Botswana February 2020 trip





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  1. #1
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    Default Botswana February 2020 trip

    We departed Thursday, 06 February 2020, my wife and I, just after my morning shift and shot trough to Calvinia after a quick detour to my dad in Vredendal.

    Next day we aim for Springbokpan via Upington and Kuruman. Apparently the shorter route via Kathu is very bad.

    Saturday after doing the border dance, we went to Sefalana in Tsabong to get our proteins for our stay in Mabuasehube. Thereafter we take the road to Monomadi Campsite 2. Road was surprisingly firm due to the recent rains they had, I suppose.

    Stayed 2 days there, very hot and humid but fairly uneventful although the guys at Campsite 1 had all the fun with a visit from Mr Leopard each night. Did I say it was hot and humid.

    Then we pitch our adobe at Khiding Pan 2 for the next 2 days, or rather nights. MAN!! it was cat stuttering hot and humid!! Every evening you see thundercloud and rain but not where you are. And there are no water, thus you had to use your own water sparingly.

    What struck me was that there were very few animals in Mabuasehube. Maybe it was due to the continued drought in last couple of years.

    Then we were off to Ghanzi...... (to be continued)...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uERURsAPw5s
    Last edited by Peter.Rau; 2020/03/04 at 08:56 PM. Reason: video corrected
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Great trip report. Thanks for sharing. I guess with technology in our hands, we are almost swiching from still pictures report to Video reports, which tells the story much better.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter.Rau View Post
    What struck me was that there were very few animals in Mabuasehube. Maybe it was due to the continued drought in last couple of years.
    I think more likely is the fact that it is green everywhere and the animals are spread out as they utilise the best grazing and browsing. They are not dependent on water therefore don't need to hang around the pans.

    Thanks for the video.

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    cor

  7. #4
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Also true, Rob. In 2009, also in Feb, we had more predatory animals and birds. Lots more jackal and foxes. OK, we did not had any lion contact then too.
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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    I was on the Kalahari in Dec/Jan this year and I can concur about the lack of small animals and birds that you mentioned. That is definitely as a result of the drought, I believe. It’s much easier for larger animals to migrate which means a better chance of survival. We saw very few rats/mice, mongooses etc and consequently way fewer of the animals that prey on them or share their resources.

    The birds are obvious, but even though the north of the reserve was green, not enough food had become available for all of them to return, specifically seed-eaters and birds of prey.

    Ecosystems take years to fully recover from serious droughts.

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Thanks Peter, enjoyed your Mabua video. The combinations and contributions by individuals of detailed trip reports, photographic reports and videos all combine nicely for those interested.

    You are certainly correct that at times drives in Mabua can occasionally be more about sight seeing than game viewing. This is a win-win attitude with which to begin a Mabua stay. Nice and green, a time of year I love in the Kalahari, whether on the Nossob River, Mabua, Central Kalahari or even western Makgadikgadi NP and Nxai.
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  11. #7
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    Cool Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Continuing.... We got to Ghanzi at about 3pm. Still lots of sunshine. We phoned ahead for a room in a hotel in Maun and arrived just after 6 pm. Next we did some shopping and talk to various camping businesses for our 2021 trip. All of them said I am too early and can only book starting in April or July.

    The following day we set off via Mababe to Khwai Community Camp for 3 days. The roads from Maun to Mababe and to the town, Khwai, was dry. No circling around a big pan of water or water crossing like previous times. That evening just before sunset we went on a drive and we got a short rendezvous with 3 wild dogs!! Late at night we had a spotted hyena sniffing our tent-side, then walked off while another was whooping in the distance. Then this one started to whoop!! What an experience to have one whooping so close to you!!

    Daytime was hot and humid with no rain but lots of thunderstorms around us. It was very green, grass stood high but the river was low, very low.

    Then we set off to Third Bridge for another 3 days there. The road between Khwai North Gate and Third Bridge was lots of potholes full of stale, some smelly, water. Also quite a few short, challenging detours. We had Campsite 3 allocated to us.

    Elephants and hippos were our only visitors though we did found a leopard spoor between us and the ablutions. Day 2 and day 3 at Third Bridge it was pouring. That little puddle next to our camp was growing into a big dam. Thus me and Mr Spade had to dig into our little water hydraulic skills to lead the water away from our tent setup. I was drenched to the bone!

    We tried the Bodumatau Loop but the water crossings got a bit too challenging for only one vehicle as there were no other vehicles to assist if I get myself stuck. Also did not see any recent vehicle tracks ahead of me.

    The Mboma Loop was interesting. Normally it is a beautiful route but this time the branches were heavy with rainwater hanging low over the track, inducing lots of scratches. The roll of the dice for some, we just finished the Mboma Loop we met 2 girls from Poland. They asked if we saw any big cats, sorry, fresh out but drive the Mboma Loop, very beautiful. We met them later again and they had 2 male lions coming up to their vehicle on the Mboma route!!! The next afternoon we did the route again and all we got was a young male leopard!

    On our way back to Maun, the route were wet, waterlogged potholes and treacherous short detours where you had to bend the Hilux and Metalian dexterously to go through them. Even the road from South Gate to Kaziikini was this way, that way, just go thru way...

    We aimed for Ghanzi and got there just before 6pm. Following morning had to change a tire in a heavy downpour. Drenched again. Actually exchanging the slow puncture with a twice plugged one for I am running out of spares. We eventually get to Bokspits borderpost at 16:45. Closed. Sped off to Twee Rivieren. Closed as well. And we had to camp again as no chalets were available!!
    And that night we had a mother of downpour! Said it was 42mm!!

    Closing up our wet tent, we took the long way home...as we drove home SWAMBO said the holiday was too short... I agreed....

    PART 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWtH3yKGSzg&t=2s
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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Peter, thanks a lot for this 2nd part of your report with beautiful video and fotos. We really enjoyed traveling with you through wonderful green moremi!

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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Thanks for the you tube videos. Some really lovely photos. I always think seeing a leopard is magical. This has really brightened my Sunday morning as I watched them whilst sleet was falling outside here in UK. At least with the lockdown here in the UK I have lots of time to plan our next trip to Botswana.

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  17. #10
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Thanks Peter, liked the combo of stills and video.
    Yup, Feb is hot and this one was a cracker.
    Never mind, you got a marvelous time and all so green, looks like tracks overgrowing fast.
    I am sure you will come back.
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  19. #11
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    Thumbs up Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    For sure!!

    Good luck with your lockdown in Botswana from 2 April. Not that easy....
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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter.Rau View Post
    For sure!!

    Good luck with your lockdown in Botswana from 2 April. Not that easy....
    It's okay, it is for a good cause.

    I will do some cosmetic on my vehicles and a proper cleaning, also battery tests on the trailer.

    I guess traffic noise pollution will also reduce so sleeping a bit longer
    Last edited by Kalahari Safari; 2020/03/31 at 05:48 PM.
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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Botswana February 2020 trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    It's okay, it is for a good cause.

    I will do some cosmetic on my vehicles and a proper cleaning, also battery tests on the trailer.

    I guess traffic noise pollution will also reduce so sleeping a bit longer
    Hahah And wish Gabz thieves too stick to the lockdown rules too and stay home.

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