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  1. #1
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    Default Botswana - First Time 4X4 Self Drive- Advice Please!!!!!

    Hi All,

    Finally I have an excuse to come back to SA in October for a friend's wedding in Durban (16th). Right after that I want to take off on my own for a photo-safari. I had planned to stay right through the end of November so better part of six weeks - but that may just be too much (too much noodles and soup in a pouch).

    I would love to visit Botswana for the first time and then go back over into SA to do several parks there. My plan originally was to try and reach Chobe but planning that became harder than it was worth so I have reset my sights on CKGR for a two week visit though working through the whole Bostwana Parks Board/Private Lease Holder business is a pain to say the least . I am on the verge of just skipping Bots. completely as being too much work , too many unknowns while trying to do it all online from the States.

    I have seen all the notes about spare parts and going with a group etc. Is this something a conservative guy - I dont normally do dumb things like racing across a pan hoping you dont get stuck - you will - can do ALONE I have seen a couple of threads from people who have done it alone but they have experience which I do not. I will rent a fully-kitted Defender from Just Done It, 4X4Hire, in CPT. They deliver to JNB and I will take off NW through Gaberone for the CKGR. If its all too much to try and accomplish I will just stay in SA and spend my time at KNP, Pilanesberg, and Transfrontier. But somehow that will not quite be the same as having a lion pad through your camp site at night - as I have read can happen in Bots.

    I am most concerned about fuel and water as well as trying to plan where I will spend the nights (distances between locations) as I cant seem to get much information about actual campsite locations much less availability (I do not want to stay at the lodges they are now pushing on the public after the privatization effort - not in my budget or my idea of getting away). I cant seem to get an accurate idea of how far it is from JNB to CKGR, how long it will take to get there..... etc.... I am trying to find all of my information on line and that is not working for me.

    The more rustic the better - that is why I am renting the 4X4. I want to get away and shoot like crazy on my own schedule and pace. SA Parks does make it very easy with their great web site - check availability and go - pay in one place and run from there. Used it before when I was in PTA and it worked well.

    My general thoughts on Itinerary were as follows:

    Two weeks in CKGR (broken mid-way to resupply and refuel as needed) then exit the bottom (not sure how or where etc...)

    Go down into the Bots side of the Transfrontier for 3 days (again no idea of locations and times etc).

    Then over to SA for a 10 day visit around SA portion (3 days each at Mata-Mata, Nassob, Twin Rivers).

    Across to Pilanesberg for 3-4 days

    Then across to KNP for a two week stay (staying three days each in four capsites going from South to North).


    Any thoughts or advice??


    Will all of you who may have been in my position before provide advice?

    Thank you in advance for all of your help. Oh, sorry for the long post- dont mean to waste your time.

    Addison

  2. #2
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    Default

    About CKGR - you must book through dwnp e-mail [email protected] ask for campinsites CKKOR 02 - near Deception pan, and CKSUN01 - near leopardpan, still booked with them, you can go throug Rakops. but remember, you must take everything with you, water, fuel, food, there is nothing. I think 4 nights at each site is enough. Look futher about CKGR about how it looks.
    Elize
    en ry saam met SarelF in
    4x4 Isuzu NPS 300 met kamper
    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

  3. #3
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    Fuel is available at Mopipi, water also as well at the Scout kamp at the entrance at Matswere Gate.
    Elize
    en ry saam met SarelF in
    4x4 Isuzu NPS 300 met kamper
    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

  4. #4
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    Addison - Welcome so long here in Southern Africa.

    If you just do a little homework and stay away from the really deslolate spots, (maybe CKNP is a bit too desolate), I do not see any reason why you should not do Botswana alone!!! Lovely people. Plenty of fellow, well-equipped S Africans travelling around to help if you run into problems! I've been through Makgadigadi, Moremi and Savuti all on my own - no problem.

    If you play its safe, by being "conservative", make sure you have well maintained and correct equipment - you can have a ball of a time!!!

    It would be a shame if you miss out on this lovely country!

    You will soon see a lot of advice coming in!

    Bostoe

  5. #5
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    Please do your homework properly.

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...ad.php?t=62642
    LC 78 Troopie 1HD-FTE
    Uniglide
    +27 zero eight 2 four 95 9252

  6. #6
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    Some fotos of CKGR, the camping sites as well as Deception valley ,,,,
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    Elize
    en ry saam met SarelF in
    4x4 Isuzu NPS 300 met kamper
    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

  7. #7
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    I will not go through Kutse, rather the top and then the tar road . lots of sand and schrups, you drive 2 days, see nothing,
    Elize
    en ry saam met SarelF in
    4x4 Isuzu NPS 300 met kamper
    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the early information- already a help.

    witklipbank what did you mean 'I will not go through Kutse, rather the top and then the tar road"? Did you mean you would rather head out the North end and then turn South on the tarmac some where around Ghanzi?

