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  1. #1
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    Default Savuti in June/July 2024

    Hi

    I am thinking of planning a trip to Savuti in June/July. I have the following questions
    1. Will it be possible to go with my Volvo XC90 D5 AWD or is a 4x4 absolutely necessary (no trailer but will have a roofbox)
    2. Where and how do I book campsites/lodges
    3. What should my recommended route be leaving from Johannesburg


    Any advice would be appreciated. Alternatively please send me links of threads where above was discussed.

    Kind regards

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    I hope you have deep pockets as Savuti campsite bookings need to be made well in advance.
    You could:Contact DWNP booking office directly, (+267) 6860368/6861265 and ask for any availability (as per Caldrivers post) or contact an agent such as Pat n Wolf on this forum

    Good luck

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    The Volvo is not the correct choice of vehicle. I don’t think you’ll get to Savuti, but if you do you will sustain a lot of damage.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Firstly, vehicle not suited - AWD and 4x4 is totally different.

    You will frustrate youself and have to rely on a lot of other people.

    Secondly, doubt very much you'll still get place. Normally booked out a year in advance.

    If you do go, please report back
    Martin Pienaar

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    With that out of the way - why Savuti? What is it you want to see / experience?

    Have you been to Btoswana or are you open to alternatives within the country?
    Stephan G

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Post lots of pics of the Volvo on the Sandridge Road.

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Quote Originally Posted by RiyadhGP View Post
    Hi I am thinking of planning a trip to Savuti in June/July. I have the following questions
    1. Will it be possible to go with my Volvo XC90 D5 AWD or is a 4x4 absolutely necessary (no trailer but will have a roofbox)
    2. Where and how do I book campsites/lodges
    3. What should my recommended route be leaving from Johannesburg

    Any advice would be appreciated. Alternatively please send me links of threads where above was discussed.Kind regards
    This should be a year 2025 trip inquiry. This time of year, only people with confirmed bookings are rolling in the beds in excitement, that they will soon be leaving for a trip.
    Is there any reason you interested in Savuti. There is a lot to go through to get to Savuti. But finding a campsites at Savuti is close to zero this time of year.
    If you want alternatives, you can ask and will advise on alternatives to Savuti.
    Last edited by PAT n WOLF; 2024/05/26 at 08:11 PM.

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Everybody is being very polite. So I will too. In theory, you may (emphasis on may) get to Savuti in the Volvo. But you probably won't make it back out again (not in one piece, anyway).
    Tony Weaver
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  16. #9
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    I agree with above posts - getting there is not easy. You can't avoid the sand.

    The rainy season pretty much did not happen this year and Botswana is facing a tough dry season over the coming winter months. Savuti would not be my first choice, and definitely not in the AWD.

    Please don't be one of those who turns up without a booking and then goes round the booked campers and ask to share their site.

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  18. #10
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Thank You to everyone for valid inputs. I was not aware that you need to book 1 year in advance in Savuti so will replan my trip to exclude Savuti.

    With regards to the Volvo, I found this video with the Volvo on soft sand and thought it would be possible.
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTP8MKJQY0Y - is it significantly different. I have been watching videos on Youtube of the drive to Savuti and it does not look much different.
    • I have done Normandiens Pass near Newcastle whilst extremely wet and muddy and managed it without getting stuck.
    • I have done the Sani's Pass (up-drive only) in light snow and the vehicle made it to the top.



    @Groenman - I am now open to alternatives based on the valuable comments from the group.
    @Pat n Wolf - Please advise on alternative
    Last edited by RiyadhGP; 2024/05/27 at 09:24 PM.

  19. #11
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Quote Originally Posted by RiyadhGP View Post
    Thank You to everyone for valid inputs. I was not aware that you need to book 1 year in advance in Savuti so will replan my trip to exclude Savuti.

    With regards to the Volvo, I found this video with the Volvo on soft sand and thought it would be possible.
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTP8MKJQY0Y - is it significantly different. I have been watching videos on Youtube of the drive to Savuti and it does not look much different.
    • I have done Normandiens Pass near Newcastle whilst extremely wet and muddy and managed it without getting stuck.
    • I have done the Sani's Pass (up-drive only) in light snow and the vehicle made it to the top.



    @Groenman - I am now open to alternatives based on the valuable comments from the group.
    @Pat n Wolf - Please advise on alternative

    That is NOT soft sand, that is highway compared to the sand ridge track to Savuti.

