Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?





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  1. #1
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    Default Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    We often make the 15 hour drive from Pretoria to Windhoek via Botswana, but have always done so during the day. The last time we did this was when our baby was 3 months old. Even though he slept most of the time, it was still challenging. He is now 18 months and we are going to drive through again December, and Im feeling less than optimistic.

    Has anyone done the drive at night? Skilpadshek only closes at midnight and buitepos opens at 7. The drive from one border to the other in Botswana usually takes about 8 hours, stops included and doing an average of 130km/h. But at night I suspect more game on the roads and thus having to drive significantly slower. Is it worth it?

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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    No. High risk of accident with animals

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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    I'll be blunt. You'll be downright stupid to do it. Even in daytime I encountered a lot of animals on that road, night time will be suicide (or murder if you have people with you).
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Yes, I agree with Francois, your plan is plain silly and extremely risky.

    Average of 130 kmph or even slower at night in Botswana?? On the Trans Kalahari highway? You will not see the sun rise again.

    And what dates? The border posts are crazy from around the 16th.
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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    I can only mirror the comments above without putting an extra insult.

    But be aware NO DRIVING AT NIGHT IN BOTSWANA if you value your family.

    So this is a clear "NO"
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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    DONT even think about it.
    A lot of the animals especially cattle and donkeys lay on the tar at night for the warmth.
    Ive often seen the woman cutting up carcases in the morning.Road kill from the previous night.
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    I am always one for leaving early in the morning so on a recent trip to Botswana we overnighted at Francistown and I considered leaving just before sun up figuring that the couple of kilometers between Woodlands and Francistown town could be covered safely in the dark and once we left town it would be light enough to be safe.

    Eventually figured what is the point of risking it and left at dawn. About 1KM from town we found an accident scene in which someone had hit a cow in the dark. I believe the driver was dead on scene.

    It was a sobering reminder that even a short drive at night in Botswana can be the last drive you ever take.

    Between Francistown and Martins Drift we encountered a further two vehicles that had hit cows and had been written off.

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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Average 130kph?? So you are most of the time around 160

    Not many people have the reactions to drive at that speed. I would humbly suggest that now with a family you travel slower. I would hate to see bad news on this forum.
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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    WE always advise travellers not to travel in Botswana at NIGHT and they do. You just have to drive past Maun Police station early morning for proof and you will see Rented 4x4 that were involved in collisions. Don't do it. Its not worth it.

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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Death wish ?
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Donkeys on the road are almost certain, amongst other animals. Especially if it rains and there are pools of water in the potholes. Oh, and potholes.

    Not worth the risk. Personally, I wouldn't do it.

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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    130-160km/h through Bots at night with family in the car?

    What can go wrong?
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Just some input on driving that far with kids - it can definitely be done during day time

    When our kids were that age we regularly drove from Pta to PE in a day. Just keep enough entertainment in the car and plan to stop for a decent amount of time every couple of hours so he can get out of the baby seat for a while. It can be done, but you will need to do some planning. I still vividly remember one time our kids watched the same Nils Holgerson DVD for the whole day. I am still scarred from that
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Namibia - NO

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    Botswana - NO

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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois Theron View Post
    I'll be blunt. You'll be downright stupid to do it. Even in daytime I encountered a lot of animals on that road, night time will be suicide (or murder if you have people with you).
    Couldn't agree more.
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  23. #16
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    I did it once and decided never again, not worth it. Trucks dont dim and then you cant see. We saw at least 3 accidents with animals that night.
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Sat on my hands long enough

    Driving at night in Southern Africa including SA at freeway speeds and on secondary roads is a big no no.

    We have been overlanding in the region since 1994 and in RSA for some 23 years before. We, family, friends and acquaintances have had many accidents and some problems with driving at night. Also seen some very gruesome problems in Bots, Nam, Moz and Zam from speeding at night. Had to help in cases.

    Once we were driving back with a vehicle and we decided to stop and wild camp and other driver pressed on. Less than 10 kays later as he reached speed hit cow and massive accident. Didn't know them well but lives very badly affected. Recall at least 4 serious accidents in Bots in this way and that we saw and helped at on the next morning. 2 of them near Khama. Many in RSA. One of my staff had a serious accident hitting a kudu near PE in early hours.

    We had a near one in Berg 2 weeks ago. As i posted on forum. Driving at 80 kms and at early evening and wide awake. Near call in X3 and buck not injured but still light impact. At 130 there would be a big gemors.

    OP is an idjit if a young family is subjected to this kind of risk - anytime, never mind a holiday. My 2c

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  26. #18
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    I drove from Gaborone to Francistown and back last week. Nightmare during the day. Will never try it in the dark

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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Agree with everyone else. You certainly have a death wish thinking you can drive average 130km/h at night, especially on those roads.

    I cannot even imagine what speeds you are doing to average 130. I normally work on an average of 100km/h during daytime from Cape Town to George.

    It really sounds insane to me that you want to average 130.

  28. #20
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    Default Re: Driving through Botswana to Namibia at night, good idea?

    Average vehicle stopping distance in good conditions, at 110km/h: 113 meters.

    Average distance illuminated by headlights is about the same.

    That gives no margin for anything other than perfect reaction time, perfect breaking conditions. Life is not perfect.

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