Botswana Camping





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  1. #1
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    Post Botswana Camping

    Please could someone advise whether we should use you a RTT or ground based tent, i have 2 kids age 4 and 7 and I am concerned about the risk of animals through Moremi, savuti and chobe?
    Could some advise on the condition of tracks from SG to Xhakanaxa?

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    Definately a roof top. Hyenas are a big risk for kids in Moremi. Keep them close and supervised at all times.
    Last edited by touchthewild; 2011/07/19 at 11:16 AM. Reason: repeat

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    I think the danger is not when you are in the tents. Whether you are on the roof or on the ground and you are inside the tent - KEEP IT CLOSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Be a lot more careful around the camp at night when you are not in the closed tents.

    Go, be careful and enjoy............

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    SG to Xakanaxa is never an issue, it is the track through the mopane forest and apart from a few mud holes (dry or wet) easy going.
    The issue is more around the bridges and the link from Xakanaxa to NG (closed at the moment)

    And RTT before ground tent!
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    Hi all,
    Back from our trip in Botswana, spend 7 nights in Moremi and Chobe. Will give you all an update on our trip very soon. The water in the Savuti is to be seen, the river is very wide in some places.
    Please allow me to comment on RTT vs Ground - by giving an example. In Savuti on our last night the 13th of July in Savuti site MK9 (or 10 maybe) there was two bakkies with two RTT on each. In one around 21h00 part of a family - two girls I would say ages 16 and 18 maybe was in one of the tents already, when a ellie walked up to the tent and ripped it off from the top and it landed 15meters away from the bakkie, with the two girls still inside. Happy to report that all they were save and sound. ellie was chased away by the ranger in the staff village. The question will remain - why he did this, and we will never know the answer, was there food inside etc? We do the ground tent, and had hyena's ever night around the tent and even a leopard about 15m away in North Gate one morning at 07h00 as open the zip.

    Please don't let this scare you from camping, it is very safe, in RTT or ground, as long as you play along with the rules....Kids cannot sleep alone, you cannot take anything into the tent except water for the night (NOTHING!). And kids(or grown-ups) cannot walk alone after dark. I have one extra rule we follow as a family, we eat, do the washing up, and get all ready for bed, before nightfall, this will avoid any hurring around in the dark when the night noises start, you can then enjoy the evening around the fire until bed-time, which is usualy the first sound of night animals in the bush around you. If you follow the logic bush sense rules - all will be fine.

    The road between North Gate and X is still closed, two vehicles drowned last week trying to cross it. So SG to X and SG to NG is fine. From SG to 3rd Bridge we did one small water crossing (easy) and for the rest used the bridges.

    Go, go, go the camping will be fine on the floor or the RTT - and enjoy!!

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    Just to comment on this one Ellie in Savuti.
    He is well acquainted with the camp - too well in my opinion - that the natural fear of interaction is now suppressed.
    Just a few week back somebody reported an incident with the same Ellie (i suppose) ripping a RTT open when people have fed him with oranges during the day.
    He might have wanted more and now remembers - people provide food !!.

    In my opinion this is now a persisting challenge and the Ellie will try it again, we don't know what he smelled in that tent, might just have been a body lotion or fragrant triggering the "orange memory".

    Hope the rangers have a method to control before some more damage is done.
    Walter Rene Gygax
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    Well Nickisa, I going to stick my neck out here and say to you that although a RTT is nice it is not the be all and end all. If you have a ground tent then use it, no need to go out and buy a RTT. Personally I think you have a better change to be assaulted in your own home or injured in a vehicle accident than to be injured in any way in a ground tent in any of these camps you are going to.

    Look we have done it all: we camped in every reserve in Botswana (except Makgadi and CKGR) and a whole lot of places in between in a ground tent, then we went RTT then trailer tent and guess what we are back to the ground tent. You might feel safer in a RTT but for being in any real danger in a ground tent IF YOU ARE SENSIBLE, that I seriously doubt.

    I also have a 7 year old son, your kids are old enough to understand to keep the zips of the tent closed. In fact we taught our son the tent is off limits during the day, if there is danger he has to get into the vehicle. The most important is to keep the doors of the tent zipped, no food in the tent not even sticky hands, also no hand lotions or medicine, nothing!

