I should have written this post a long time ago. I’m sorry. But things have been hectic, making travel arrangements, getting Covid tests done, crossing borders. It has all been very stressful and so unsure. So many continuous changes, so many sources of information to follow, so many sources of misinformation…
Well I am now in Botswana officially the third country on the 5410Africa list and the first one that will be officially crossed off the list once I leave. South Africa will not be finished this year and I am heading back to Namibia end of this year. But Botswana will be done, well theoretically at least. I would have loved to do things differently i.e. spend more time with the locals, in their homes, travel slower and longer. It is what it is and will probably be like this for a while longer.
The longer we continue to live with this pandemic and now the scary third wave that is hitting Southern Africa, the more I am at peace with the decision to postpone going fulltime. Who knows what the future holds? All that is definite is that I am in Botswana and will be here for at least another four weeks.
So what is the plan? I travelled to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park from 14-18 June and usually one would be able to cross directly into Botswana from there. Transfrontier park: park that extends across a border over more than one country. In this case South Africa and Botswana. Unfortunately, due to covid the border posts within the park are not open hence one needs to exit where you entered.
I lost three days as I needed to exit on the South Africa side, to a second PCR covid test and then drive 650km to the nearest working border which in this case was Kopfontein/Tlokweng. From there it was a mere hour to Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. A night there and I was on my way to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (KRS). I can definitely recommend this place. A blog post will follow.
On to the Makgadigadi Pans National Park which I entered from Khumaga crossing the Boteti river by ferry on the western side. I spent a night camping at the Khumaga camp site before heading to the Nxai Pan National Park 70km to the North. Don’t be fooled by the distances in Botswana. Driving in the parks are usually on heavy thick sand with average speeds of 15-20km/h.
I camped on the South Campsite of the Nxai Pans for three nights before heading north to Chobe via one night at the Nata Lodge. I now feel rejuvenated after two nights on a comfy double bed at the Chobe Safari Lodge complete with AC, Wifi and breakfast in the morning. Today I arrived at the Mowandi View in Chobe for a night of camping.
The next seven days will be spent exploring Chobe, Savuti and Moremi before reaching Maun. This is where my itinerary ends, but I still have another 14 days left in Botswana. A pretty good predicament to be in.
I am thinking of heading up to the Tsodilo Hills, then work my way back to Gaborone via the Makgadigadi eastern sid, the Central Kalahari Park and out through Kutse. That’s is about 3 days each. The 14 days does not include 3 days I’ve set aside for crossing the border and travelling back to Cape Town. Exciting times ahead, but busy, unpredictable, and stressful at the same time.
All I know for sure is that I am in Botswana. Everything else can change in the wink of an eye!
Nick fr Namibia