We left for Martins Drift from Johannesburg on 2 July 2009. The border crossing took from 12h00-15h00. We camped at Kgama Rhino Reserve that night.

We had a day spare before so we decided to visit Khubu Island on 3 July. We arranged the visit on the day with the Gaing-O Community Trust office in Lekhubu, who will assisit in organising a guide to take you to Khubu Island. I would not attempt the trip without a guide. Our guide was driving a Toyoyta Raider 4x4 and got stuck ca 10 times there and back. Please note that the other guides do not have vehicles, and you will need a spare seat in your vehicle for the guide. I towed a Conquest trailer with a Fortuner and got stuck once. The recoveries were relatively easy and mostly involved being pulled back by the vehicle behind you, after which the second attempt to get through was usually sucessful. The water is generally 30-40 cm deep and about 5-8 km of the road is under water. At times it is quite wise, so you dont know where the road is, therefore a guide is necessary. We let ourselves in for a bit more than we bargained for, but the beautiful scenery was worth the trouble. There were many mosquitos at Khubu Island.
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We left the next morning at 8h00, as the guide had to take a local resident with asthma problems to the clinic in Lekhubu. We slept over at the Sekwa Ka Semetsi motel 5 km outside Rakops. The facilities are basic but clean. They only got the generator started at ca 19h00.

We camped for 3 nights at Sunday Pan, 2 nights at Piper pan, and the last night at Deception Pan. We saw (and heard) lions at piper pan and Deception Pan. At Decption Pan we had fresh Leopard tracks (we think) ca 20m from our camp.

The round trip was 2600 km and the average fuel consumption 12,4 litres/100km (diesel Fortuner). There was fuel at all the filling stations, including Rakops.

What worked well
  • Animal tracks book that my daughter (8 years) bought
  • Plastic play animals for the children
  • Paper and craft items for the girls (8 years)
  • Spare vehicle keys
  • Two-way radio
  • Filling the water tanks of the trailer in Johannesburg, as the water in Botswana is quite salty
  • The hole dug for burning rubbish was a big favourite with the boys (4 years). They spent hours playing there.
  • In-car DVD player

What did not work so well
  • The pump in the trailer nose cone was switched on while we were driving, and flooded the nose cone
  • I locked the vehicle keys in the trailer
  • The spare wheel of the Fortuner fitted below the 42 litre long range tank hit the sand often. Next time I will carry it on the roof rack.