Botswana trip july - need advice





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  1. #1
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    Default Botswana trip july - need advice

    Hello 4x4 community !

    I am planning our first Africa trip with my wife. We are 31/26 years old married couple. We want to hire a Nissan King cab with roof-tent in Johhanesbutg from KEAcampers.
    As for initerary, its still open for suggestions, basicly we have 18 days in july this year for visiting parks, observing nature, making photographs, sleeping in car-roof-tents. My proposed routes:

    1/ Johannesburg - Ghanzi - Maun - Mababe - Savuti - Ngome - Kasane - VIctory Falls - Nata - Gweta - Motopi - Rakops - Lethlakane - Sorowe - Martins Drift - Johannesburg

    2/ Johannesburg - Kang - Ghanzi- Okawango or Kalahari NP - Mamuno - Gobasis - Windhoek - Okahandja - Karibib - Walvis Bay - Kuiseb Pass- Solitaire - Sesriem - Nauchas - Rehoboth - Mariental - Keetmanshoop - Upington - Johannesburg


    One of the problems is that we are only one vehicle and on our first offroad trip. Do you think that its possible to do this trip with one 4x4 vehicle, using mainly good gravel/roads ? Or we definitly should/need to find some co-travelers ? We dont need to try any extreme water/mud adventure.
    I really want to experience dry climate of Namibian desert using 4WD offroad car, so i prefer second route. I have no offroad experience, but already 14-year driving experience + 4 years motor-bike simple offroad. I dont need extreme swamp or sand desert dunes, just want to go to places where no mass-tourism is already on daily schedule.
    About animals - visiting 2-3 National parks for game viewing/watching wild beasts is enoung. I assume that we meet some animals on the road too.

    Maybe you have some contacts to another travelers who plan similar 4x4 journey in the summer.

    Finding some more people seem to be difficult for us. We are from Slovakia, Europe, and only few people from our country travel to Botswana and Namibia in last years, as fly tickets and visas are not so cheap. Last month visa requirements to Botswana were canceled for 30-day visit, so now we are free to go in this lovely country.

    I am also finding difficult to understand all that insurance thing for hiring a car. Even if I take NIL excess, I am obliged to pay in many cases. Also when thers accident with other car, they use the money from deposit first, and only after police resolve the case as the fault of third side /driver who damaged our car by crashing/ they will refund our money back. It really worries me much, as we dont know what danger we step upon. And standard insurance has so high excess, that its a risk to provide own credit card for deposit. This thing is completly different from renting a car in Slovakia or rest europe countries. Do you have any advice/hint on this ?

    This trip is in no way cheap, but has some final budget too, so we try to make some adjustements to cover all predictable expenses. Currently its hired car /700-1100 ZAR a day/, fuel / 5000 pula for 500-600 litres/, camp fees and some national park fees /5000 pulas/ and all food from stores. All expenses togeter make summ of 4000 USD for 18-day, excluding fly tickets.

    Can you please consider above things and make an advice if its possible to do this adventure with this 'configuration' of initerary, skills, car and money provided ?
    Its only 40-50 days to the start of this trip, so we must to decide if its possible/worth trying.

    Thank you for any help, as we are collecting any info available.

    Peter

  2. #2
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    Instead of racing around, I would suggest just visiting Botswana or Namibia. 18 days goes fast. For example, if you flew into Maun, that would save a couple days driving and fuel there, and a couple days back to Joburg. You can rent an equipped 4x4 in Maun for about 1070pula/day with insurance.
    Last edited by luangwablondes; 2009/05/16 at 04:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Robbie is spot on. That is way too much for 18 days!

    I assumed you were giving us the choice of 2 seperate itineraries to choose from......I didn't imagine for a minute that you had plans to do both!!!

    If you attempted all of your plans, then your major impression of the holiday would be how dull the inside of your car was. If I were you I would head to Botswana.....

    Mike
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

    "Mike for President" Freeflyd

  4. #4
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    Default Grate site

    There is a site that deals onley with overland trips in Afrika www.overland.co.za . There you will get all the information you need including trip reports of people that did a similar trip as the one you are planning.

