Kazikini to 3rd Bridge and Game Drive. (115KM traveled)
The drive to South Gate is always fantastic! We saw loads of game
and drove really slowly. At the gate I noticed that all the building
work was done. I asked the guard about the houses outside the
gate that told me they were staff houses. We stopped in the campsite
for a coffee and inspected the brand new ablution facilities.
They are really nice! Well design, well built and clean and neat.
Plenty of water and water pressure, but no hot water to speak
from South Gate to 3rd Bridge was interesting. The bird life was
phenomenal and the game was plenty. We saw large herds of Letchwe
and found one herd with an Albino in it. I’m not sure how
common this is, but I have never seen any albino animals accept
The road was
as wet as I have ever seen it, but not too hard to drive. We reached
3rd bridge by lunchtime.
I made this booking in April of 2008 and specifically asked for
a certain number campsite. When we arrived there, there was some
idiot with a GP plate car camped in his Coleman hiking tent in
our campsite. This really P!SSES me off! We have all camped in
Botswana without prior bookings, but I thought that we all understood
that you then camp in a place where there is no number, so not
to STEAL someone else’s booking.
got the place under the big shady trees by the old ablution blocks.
We managed to open our tents, dry our bedding and have some lunch.
A few baboons came through camp that afternoon and although I
had to chase one cocky bugger out of my canopy, they didn’t
really bother us.
We left on
an afternoon drive heading towards Xakanaxa’s lodges. We
were told that 3 days before there had been a Buffalo killed by
delta’s water level seemed quite low, they had obviously
had a lot of rain before we got there. The roads were very wet
and we drove though mud hole after mud hole. It was not difficult
driving, but obviously quite slow going.
We never found
the lions or the dead buffalo, but the game and bird sightings
were plenty! We took about 3 hours to drive 40km.
we were visited by the resident 3rd bridge Hyena and my Father
in Law suddenly realized that we were not joking when we insisted
that they do not walk around after dark.
3rd Bridge to Xakanaxa (57km traveled)
We got up early and drove to the Mboma Boat station with the intention
of doing a Makoro trip. This road was fairly dry and the going
easy. We saw plenty of game on the way and reached Mboma in good
4 years ago
my wife and I did this makoro trip. It was Ok, but we didn’t
really intend to do it again. With her parents though, we decided
to take them there and join them. What a pleasant surprise that
was! The price is Pula120 per hour per boat. The guiding seems
to have been formalized. The guides now wear some uniform and
they tell you about the history, the plants, the animals and the
birds. Our guide was exceptional and had a lot of very scientific
knowledge about everything in this environment. I would very much
recommend this makoro trip to anyone!
In order not
to drive the same road twice, we took the longer road back to
3rd bridge. This is obviously the road less traveled! It was quite
overgrown and sometimes hard to find the track. The game viewing
wasn’t that great, but the fun driving more than made up
Our plan was
to reach 3rd bridge again for lunch and was greeted by massive
herds of game on the planes just outside of camp.
We spent a
relaxing afternoon in camp and left there at about 15:00 for dead
Tree Island and Xakanaxa. I asked the GPS for the shortest route,
saw some warnings about water crossings, but took that road anyway.
Our first obstacle was a 50-meter water crossing. I walked it,
found it to be waist deep and decided to have a go. This was done
with no issues. The next crossing was the same, and the next,
and the next….
of water later we found the bridge to dead Tree Island which was
overgrown and out of use. The road next to it was fine with a
little puddle to get thorugh, but the going was easy.
island is such a spectacular place! We saw plenty of game there
and the weather was nice to us. We could see big thunderstorms
all around us, but we were mostly in sunlight. I wish we had the
time to spend a few more day there.
We made camp
just before dark, but by this time the in laws were also very
efficient in setting up camp. We were sitting next to the fire,
cold beer in hand before it was dark.
Xakanaxa to Khwai community camp (94.7km traveled)
Our original plans were slightly changed. We were told that the
river road, as well as the more Southern road to North Gate were
closed. The only way to go was to get back to South Gate, then
take the cutline road to North gate, adding 40km onto our planned
As there are
both maintained roads, we decided to let mom in Law and my wife
have a go at the driving thing. My wife has loads of experience
in this, so that was no issue. Mom in law simply followed her
lead and with some coaching on the radio, the going was efficient
and easy. The road was very wet with deep water crossings and
we got water over the bonnet many times. The surface under the
water seemed fine and there was no getting stuck.
We had a plan
to stop for a shower at North Gate, but got there at 10:45, so
we had to leave the park. We still crossed the original bridge
over the Khwai River, but they were almost finished with building
a brand new bridge that is much higher, and will be much smoother
that the one we know.
in at the community office, got GPS co-ords for our campsite and
started the drive. We were a little later than planned, and drove
fairly fast to try have lunch at our campsite.
On the way
there, the road very wet, we found a poor soul stuck in a puddle
to the chassis. This guy, and his pregnant wife had been stuck
for 3 hours when we found them and although the engine wasn’t
drowned, the cab of the car was flooded and the pair of them caked
in mud from head to toe. It didn’t seem like they had any
we managed to winch them out fairly easily and decided to take
the detour dry track rather that attempt their route.
always nice to be able to help people in need and I hope that
when I need help, someone will be willing and able to help me.
camp at about 14:00, had some lunch, a bush shower and relaxed
for a while. Our bush shower consists of water Jerry can (blue
one), a 12v Coleman shower and mom in laws shower cubicle Christmas
present. The jerry can spent its time on the roof and the water
was already hot. We added 2l of boiling water to the mix to make
it a really nice experience. We have experimented with many different
ways of showering, and found this to be the best by far!
we drove west along the river. The game was plenty, the hippos
playful and the bird life unbelievable! This is by far my favorite
part of Botswana.
We got back
to camp before dark, set up, was about to light a fire when a
few guys in a Landover stopped close to us. They told us that
they saw some wild dogs close by. We quickly put down one of the
Rtt’s, jumped in the colt and drove in the direction they
indicated. About half a kilometer from our camp we found them.
It was a small pack of 7 dogs that just killed an impala. Being
careful not to blind them, I shone a spotlight on the ground in
front of them and we could watch them eat away and interact. We
stayed with them for about an hour, and although they were not
done yet, we decided to let them be and return to our camp.
did a good job if finishing of the impala because we never heard
jackal or hyena that night.