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  1. #1
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    Red face 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Hi all

    We will be going July/August 2023 in 1 vehicle for 24 days. Must say we are so excited as this will be our first time in Botswana!

    I was hoping for some good advice and feedback on our planned route. Will be driving with children aged 8 and 14. How can I resupply midway through the northern part between Moremi and Chobe due to the length of time we would spend there?

    Khama Rhino 2 nights
    Khumaga camp 2 nights
    Audi Camp Maun 1 night
    3rd Bridge 2 nights
    Xakanaxa 4 nights
    1/2 day Maun to resupply and back to Khwai (is this doable or are there any other places closer?)
    Khwai 2 nights
    Savuti 3 nights
    Ihaha 2 nights
    Senyati 3 nights (do Vic falls as well)
    Nata Elephant Sands 1 night
    Khubu island 1 night
    Goo Moremi 1 night

    Any advice and recommendations would be massively appreciated.

    Many thanks!
    Last edited by Jakkals7; 2021/09/30 at 01:04 AM.

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Very nice trip and you are spending a good few days at each camp. The way to do it.

    What would you want to stock up in Maun? Fuel?

    Personally I think chasing back to Maun will first of all take more than half a day and secondly it is a waste of a precious time of your holiday.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Hey Jakkals, sounds like a great trip. We are in the throes of arranging an 8 week trip into Botswana scheduled for October/November 2022, it started as a 30 day trip and has now grown much longer. We are planning on doing much of what you are doing. Our thread on which many of the Botswana pros (Stan/Pat/Christa/Tron/Malcolm/Frans) commented can be found at

    30 Day Trip To Botswana (4x4community.co.za)

    As I haven't been to Botswana before, unless you count Polentswa and Rooiputs, so I am a bit reluctant to make too many suggestions but one of the many on my post that makes sense is to spend two nights at Maun to 1. stock up with provisions and 2. do the flight of the Delta. Take a look I'm certain you will get some valuable information. I agree with Christa on not returning to Maun unless it is absolutely essential. Good luck in the planning that is a massive part of the enjoyment. Cheers John
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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    The 4x4 has a long range fuel tank of 160 litres. I was more concerned about food as the Fridge/Freezer is only 90 litres. Might just pack more biltong than chops in

    That will mean 13 nights from 3rd Bridge to arriving in Senyati with 1 vehicle and 5 people to feed… I guess it’s just doable…

    Any advice really appreciated!

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedx2 View Post
    Hey Jakkals, sounds like a great trip. We are in the throes of arranging an 8 week trip into Botswana scheduled for October/November 2022, it started as a 30 day trip and has now grown much longer. We are planning on doing much of what you are doing. Our thread on which many of the Botswana pros (Stan/Pat/Christa/Tron/Malcolm/Frans) commented can be found at

    30 Day Trip To Botswana (4x4community.co.za)

    As I haven't been to Botswana before, unless you count Polentswa and Rooiputs, so I am a bit reluctant to make too many suggestions but one of the many on my post that makes sense is to spend two nights at Maun to 1. stock up with provisions and 2. do the flight of the Delta. Take a look I'm certain you will get some valuable information. I agree with Christa on not returning to Maun unless it is absolutely essential. Good luck in the planning that is a massive part of the enjoyment. Cheers John
    Hi John

    Thank you so much for this. Your suggestion on Maun makes perfect sense.

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    I wonder how you, Saffers, not get bored being 4-5 days at the same spot and to see the same scenery/resident animals every day. It seems you do not want to wear and tear your precious vehicles. My travel buddies would kill me doing that. 13 days between Maun and Kasane? I would cover also Victoria falls and Hwange NP in this time frame. Just a bit provoking, you know.

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Yes that is quite a stretch of time in terms of food, but it is do-able. You will just need to do some clever meal planning and pack non-perishable foods as well. It is perfectly survivable to substitute one or two braais with pasta Or bake a bread and have a plougman's type of meal with cheese and cold meat. I find that vacuum packed cold meat lasts long and is very versatile. Although it needs to be kept cold, it does not take up freezer space.

    Maybe look at taking along a cooler box, stock up meat in Maun and add some dry ice to the cooler box. That will give you extra capacity for 2 or 3 nights.

    Oh and you only have to bargain for food up to Ihaha. If you are really out and need to restock, Ihaha to Kasane is a very short hop and partial game drive too.

