Jump to content

Family self-drive adventure JHB-Botswana-Vic Falls


Alex Rogers

Recommended Posts

Alex Rogers

@Treepol no, while I was impressed with the grounds of the Avani, I found them surprising deficient in birds, went for a couple of unproductive morning walks around the hotel before deciding the river was a better bet. 

 

I'd love to have hired the services of guides more generally - but finances dictated otherwise, we splashed out on a few carefully chosen luxuries each, but otherwise it was all self-serve, find-your-own-Turaco kind of thing. Fortunately it doesn't matter for me, I'm not that experienced a birder, so I get as much thrill out of a Violet Cheeked Waxbill as others might from a much rarer bird. Still, would love to have seen a Turaco :-) 

 

Birds of the trip for me were the openbills, my tawny eagles, and a marsh harrier that hunted the river in front of us at Khwai - I do love sightings where the birds are active and I can learn about their behaviour. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Towlersonsafari

Splendid  report @Alex Rogers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this account of your trip and photos. Great to be able to share this African experience  with your family.

 

Out of interest, were you charged for the damage to the vehicles/trailer - I think I would’ve been having kittens! 😁

Link to post
Share on other sites
Pamshelton3932

What a great trip and trip report!  I really enjoyed your writing style and sense of humor.  You’ll have great memories of a most excellent safari.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
Alex Rogers

@zimreef - yes, we have paid Bushlore for the damage we did (very reasonable repair costs provided by the company) and we expect to do the same with Commander soon. With all these things you take your choice - pay through the nose for add-on insurance to reduce excess, or take your chances and be prepared to pay. I dont think there is a right way - pick one, and live with the outcome, don't second-guess yourself or you will never be happy. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
xelas
On 7/27/2019 at 6:15 AM, Alex Rogers said:

Korhaan - one of my favourites

 

To my eyes it looks more like Kori Bustard.

 

It was a great journey. Botswana looks like a different country to what I have seen in green season. Sunsets (and sunrises) are as colourful as I remember them. 

Climbing up the roof was doable, but not much appreciated by my SWAMBO; maybe a trailer might get her back to camping?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Alex Rogers
13 hours ago, xelas said:

 

To my eyes it looks more like Kori Bustard.

 Of course you are right - mental slip, thanks

 

Camper trailer camping was very comfortable - 2.1 x 2.1m bed, and it stays up while you spend days doing game drives etc.  Works very well from that perspective. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful report thanks @Alex Rogers - awesome adventure with your family and friends.

I bet it was great doing this trip with your boys?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Zim Girl

Really enjoyable report to read - you all had a great adventure.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Peter Connan

A great adventure and a magnificent sense of humour in diversity! I loved the "categories" of fun.

I must say I was surprised by the damage the cars and trailers took on these roads. How much of the damage to the trailer do you think may have resulted from the hammering caused by the broken shock absorber? IE would a trailer with a solid coupler do significantly better under those conditions?

 

Your report also brought back great memories for me. Of all three categries of fun. That first Baobab tree on Kubu is where I got married, and like you we also never reached Linyanti (a friend's radiator fan shed all it's blades while crossing the Khwai river, and we had to spend an extra day in Savuti to get and fit a replacement).

 

Your report has been a joy to read, thank you. I hope there will be more in future, and I also hope you would consider joining us over at the "Big year" section. I believe you have all the skills and interest needed to enjoy it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great adventure you had @Alex Rogers must have been a real pleasure to do this trip with the family.

 

Im sure its something they will remember for a long time to come.

 

Thanks for sharing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Alex Rogers

Thanks for the kind comments all. 

 

@Peter Connan - cheers, glad you enjoyed it, your own posts (and particularly photography) have been an inspiration to me. 

On 8/1/2019 at 3:32 AM, Peter Connan said:

I must say I was surprised by the damage the cars and trailers took on these roads. How much of the damage to the trailer do you think may have resulted from the hammering caused by the broken shock absorber? IE would a trailer with a solid coupler do significantly better under those conditions?

 

Hard to say. The broken shock significantly contributed to the amount of pounding the trailer (and tug) suffered, and ultimately caused a lot of the fatigue damage (at least, I'm arguing that case with the rental company now...!) Would a solid coupler do better? I don't have enough experience to say, I tow a lightweight rigid box trailer in Aus, so this was my first time towing 1200-1400kg with a proper Alko hitch. I talked to some more experienced camper trailer guys on the road, and they say that the shocks need to be replaced every couple of years, but if you do that they work very well to smooth out the ride on hard roads. Personally I'd be inclined to look for something that can't break. 

 

Cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites
Peter Connan

Thanks for the reply and the kind words Alex

 

I don't know if you have seen my trailer build (in the "self drive" section). These big camper trailers really make camping comfortable, and setup fairly quick, but the weight is a problem. This is why I built mine as light as I could. I also built mine with a brake lockout, which effectively turns the run-in coupling into a solid coupling. This has unfortunately now become illegal here, and guess it would be illegal in Aus as well? Also, even when in use, the stroke is much shorter than the Alco system.

 

Anyway, I have not done any badly-rutted sand like that, although I have done a fair amount of "clean" soft sand without any issues yet. Of course, ny tow vehicle is capable enough that I virtually never have to overcome clearance or torque limitations with momentum, which must also help.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
Atravelynn

 

"The beach was glorious:" and so was that intro photo, along with the purple sky later on.  Even without Linyanti, you had a wildlife-filled safari!  I can imagine the stress with the birth certificate situation.  The red toenails and zebra shot is unique on the forum.  Your boys had to be thrilled with the trip.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Oh my goodness....this was sooooo much fun to read. Great photos, great adventures and a wonderful sense of humor. Your enthusiasm for this trip was evident throughout and just made it all the better. Thank you for writing and sharing it and I hope to see more from you and your family :)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
ForWildlife

Great report, thanks for sharing!

Link to post
Share on other sites
ZaminOz

looks like you and family had loads of fun.

thanks for sharing :)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
gatoratlarge

Awesome report---thanks for sharing!  I still admit to being intimidated to do a self drive.  For a birding trip you sure saw a lot of mammals---loved the honey badgers!  Great views---I've seen two trotting together also in Botswana but wasn't quick enough to photograph them.  That's a trip the family will never forget!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Kitsafari

sorry I'm coming late to the report - but I read it all in one go! thoroughly enjoyed the fun narration and the photos. 

 

thanks for sharing!

Link to post
Share on other sites
AfricIan

Another one very late to the party but a belated big thank you for posting, like Kit I've also "done it in one" and thoroughly enjoyed it

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 months later...
shouldbewriting

What a great treat to read about your adventures! Thank you so much for sharing them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy