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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Thanked: 675

    Default Trip report July 2011

    Botswana Trip Report – July 2011
    Essentials for this trip: 4 x 4! A braai grid, a gps with T4A and the map detail set on the highest setting, the Shell guide to Botswana book which comes with a paper map or T4A paper map.
    Park Fees – Non Res BWP120/ Res BWP30/ Cit BWP10. Vehicles BWP50/BWP10

    Day One: Jwaneng – Ghanzi
    Road Quality: Excellent tar road all the way
    Accommodation: We stayed with friends but there is a variety of accommodation in Ghanzi to choose from. You can have a lion encounter at Tautona Lodge for BWP100 Mon – Sat.

    Day Two: Ghanzi – Maun
    Road Quality: Excellent tar road gets a bit bumpy about 30kms from Maun but otherwise is very good
    Accommodation: Old Bridge Backpackers (Camping BWP50pp)
    Facilities: Hot showers, camping, safari tents, single bed dorms, reasonably priced, excellent restaurant and nice bar area. Activities available, mokoro rides, horse riding etc. There are no specific campsites, it is just a case of pitch up wherever you want.

    Day Three: Maun – Khwai Campsite (Moremi)
    Road Quality: Maun – Moremi South Gate Entrance – Tarred for 30kms then gravelled. Fine.
    South gate to Third Bridge – First/Second/Third bridges were all underwater but accessible. The roads vary between very dry and easy and a bit sandy and corrugated. Slow to drive.
    Third Bridge to Xakanaxa – This can get confusing as there are so many tracks unmarked on T4A, it is best to stick to the main routes where possible, driving around the flooded areas, mud and sand but nothing too bad. It can be quite slow moving at times.
    Xakanaxa – Khwai – 11kms down this road it splits to go to Khwai or South Gate. The road to Khwai was flooded so we had to go back to South Gate, the roads were all accessible.
    South Gate – Khwai – Sandy quite corrugated road with thick bush around it making it a little difficult to spot game. Slow moving but no problems.
    Accommodation: Khwai Campsite ($50 for non res/BWP150 for res/ZAR250 for SADC)
    Facilities: Lovely spacious campsites situated close to the river, clean ablutions (hot and cold water), each campsite has a fireplace and a tap, no braai grid, we had low water pressure when we were there so were unable to shower. Firewood may be available from the village across the bridge

    Day Four: Khwai – Kaziikini
    Road Quality: Same as previous except this time we did the road Khwai to Xakanaka, very scenic and it is also worth a trip to Hippo Pools on that road. We had to turn around and go back the same way. Even if this road is blocked partway I highly recommend seeing what you can.
    Accommodation: Kaziikini Community Campsite (BWP110pp for camping)
    Facilities: Excellent location at the divide on the road from Maun for Moremi and Chobe. Solar powered showers, we arrived on a cloudy day so they were a bit cold! Restaurant and bar, if you want to eat there it is best you give them prior notice, large spacious campsites, braai facilities. Firewood can be bought here.

    Day Five: Kaziikini – Maun – Kaziikini
    Road Quality: Same as previous.
    Accommodation: Kaziikini Community Campsite – (BWP300 for a Hut which sleeps 2)
    Facilities: Same as previous.
    Other: This is an excellent place to stay if you are planning to drive through Chobe all the way to Kasane in one day as it saves a lot of distance from Maun. The huts are great because then there is no need to pack up camp in the morning allowing for an early start. We returned to Maun on this day to refuel, get supplies and do a scenic flight over the delta which I highly recommend.

    Day Six: Kaziikini – Kasane via Chobe (This took us 11 hours, we left at 530am)
    Road Quality: Kaziikini – Mababe Gate – This road is gravelled, slightly corrugated. As you get close to the park there is a couple of closed roads and a diversion taking you on tracks not on T4A. Stick with it and you will reach the gate.
    Mababe Gate – Savute – The first 20kms of this road is sandy, it takes you through some big open plains which are stunning, you will then reach a sign clearly marked left is the Sandveld Road and right is the Marsh Road. The Marsh road is the more scenic but it isn’t used often and it isn’t always accessible. We took the Sandveld Road, the closer to Savute the better the road seemed to get. The bush is quite thick but there is plenty game around.
    Savute – Ghoha Gate – thick sand, worse in some places than others, it is quite slow moving. There are a couple of pans north east of Savute, we saw lots of game there.
    Ghoha Gate – Ngoma Gate – This takes you outside the Chobe Game Reserve and into the Chobe Forest Reserve, the road is about 80kms. The first 40 to a town called Kachikau is on deep sand, it is very corrugated and bumpy, the first 20kms are the worst and the moving is slow. Once you reach Kachikau it is a brand new tar road all the way to Ngoma, quite a contrast.
    Ngoma Gate – Sidudu Gate – There are two options here, the tar road which takes you straight to Kasane is the quickest. Alternatively there is the river route, there are two gates at Ngoma so make sure you choose the right one for the route you want to take. The river route took us about two hours, mostly on sand, thicker in some places than others, but it can be done faster, we took many loops and spent a lot of time looking at the game. If you have time I would take this route.
    Kasane – All roads in Kasane are tarred and good quality.
    Accommodation: Chobe Safari Lodge (BWP70pp camping – cannot be prebooked)
    Facilities: Campsites vary in size, if you are a large group this may not be ideal. There is a restaurant/bar overlooking the river, firewood can be bought here, showers fluctuated between hot and cold.