    Edit: Ted's suggestion of 2 nights in Maun is a good one. Maun, to me, is a crowded slow town. Nothing happens fast, not even shopping or filling up fuel tanks.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2021/09/30 at 08:53 AM.
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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Yes that is quite a stretch of time in terms of food, but it is do-able. You will just need to do some clever meal planning and pack non-perishable foods as well. It is perfectly survivable to substitute one or two braais with pasta Or bake a bread and have a plougman's type of meal with cheese and cold meat. I find that vacuum packed cold meat lasts long and is very versatile. Although it needs to be kept cold, it does not take up freezer space.

    Maybe look at taking along a cooler box, stock up meat in Maun and add some dry ice to the cooler box. That will give you extra capacity for 2 or 3 nights.

    Oh and you only have to bargain for food up to Ihaha. If you are really out and need to restock, Ihaha to Kasane is a very short hop and partial game drive too.

    Edit: Ted's suggestion of 2 nights in Maun is a good one. Maun, to me, is a crowded slow town. Nothing happens fast, not even shopping or filling up fuel tanks.
    a Ploughman’s in the bush… ?

    That is sacrilege! There will be a proper Braai every night…

    Never thought of the dry ice and cool box idea. Definitely going to rearrange the itinerary by maybe loosing a day Khwai and adding to Maun with a flight over the delta as well.
    Last edited by Jakkals7; 2021/09/30 at 09:55 AM.

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Jakkals daai toer klink befonk geniet die beplanning

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by schwott View Post
    I wonder how you, Saffers, not get bored being 4-5 days at the same spot and to see the same scenery/resident animals every day. It seems you do not want to wear and tear your precious vehicles. My travel buddies would kill me doing that. 13 days between Maun and Kasane? I would cover also Victoria falls and Hwange NP in this time frame. Just a bit provoking, you know.
    😂 There are 2 reasons mainly I want to take it slower…

    1. Have younger kids traveling with us and want to break it up as much as possible with not a massive amount of milage each day.

    2. It’s out first time in Botswana and decided to concentrate the majority of our time on the Moremi and Chobe areas. Want to experience the whole area in a relaxing time and taking every bit of the Delta in.

    Anyway I just can’t wait anymore 😂

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    The whole point of going on an extended trip to Bots is to chill, relax, get your Zen and Mojo working in harmony. There is enough rushing around in normal daily life.

    Have a fantastic trip and treasure that first cup of coffee in the morning listening to the sounds of the bush and that glass of wine as the sun goes down.

    Don't forget the sun screen and mozzie stuff.
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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Xakanaxa to Maun is about a 4 hour trip and then returning to Khwai will take another 3 hours so proposed refuel trip is a full days driving.
    What vehicle are you using? Very hard to take family of 5 and all provisions for extended trips in most single vehicles without compromising on something (unless you camp very light). I opted for off-road trailer which helps hugely with long trip payloads and packing space for 4 people but I do appreciate many people prefer not to tow.

    I have done 14 nights with a 75L fridge/freezer with 4 people. Just vacuum pack exact portions and add drinks daily as needed. Use long life milk, tinned stuff etc etc. Make sure your solar panels/batteries can handle the freezer and fridge running quite hard as you add drinks etc.

    There is water at many/most of the sites listed but many people prefer to take their own drinking water. I installed a 4 stage water filter in my trailer which does allow us to drink the local water if needed.
    You won't get fuel between Maun and Muchenje (on the tar road on the way to Ihaha after Savuti) but there is supposed to be a small shop at 3rd bridge and some small stores in Khwai village but I don't know what you can buy there (anyone know?).

    Right now 3rd Bridge is broken so you need to travel back to South Gate and then up to Xakanaxa but hopefully it will be fixed in 2 years time.

    Just spent 2 nights camping in Maun (nothing like camping close to neighbours, traffic noise and local parties going on until 2am to make you long for a quiet camp site in the bush). Arrive in Maun at lunch time, shop in the afternoon, flight at 8am the next morning and head to Moremi immediately after .

    Also prefer the slower itinerary with family - its a holiday not a rally. To me driving every day actually means you don't want to be out of your "precious vehicle" for any length of time ..

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  18. #13
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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Some good suggestions so far.

