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Overlanding: Namibia + Botswana - Final Route

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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - Advice Needed!

Postby ricster » 16 Mar 2016 09:20

Russ, you are gonna luuuuuuuuuve Bots !!!

2 years ago I did a trip with Juice ( Greg ) and Grant ( Papa Smurf ) and went to Kubu Island and Kukonje Island. Kukonje being totally self sufficient ( no toilets or water or electricity or anything ) with only a few lava-trees to dig deep holes to do a little Eskom style load shedding.....hahahaha

Travelling in 2 cars is in my opinion a bare minimum. Travelling alone...... a big no-no. We were 3 Patrols, and at one point we needed to strap up all 3 to get unstuck. The problem is one doesn't even realize you are in poo until you are chassis deep in poo. It can happen so quick.

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the 3 Botscatteers
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Look how dry it looks..... but lurking just below the surface is a snotty mud that is stickier than what most babies can produce in a nappy ..... WWW WWW WWW

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I tried to get Juice out and almost got bogged down myself.

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Grant hooked up to me, myself hooked up to Juice and between and we managed to get out relatively easily with minimal digging

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Having said that, with common sense and not venturing out into the pans itself, but hugging the grass sides you will have a holiday of EPIC proportions !!!
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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - Advice Needed!

Postby gupster » 16 Mar 2016 18:02

Hi Russ. There is also a good entry point into Bots at Dobe. It allows you to do Drotskyes caves and on to Tsodilo hills. Roys camp in Nam is also fantastic with internet etc but there are so many great camping places.
In 1989 I got stuck in one of the pans and now I stick to the edges. As Cedric said, you cannot tell how shallow the crust of calcrete is. However, I travel alone and have never needed a winch so I guess caution is the word. My first attempt at Kubu was foiled by rain and I turned back although plenty of determined overlanders with GP plates made their way through.The next 3 visits were a doddle.
The flight over the delta is a must and there are plenty of travel agents in Maun. Try getting one that only caters for your family as it can be like boarding a taxi. They are negotiable as we found.
I use T4A and have found some very interesting roads. There is also OSM route-able, free, which often supplements T4A especially in W. Africa.
As all the members have said, you have a very small window to do what you want to do, but use this as a recce and plan to come back to do it thoroughly. Botswana and Namibia are by far my most favorite destinations in Africa. You said you have 25 days to do 2 countries, It took me 3. 5 years to do 27. I am sure we all look forward to the pics and your fantastic experience.
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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - Advice Needed!

Postby Russ Kellermann » 16 Mar 2016 20:40

Thanks for all the incredible knowledge and advice you have all shown, and for the encouragement.

I am a cautious driver, and a cautious person, being German , haha, i like to access and establish contingency plans all the time, but of course, certain parts of overlanding are left as surprises, which is also part of the fun.

I have been reading about the pans and their dangers since i got andrew st pierre whits book on 4x4 (1st edition), when i was 14 (1994), and have read countless articales and reports on those folk who found their vehicles sinking whilst they out taking photo's, one or two vehicle disappearing completely, ... hence my concerns!!!

I'm exhausted right now, 17 hour work day,... will no doubt post responses and more questions in the next day or two.. Thanks chaps

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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - Advice Needed!

Postby Peter Connan » 16 Mar 2016 20:59

Russ, there is a road from Kubu heading pretty much straight north and very slightly east. This road followd a ridge almost all the way, and is completely save for most of the way.

I have been to Kubu twice, the first time in June 2010. This was a pretty wet year and we drove over the pans with no issues whatsoever.
The second time was almost exactly 4 years ago today (24 March 2012). This time we came in from the south and took the "ridge road" (described above) out. Absolutely no problems.
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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - Advice Needed!

Postby Russ Kellermann » 16 Mar 2016 22:24

Cool pete, sounds like no dramas. I'll be travelling from north side, heading in a southerly direction after coming from the delta's east side (in theory).
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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - Advice Needed!

Postby Russ Kellermann » 29 Mar 2016 21:02

Ok guys, here's the plan so far, but need help where this ends....