    I am getting my limited geography off a map downloaded off the Bots. Tourism site. Need to get a recent hard paper map in the next day or two.

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    You should also consider getting hold of a Garmin GPS, load Mapsource, then buy the Botswana maps from Tracks4Africa (www.tracks4africa.co.za), once you have that then members here can also assist with routes and waypoints. (In addition to that if you plot your route in Mapsource you will be able to view it on Google earth too.)

    Tracks4Africa is community based and user updated so it is usually up to date. You can preview the T4A tracks on Google Earth by enabling the T4A layer.

  10. #10
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    Addison, buy the Botswana mapset online from Tracks4Africa. Install it on MapSourse and you will have one of the best maps available.

    EDIT Dirk was too quick.
    Last edited by KobusDJ; 2010/08/19 at 10:18 PM.
    Kobus

  11. #11
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    Addison, from Jhb to Gaborone, then Mahalapye, Palapye, Serowe and dont skip the Khama Rhino Sanctury - you can stay 2 days - lots of wild as well as rhino's, then Letlhakane, Orapa, Mopipi and Rakops where you turn to CKGR, enjoy the park, deception valey to Pasarge pan then Tsau gate to Kuke and then or up to Maun or down to Ghanzi, depends - Moremi or Kgalagadi. Get you a T4Africa map,
    See also Veronica Roodt book, website www.africa-maps.co.za or email [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]
    Elize
    en ry saam met SarelF in
    4x4 Isuzu NPS 300 met kamper
    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

  12. #12
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    Camping at Palapye and Khama Rhino Sanctury -
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    Elize
    en ry saam met SarelF in
    4x4 Isuzu NPS 300 met kamper
    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

  13. #13
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    Hello Addison,
    We have been travelling Chobe, Moremi and remote Kaokoland (Marienfluss) with our children in July and August with no problem! Yes you can!
    If you are a bit anxious, take a sat phone with you. In case of an incident, you just have to call the car rental company and wait… They will help you. Te only thing is to have enough food and water.
    Tracks4Africa is better, but you can find a usefull map on the web there: http://www.big5.ch:8080/ka-map/
    Last edited by Pierre77N; 2010/08/20 at 11:13 AM.

  14. #14
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    Hi Addison,

    I see you get some support from the forum, but the foot work will still be with you, unless....

    I can help you organizing the trip, itinerary, route plan, bookings and reservations plus recommendations and travel times.
    Albeit all has to be done before say 20 Sep, booked and paid as I will be out in CKGR and the delta myself from then onwards.

    PM me if you are interested, I will give you the details and conditions.

    Don't worry too much, it has been done before and with Sat phone as Pierre suggested, you have a back-up plan.

    By the way, why do you intend to book the vehicle with a CPT based company when there are so many in JNB, it would be easier for a regional company to support you in case of a break down, than somebody with an extra 1500 kms lead.
    Alternatively, start in Maun (fly up from JNB) and rent from Self Drive Adventures www.selfdriveadventures.com, they do field support and have newish LC70 standard equipped with Sat phone.
    Car return in JNB is possible. In this case they are less than 4-6 hours away, should the need occur.
    Walter Rene Gygax
    Kalahari Safari
    ORRA Call:​ WB58 | ICASA ZRF430
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    | Nissan Safari GU TD42 | B'rakah 4x4 Trailer
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  15. #15
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    Dear Addison

    I like Kalahari Safari's suggestion.
    Good luck with your plans.
    Regards
    Dean

  16. #16
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    Thanks again for the help and good wishes.

    Hi Kalahari, thanks for your offer of help depending on how my enquiries go I may have to take you up on that offer. I am renting with Just Done It as I will spend more time in SA than in Bots and have dealt with them before though never actually rented with them. The price is right and they are willing to work with me on unnecessary gear. Your suggestion out of Maun looks very good as a premium rental team but they are materially more expensive and the only real difference in the equipment list is sat phone - oh and the iPod connection to the sound system - almost worth the $85 extra per day. That would be ok for a week or ten days but I am renting for the month so that will certainly hit the bottom line.

    Kalahari I will get back to you for advice on itineraries in CKGR. I wanted to go in at Matswere (Rakops ) and out the other side then down the WEST side on tar in a speed run (relatively speaking) to the Transfrontier. But not sure of the quickest route down to Two Rivers (I had thought about going in the Botswana side of Trans. (in the NE corner) but I understand you can have trouble getting from there down to either the SA border crossings or even across the middle to Nossob) and then down.

    What I do not want to do and may have to do is simply back track through Rakops then turn SW to the Transfrontier.

    It does take a lot of home work to plan the Itinerary doesn't it.


    Let me get back to you as things develop. Thank you for your offer of help.

    Addison

  17. #17
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    Addison i must agree with Deano.
    Last edited by SkipSkop; 2010/08/20 at 04:23 PM.

  18. #18
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    I hope you have reserved one of Just Done It's newer vehicles.

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