    I agree that a flight in Maun is worth it, so make sure you are in Maun by noon. I would suggest not camping in Maun - have a look at the "luxury" tents at Audi Camp for the night. Then you will have time to shop in the afternoon (I mean what are you going to get, meat and groceries - so 3 hours is fine), check in at Audi without having to pitch camp, do the late afternoon flight, have dinner at a restaurant (This place is close to the airport and really nice: https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/Restau..._District.html), have a beer at the restaurant at Audi, go to bed early and leave nice and early for Moremi the next day.

    Consider doing a 6+ hour delta cruise from Xakanaxa. (We used Impala Tours, but there are a few operating there). The 3 hour morning cruise is not enough to go deep into the Delta, and next time we would like to spend a full day on the water (seeing that you are there a few nights I would suggest the same).

    The planned trip to Maun and back will be a full day of hard driving and quick shopping. It's not going to be fun, but if you need the supplies what else can you do?

    A sunset cruise on the Chobe is a must. The river gets full with boats, but for good reason. It really is special. My suggestion would be to get a smaller 6 seater boat, rather than the big ones full of people. We used Kalahari Tours (operating out of Kasane) and it was really well-priced and a fantastic experience.

    To go to Vic Falls, make use of the shuttle going from Senyati and back. Much easier than having to do another border crossing with your own car. Have a beer (Zambezi Lager) at the Vic Falls Hotel, beautiful view of the bridge. This was a very nice restaurant for lunch: https://www.zambezihouse.com/

    Senyati to Elephant Sands is a very short drive, so bit of a "wasted day", but you are on holiday so no rush.

    The only change I would have made is to add a night at Baines Baobabs after Khumaga (1 night is enough).

    5 people in one car will mean lack of packing space, so you will have to pack smart. Be careful of overloading, the roads are rough and overloading can damage your car.

    What a fantastic trip though, I am jealous.

    PS: Are you using a booking agent? Which one?
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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakkals7 View Post

    1. Have younger kids traveling with us and want to break it up as much as possible with not a massive amount of milage each day.
    Can't stress this enough - keep the children close by, especially from dusk onwards. Do not be complacent because you are "in a camp".

    There are always hyenas lurking just outside the glow of the fire. And when we were in Savuti, a leopard took down an Impala right next to the ablution, only to be chased off the kill by three lionesses. So it's properly wild. (This is not meant to discourage or scare, but as it is your first time, just be acutely aware of this).
    Stephan G

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakkals7 View Post
    a Ploughman’s in the bush… ?

    That is sacrilege! There will be a proper Braai every night…
    No not really. We survived it many times on extended trips. Try 14 days in the Central Kalahari with a teenage boy.

    But I digress. Point is, a plan can always be made.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2021/09/30 at 10:09 AM.
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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by schwott View Post
    I wonder how you, Saffers, not get bored being 4-5 days at the same spot and to see the same scenery/resident animals every day. It seems you do not want to wear and tear your precious vehicles. My travel buddies would kill me doing that. 13 days between Maun and Kasane? I would cover also Victoria falls and Hwange NP in this time frame. Just a bit provoking, you know.
    We don't eat dried beans and powder egg heated over a hiking gas cooker for dinner, so allowing time for food preparation alone means we have to spend longer per site...
    Stephan G

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamF View Post
    Xakanaxa to Maun is about a 4 hour trip and then returning to Khwai will take another 3 hours so proposed refuel trip is a full days driving.
    What vehicle are you using? Very hard to take family of 5 and all provisions for extended trips in most single vehicles without compromising on something (unless you camp very light). I opted for off-road trailer which helps hugely with long trip payloads and packing space for 4 people but I do appreciate many people prefer not to tow.

    I have done 14 nights with a 75L fridge/freezer with 4 people. Just vacuum pack exact portions and add drinks daily as needed. Use long life milk, tinned stuff etc etc. Make sure your solar panels/batteries can handle the freezer and fridge running quite hard as you add drinks etc.

    There is water at many/most of the sites listed but many people prefer to take their own drinking water. I installed a 4 stage water filter in my trailer which does allow us to drink the local water if needed.
    You won't get fuel between Maun and Muchenje (on the tar road on the way to Ihaha after Savuti) but there is supposed to be a small shop at 3rd bridge and some small stores in Khwai village but I don't know what you can buy there (anyone know?).

