Khwai Community Camp to Savute (128km Traveled)
We woke early and set of for Savute. I started the day nervous
about the infamous mud works and the start of the Sand Ridge road.
We got to the turn of to Savute quite quickly, and just before
those mud works start, there was huge tree across the road….
however, a brand new surfaced road with a sigh pointing to Mababe
gate. We cruised at 40km/h all the way to the gate with no mud
at all! I almost felt cheated.
At the gate
the guard told us that even the sand ridge road was really difficult,
but there was also a new road to Savute to the West of the Sand
the same idea. New, surfaced and easy to drive…. To a point.
Although there was no serious mud to talk of, we crossed though
pool after pool for about 7km at one stage, never getting faster
that 10km/h. We still reached Savute camp by lunch.
was interrupted by a little thunderstorm, but fortunately the
awning is very quick to set up and very efficient… for 2
people. It’s a little crowded with 4 under it.
For an afternoon
drive we decided to go south to Marabou pan and just hang out
there. We saw lots of elephant and massive herds of impala and
zebra. A truly relaxing afternoon. We got back to camp just before
dark, set up and….
There were 4 GP vehicles camped out by the ablution blocks. They
elected to enjoy the noises from their iPod a lot more that the
sounds of the bush and it seemed that they were quite drunk already.
They had all the gear, the caravans, the trailers, the fancy vehicles,
but no respect for their environment, or the people who had to
share it with them.
they got quiet by about 9PM and we could still manage a few hours
of peace and quiet in the African bush.
an elephant visited us during the night. They didn’t bother
us at all though.
Savute Camp to Ihaha (148km Traveled)
Wow! This was a seriously scary drive! We left Savute early (6:30am)
our friends for GP were awake and already on the beer with the
iPod blaring. We decided on the shortest way to Ihaha. The main
road to Gcoha gate was incredibly flooded! Anyone who knows this
road might remember that one little bit of cotton mud by the Gcotcha
Hills. This made me worry. The whole road was pretty much a river.
At some stage we traveled for 7km without leaving water once.
It was only when someone passed us from the North that I started
relaxing a bit. Surely they had to come from somewhere.
was slow and hard and tiring and when we reached the cotton mud
we selected a detour though the bush. There was no traction at
all and we were slipping and sliding on the driest track we could
find. We managed to negotiate this part without getting stuck
though and happily made the gate in good time.
The road thorugh
the forest reserve was easy because of the wet sand and the cut
line road was much the same. The roads though the villages were
in good condition apart from one or two places where the road
was pretty much eroded away.
We made Ihaha camp at around 13:30. We once again had lunch under
the awning, hiding from both thunderstorms, and mid day sun.
Ihaha is my
other very favorite place in Botswana. Even with that amount of
water in the veldt, the game viewing is simply out of this world!
We took 4 hours to drive 20km that afternoon. We were “stuck”
inside herds of elephant more than once, saw mega herds of impala,
puku, Letchwe and Zebra. On the way back to camp we were held
up by herds of elephant so much that we got back just after dark.
Not ideal, but by this time we could pitch camp within 10 minutes.
Ihaha to Nambwa Community Camp. (218km Traveled)
For the previous 6 days I had noticed that the hilux’s engine
wasn’t 100% happy. There was a slight lack in power and
some pinging. I found this a little strange as I have an electronic
dizzy now and shouldn’t have to re-set the timing all the
It was the first time we drove tar roads at reasonable speeds
in about a week.
the border at Ngoma Bridge without any issues at all. The whole
crossing took us less than 30 minutes. On the way to Katima I
could hardy get the Hilux up to 100km/h and started to worry a
little. We arrived in Katima without hassle, paid our cross border
charges, filled up with fuel, and went on our merry way.
Hilux had oodles of power and we were cruising comfortably at
the speed limit. We had a little giggle at the “Beware of
elephants” signs next the road and the “open air butcheries”
the locals had.
Nambwa around midday. Now let me tell you… This place is
paradise! Massive shady trees on an island with great ablutions
and 100% privacy! What a great place! At R70 per person per night
for camping, you cannot find better. It is slap bang in the middle
of the Kaprivi and makes for a great stop over place.
We send the
inlaws on an afternoon game drive. We didn’t even bother.
They saw lots of game; we spotted lots of birds from our hammocks.
We will most
definitely stay there again!
Nambwa to Drotsky’s Cabins. (265km Traveled)
We left Nambwa at around 9am after a well-deserved lie in and
morning shower. The Hilux was happy as can be. We crossed back
into Botswana just after 11AM and this was the very first time
someone asked to look in our fridges. Fortunately we had no meat
to confiscate. We headed for Shakawe where we shopped in a brand
new Choppies supermarket that has everything! We filled up with
fuel and made Drotsky’s well in time for lunch.
This was my
first time at Drotsky’s and I have to say that I was a little
disappointed. The lodge looks great and the huge shady trees are
really nice, but we were cramped in-between two other campsites
and after feeling like we were the only people around for a week
or so, we felt just a little crowded.
We did take
a boat out in the afternoon which is a very worthwhile experience
and not too expensive. We spotted a Pearl’s fishing Owl
that was a first for us, millions of other birds. We also saw
ample crocks and some Hippo. Our cost for 4 people camping and
3 hours on a boat was about Pula 1 000 in total.
It is not
a bad place at all, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to stay