Some of you will know that we (Mom and Dad, Jess and i) really wanted to do the Delta.... however, after weeks and months of trying to make it work, we simply just could not afford it. Personally, i was angered and shocked at some of the quotes i received, marketed as "Budget getaway", "Bots on a Budget" and so forth, in fact, most of our quotes for 4 people in the delta for 2 nights (rustic camp - NOT FLY IN) would have cost almost exactly what our entire Nam Bots Holiday is going to cost us.... i am speechless. Dont need to start a conversation about it, it is what it is, just saying though, BLIKSEM! I was dissillusioned to even consider these dreams of mine! hahaha

Anyway, with lots of PM's and posts later, from all of you guys, we realised the value we can get from the caprivi and have discovered a world of adventure there that awaits us!


will start from first spot in Nam:

Ai Ais - Ai Ais Resort (Camp)
Koiimasis Ranch on the D707 Road (Camp)
Sesriem - Oasis (Camp)
Usakos - (Friends house)
Spitzkoppe - (Camp)
Otjihaenamaparero - (Dinosaur footprints Camp)
Etosha Okuakujo - (Camp)
Etosha Halali - (Camp)
Ngepi - (Tree House)
Mavunje (Mashi River Safaris - Camp)
Camp Chobe (namibian side of Chobe river - Camp)

Then ... i need the help.

We cross the border 15km from Camp Chobe at Ngoma Border Post, and head for Nata.

Q: Do i need to go via Kasane or will T4A give me a more direct rout to meet the A33?

Q: Its 360km from Ngoma to Nata (4.5Hour drive).... would be cool to cut into Hunters road for 30km or so.... advisable? if so, how and where?

Q: Camp at Nata Lodge or Elephant Sands ? or which other ? We want to be at Kubu by 15:00 - 16:00 so we get a good sunset without rushing.

Q: After Kubu the folks head out of the country en route to Bela Bela and eventually back to where they live in the transkei. Jess and i Have at least another 5-7 days (maybe more) to explore... we would like to do Kgalagadi and camp at sites like Matopi 1/2 and other remote self sufficient sites. Can we drive the bots side of the park solo... or is that not allowed?

Q: Anyone got a really nice route in mind that we could take after leaving Kubu, that will lead us to Kgalagadi and then, a nice route in mind for Kgalagadi. Please.

I have spent many hundreds of man-hours on this trip, and been through 6 full crates of my old 4x4 magazines to reference these parts, but i still like the personal touch , and enjoy reading others opinions and findings. I need help!

Thanks chaps, you have all really helped me so far.
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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - UPDATED

Postby Tinus lotz » 29 Mar 2016 21:58

At the moment kubu is closed due to rain...mabe it will be ok by the time you wanna go . How long are you in kasane?
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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - UPDATED

Postby Russ Kellermann » 29 Mar 2016 22:19

Just passing through Kasane.

Re Kubu - Yes i've been following the story along with all the other stories of the late rains and the depth of the pan water. hoping it will all be dry and hassle free by mid june
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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - UPDATED

Postby Peter Connan » 30 Mar 2016 06:51

Russ, I have heard lots of conflicting reports about hunter's road. Some say it's fine, others have been arrested by ZAM military patrols, despite GPS's saying they are well inside Bots.
Also, it's a major challenge in the wet season, but in June it's probably just another rutted dirt road.

If there is a road from Nangoma to the A33 through Chobe, I am sure it will take longer than going through Kasane. T4a shows a possible road, but I think one would have to follow it on Google Earth to be sure. Unfortunately I don't have time to do that right now, but will try later in the day.

If it's still wet, take the ridge road (as described earler) both to and from Kubu. From there over the top of CKGR (if you drive through CKGR, that will take all 5 your days, but may not actually be a bad choice either. It's another of my favourite parks. Through Gantsi, then to Hukuntzi and from there down to Mabuasehube gate (take note this will be at least a 2-day trip).

Mabua is fabulous, and all the pans and campsites are brilliant. My personal favourite is Mapayathutlwa2.

You will be allowed there solo, I think it's only the crossing from there into Kgalagadi where they might be stroppy.
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Re: Overlanding: CT - Nam - Bots - CT - UPDATED

Postby Peter Connan » 30 Mar 2016 08:07

It doe appear that there may be a route from Ngoma to the A33 through Chobe Forest reserve. From Ngoma head S/W to a dirt road turnoff at S18 07 53.0 E24 32 10.5, turning S/E. This road seems to go virtually straight to Poha gate at S18 26 25.4 E24 56 05.4. This road looks like a tweespoor and in places is quite faint. Also, some of the imagery is about 10 years old, so no guarantee that it still exists.

From here there is a graded road to the A33 at S18 49 52.4 E25 36 05.3.

However, this road is only 20km shorter and misses all the fuel stations.
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