    Right now 3rd Bridge is broken so you need to travel back to South Gate and then up to Xakanaxa but hopefully it will be fixed in 2 years time.

    Just spent 2 nights camping in Maun (nothing like camping close to neighbours, traffic noise and local parties going on until 2am to make you long for a quiet camp site in the bush). Arrive in Maun at lunch time, shop in the afternoon, flight at 8am the next morning and head to Moremi immediately after .

    Also prefer the slower itinerary with family - its a holiday not a rally. To me driving every day actually means you don't want to be out of your "precious vehicle" for any length of time ..
    Hello Graham

    Thanks for this and reassuring the fridge/freezer is big enough. We will be 3 adults and 2 kids in this trip. We are regular campers and used to wild camp backpacking.

    I will be renting a Ford Ranger O-class through Avis and attached their review link hereunder.

    https://youtu.be/EQZJS6a32Wc

    I’m sure with the knowledge that Ihaha is close to Kasane and a supplementary cool box for the first 2 nights that we will be good on the Braai front

    How does visiting Maun differ during the week and weekends? Shops being closed perhaps? No flights over the delta? Ive just had a look at our dates and we arrive on a Saturday and leave in a Sunday. Should we rearrange dates to get into Moremi by the Saturday?

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Groenman View Post
    We don't eat dried beans and powder egg heated over a hiking gas cooker for dinner, so allowing time for food preparation alone means we have to spend longer per site...
    It is true. We do not have the time for lunch and afternoon coffee. But we have proper braai every evening using our headlights. Why beans and powder eggs if the game meat is so cheap in Botswana

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakkals7 View Post
    Hello Graham
    How does visiting Maun differ during the week and weekends? Shops being closed perhaps? No flights over the delta? Ive just had a look at our dates and we arrive on a Saturday and leave in a Sunday. Should we rearrange dates to get into Moremi by the Saturday?
    We shopped in Maun at the Spar at 16h00 on Sunday afternoon so all good for Saturday PM shopping unless you have a specific shop you want. We also got Ice from the Ice shop at 17h00 on Sunday. Phone Mack Air in Maun to check Sunday am flights. Pretty sure they will do, they are in the tourism industry.

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    Default Re: 24 days overlanding in Botswana for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Groenman View Post
    Some good suggestions so far.

    I agree that a flight in Maun is worth it, so make sure you are in Maun by noon. I would suggest not camping in Maun - have a look at the "luxury" tents at Audi Camp for the night. Then you will have time to shop in the afternoon (I mean what are you going to get, meat and groceries - so 3 hours is fine), check in at Audi without having to pitch camp, do the late afternoon flight, have dinner at a restaurant (This place is close to the airport and really nice: https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/Restau..._District.html), have a beer at the restaurant at Audi, go to bed early and leave nice and early for Moremi the next day.

    Consider doing a 6+ hour delta cruise from Xakanaxa. (We used Impala Tours, but there are a few operating there). The 3 hour morning cruise is not enough to go deep into the Delta, and next time we would like to spend a full day on the water (seeing that you are there a few nights I would suggest the same).

    The planned trip to Maun and back will be a full day of hard driving and quick shopping. It's not going to be fun, but if you need the supplies what else can you do?

    A sunset cruise on the Chobe is a must. The river gets full with boats, but for good reason. It really is special. My suggestion would be to get a smaller 6 seater boat, rather than the big ones full of people. We used Kalahari Tours (operating out of Kasane) and it was really well-priced and a fantastic experience.

    To go to Vic Falls, make use of the shuttle going from Senyati and back. Much easier than having to do another border crossing with your own car. Have a beer (Zambezi Lager) at the Vic Falls Hotel, beautiful view of the bridge. This was a very nice restaurant for lunch: https://www.zambezihouse.com/

    Senyati to Elephant Sands is a very short drive, so bit of a "wasted day", but you are on holiday so no rush.

    The only change I would have made is to add a night at Baines Baobabs after Khumaga (1 night is enough).

    5 people in one car will mean lack of packing space, so you will have to pack smart. Be careful of overloading, the roads are rough and overloading can damage your car.

    What a fantastic trip though, I am jealous.

    PS: Are you using a booking agent? Which one?
    Some fantastic pointers here, thank you so much! Really like the idea of Baines Baobabs…

    We are using Lea en Francois from Ultimate Routes as our booking agent. They have been great so far!

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