Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road





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  1. #1
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    Default Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Hi Community,
    I am brand new to this forum and feel very privileged to be part of your community.
    I am not new to 4x4 driving but I am new to adventures around Africa. For my first trip i would like to visit Moremi/ Chobe/ Kasane.
    Here is my planned trip:
    Day 1: Martins Drift to South gate , Day 2: South Gate to Xankanaxa, Day3 Xankanaxa to Khwai, Day4 Khwai to Savuti, Day5 Stay at Savuti, Day 6 Savuti to Kasane, Day 7 Kasane to Elephant Sands, day 8 Elephant Sands to JHB
    What I need to know is how is the trip from Savuti to Kasane? Will it be an easy drive? I see it says its 135km? How long will it take?
    Driving a 2019 Nissan Navara Double cab 4x4

    Also any advise on activities and game viewing spots at Xankanaxa, Khwai and Savuti.

    Thanks
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Savuti to Kasane will take you the best part of a day. It's thick sand in many places and calcrete in others but mainly thick sand. It's low range slow much of the way. You have a choice near Savuti of traversing the Magwikwe Sand Ridge or the Mababe Depression. From there it's the main sand road all the way to Ngoma and then to Kasane.

    Try to spend at least two nights in a place otherwise you wear yourself out setting up and breaking camp daily combined with the drive.
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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Hi welcome,

    Nice trip planned, gonna be awesome . Water in Moremi is deep at the moment and will probably remain relatively high for the next 3 months.

    Your longest days are actually probably going to be Martins Drift to South Gate, 10 hrs at a reasonable speed including a nice lunch stop and fuel and the gate into the parks close earlier in winter.

    *edit when I first posted I assumed South Camp in Nxai not South Gate Moremi, apologies.


    Xaka to Khwai is relaxing along the river road and quick along the direct route.

    Khwai to Savuti is the better part of a day along the sand ridge road which will be the only option if its still wet and the Mababe depression remains soaked.

    Savuti to Kasane is closer to 5 hrs if I recall but someone feel free to correct me. You can take the tar near Ngoma bridge or pay and go through Chobe which will add a lot more time.

    Cheers
    Last edited by ChasingSunsets; 2020/05/20 at 12:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Quote Originally Posted by Dobmaster View Post
    Here is my planned trip:
    Day 1: Martins Drift to South gate ,
    Day 2: South Gate to Xankanaxa,
    Day3 Xankanaxa to Khwai,
    Day4 Khwai to Savuti,
    Day5 Stay at Savuti,
    Day 6 Savuti to Kasane,
    Day 7 Kasane to Elephant Sands, d
    ay 8 Elephant Sands to JHB
    Welcome.

    First: for when/what time of year is this trip planned? You are aware that borders will probably not open this year? Also you are looking at prime spots and you will need to book fairly far in advance especially if you are limited to certain times like school holidays.

    Second: you are making the classic rookie mistake in trying to do too much. You will need a holiday after all that driving, striking and pitching camp. So either focus on Moremi and maybe add a day or 2 if possible or double the days if you want to include Savuti.

    Third: why a stop over at Martinsdrift? I see you are from Randburg. Push on to around Lethlakane somewhere and the next day to South Gate. Martinsdrift to SG is too far for a day if you include stopping in Maun for fuel and supplies. I am not a fan of Xakanaka. So I would spend my time as follows: 2 nights SG, 3 nights Third Bridge and 2 nights North Gate. North Gate is not a very well run campsite and has a baboon problem, but it is a very game rich and stunning area.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/05/20 at 10:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    I’m exhausted just reading that itinerary!
    as has been mentioned, I’d cut the amount of places you want to visit big time. spend a couple nights at each spot so you get a chance to take things in.
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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Formatted below
    Last edited by TRON; 2020/05/20 at 11:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Welcome to the Forum

    You first of all need to determine what type of holiday do you want. 1. Sleep every night at a different campsite and your game drive is the way from camp A to B etc. Lost of driving in a short time.
    2. Pick an area and spend more time in and around that area. I like to spend more time in an specific area as its more relaxed and can focus on early morning and afternoon game drives instead of driving from point A to point B.

    When looking at 8 nights I would do the following:

    Option 1
    1night Khama Rhino
    1night Maun (This will allow you to take a flight over the delta)
    3 nights Third Bridge / Xakanaxa
    2 Nights North Gate / Magotho
    1 Night Elephant Sands

    If you want to Include Chobe and Savuti you need a few more days or you can do that area and skip the Moremi. Its up to you what area you want to cover and what type of holiday you would like to have.