    Day Seven: Kasane – Vic Falls – Kazangula
    Road Quality: Excellent tar roads all the way
    Accommodation: Kwalape Lodge, Kazungula (BWP87pp camping)
    Facilities: This is a new lodge however it differs from other campsites in Kasane which tend to be overcrowded, the campsites are spacious with a fireplace, tap and light. The ablutions are excellent, the best on the trip, hot powerful showers. There is a bar and restaurant here, buy firewood in town beforehand as they had run out when we arrived.
    Other: Entrance to Zimbabwe is free to South Africans but visa requirements vary for international travellers. For vehicles you have to pay carbon tax depending on engine size, for a 3litre it’s BWP370. Entrance to Vic Falls Park is $30 for international travellers and $20 for South Africans. It is worth a visit to the bridge between Zim and Zambia border posts, you do not need to pay for another visa if you want to go on the bridge.

    Day Seven: Kasane – Chobe River Front – Kasane
    Road Conditions: Thick sand can make it slow but it’s not too bad.
    Accommodation/Facilities: Kwalape Lodge - same as previous.
    Other: We also took a boat ride through Thebe River Safaris, (who also have camping) it was a sunset cruise from 3 – 6approx. It is a bit touristy but well worth it, you have to book through them the day before you want the boat ride, then arrive at 2pm the next day to pay. They have two kinds of boats, small ones with no toilets on them or you can ask to go on the big boat, it’s higher and maybe can’t reach some places or get as close to the animals but there are toilets on board and space to walk around. On the small boat, you have to stay where you are sat pretty much.
    We ate at a restaurant in town called the “Old House” the food was delicious and the price was very good.

    Day Eight – Kasane – Gweta
    Road Conditions: Kasane – Nata - The tar road here isn’t great, there are 100kms of road works. A few potholes and bumps but nothing bad.
    Nata – Gweta – good tar road
    Accommodation: Planet Baobab (BWP70pp camping)
    Facilities: Nice restaurant and bar, each campsite has a thatched sheltered area with light, fireplace, braai facilities and a power point. The campsites are in shared areas (1 and 2/3 and 4). If you want something just to yourself when booking ask for campsite 5 or 6. They are slightly further from the ablutions but are individual campsites. Hot showers.
    Other: There is a foot and mouth checkpoint between Kasane and Nata, if you can buy meat in Kasane that can go through the checkpoint do it. There are not big stores in Nata despite it being fairly large (ok and a wimpy). We bought meat from a local butcher in Nata which was fine.

    Day Nine – Gweta – Kubu Island (via Green’s Baobab)
    Road conditions: Gweta – Green’s Baobab – We went out the back of Gweta towards Kubu, we set the gps for Greens and followed the tracks there. It was sand most of the way, some areas were stony, slow moving and some quicker but EXTREMELY dusty!!
    Green’s Baobab – Kubu Island – We got a bit lost here with the tracks so we did our own thing making our own route when necessary. Once you hit the edge of the pan the roads are smooth and pretty fast most of the way. Tracks are marked on the salt, do not go off them!
    Accommodation: Kubu Island (BWP115pp)
    Facilities: There are no facilities here except for a couple of long drop toilets, there is no water so bring your own, they did have firewood for sale when we were there. Campsites are on the western side of the island and are very spacious, each has a fireplace.
    Other: The moonrise is spectacular so if you can time your trip right, you won’t regret it. Driving on the pans is not allowed, only driving around the island is permitted. You can see tracks where people have driven off the tracks, doing donuts etc, it looks messy and it causes environmental damage lasting for years.

    Day Ten: Kubu Island – Serowe (Khama Rhino Sanctuary)
    Road conditions: Until you reach the edge of Kubu Island park area the roads are ok, after the gate there is some sand until you reach a small village, there you can turn onto the main road, this begins alongside road works, potholes and bumps, partway along it you can join the tarred road which takes you all the way to Serowe.
    Accommodation: Khama Rhino Sanctuary (BWP140pp including park fees)
    Facilities: Nice spacious private campsites with fireplace, braai facilities and a tap. There are only two ablution blocks so depending where you camp depends on how far you have to walk. Hot water. Restaurant/Bar. There is a shop selling the essentials (beer and firewood) and a curio shop at the entrance.
    Other: There is no guarantee you will see rhino. We were lucky, went for a drive in the afternoon and saw plenty of them, when we went for a drive in the morning we saw none. Activities can be done in the sanctuary such as rhino tracking, game drives etc.
    On the way to Serowe you will drive through a town called Letlhakwane. It has all food/bottle stores, a great place to stock up as KRS is actually 25km from Serowe. If you don’t stock up you will have to drive there to buy meat.

    From here we headed off to SA for a few days, all the roads south are tarred and good quality, if staying in Gabarone I recommend either Egret House north of the city near Phakalane or Mokolodi Backpackers which is in the south and about 10min drive from Game City. I think that pretty much covers everything, we had an awesome time and if there’s anything else we forgot just ask us.... Pieter and Chloé J

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Thanked: 1162


    Where are the pictures....... know, no pictures - not happening.....!
    Walter Rene Gygax
    Kalahari Safari
    ORRA Call:​​ WB58 | ICASA ZRF430
    Nissan Patrol GU TB45
    | Nissan Safari GU TD42 | B'rakah 4x4 Trailer
    E34 - 535i for a bit of nostalgia
    E39 - 540i for the open roads

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Suffolk, UK
    Thanked: 37


    I'm sure you had a wonderful time...........but it is impossible to tell from a report like this. It seems that you saw no animals or scenery, and you had no interaction with locals, fellow travellers or wildlife. You did, however, enjoy recording the road conditions and the hours you spent in the car.

    Tell us about the good bits!!

    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

    "Mike for President" Freeflyd

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Thanked: 83


    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    Where are the pictures....... know, no pictures - not happening.....!
    Ja Piet where are the pictures ??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Thanked: 675


    Ok ok so the pics are here at last, check them out on this link.

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