    You will have animals in your camp, but the most important to worry about after dark is hyenas. We have changed our camp routine a bit: we braai sort of early afternoon, clean the dishes, have a shower and then go on a sundowner gamedrive. Then when you get back, you make a little lager around the tent with your vehicle, table, whatever and have your kids sit with their backs close to the tent. We just have a snack, then last trip to ablutions and into the tent. We keep the solid door flap of the tent closed during the night, not just the mosquito door. If it is hot, rather leave the window flaps open.

    The most dangerous is walking to the ablution, we prefer to drive, easy if you don't have a RTT. If you walk around after dark any predator will immediately be interested, other animals might be startled.

    And don't forget the biggest risk of all to your kids, malaria. Have them take malaria pills, not matter what the season
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2011/07/20 at 10:22 AM.
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    Default Rubbish

    Quote Originally Posted by touchthewild View Post
    Definately a roof top. Hyenas are a big risk for kids in Moremi. Keep them close and supervised at all times.
    With all due respect , your comment is rubbish . since when have hyena's been the biggest problem , base comments on facts not imaginations.

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    James, what then is the biggest danger for kids, Elephants, Lions, mosquitos.......Hippos?

    Stan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    James, what then is the biggest danger for kids, Elephants, Lions, mosquitos.......Hippos?
    Stan.
    Stan there are many many dangers , ignorant people are probably their own biggest danger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Mackay View Post
    Stan there are many many dangers , ignorant people are probably their own biggest danger.
    Ain't that the truth
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    James, that may well be true, but there are gentle ways of saying it!

    -

    I'm a rooftent fan. I seldom use anything else. I like the speed and simplicity, and I like it that humans couldn't attempt to get into the tent without waking me up well in advance. I am safer from animals, and particularly snakes and scorpions. Baboons and elephants in habituation scenarios are the only animals that I would worry about in a rooftent.....but I would worry about them and a lot of others besides when sleeping on the ground.

    I have seen a ground tent run-over by a reversing car, whilst occupied. That can't happen with a rooftent. I was also at a camp in Kenya days after a tourist was badly injured or killed by a hippo attempting to mate with his ground tent. That also can't happen on the roof of a car. I heard of occupants of a ground tent being held prisoner for 24 hours when a pride of lions lay down all around it. Again, I wouldn't be quite so nervous up on the roof of the car.

    With a roof tent, you don't need to find a flat piece of ground, you don't need to clear leaves or look out for ants nests. You don't faff around with guy ropes, or with trying to get pegs into rock hard ground. You don't have to clean the groundsheet off before putting it away, and you don't need to pump up a mattress before you go to bed. You don't come back from a game drive to find that baboons have trashed it. You don't wake in the night to the sound of hyaenas sniffing 4 inches from your ear.

    Kids love them, too.

    Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickisa View Post
    Please could someone advise whether we should use you a RTT or ground based tent, i have 2 kids age 4 and 7 and I am concerned about the risk of animals through Moremi, savuti and chobe?
    Could some advise on the condition of tracks from SG to Xhakanaxa?
    Hi Nickisa

    We did Linyanti & SG in June in a ground tent with kids aged 3, 6, 10 & 12. I think RTT's for young kids is a bit impractical but we seriously considered it. In the end with 6 of us and a lot of gear (3 month trip) 2 x ground tents was the only way to go. However, for the Chobe & Moremi stops we knuckled down in 1 of the tents to make sure we were all together.

    I think you have got some very sensible comments already, especially from Karentjie. I think TouchtheWild has a point about the hyenas and James should at least acknowledge this before offering his opinion. But that is just my opinion.

    But more important than our opinion is our experience. We followed a very similar approach to what Karentjie described. i.e. meal, wash etc. before sun-down. Then we made a lovely big fire as the sun went down and sat around playing a card game. A little later we heard the hyenas calling. And about 15 minutes after that one of them paid us a visit. It walked just past our tent. We got the kids into the tent quickly but calmly. I waited a bit longer outside and the hyena watched me from 30 metres or so, also waiting for me to move into the tent. Once I had done so, it moved through our camp trying to get at anything and everything, knocking over things and eventually gnawing and puncturing a 20l water tank. Why, I do not know. Perhaps just that scavenger type curiosity?

    That is why people say strictly no food in the tents.

    At Linyanti, the hippos came up from the river to graze around the camp as is their nightly habit. That was great. We used to that though from our time at Flatdogs at South Luangwa.

