16 Additional Botswana Photos not in the blogs

Photos, tips and advice

Itinerary and map included

Botswana Part 3


 Near the edge of southern part of Mkgadikgadi Salt Pan

Near the edge of southern part of Mkgadikgadi Salt Pan

I have had such positive feedback about photos in

Highlights of Botswana and how to self-drive overland

as well as in

How to avoid a charging elephant

that I’ve decided to share a few more with you that weren’t in the blogs.

Included are a few tips, our itinerary, a map of our route and some useful links.

 

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 Did you know the horns are shaped so that the eye of the kudu can see in a straight line through the center of the horn to the tips, without any obstruction?

Did you know the horns are shaped so that the eye of the kudu can see in a straight line through the center of the horn to the tips, without any obstruction?

 Having a picnic lunch under the trees somewhere between Letlhakane and Mkgadikgadi pans near a baobab

Having a picnic lunch under the trees somewhere between Letlhakane and Mkgadikgadi pans near a baobab

 A quick stop on the salt pans, Mkgadikgadi, Botswana

A quick stop on the salt pans, Mkgadikgadi, Botswana

 

Random facts & tips

1.       Although we could shower in most places (including a bush shower with water heated over the fire on Kubu island), there wasn’t always hot water. In summer it’s not an issue but at night in winter can be rather cold. Sometimes it is wise to shower during the day, if there is time and you are at camp, as many of the ablution facilities heat their water via solar. Being such a large group might have also played a role in lack of hot water.

2.       Driving in convoy. If you are apprehensive to drive on your own, going on a guided self-drive safari in convoy is a good way to experience different aspects of a country. It is a bit like having a big brother watching over you. However, I would check how many vehicles the tour operator allows per convoy as a larger group could lead to unnecessary delays. My opinion: 10 is the utter limit, with an experienced guide.

3.       Provisions are available in most of the larger towns such as Gaborone, Francistown and Maun. Some of the smaller towns are also well stocked, but perhaps not with everything you require. We did not require to buy much, because food was provided for us, and we only stocked up on fuel or something light to eat for lunch.

4.       Camping is an affordable way of seeing Botswana if your pocket doesn’t allow for accommodation in a 5-star lodge. Let’s face it, that would be a luxurious spoil, but not many of us can afford it. There are many private concessions that make it difficult to book when traveling on your own, though, so I would do my homework. It is also not such a great idea to arrive without trying to book ahead.

5.       By the time we arrived at our campsites, our tents were erected. A huge fire was burning and our dinner was cooking in huge three legged cast iron pots. We placed our chairs in a circle around it and spent every evening chatting and eating there. If you don’t like eating off your lap, it is a good idea to bring a small fold up table. In the morning if we were leaving the campsite our tents were dismantled. Although we were roughing it just a little, we were well looked after. We had to provide our own snacks for lunch as well as our own drinks and water.

6.       Because the northern parts of Botswana are essentially wetlands, and is a malaria area, it is advisable to take preventative measures. Many people are anti taking prophylaxis, but we feel it worthwhile as we nearly lost a friend through malaria. We took doxycycline, which is a mild antibiotic. Follow the instructions given to you by your pharmacist or doctor and you shouldn’t have any issues.

7.       We had no issue with fuel, but we planned in advance where we needed to fill up. Plan according to the size of your fuel tank, it’s normal consumption and the distances between towns. Take into consideration when driving off road, you will use more fuel than normal, as at times you will be driving through soft sand, mud or water.    

8.       Importing goods. Check which goods are prohibited before bringing them into Botswana, such as meat, dairy and animal products. Declare all goods such as electronic equipment and I’ve read drones and two-way radios are not allowed.  

9.       Not all remote areas are necessarily covered by mobile network. If you deem it essential to be able to communicate, a satellite phone can be useful, especially if you are driving on your own.

10.   Most camping areas in Botswana are in game reserves that are potentially unfenced. Animals will walk around, even if you don’t see them. Citrus and other fruits attract elephant and meat or bones will entice predators such as lion and hyena. Pack these away inside your vehicle or trailer. Even packing food in plastic boxes will not prevent animals from getting to it. We had a honey badger sink his teeth into a tough durable plastic box trying to get to the food.

Do not feed the animals. There have been unfortunate incidents throughout various game reserves in Africa. Respect their territory. They remain wild animals and will sense you long before you notice them. Don’t have limbs protruding from your tent when sleeping and don’t walk around at night alone. Use a powerful bright torch if you do need to and walk in pairs. A cell phone torch will not be sufficient. Keep young or small children within the inner circle of your party.

 

 
 Need some building plans?

Need some building plans?

 Not your usual architect’s office

Not your usual architect’s office

 Best tree to camp under at Kubu island. Beautiful spot taken by other campers

Best tree to camp under at Kubu island. Beautiful spot taken by other campers

 Watching a beautiful sunrise with the better half of Roaming Fox. Love sharing my adventures with this man.

Watching a beautiful sunrise with the better half of Roaming Fox. Love sharing my adventures with this man.

 Driving towards Moremi, children on donkeys in Botswana

Driving towards Moremi, children on donkeys in Botswana

 

 

Botswana overland itinerary:

Guided self-drive camping trip

Day 1: Meet at Khama Rhino Sanctuary near Serowe. Get to know the rest of the group and chat around the fire while having dinner. Camp for one night.

Day 2: Travel to Letlhakane, through isolated villages. Top up with fuel if necessary. Turn off the tar road and drive on sand road to  Makgadikgadi Pans. Camp one night at Kubu Island.

Day 3: Continue north to the A3. Drive to Maun to stock up and refuel and spend the night at Kaziikini Camp.

Day 4: Drive to Sehithwa and head north on the A35 to the Okavango Delta for a two-night stopover at Nguma Island Lodge.

Day 5: Half day mokoro trip or fishing for tiger fish.

Day 6 & 7: Drive back to Maun. Replenish supplies and refuel, before driving north-east towards South Gate, Moremi Game reserve. Campsite just outside South gate - Xakanaxa.

Day 8: Bid farewell to the rest of the group and continue to your next destination. We returned to Serowe via Letlhakane and spent the night at Serowe Hotel

 

 One of the planes that flew us over the Okavango

One of the planes that flew us over the Okavango

 Okavango with plenty of water

Okavango with plenty of water

 Driving towards Nguma Island Lodge, Okavango Delta

Driving towards Nguma Island Lodge, Okavango Delta

 Needed to clean the grid after driving through water

Needed to clean the grid after driving through water

Map of our route


Map below:

Unclickable map of route we took towards Kubu island.

Google does not support off-road tracks and I have roughly marked the route with yellow that we took to Kubu island and then on to the A3 towards Maun.

Unclickable Botswana Map with added route
 
 Not 5-star at Camp Itumela, Palapye but comfortable enough and warm bedding for winter

Not 5-star at Camp Itumela, Palapye but comfortable enough and warm bedding for winter

 Someone’s idea of a joke, putting toilet paper next to elephant poo

Someone’s idea of a joke, putting toilet paper next to elephant poo

 Beauty parlour ala camping in Botswana for going back to civilization

Beauty parlour ala camping in Botswana for going back to civilization

 

If you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 yet, here they are.

 

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Roaming Fox6 Comments