falls to Senyati is a No no. Remember, you still need to cross the border and that might just take some time. The distance is close to 500 km. It will take you about 7-8hrs including boarder crossing, signing in and out of parks in bots etc.
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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Thanks all, for the advice and thoughtful comments. Back to the drawing board then on some of this.

    Our thought on the Kang-Drotsky Caves was that we would simply stop and bush camp when we feel tired. I imagine that there is no reason why we canít do that ?

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Quote Originally Posted by valodia View Post
    Thanks all, for the advice and thoughtful comments. Back to the drawing board then on some of this.

    Our thought on the Kang-Drotsky Caves was that we would simply stop and bush camp when we feel tired. I imagine that there is no reason why we canít do that ?
    This could work, but stop not when you are tired, but as soon as you find a deserted area. One of the things that make a trip to the caves worth doing is to enjoy driving the track, and you can now do this in the fresh morning with the sun behind you. You will get to the caves fairly early, so no need to spend two nights.

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Thanks RodS. Any recommendations for camping in the Kwando area?

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Quote Originally Posted by valodia View Post
    Thanks RodS. Any recommendations for camping in the Kwando area?
    With facilities I liked Camp Kwando campsite as there are also lodge facilites and restaurant. Without facilities I liked Nakatwa 3 campsite in Muduma game reserve. There are many options in the area though.
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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

    We want to keep Tsumkwe on the itinerary.

    We have adjusted as follows:

    21 April : Johannesburg to Kalahari Rest, Kang
    22 April: Kalahari rest to Bush camp along the way to Drotsky's Caves
    23 April: at Drotsky's Caves
    24 April: Drotsky's Caves to Aha Hills
    25 April: Aha Hills to Tsumkwe
    26 April: Tsumkwe to Tsodilo Hills (may need to bush camp along the way)
    27 April: at Tsodilo Hills
    28 April: Tsodilo Hills to Popa Falls
    29 April: at Popa Falls
    30 April: Popa Falls to Camp Kwando
    1 May : at Camp Kwando
    2 May: Camp Kwando to Senyati
    3 May: at Senyati
    4 May: at Senyati
    5 May: Senyati to Woodlands Stop Over, Francistown
    6 May: Francistown to Johannesburg

    A few further questions:

    1. Tsumkwe to Tsodilo Hills - T4A says its 368 kms and 5 hours. Can that be correct?
    2. If the above is not correct, then one one options would be to spend the night at Sepopa Swamp Rest Camp. Has anyone been there recently? Their website says that they under new management.

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Tshumkwe to Tsodilo easy in a day. Straight thru border at Dobe to Nonakeng, north to Tsodilo turnoff.
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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Valodia - this responds to your PM as well.

    If you look at Part 2 of my report called A Trip to Pemba, written almost exactly a year ago, you will find an up to date road and travel time report on the roads around Tsumkwe and Drotsky's Caves. Most of these roads have been improved since the T4A times were established. Note that this does NOT apply to the track from the caves towards the A53 - this is still in its original condition.

    Hence the time between Tsumkwe and Tsodilo Hills is also pessimistic.

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...-trip-to-Pemba

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Thanks Rod and Mike.

    One more question (I realize that this questions should be in the Namibia section).

    In the Okavango - is Ngepi Camp (or one of the others in that area) a better option than Popa Falls Rest Camp?

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    What I meant was "On" the Okavango River in the Divundu area, is Ngepi a better option than Popa Falls?

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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Popa rest camp is traditional and a bit run down last time I saw it. Ngepi is the hip place to be, but I did not relate to the management and general feel of the camp. I found camping at Mahangu Lodge more to my liking.
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    Default Re: Drotsky's Caves-Aha Hills-Tsodilo-Chobe : Advice on options please

    Thanks Mike. We are looking at both Mahangu and Nunda.

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