    IMHO, if you can get a RTT that your whole family can sleep together in, then it might be a better route to go (for all those advantages I see Mike has pointed out well). However, the big limitation is game drives and emergency drives to ablutions (you can also use a "wee pot" but not our favourite piece of equipment to talk about). If I did Chobe/Moremi with just 3 or 4 of us, I would prefer a RTT, but for the 6 of us we would definitely do it again in a ground tent.

    The direct road (i.e. not via the bridges) from SG to X is fine (no water crossings) although we only did about half of it around the pans, but this is based on what others also told us. It is slow going (in and out of dried up mud bowls quite a bit) so allow lots of time.

    Our full trip report for the Botswana leg is here if you are interested: http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...722#post833722

    Regards
    RSG
    Last edited by ReadySteadyGo; 2011/07/21 at 11:56 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Default Attitude

    That's quite an attitude you got there James but I suppose if you live in Gaborne you must be more knowledgeable than the rest of us. Unlike lions, hyena behaviour can be eratic but here is a quote: a young boy was dragged out of his tent by a hyena in the same campsite. (Moremi, Third Bridge) He had put meat outside his tent and left the flap open, hoping to get a picture of the hyena when it came to eat the meat. The boy fell asleep and an opportunistic hyena killed him, yanking him from the tent.

    Yes, the boy was very foolish, but the question was about the safty of kids, I think. I have camped in Moremi many times and have experienced the way they can behave.....didn't imagine it..........no

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    Mike I have also read about the incident with the hippo but it must be stated that they camped in a hippo path after being warned not to, now I do have a couple of thoughts about that but I will keep it to myself, lets just chalk that up to the ignorance bit.

    Lions lying around a tent for 24 hours without moving an inch, well they must have been very well fed. But even in a RTT in that scenario nobody is going anywhere.
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    Touchthewild, I cannot see how that is the hyenas fault sad as it might be that a child lost a life. That is also why I said in my post that we never sleep with just the mozzie door, the solid door is always closed as well not matter how hot.
    Christa
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    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Mike I have also read about the incident with the hippo but it must be stated that they camped in a hippo path after being warned not to,
    True. However if you're nuts enough to camp on a hippo path, but in a roof tent, you'd still be safe.

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    we never sleep with just the mozzie door, the solid door is always closed as well not matter how hot.
    Again, something that you wouldn't need to do in a roof tent.
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2011/07/21 at 11:35 AM.
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    With a RTT you cannot drive to the ablutions after dark and that to me remain the biggest risk, when you leave the safety of your camp or any sort of tent.
    Christa
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  19. #19
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    A few years ago a little girl who was mauled buy a Hyena , she was sitting on a chair while someone was feeding the hyena's bones and one ran in and grabbed her , everyone blamed everyone else , but at the end of it all the situation was totally preventable and the hyena pack paid the price by being shot , why because simply put stupid / ignorant human behavior .

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    Default Apology

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    James, that may well be true, but there are gentle ways of saying it!
    -
    I'm a rooftent fan. I seldom use anything else. I like the speed and simplicity, and I like it that humans couldn't attempt to get into the tent without waking me up well in advance. I am safer from animals, and particularly snakes and scorpions. Baboons and elephants in habituation scenarios are the only animals that I would worry about in a rooftent.....but I would worry about them and a lot of others besides when sleeping on the ground.
    I have seen a ground tent run-over by a reversing car, whilst occupied. That can't happen with a rooftent. I was also at a camp in Kenya days after a tourist was badly injured or killed by a hippo attempting to mate with his ground tent. That also can't happen on the roof of a car. I heard of occupants of a ground tent being held prisoner for 24 hours when a pride of lions lay down all around it. Again, I wouldn't be quite so nervous up on the roof of the car.
    With a roof tent, you don't need to find a flat piece of ground, you don't need to clear leaves or look out for ants nests. You don't faff around with guy ropes, or with trying to get pegs into rock hard ground. You don't have to clean the groundsheet off before putting it away, and you don't need to pump up a mattress before you go to bed. You don't come back from a game drive to find that baboons have trashed it. You don't wake in the night to the sound of hyaenas sniffing 4 inches from your ear.
    Kids love them, too.
    Mike
    You are correct Mmike , my apologies to all.

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