Botswana Advice May 2013

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Marino4x4
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Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by Marino4x4 » 15 Jan 2013 14:03

Hi

I would like to get some information from the more experienced travelers on the forum. We are going to the Moremi, Savuti and Chobe from 10 May to 25 May. I am not the organizer of the trip, but would like to get some information about the arias we will be visiting. Any advice will be welcome.

We will leave Bloemfontein on 10 May and sleep in Pretoria. Everyone will be meeting there.

11 May we will leave Pta. and drive up to Kang. The guy organizing the trip arranged that we can kamp at Kalahari Rest.

12 May Kang to Maun. Here we will buy our last supplies. We will sleep (camp) at Sedia Hotel.

13 May we want to do a sort trip in the morning, either a boat trip or a flight over the Delta. After the activity, we will leave Maun for 3rd Bridge. We will camp here until 16 May. How long do one drive from Maun to 3rd Bridge? Is there drinking water available here? What is the road conditions?

16 May we will leave 3rd Bridge for Savuti. We will camp here until 20 May. Is there drinking water available here? What is the recommended road to drive? What is the road conditions?

20 May we will leave Savuti and drive up to Chobe were we will camp at Ihaha camp. We will camp here until 23 May.

23 May we will leave Ihaha and travel to Kasane. Here we will sleep for one night at Senyati Bush Lodge. We are going to do a boat trip on the Chobe River this day.

24 May we will leave Kasane and start our travel back to SA. We are still looking at a place to sleep at for this night.

25 May we are back in Pta.

We are travailing at the end of the raining season, will the roads be drivable?

As I said any advice are welcome.

I did read trough Peter's report. Very helpful reading.

http://patrol4x4.co.za/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=2638#p27202

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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by Jules » 15 Jan 2013 16:24

Marinus maak kontak met Dr Raymond Raubenheimer daar in Bloem hy is n Narkotiseerder hy toer ten minste 2x n jr Botswana toe, ek sal sy nommers ook kry en dit vir jou pm

Shalom

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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by Peter Connan » 15 Jan 2013 17:47

Marinus, firstly relax and enjoy the trip, it will be great! The itinerary looks pretty good to me, except for the day you leave Maun for third bridge.

I can strongly recommend taking a flight over the delta from Maun, and personally would rather do that than the boat trip, particularly since you will be boating at Kasane. However, I would try and squeeze that in the previous afternoon, by leaving Kang early or if it's not too late in the planning stage rather staying over at Ghanzi rather than Kang.

We left Kaziikini (80km closer to third bridge from Maun) at around 7am, and only reached third bridge at 3pm. It can be done faster, but I wouldn't want to. The road from Maun to South Gate is mostly graded dirt, fairly corrugated but nothing too rough. From there to Third Bridge is tweespoor with numerous waterholes etc.

One thing I need to point out is that there are two types of water in the Moremi. The vast majority of the water is from rain that falls in the highlands of Angola, hundreds of km away, and this water takes around six months to reach the Moremi. In May, water levels will be on the rise but will not be at their maximum yet. The local rain is considerably less, but can make the roads slippery. You shouldn't have any serious issues unless you are towing very heavily though. Also, take the opportunity to talk to the rangers at South Gate about the recommended routes. Finally, the much-vaunted bridges. Important to realize that these are not really bridges in the normal sense of the word, but merely logs that lie on the ground, with supporting poles to keep them in place. So you are not going to plummet to your death. However these logs do rot fairly quickly, and then there can be gaps in the bridge, and more problematically the logs can jump up and get jammed in your undercarriage. If 1st and/or 2nd bridges look bad, there are bypasses through the water next to the bridge, just make sure of the depth on the line you want to take.

Third bridge has potable water as well as solar heating for shower water, but do take enough drinking water for at least three days in case of a real emergency.

From Maun to Savuti there may be some serious water obstacles. There is a lake/dam close to Xakanaxa, and it is in this area that Kalahari Safari broke his 4.5's engine the first time, due to water inhalation. The Kwai river can also be a formidable obstacle. Once more, speak to the rangers about routes.

If the Kwai is impassable, you need to make a fairly significant detour, so best start early. Once past Mababe, I reckon you are definately looking at the Sand Ridge road. This is fairly deep sand, and if your car is auto, stick it in low range, you will save a lot of fuel. Other than that, you shouldn't have too much of a problem. Savuti now has very sturdy ablutions with potable hot and cold water. Take note that no generators are allowed, even though they run their own for several hours daily.
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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by Peter Connan » 15 Jan 2013 18:00

From Savuti to Chobe cross the river, then head straight for the landing strip. At the landing strip, turn eastwards. Later you will find a cutline heading north-north-west. Take that up to avoid some pretty bad going. At the next road, turn east again. If you send me a mail (petercatmitechdotcodotza), I can send you these co-ords. This road eventually turns into tar, and shortly thereafter you wil reach the entrance to Chobe reserve.

