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  1. #1
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    Default Best route to Mabua?

    Once we meet the highway at Touws River, we were planning on heading straight up through Upington ( where we would do our PCR test) and cross into Botswana either at Bokspits or Mc Carthys Rest. Unfortunately both borders on the SA side still remain closed. Our closest border would be Ramatlabama.

    Which would be the best route heading up, through Upington or heading on the N12 through Kimberly.

    Then, once we cross at Ramatlabama we take the A2. Presumably this will be slow going because of all the trucks.

    Once we turn off the A2, which is the best route and what are the road conditions like?

    Our first night will be at the infamous campsite # 3 at Matswere gate.😉
    2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7L V8

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckzoo View Post
    Once we meet the highway at Touws River, we were planning on heading straight up through Upington ( where we would do our PCR test) and cross into Botswana either at Bokspits or Mc Carthys Rest. Unfortunately both borders on the SA side still remain closed. Our closest border would be Ramatlabama.

    Which would be the best route heading up, through Upington or heading on the N12 through Kimberly.

    Then, once we cross at Ramatlabama we take the A2. Presumably this will be slow going because of all the trucks.

    Once we turn off the A2, which is the best route and what are the road conditions like?

    Our first night will be at the infamous campsite # 3 at Matswere gate.😉
    Why not go into KTFP and do the stuff at Twee Rivieren and Two Rivers (provided they are open), then go to Nossob and take the lower service road?
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike N View Post
    Why not go into KTFP and do the stuff at Twee Rivieren and Two Rivers (provided they are open), then go to Nossob and take the lower service road?
    Mike, thanks for the response.
    We did consider that option, but 180Km on the Boso trail which sounds like quite a slog, so high petrol consumption then 180 Km back would leave us with very little for game drives for the 13 days.

    Also, we would not be able to go to Tsabong to refuel, as we would not actually have completed Botswana border formalities.

    So kind of between a rock and a hard place.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Is the Mabua gate also called Matswere? I thought that was the northern gate to CKGR.

    In these Covid times we are forced to change many things. This we do gladly as long as we can travel to our favorite destinations.

    I think that the N12 route via Kimberly is the better one.

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    OK, if the Two Rivers/ Twee Rivieren border post is open in KTP, then your best bet would be to grab a night there and do the actual crossing at the park. You can then leave via the Two Rivers border post into Botswana. It's a short gravel drive to Bokspits and then keep on going one one of Botswana's best tar rds to Tsabong. Around 250 kms.

    85 of good gravel and then 35 deep sand to Mabua east gate. You could be there in time for a late lunch.
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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Two Rivers is closed.

    I’m with Mike on going through KTP but hear you regards fuel. No way of contacting the gate and seeing if they will give you permission to go and fill up? Long shot, I know.

    Otherwise via Ramatlabama and Sekoma is your most realistic option.
    Last edited by RobH; 2021/08/23 at 03:26 PM.

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckzoo View Post
    Mike, thanks for the response.
    We did consider that option, but 180Km on the Boso trail which sounds like quite a slog, so high petrol consumption then 180 Km back would leave us with very little for game drives for the 13 days.

    Also, we would not be able to go to Tsabong to refuel, as we would not actually have completed Botswana border formalities.

    So kind of between a rock and a hard place.
    I kind off agree with Mike….your detour through Kimberley and up the A2 will probably
    lead you to Sekoma, from where you would have to use the cut-line route to the gate. You
    will probably have to camp overnite on your way there, and with your last fuel maybe at Sekoma, you would be in the same or worse position that going through Nossop.

    I am not sure that the fuel and gamedrives will be such a big issue going through Nossop…you
    will have to carry additional fuel with you anyway, no matter which route you decide on…

    Tough decision, but nice to be going in these time anyway.
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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Yep, tough one, but worth while if you can get organized. Good luck and bon voyage.
    Stranger

    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRON View Post
    Is the Mabua gate also called Matswere? I thought that was the northern gate to CKGR

    I think that the N12 route via Kimberly is the better one.
    No, you're right Matswere gate is to CKGR, sometimes things tend to run together��

    Regarding petrol, our tank holds 76L, second tank 40L and 4 Jerries each at around 18L.

    So Sekoma would be our last opportunity for petrol?

    What are the road conditions like heading to Mabua gate from Sekoma vs the Boso trail?