    Toyota Fortuner 4.0L 4X4
    AKA - TUNA

  5. #5
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    May I ask where Banska Bystrica is?
    Everything is a hammer.
    Unless it is a screw driver.

    Then it it a chisel.

  6. #6
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    Hello, sorry for confusion - of course we will take only ONE journey, not both. So Botswana+Victory Falls OR Botswana /only 1-2 park visits/+Namibia desert trip.

    Most my worries are from being total noob for vehicle repairs /so far only needed to change tyre, oil + fluids by myself/, strange car insurance conditions in SA rental companies, some safety precausions and of course, money...

    Maybe I will cut the trip to 14 days and visit only 2 national parks in Botswana to save money and have some reserve for unpredictable accidents.

    I will try to find some co-travelers with similar date/itinerary and make this trip a safer one.

    Thanks to all on this forum for useful links about Botswana offroad trips.

    Peter

    To Uys: Banska Bystrica is in the middle of our country, Slovakia /former part of Czechoslovakia till 1993/. English info about Banska Bystrica: http://eng.banskabystrica.sk/ If you want more info, just send me mail or PM. I am happy to answer all questions if you are inrested.

  7. #7
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    Thanks! And welcome to the site!
    Everything is a hammer.
    Unless it is a screw driver.

    Then it it a chisel.

  8. #8
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    Default Also going in july

    Peter,

    We are planning also a trip to Botswana in July.
    We have left the planning late, as the oppertunity for this trip came up late. I still hope to piece the trip together as it will be peak season in Botswana (and campsites for the national parks are kind of hard to get).

    Anyway...
    Our intended route will be:

    03-jul vr Elisras
    04-jul za Elephant sands (between Nata and Kasana)
    05-jul zo Kasana
    06-jul ma Chobe
    07-jul di Chobe
    08-jul wo Linyanti
    09-jul do Linyanti
    10-jul vr Savuti
    11-jul za Maun
    12-jul zo Maun
    13-jul ma Moremi (North gate)
    14-jul di Moremi (North gate)
    15-jul wo Moremi (Xakanaxa))
    16-jul do Maun
    17-jul vr Maun
    18-jul za CKGR
    19-jul zo CKGR
    20-jul ma CKGR
    21-jul di Le Roo la Tau
    22-jul wo Le Roo la Tau
    23-jul do Kwa Nokeng
    24-jul vr Pretoria
    25-jul za JNB Int'l

    As I am still in the process of planning the route and you might consider teaming up for the more 4x4 specific parts. To give you peace of mind.

    Kees
    _Kees Duijn_________________Adicted to southern Africa since dec. 2000

  9. #9
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    Default team up

    Hello Kees,

    your proposed itinerary looks interesting. Maybe last 4-6 days could be different from ours, but it depends on the decision of how long we can stay.
    We planned 18 day journey mainly due to the money/budget factor and 2 kids waiting for us at home. The trip length could be changed, final decision is still not done.

    As for pre-booked accomodation/camping - do you have it booked already or are you only in the process of making decision ?

    If we team up then maybe we can pre-book same spots for most part of the trip. BTW according your profile I assume you are from Holland and your arrival/departure is Joburg.

    If so, which car rental company and which car is you choise for this trip ?
    How many people are you traveling together ?

    I am really happy that this forum makes this 'team up' thing much faster.

    There are many more questions, so maybe it will be better to discuss it thru email. I use cdmansk'at'gmail'dot'com - or cdmank'at'xaver'dot'sk. In case of closer contact I have Skype account: skcdman

    I hope we can safely arrange this trip and all have awesome experience.

    Best regards

    Peter

  10. #10
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    Default

    COrrection:

    Second contact address was wrong, correct one is: [email protected]

  11. #11
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    Hello Peter,

    We are indeed from Holland and it will be our 6th time to Southern Africa. We fly direct from Frankfurt to Jo'burg with Lufthansa. This made the trip feaseble as the KLM from Amsterdam was way to expensive. We travel with the kids (3,5 end 5,5 years old) and had a very good travelling experience with them in 2006 when touring botswana. When shopping around for tickets, I have manage to book them for only the taxes and surcharges. The total ticket price is 1650 for the four of us. Bringing the kids enhances the experience (you will feel more part of the foodchain in the national parks as the sites are unfenced ). But with the right precautions they will be fine and have a experience to remember.

