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Botswana 15 days Self drive


TomD
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Hello all,

 

I am new here and like many I suppose come looking for knowledgably advice for our coming trip at the end of Nov.

 

We have hired 2 79´s for a self-drive camping trip around Botswana and we have a draft of our route but I am sure that you guys could give us insider suggestions and tips to make the most of our first trip in Botswana.

 

Day 1 Arrival at Kasane, Car collection, shopping for groceries and supplies sleep at Chobe Safari Lodge (Camping).
Day 2. Day trip to Victoria Falls finishing the day at Chobe National Park, sleep at Ihaha campsite.
Day 3. Chobe river front, sleep at Ihaha.
Day 4. Explore Chobe and Drive to Savuti Campsite

Day 5. Savuti safari drives.

Day 6. Khwai Riverfront.
Day 7. Moremi game reserve, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.
Day 8. Moremi, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.
Day 9. Okavango delta, Boat safari, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp. 
Day 10. Drive to Maun, resupply and sleep there at a Lodge. ¿Suggestions?
Day 11. Drive from Maun to Kubu island and Camping.
Day 12. Kubu island and drive from to Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Crossing through the Sua Pan to also visit Greens Baobab, camping at Khama Rhino Sanctuary.
Day 13. Visit the Khama sanctuary, Tracking Rhinos activity, sleep there camping.
Day 14. Drive back to Maun and sleep there Lodge. Suggestions?
Day 15. Last day, drop of vehicles and fly home.

 

 

I would really appreciate tips about what to look for and where exactly on each area as well as activities recommended other than drive searching for game or chilling around camp.

Anything that we are missing, or worthy detour?
I have read everywhere that safari drives are better early morning and late evenings? How early morning and how late evening is that? 5am or 7am or sunset? 

Also, any place where we could buy supplies other than Kasane or Maun? Water, Beers, Meat, milk and fresh product?

Thanks a lot in advance, we are super excited about the oncoming trip!

Edited by TomD
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  • TomD changed the title to Botswana 15 days Self drive

Each of the Government run places you will visit has designated "opening" and "closing" times, in between which you should / must be in camp (only exception: Khwai Community Concession, which is run, as the name indicates, by a local community). Some officials enforce these rules stricter, other less strict. Drive, get a feel and talk to other campers who have more experience. And to answer the other question: early morning and late afternoon are by far the best times for games drives, especially in November, when it will be super hot, so that most animals during the day spend a lot of time resting and hiding in the shade (you will probably, too)

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Botswanadreams

@TomD have you already a confirmed booking for your planed campsites? With "sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp" it doesn't look like this. Space at the campsites are very limited so that could be a problem with your plan. With only 15 days I wouldn't go to Kubu island and Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Nxai Pan with Baines Baobabs and Makgadikgadi would be better I think when you have to go back to Maun at the end of your trip.

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Peter Connan

I have an additional concern about your itinerary.

It is the wrong way round.

There are a number of vetirinary "zones", primarily for the control of foot-and-mouth disease.

When travelling from North to South, all un-cooked meat will be confiscated several times during your trip. At certain times, some vegetables may also be affected.

 

To do the trip this way around you would have to pre-cook all the meat or go vegetarian in certain areas.

 

For example I think  there is one between Kasane and Savuti, and I know there are gates just North of Maun and just north of Kubu.

 

Edited by Peter Connan
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Thanks Peter I had no idea about that. I thought it only affected imports from other countries. Do you know if there is a website where I could find detailed information about those zones and check points?

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14 hours ago, TomD said:

Thanks Peter I had no idea about that. I thought it only affected imports from other countries. Do you know if there is a website where I could find detailed information about those zones and check points?

 

14 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

I have an additional concern about your itinerary.

It is the wrong way round.

There are a number of vetirinary "zones", primarily for the control of foot-and-mouth disease.

When travelling from North to South, all un-cooked meat will be confiscated several times during your trip. At certain times, some vegetables may also be affected.

 

To do the trip this way around you would have to pre-cook all the meat or go vegetarian in certain areas.

 

For example I think  there is one between Kasane and Savuti, and I know there are gates just North of Maun and just north of Kubu.