Here you will have a choice. You can either head straight on with the tar road, and then take a cutline to Ihaha, or you can turn immediately left, and enter the reserve proper (through a second gate) and meander down the riverfront. If you still have fuel left, I would recommend this option.

Take note that there is no fuel between Maun and Kasane, and with a fair amount of this road being heavy sand, you might by now be pretty desperate for fuel. I also don't know what facilities there are at Ihaha.

Senyati is a great place, do spend the evening (or the early morning) sitting on the deck at the bar. There is water and donkeys to heat it.

On the way back, yu could look at Khama Rhino Sanctuary (larni and great rhino-viewing), Camp Palapye (in Palapye, it's noisy but cheap and with no need to book. They also have rooms) or possibly Woodlands stop-over near Francistown.
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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by Jorrie » 16 Jan 2013 05:53

Die Getaway guide Botswana deur Mike Copeland kan ook 'n handige verwysing wees. Dit is te koop by OutdoorWarehouse.
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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by Marino4x4 » 16 Jan 2013 09:13

Thanks Jules, Peter and Jorrie.

Peter I will mail you.

Jules it will be nice to sit down with someone and find out more about the area.

Jorrie I will look for the book.

Cheers
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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by Marino4x4 » 22 Jan 2013 09:04

Hi.

A few new questions about our trip.

What is the speed limit on the A2 in Botswana? Will it be possible to drive from Pta to Ghanzi in one go? We are thinking of taking Peter's advice and sleep in Ghanzi the first night. What is the road condition of the A2? If the speed limit is 100-120km/h will we be able to travel at that speed? I know animals is a big risk in Botswana, so we would like to not travel at night.

Cheers :thumbup:
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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by Kagiso II » 22 Jan 2013 14:55

Marino4x4 wrote:Hi.

A few new questions about our trip.

What is the speed limit on the A2 in Botswana? Will it be possible to drive from Pta to Ghanzi in one go? We are thinking of taking Peter's advice and sleep in Ghanzi the first night. What is the road condition of the A2? If the speed limit is 100-120km/h will we be able to travel at that speed? I know animals is a big risk in Botswana, so we would like to not travel at night.

Cheers :thumbup:
Speed limit on A2 is 120 -- BUT through villages down to 60 and 80, all bus stops have 80 limit 1km either side [and they DO catch yu there]
Yes, yu can get to Ghanzi in one go [provided yu leave Pretoria at 5 am]
DO NOT drive those roads after sunset NEVER [ja ek weet ek doen .. maar....]
If you don't make Ghanzi before dark, lodge in at KANG ULTRA STOP [the GPS will have it .. ] It is the one with the Excell Fuel stop.
OH -- and when you get to Kanye, take the road AROUND Kanye --
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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by savutizn » 03 Feb 2013 07:38

Hi Marius

I would definately do a HELICOPTER trip and for 2 hours from Maun it is way better than a fixed wing plane.Regarding Savuti it
is brilliant at the moment, I was there three times last year .When you leave Savuti take the road past the airstrip it is hard clay
and follow it until it joins the sand road ,this route is done in 2 wheel drive,At the entrance gate you drive out 50m and then turn left
follow this cutline (it goes to Linyanti) for about 10kms the sand is not to bad, soft in places.The first road to your right will take you
all the way to Kachekau (good sand road) thereafter it is a tar roar to Ngoma gate.It will take you only 4hours used to be 6-8 hours 15years ago
The road straight out of the gate is soft sand and corrogations bloody awful

Places to see in Savuti are the 14 sisters a collection of Baobabs to the west of Quarry hill as well as a drive to the top of Quarry hill the view is amazing.The best views of the mash are fom the east side therefor go across the channel and go round that way to Rhino vlei.

I hope you have a great trip

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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Post by Marino4x4 » 04 Feb 2013 14:48

Hi Paul

Thanks for the advice. I would like to know what the situation is with petrol on the route? After Maun, where is the next petrol station, Kachekau, Kasane, ...? I would like to work out how many Jerrycans I must take with for the trip.

I also would like to know what consumption I can expect to get trough the parks?

Thanks
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