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Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 10:14
by stobi_de
Hello and a happy new year from Germany. QQQ

It is time to come back to your wonderful country for another trip. This time we have 2 month (Feb/march)
Like every time we have a perfect plan for our trip: we planned until now NOTHING, only the direction to BOT and ZAM.

Because we still drive the german Patrol, we have to leave the south africa customs union for a day or more.
I think that Kazungula in the north of BOT is the best border post for us.
Last year we had many troubles in Breitbridge. The office told us: "your papers are not valid". He took them and we had to bribe several people, to get them back (800 US$).
Perfect work of the officers :thumbdown: The papers were 100% correct.

Now I need some tips for campsites and parks on the way: nothing to book, much animals and nature.
I searched a lot in the net, but it is very difficult to find reliable information. Most of my mails to different parks and camps got no answer or incredible high prices (Madigwe - 600 US$% pp pn)

I'm sure that here is a good place for this question .

Greetings from Frank

Re: Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 12:53
by Kagiso II
Hallo Frank .. long time no talk :-)

May I make few suggestions to your route for the Freestate - Bots Zam Trip
1] Bethlehem to WITSAND (Stay Witsand at least 2 days) It is in the Kalahari [Souh West of KURUMAN]
2] Witsand to TWEE RIVIEREN [entrance to the Kglakgadi Transfrontier Park] {must have reservations for this park .. OR use the Bushman ‡Khomani San WILD CAMPS} (ask me how) .... At Twee rivieren you also complete your passport admin for entry to Botswana]
Then take as long as you you want to in the Park -- exit north-east and proceed to KANG. [Camping is 150 PULA p/person with your own abblutions OR Wood Cabin sleeps two OR Lodge Rooms with air con et al. Fantastic restaurant there KANG ULTRA LODGE
3] Into CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE you go [near GHANZI town] plan your route so to exit at or near NATA or MAUN
4] next should be KASANE [stay at PANDAMATENGA REST CAMP en-route to Kasane -- best prices and very neat - DO NOT miss out on a Chobe Sundowner Boat ride [I find the boats at LILY LODGE the best, but you can also use CHOBE Lodge's boat service [prices are the same] .. Just Lily is more "user friendly" and not as cropwded. The Managaer at Lily Lodge is FRANCINA, tell her KAGISO referred you and get even friendlier reception :-)
5] DO NOT use Kazangulu ferry -- Go through NGOMA gate into NAMIBIA on the CAPRIVI section and then enter Zambia via the border post at Rundu
6] Zambia is your own -- dont miss out on the Lake though :-D
7] on the way back you could exit Zambia at either Kazangulu OR Livingstone [Livingstone into ZIM right at Victoria Falls.] Do visit the Falls, then back to KASANE .. the old TORO lodge has been revamped and under new managament en the name has changed to THE BIG 5 CHOBE LODGE for camping [each camp site has their own mini ablution and kitchen
8] on your way Soth, do sleep over at Elephant Sands [not cheap but not murder tariffs either
9] Do NOT miss Kgama Rhino Sanctuary
10] IF the pans are DRY, do not miss KUBU ISLAND -- it's a MUST [camping only a f i k ]
11] then EXIT Botswana at ZANZIBAR Border post [ a little north of GROBLERS BRIDGE / MARTINS DRIFT border post

From there .. plan your own route back to Bethlehem [If you do pass Pretoria / Jhb .. let us lot know and we can hav a nice G T G with lots of PATROL Talk and beer and some Swahili food to go with :-D

Und das ist wass ich weise..

[Some pictures to follow ... it is not on this computer]
IMG_2399.JPG
Hippo on Chobe River mating.
IMG_2399.JPG (3.71 MiB) Viewed 2293 times
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IMG_2440.JPG (3.47 MiB) Viewed 2293 times

Re: Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 14:06
by stobi_de
Ha! great! Thanks a lot.
This evening I will have a look to the map.
I know Elephants Sands. When we came down from Nairobi some years ago, we camped there for one night. Yes, the name ELEPHANT sand was correct. In the evening we had an elephant directly at the tent :biggrin: - and the night was the coldest in my life. The water was frozen in the bottles.

And, by the way: Du sprichst deutsch?

Frank

Re: Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 15:24
by Peter Connan
Frank, if you are into photography, look into Senyati Safari Lodge, just south of Kasane. They have a sunken hide at the camp's water-hole, which is visited dayly by Elephant and many antelope species, including Sable.

As for the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, I could spend the whole two months right there. But getting campsites without pre-booking is very unlikely nowadays (at least for the South African campsites), so definately check now if you want to do this. I struggled to get places here for a trip in April, and this was in July (9 months in advance). Consider also the Mabuasehube area. Less animals but also far less people.

Central Kalahari is a great park, and Makgadigadi Pans (Khumaga) is worthy of consideration.

Re: Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 18:18
by Kagiso II
stobi_de wrote:Ha! great! Thanks a lot.
This evening I will have a look to the map.

And, by the way: Du sprichst deutsch?

Frank
Nein mein Herr, es tut mir Leit aber ich verstehe es keine :-)
[Just joking .. only a LITTLE what I can remember from school days in 1968]

Re: Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 07 Jan 2017 00:12
by stobi_de
My very best friend told me only good things about the kgalagadi lodge near the entrance of ktp. Somebody knows it?

Re: Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 07 Jan 2017 11:11
by Tinus lotz
Piet wil be able to give you answers for that one :salute:

Re: Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 07 Jan 2017 12:01
by Kagiso II
stobi_de wrote:My very best friend told me only good things about the kgalagadi lodge near the entrance of ktp. Somebody knows it?
Ther are a few lodges near Twee Rivieren. We normally use Molopo Lodge but as you say, Kgalakgadi is also a good choice.
You cfan view Molopo here: https://www.lekkeslaap.co.za/akkommodasie/molopo-lodge

Re: Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 07 Jan 2017 15:53
by stobi_de
@Peter: ups, I did not see your post. This is definitely on our plan. We tried this last time 4 years ago. On the short gravel road from the main street to the camp we found out, that our 4x4 did not work. Only a strange noise from the gearbox. The chain was damaged. So we went on the shortest way to Pretoria to the gearbox specialist.

Re: Bethlehem, Botswana, Zambia and back

Posted: 07 Jan 2017 20:24
by Peter Connan
Tinus lotz wrote:Piet wil be able to give you answers for that one :salute:
Unfortunately not, I don't know the place.

However, I have read a trip report on another forum of somebody who did stay there. They enjoyed it, but said the animal sightings were not as good as in the Kgalagadi itself.