 

 

I found this map. We will try to make our trip work around it or become vegans :D

 

Botswana-Vet-Fence-Map.jpg

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16 hours ago, Botswanadreams said:

@TomD have you already a confirmed booking for your planed campsites? With "sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp" it doesn't look like this. Space at the campsites are very limited so that could be a problem with your plan. With only 15 days I wouldn't go to Kubu island and Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Nxai Pan with Baines Baobabs and Makgadikgadi would be better I think when you have to go back to Maun at the end of your trip.


We are still in the process of getting campsites confirmed (it´s harder to reach them that I expected). Thanks for the suggestion about Nxai Pan, I was planing to use it as a back up if we decide that time is too tight for Kubu and Khama. I am really excited about been able to see the Rhinos so I am willing to make the effort but it will also depend on how the rest of my party fells about it.

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Peter Connan

The Botswana section of the SA 4x4 Community forum has fairly regular threads which can be used to get updates on current situations.

 

Regarding finalising bookings, there are a couple of booking agents in Maun who do a very good job of chasing these up for a very reasonable fee.

 

Unfortunately my last trip there was 10 years ago, so I don't know who the best is now, but somebody on the above forum would.

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On 10/20/2022 at 1:38 PM, TomD said:

Hello all,

 

I am new here and like many I suppose come looking for knowledgably advice for our coming trip at the end of Nov.

 

We have hired 2 79´s for a self-drive camping trip around Botswana and we have a draft of our route but I am sure that you guys could give us insider suggestions and tips to make the most of our first trip in Botswana.

 

Day 1 Arrival at Kasane, Car collection, shopping for groceries and supplies sleep at Chobe Safari Lodge (Camping).
Day 2. Day trip to Victoria Falls finishing the day at Chobe National Park, sleep at Ihaha campsite.
Day 3. Chobe river front, sleep at Ihaha.
Day 4. Explore Chobe and Drive to Savuti Campsite

Day 5. Savuti safari drives.

Day 6. Khwai Riverfront.
Day 7. Moremi game reserve, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.
Day 8. Moremi, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.
Day 9. Okavango delta, Boat safari, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp. 
Day 10. Drive to Maun, resupply and sleep there at a Lodge. ¿Suggestions?
Day 11. Drive from Maun to Kubu island and Camping.
Day 12. Kubu island and drive from to Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Crossing through the Sua Pan to also visit Greens Baobab, camping at Khama Rhino Sanctuary.
Day 13. Visit the Khama sanctuary, Tracking Rhinos activity, sleep there camping.
Day 14. Drive back to Maun and sleep there Lodge. Suggestions?
Day 15. Last day, drop of vehicles and fly home.

 

 

I would really appreciate tips about what to look for and where exactly on each area as well as activities recommended other than drive searching for game or chilling around camp.

Anything that we are missing, or worthy detour?
I have read everywhere that safari drives are better early morning and late evenings? How early morning and how late evening is that? 5am or 7am or sunset? 

Also, any place where we could buy supplies other than Kasane or Maun? Water, Beers, Meat, milk and fresh product?

Thanks a lot in advance, we are super excited about the oncoming trip!

 

Day 4. Explore Chobe and Drive to Savuti Campsite

I personally would change one day with Ihaha with Savuti or Khwai north gate camp. Also note that Ihaha has a bad history with robberies, not saying that it will happen but just that you are aware of it, check the latest updates on this one.

 

Day 5. Savuti safari drives.

 

Day 6. Khwai Riverfront.  (try more days at Khwai river front)

Day 7. Moremi game reserve, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.

Day 8. Moremi, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.

I like both camps, staying at third bridge try to get camp 4, it is small and then you are you sure that you are camping private.

Day 9. Okavango delta, Boat safari, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.

I prefer to take the boat via Xakanaxa

Day 10. Drive to Maun, resupply and sleep there at a Lodge. ¿Suggestions? Don’t sleep at a lodge at Maun? Return the same day and sleep at South gate camp and explore the black pools area, amazing place. If you insist on resting in Maun there are some nice places, I stay usually at Audi camp at late arrival.

Day 11. Drive from Maun to Kubu island and Camping.

Day 12. Kubu island and drive from to Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Crossing through the Sua Pan to also visit Greens Baobab, camping at Khama Rhino Sanctuary.

Day 13. Visit the Khama sanctuary, Tracking Rhinos activity, sleep there camping.