    But let me explain:
    * Soft sand is basically bottomless, meaning you will sink the car to the chassis.
    * The tracks to Savuti are notoriously bumpy and dug out leaving no room for momentum to overcome the bumps and holes in the track.
    * The track is full of wood sticks left behind by people trying to support their wheels when digging through the landscape after being stuck.
    * There is a middle mannetje which will strip you of all tupperware below the headlights if tackled at speed (that is if you can even build up enough to overcome the first series of bumps in the track, more likely to get airborne and crash land before)

    All in all, slow and steady is the key, and for that you need low range and clearance.

    Oh, and let me conclude: Once committed there is no turn around and no escape routes
    Walter Rene Gygax
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  21. #12
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Quote Originally Posted by vnielsen View Post
    Post lots of pics of the Volvo on the Sandridge Road.
    No need for photos- you might be able to visit it when you next pass by.

    In asking for suggestions, I suggest that you advise how long you have and what your preferences for are:
    wildlife or landscape;
    luxury or basic:
    cell phone connectivity or an escape
    long drop or flush
    remote or social
    pristine paint work or bush stripes
    places to eat or places to braai
    etc

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  23. #13
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Quote Originally Posted by RiyadhGP View Post
    Thank You to everyone for valid inputs. I was not aware that you need to book 1 year in advance in Savuti so will replan my trip to exclude Savuti.

    With regards to the Volvo, I found this video with the Volvo on soft sand and thought it would be possible.
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTP8MKJQY0Y - is it significantly different. I have been watching videos on Youtube of the drive to Savuti and it does not look much different.
    • I have done Normandiens Pass near Newcastle whilst extremely wet and muddy and managed it without getting stuck.
    • I have done the Sani's Pass (up-drive only) in light snow and the vehicle made it to the top.



    @Groenman - I am now open to alternatives based on the valuable comments from the group.
    @Pat n Wolf - Please advise on alternative
    I agree with others: there's a major difference between a 20 m dune and 20 km of constant soft sand. Traction on a slippery surface is different from ploughing through soft sand (and the sand in the video looks quite firm). I note also that the Volvo is chopping the sand a fair amount and other following drivers will not thank you for this.

    The clearance on the Volvo isn't bad, at 238 mm, however I suspect that you'll bog down sooner or later and find yourself unable to make much progress without a lot of digging, sand ladders, and/or a tow.

    Alternatives (vehicle):

    - rent or a 4x4.
    - go in a group with others who will be happy to tow you (a lot).

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  25. #14
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    As an alternative, see post #9 here:

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...be-appreciated
    Stephan G

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  26. #15
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    With regards to sandridge road, isn't the swamp road a better choice in June? Asking for myself as I'm doing that route next month.

  27. #16
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Quote Originally Posted by GH View Post
    With regards to sandridge road, isn't the swamp road a better choice in June? Asking for myself as I'm doing that route next month.
    Last year they advised us against the swamp road. Officials said it is so corroded and slow going, it takes almost twice as long as sand ridge
    Gert Grobler

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    GH

  29. #17
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Quote Originally Posted by Groenman View Post
    As an alternative, see post #9 here:

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...be-appreciated

    Good suggestions

  30. #18
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Quote Originally Posted by Nys View Post
    Last year they advised us against the swamp road. Officials said it is so corroded and slow going, it takes almost twice as long as sand ridge
    I will make use of the swamp road in July for two reasons:

    1- Slow and steady on bumpy solid ground is preferable from speed and momentum on long soft sand stretches, especially when towing.

    2- there are better chances of encountering wildlife on the swamp road than on the endless sand ridge with bush covering all views.

    I don't mind taking longer but arriving safely.
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  32. #19
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    I took the marsh road (instead of sand ridge) last month - Mababe to Savuti. It was easier than some other terrain we covered. Game viewing was incredible - such large numbers of game. Even with the dry conditions there were still bits of water around. The guys at the gate advised us to take the marsh road, and their advice was good. At the time this was a good choice. If there has been no significant rain since, then I'd guess the marsh road is the way to go...

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  34. #20
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    Default Re: Savuti in June/July 2024

    Quote Originally Posted by GH View Post
    With regards to sandridge road, isn't the swamp road a better choice in June? Asking for myself as I'm doing that route next month.
    I always ask at Mababe gate and ast year the officials at the gate advised us to take the swamp road. There were at least 2 Conquerer trailers that were so damaged on the Sandridge road that they were abandoned - after the owners ignored the officials' warning to rather take the swamp road. More to see on the swamp road anyway...

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