Africa trips

Botswana Around the Delta December 08 - Dawie du Plessis

Overlanding Trips


Vehicles and equipment:
1989 Hilux DC 2.2 4Y. Brospeed conversion. Golf Carb, Warn Winch, Ironman Suspension, Long Range Tank, Duel Battery, Outback Drawers, 60L Engel Combi Fridge/freezer, Featherlite RTT, Frontrunner Roof rack, 3 Jerry Cans, Hi Lift Jack and Spade, 60 liter water tanks, 1 x spare. Firestone ATX tires. Eezy Awning. Garmin Etrex Legend HCX Gps. 27MHZ Radio.

2002 Colt D/c 2.8 TDI. Duel Battery, Outback Drawers, 60L Engel Combi Fridge/freezer, Echo RTT, Frontrunner Roof rack, 2 Jerry cans, Spade, HUGE axe, 40l Water, BFG AT tires Garmin Etrex Legend Hc GPS.

Although we (in the Hilux) have done many overland trips in many different countries in Southern Africa, we took my Parents in Law, who borrowed my parent’s colt along for the ride. The in Laws live in the UK and prior to this trip has had no 4 x 4 or overlanding experience. They do however have lots of camping experience and have a great sense of humor and sense of adventure.

15 December 2008. Day 1:

Pretoria to Khama (551km traveled in 9 hours 44 minutes)
A long day! Just before setting of I realized that my duel battery was finished. I stopped in Nylstroom’s new Mega World who were out of stock, but managed to get a new Deltec 105 at LA Sport in Vaalwater. (Don’t much remember all the new names)

The in-laws are not really used to driving long distances, so there was stopping for resting and coffee all the time. It took us a little while to get through the Border at Martin’s Drift. The bottleneck is always paying for the car tax and road tax. The whole crossing took us just over an hour and a half.

I always stick to the speed limit in Botswana and even slow down to the 80km/h or 60km/h for their crossings, so the going was not so fast.

We stopped for lunch at the Wimpy in Palapye which is recommended! A little more expensive than SA Wimpy, but good service and the same wimpy taste we all love dearly.

Because of the Foot and Mouth Scare we thought that we would not be able to move meat around at all inside Botswana. We stopped at the shiny new Shopping centre in Serowe for meat for one night and got some really nice chicken for supper.

Khama was, as always very pleasant as a stopover. We didn’t do a drive in the afternoon, as we needed to help the inlaws set up camp and get settled. After a great supper it started to rain a little. This storm became heavier and heavier and heavier and lasted about 7 hours. It was still raining when we got up the next morning.

Day 2:
Khama to Kazikini camp (589km traveled)
We started day 2 by breaking up camp in the rain. Welcome to Africa! We had a shower and left for Maun, our lunchtime destination. The track from the campsite to the gate was flooded and we drove in 50cm deep water all the way. My poor Father in Laws first taste of 4x4 driving. Fortunately we had the CB radios, so we could at least talk him through the process.

We reached Maun around Lunchtime and ate in the Buck and Hunter by the airport. We then went to Riley’s for fuel and supplies. We bought meat for 6 nights and filled tanks and Jerry cans.

I had booked us on a scenic flight over the delta that afternoon and we checked in at Moremi Air at 16:00. The weather had improved gradually over the day and it was hot and sunny by the time we took of.

We were in a Cessna 206 with a young pilot who obviously knew his stuff. We were flying at 500ft above the ground and he spotted loads of game and tipped the wings so we could attempt to take some photographs. This was not easy! I have to say that I think the way to do this flight if you want to do some photography is either by Microlight, or Helicopter. Non the less, the price for the 4 of us was a reasonable Pula 2 400 for an hour and it is something that I would recommend!

From there we drove to Kazikini Camp. It was my first time there and I have to say that I will use them again for sure! It was pretty quiet there. The ablutions were nice and clean and the price very fair. It is just far enough away from Maun so you actually feel like you’re in the bush.

We had slightly damp tents and bedding from the previous night’s storm, but managed to get them dry enough to sleep comfortably.

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This trip report was compiled by:
Dawie du Plessis
Visit his web sites at
www.photographersa.co.za
and
www.pictureafrica.co.uk