    I was really hoping if we took the Ramaltbama route rather than Going via Nossob that we could drive to Tsabong to refuel as needed.

    Oh yes, Kimberly route seems like the best option.

    As an aside, I really don't see why they could not open at least one of the border posts, either Bokspits or McCarthys Rest!
    Last edited by Chuckzoo; 2021/08/24 at 07:45 AM.
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  15. #10
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    You lucky fish!!

    To detail; you are right, as of a month ago closest open Bots border to Mabua was Ramatlabama then you have to weigh up getting to Mabua via Makopong (T4A 104km), Kokotsha (143km) or Tsabong (133km). Not sure of road conditions (we entered via Hukhuntsi) but it will not be plain sailing at 80kph at a guess (Hukhuntsi to East Gate; 145km was probably 50 - 60kph avg, some sand). Your Jeep may be well thirstier than a V8 Cruiser (definitely my Fortuner) but the Cruiser, after filling at Hukhuntsi easily did a week in Mabua and on to Nossob with around 160 litres of diesel.

    If you can, I suggest going in at Twee Rivieren, fill at Nossob to the brim, take the Boso Trail (maybe 185km of easy sand and some horrible corrugated sections), then set aside the fuel needed to return via Mabua -Nossob Trail (as you say around 170km) and game view. There is little thick sand in Mabua itself and speeds are slow so fuel consumption should be good .

    You will save quite a bit of travelling, covid test delays and maybe score some casual days in KTFP and Mabua.

  16. #11
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Thanks for the responses.
    We are really looking forward to our time in Mabua, even though the getting there may be somewhat more challenging than in normal times.

    We are carefully looking at pros and cons of each option.

    Thanks for the input, much to consider.
    2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7L V8

  17. #12
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    I am in the same boat, well sort of.
    Plan is to Travel from home in George to Kimberley, get PCR test done, sleep over near Kby, collect PCR certificate, cross border at Ramatlabama and sleep over on Botswana side, maybe Phuduhudu or Chasmiru. Next morning to Sekoma, turn off towards Werda and then take the cutline road from Kokotsha to Mabua Gate and our site at Mpayatutwa, a total distance of roughly 450 km for the day. Do you think the 450 km can be done, taking the 100 km of cutline traveling into account?
    My second question, what is the condition of the cutline road?
    Will appreciate some guidance drawn from your own experience of this road.

  18. #13
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Footloose View Post
    I am in the same boat, well sort of.
    Plan is to Travel from home in George to Kimberley, get PCR test done, sleep over near Kby, collect PCR certificate, cross border at Ramatlabama and sleep over on Botswana side, maybe Phuduhudu or Chasmiru. Next morning to Sekoma, turn off towards Werda and then take the cutline road from Kokotsha to Mabua Gate and our site at Mpayatutwa, a total distance of roughly 450 km for the day. Do you think the 450 km can be done, taking the 100 km of cutline traveling into account?
    My second question, what is the condition of the cutline road?
    Will appreciate some guidance drawn from your own experience of this road.
    We drove that route 2 weeks ago - stayed over in Zeerust, crossed the border by 7am and were in camp at Mapaya by mid afternoon, so if you are staying at Chasmiru, inside Bots it’s easily doable. Cut line road is generally good some sandy patches and corrugations but no too bad. Takes a good 2 hrs and we didn’t see another vehicle on the way in or out. Have a great trip

  19. #14
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    If your plans are only to camp at Mabua in Botswana, I would make every effort to go in and out at Twee Rivieren.
    -You avoid all customs and immigration complexity
    -Only one PCR test required on entry to the KTFP avoiding all delays and overnight stays in getting a second PCR to get out of Botswana
    - No problems in taking all the essentials with you for camp life such as braai meat and wine
    - A drive through the wilderness on the Boso -trail is a good experience
    If you are really determined to go via Mabua Gate - make friends with the rangers. They regularly drive to Tsabong and would happily take and fill your jerry cans.
    Last edited by trooper; 2021/09/26 at 11:02 AM.
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  21. #15
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    Default Re: Best route to Mabua?

    Agree with Trooper. Have just spoken to the park guys at Twee Rivieren. You can enter Botswana there and drive straight to Mabua (or go via the petrol pumps at Nossob) (with your PCR certificate issued within 72 hours from CT or Upington). Spend the previous night just outside the park, so you can leave for Mabua early the next morn. We're carrying 200 litres of gas, so that shouldn't be a problem.

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