    For rental companies you might try:
    www.4x4camper.com; (Had a friendly chat via email with him) [email protected] (1800 for 23days)
    www.buffalo.com; oldervehicles (4-5 yaer old) is where we have booked. (1600 for 23 days)
    Buffalo was 200 cheaper, but as I understood after I had booked, their equipement could be rather run down. At 4x4camper they indicate to replace their RTT's bianually.
    As we take the kids along I have booked a Toyota Hilux with Double Cabine and 2 RTT's

    As for booking the campsites I have faxed the DWNP reservation office with my required dates last friday and I have not yet got a response from them.
    If sites are hard to get we could indeed consider sharing.

    As you wrote earlier you don't have any 4x4 experience and therefore I advise you to do a small course before heading off. Just to get a feel for it. Botswana isn't that difficult but if you have some experience you probably won't get in to trouble at all.

    My view on teaming up would be doing the transits in a team and when stationary doing your own thing and looking out for each other at the end of the day. We could share a campfire but that isn't nessesary.

    I have sent you this answer per email as well.
    If you have more questions feel free to ask.

    Kees
    _Kees Duijn_________________Adicted to southern Africa since dec. 2000

  12. #12
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    Smile Camping in July

    To Peter and Kees

    Just to warn you, if you intend camping in Moremi, Savuti etc., make your enquiries / reservations ASAP!

    When we contacted Botswana parks in March already for reservations for July, nothing was available. (School holidays in South Africa, when most people do their safari/bush trips.)

    Peter, it is a wonderful adventure to "overland" in Africa. Just make sure you are well informed and prepared. Also read the "Botswana trip advice" sticky on this forum.

    If you do feel a bit unsure about going it alone and cannot join another group, may we recommend an excellent safari operator: www.andbeyond.com . They operate a mobile safari service under the name "Botswana under Canvas" and often have special packages. See their website for information.

  13. #13
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    Question What dates exactly are you looking for?

    I am not sure what dates you would want to go, but have a look here.

    HJ

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...ad.php?t=34118

  14. #14
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    Hennie,

    thank you for offer to join your team, but your trip is too soon and too short for us. We can arrive only 1. july to Joburg and are planning to stay till 20-23. july. Maybe if our planned team with Kees's family will not suceed, we will consider a change in our trip.

    I have read all info on sticky posts also with many useful information on this forum and many websites about offroafing Africa. So far its still only theory for me, so I will try to book some 4x4 training with the company I will take a car from.

    Finding free campsites in national parks will be our biggest problem, as holiday season makes this even harder. Will try

    Thank you all for useful advice and links.

    Peter

  15. #15
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    You'r welcome - if nothing crops up, join us and after we return home, you might continue, as by then you would have learned most of the ropes. Hope you come right soon.

    HJ

  16. #16
    paulnel Guest

    Default chobe advice

    hi there, some friends and I are doing a trip up to botswana. its our first time so organisation has been interesting. Needless to say, I only phoned to book a spot in savuti yesterday but it is already full. I read somewhere on this forum that you can just pitch up and they may lket you stay for the night. Can anyone verify this or offer any advice? alternatively is it possible to drive from maun to ihaha in one day?
    thanks guys

  17. #17
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    hi there, some friends and I are doing a trip up to botswana. its our first time so organisation has been interesting. Needless to say, I only phoned to book a spot in savuti yesterday but it is already full. I read somewhere on this forum that you can just pitch up and they may lket you stay for the night ? Can anyone verify this or offer any advice? Not anymore, No permit No access into park.

    Alternatively is it possible to drive from maun to ihaha in one day? Never

    thanks guys.

    Best is to keep on phoning them or to physically go to the Maun office, there they will help you.

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    On second thought, you might make Maun to Ihaha in one day. Go Maun, Mababe, Savuti, Ghoha gate, Ihaha. Pull away 6:00 the morning and drive, no stops for gameviewing and no game driving and stay on the main track and you will make it in one day but it will be one long and full day.

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