Khama Rhino camping is a nice stopover, I would not stay two nights and would add one night more in Moremi. (or skip Rhino camping and stay two nights more in Moremi)

Day 14. Drive back to Maun and sleep there Lodge. Suggestions?

Many good places to stay in Maun, I often make use of Audi camp.

 

Hope this helps

 

Cheers,

 

Johan

 

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On 10/21/2022 at 9:54 AM, TomD said:

 

 

I found this map. We will try to make our trip work around it or become vegans :D

 

Botswana-Vet-Fence-Map.jpg

 

 

I never had any issues traveling from Chobe to Maun via the the parks with any controls for meat/veggies, If you will proceed further to Kubu/khama are some "controls" for fresh meat only.

But always good to check the 4x4 forum as suggested, also note that the "control"  is showing them one fridge and you are welcome to proceed.

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7 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

The Botswana section of the SA 4x4 Community forum has fairly regular threads which can be used to get updates on current situations.

 

Regarding finalising bookings, there are a couple of booking agents in Maun who do a very good job of chasing these up for a very reasonable fee.

 

Unfortunately my last trip there was 10 years ago, so I don't know who the best is now, but somebody on the above forum would.

Thank you Peter, I will check that forum too.

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Africalover

For my taste,  you are rushing it to much. Always stay min. 2 nights each place to enjoy and enhance your chances to see something special and relax more. 
 

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On 10/23/2022 at 12:20 PM, JPS said:

 

Day 4. Explore Chobe and Drive to Savuti Campsite

I personally would change one day with Ihaha with Savuti or Khwai north gate camp. Also note that Ihaha has a bad history with robberies, not saying that it will happen but just that you are aware of it, check the latest updates on this one.

 

Day 5. Savuti safari drives.

 

Day 6. Khwai Riverfront.  (try more days at Khwai river front)

Day 7. Moremi game reserve, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.

Day 8. Moremi, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.

I like both camps, staying at third bridge try to get camp 4, it is small and then you are you sure that you are camping private.

Day 9. Okavango delta, Boat safari, sleep at Xakanaxa or Third Bridge Camp.

I prefer to take the boat via Xakanaxa

Day 10. Drive to Maun, resupply and sleep there at a Lodge. ¿Suggestions? Don’t sleep at a lodge at Maun? Return the same day and sleep at South gate camp and explore the black pools area, amazing place. If you insist on resting in Maun there are some nice places, I stay usually at Audi camp at late arrival.

Day 11. Drive from Maun to Kubu island and Camping.

Day 12. Kubu island and drive from to Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Crossing through the Sua Pan to also visit Greens Baobab, camping at Khama Rhino Sanctuary.

Day 13. Visit the Khama sanctuary, Tracking Rhinos activity, sleep there camping.

Khama Rhino camping is a nice stopover, I would not stay two nights and would add one night more in Moremi. (or skip Rhino camping and stay two nights more in Moremi)

Day 14. Drive back to Maun and sleep there Lodge. Suggestions?

Many good places to stay in Maun, I often make use of Audi camp.

 

Hope this helps

 

Cheers,

 

Johan

 

Thanks Johan. I will probably follow  most of your suggestions. Appreciate it.

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On 10/26/2022 at 4:39 PM, Africalover said:

For my taste,  you are rushing it to much. Always stay min. 2 nights each place to enjoy and enhance your chances to see something special and relax more. 
 

I see that is a main concert of most of you. I will see how to replan to take it slower even if I have to give up Khama.

Thanks!

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Alex The Lion

If possible, I would look to go on a mobile from Day 10 - 14.

 

There are two untouched areas of Moremi that only mobile operators really benefit from, which is Blackpools and Xini. Yes, you can drive from South Gate, but it is a bit of trek to get to both.

 

I would stay at the Blackpools Boga site, which is only available to operators.

 

I got back over the weekend having spent 12 nights between Xini and Blackpools, it was bliss. We probably saw only one/two vehicles per day, and the self-drives could only really visit during the day due to having to get back to South Gate. My one trip to Third Bridge sent chills down my spine with multiple vehicles etc.

 

In terms of game viewing, the plains game was pumping. Predator wise we saw:

 

90 individual lions (we averaged around 15 per day)

60 Wild Dog across 5 packs (though there is a lot of flux with the "Chaos Pack")

7 Cheetah

Leopard.

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Hi Alex, that amount of predators around black pools sound great! I will add it to our plan. Thanks!

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