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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Khwai (North Gate) to Savuti is app 100 km if you take the white hard road from North Gate and then the sand ridge road to Savuti. I feel you can do it at ease in 4 hours but take your time if
    you are not in a hurry. Sand is easy with a bit thicker closer to Savuti. Deflate tyres and easy going. Marsh Road is hard and bumpy when dry and unpassable in a normal 4x4 when wet.

    You must visit the pans and marshland south, south, east of Savuti if there is water. Saw the most concentrated elephant, buffalo of my life and quite a few lions there. See photo.

    From Savuti to Kasane is quite easy. Sand to Ghoha Gate North, app 30 km but not too deep and from the gate also sand for app 40 km (see photo taken there) till you get the 92 km tar road to
    Ngoma Bridge and on to Kasane. Not 135 km but just over 160. The new stretch of tar before Ngoma bridge makes it much quicker to travel. Remember to inflate tyres on the tar.

    I see nothing wrong with your planned trip as long as you don't tow which may slow you down in sand. We did many quick trips like this, more of an exploring trip and next time you stay longer
    at places you like. As long as you can make and break camp easily you do game viewing to the next camp. I would try and reach Khama Rhino Sanctuary from JHB on the first day, from Martins Drift
    to South Gate is a bit steep, otherwise only to Maun. The extra day at Savuti is good. An extra day in Kasane is a must, you do the trip from the gate close to the airport next to the river to
    Ihaha and then the shortest road to the tar and back. Then a sunset cruise on the river which you use the same entrance permit for as for the day, valid for 24 hours. if needed, rather miss
    a night at either Xankanaxa or Khwai.
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    Last edited by PierredW; 2020/05/20 at 11:26 AM.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    What time of the year are you planning on going?
    Where are you leaving from/starting your trip?
    Where do you plan to camp in the Khwai area (the DWNP at North Gate or in the private camp or Mababe area

    These points will help us to give more accurate/helpful inputs on your itinerary.

    "Martins Drift to South Gate"

    --- Looong day! If you travelling from the Bots side at Martins Drift to South Gate (Moremi) with a stop in Maun (Fuel and stock up)could be more than 12 hours. If from SA side of the border then you must add time to cross the border as well."South Gate to Xakanaxa"
    ----- There is no need to go back to Maun. South Gate (Moremi to Xakanaxa) is 2 to 3 hours with game viewing stops if you take the central and direct road.
    ----- If water levels are low and you want to make this drive to Xakanaxa really interesting and worthwhile then take the road less travelled via Xini, Black Pools and Third Bridge (stop for lunch).

    "Best route Xakanaxa to Khwai."

    ----- This is dependent on the water levels in the Moremi (time of the year?) and will guide you to choose the best option to get to Khwai.

    Options could be any of the below:
    + along the river (water edge) road past Paradise and Dombo pools to North Gate/Khwai.
    + back to some 3 kms (?) before South Gate and then take the northerly branch road to North Gate/Khwai.
    + If you're going to camp in the Mababe area then go back to South Gate and then to the Maun-Shorobe-Mababe-Savuti road turning north/left to Mababe.

    "Khwai to Savuti is via two options"

    + the sand ridge road which can be very sandy but is doable with low tyre pressures
    + the Savuti Marsh road not doable during the wet season. During the dry season this road can be extremely rutted due to elephant spoor in the black cotton soil once dried out.

    "Final comment:"

    I believe that you have a brilliant route planned but you are planning to do too much driving. I would suggest that if you can then you should add a few days to make the trip top notch.
    +Savuti to Chobe and camp there for one night
    +Kasane deserves an additional night so you can do the Chobe river sunset cruise and also visit Vic Falls in Zimbabwe (this is a must if you are a first timer to the area).
    Senyati Camp/lodge in Kasane is a good option as you can then travel further the next day (skip Elephant Sands) to at least Francistown or Palapye or even Martins drift and reduce the final days kms to get back to Joburg,
    Last edited by TRON; 2020/05/20 at 11:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Quote Originally Posted by ChasingSunsets View Post
    The South Gate (Nxai or Moremi?)....
    You are confusing yourself. OP said South Gate. It is and have always been in Moremi.

    South Camp is in Nxai.
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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    As others have said, slow it down. That is at least a two week trip, else you won't have any time to enjoy what you have driven so far to see.

    Also, keep in mind that due to the vetiranary issues, you need to buy some/most of your food for the major part of your trip in Maun. You need to factor the time needed for that in, and thus I think you need to get a lot closer to Maun on your first day, or ad a day in there.

    Keep in mind that the shops in Bots tend to be smaller and less well stocked than you are used to, so you may not be able to get everything you need in one shop, you will need to go to three or four.

    Regarding your specefic question, Savuti to Kasane is fine for a day, but plan to spend the whole day. When you enter the Chobe NP at Ngoma, turn left at the first opportunity, and then take one of the trails leading along the edge of the river. In terms of both game and bird watching, the section from Ngoma to Serondela may well be the best part of the whole trip.

    Lastly, add a day at Kasane and go for a boat ride. In fact, add two days and use one of them for a day-trip to Vic Falls.
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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    You are confusing yourself. OP said South Gate. It is and have always been in Moremi.

    South Camp is in Nxai.
    TRUE... South Camp (Nxai) and South Gate (Maquee Moremi)
    As for the trip:
    It very good to learn yourself, putting up a trip and dont be ashamed of getting it wrong first time. Often people get their first trip arranged by agents and all they do is follow GPS and drive. The thing about a day is, in paper it seems long, but in reality, a day is very short when you up there. You wake up early, make coffee, start a game drive and then get back to camp, pack and then drive to another camp, set up. By the 3rd day doing that everyday, your holidays turns into a working days and you get tired.
    So, take some time, atleast minimum of 2 days per site. All the campsites you chose are some of the best and worth going through, but they need time to explore each.
    Last edited by PAT n WOLF; 2020/05/20 at 03:11 PM.

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    Red face Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Hi, and welcome

    I agree with everyone take it slow and enjoy the peace and tranquillity the bush has to offer , there are always other trips.

    Pierre , great photo of the buffalo and elephants on the marsh, what year and month was this taken? Thanks

    Another option would be as follows:

    JHB to Lethlakane 780 kms 9-10 hours 1st night
    Lethlakane to Maun 350 kms 4 hours buy diesel and food
    Maun to Khawi 150 kms 4-5 hours 2nd and 3rd nights
    Khwai to Savuti 100 kms 4-5 hours 4th and 5th nights
    Savuti to Chobe 160 kms 5-6 hours 6th and 7th nights
    Chobe to Woodlands 500 kms 6 hours 8th night
    Woodlands to JHB 720 kms 8-9 hours

    If you can squeeze in a few more nights in at each place your trip would be great.
    Khawi will offer you water and animals with wild camping on a par with Moremi for a first time.
    Savuti always dishes up a few surprises.
    An afternoon boat trip in Chobe is well worth it, try and hire your own boat

    If you are going in the dry months the marsh road to Savuti is a good option, we always use it, even though it is a bit bumpy.
    From Savuti to Chobe take the airfield road which is hard and comes out at the bottom of Ghoha hills.
    At the gate turn immediately left follow the cut-line for about 8 kms and you will see the Chobe road join on your right, take this to Chobe.
    This route saves a far bit of time as you avoid a lot of the thick sand.

    Enjoy, planning is half the fun

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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Dobmaster, it is difficult to envisage a post I agree more with than that from SavutiZN.

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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Thank you Stan, busy do a Namibian trip report.

    Also looking at booking Kgalagadi for November what do you think ?

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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    I am going to outline my biased preferences as if you had never been to Kgalagadi before SavutiZN, if you don't mind.

    Kgalagadi might just be open by November, but doubt if one can book on either SA or Botswana sides in the near future though.

    November is excessively hot and dry, but compared to lock-down will be like paradise I suppose. The months I personally prefer are from about February to April when it is often quite green and the animals are attracted to the nutritious, green grazing in the river beds.

    I love both Polentswa and Rooiputs Campsites for un-fenced camping on the SA-Botswana border. In between, one should probably look at staying at Nossob fenced camp. If on the SA side and prepared to consider self-catering accommodation, some of the so-called wilderness camps (chalets) are stunning. Here in order of preference I like Kieliekrankie, then Grootkolk or Gharagab. In the southwest look at Urikarus, mainly for its isolation. Of the larger camps and if you want to stay on the Auob River as well as the Nossob, Kalahari Tented Camp is right on the Auob River bed and Mata Mata is not bad at all.

    I also very much enjoy Mabuasehube on the Botswana side of the Trans-frontier Park. Here I would take the route from the Nossob Camp vicinity via Motopi. The campsites I would favour in Mabua, in rough order of preference would be Mpayathutlwa 1, Leshoalogo Camp 2, Monamadi Camp 2 and Mabuasehube Camp 4. There is an exellent review of Mabuasehube NP and the various campsites at: https://www.travel4wildlife.com/mabu...ites-botswana/
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    Default Re: Savuti to Kasane. Best easiest road

    Thanks Stan for your help, the review was very good reading.

    We have been a few times before but always March/ April and never been in November but are desperate to get away as our September Caprivi trip won't happen either.
    I was hopping that one might get a few thunderstorms towards the later part of November.

    We are moving this years trip which was planned from the 3rd April to April 2021.
    It included Mabu no4 then to Nossab via the Mabu trail to Nossab then Polentswa and the Gemsbok trail, Gharagab then Rooiputs.

    We will all definitely have a busy 2021 making up lost time.

    Paul

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