Botswana self-drive cost breakdown

Old Sep 10th, 2007, 12:54 AM
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Robin -

There are on petrol stations between Maun and Kasane, so make sure you have topped up when you leave Maun. the Longrange fuel tank + 2 cans should be enough. In any case the Ihaha campsite is about 30km from Kasane, so you should be able to drive down to Kasane to get more fuel if you need to.

Depending on how easy it might be to source a 3rd can, get one if you can. You can never have too much fuel. Driving in deep sand cant be very fuel efficient and if you need to stick to the low range box for long periods, thats additional fuel consumed.
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 05:56 AM
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Actually, a fire in Kasane just gutted one of the two or three fuel stations in Kasane. So you should probably have extra jerry cans just in case there is a shortage. Especially with all the Zimbabweans crossing the border to buy fuel.
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 05:57 AM
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Thanks for the input! I will request a minimum of 3 jerry cans!
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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Soooo....We have just received our final itinerary from Safari Drive. For Moremi, we had originally requested 2 nights at Third Bridge (in addition to 2 nights at Xakanaxa and 2 at Khwai), but Safari Drive advised us against staying at Third Bridge because of the baboons. We were disappoiunted because Bradt and everyone raves about the site, but decided we should follow their advice. Now that SD has actually made our bookings, it seems that Xakanaxa is rather booked up - even in August 2008 - so SD have put us 1 night at Xakanaxa (all we could get), 2 nights at Third Bridge and 2 nights Khwai. I actually am pleased that they had to put us at Third bridge because I wanted to stay there in the first place.

My question is....Just how bad are the baboons at Third Bridge? We certainly encountered many baboons during our year in SA and I actually had a baboon snatch some food right out of my hand in Kruger. We also had a large troop of some 25 baboons take over our cabin in the De Hoop Nature Reserve while we were out at the beach for the day - we left the doors and windows closed but didn't realize that they knew how to turn door knobs and open doors - silly us - they had trashed the place by the time we returned. We managed to scare them out of the house, but the two large males were just a tad scary and very intimidating! For the rest of our stay, the baboons circled our cabin every morning and evening, hoping that we would be stupid a second time - no such luck for them - we had learned our lesson! So we are not inexperienced when dealing with baboons...

Are there things we can do to keep the baboons away from our campsite - other than the obvious, keep all food in the vehicle and the doors to the vehicle locked - don't leave food unattended etc? Since we will be in a roof-top tent, we will never be leaving our campsite unattended, so we don't have to worry about them raiding the tent while we are out game driving. I have read that baboons are terrified of snakes and that a couple of rubber snakes left around the site will keep them at bay. Is this true? Any other suggestions?

Another question - we requested that SD make our campsite bookings for Moremi mid last month (August)- SD told us that they couldn't book for August 2008 until 1st Septmber 2007 - 11 months in advance of when we planned to camp. If SD were booking for us on the first date that the Moremi sites became available for booking, how on earth was Xakanaxa already full? Do people/tour operators line up on the first day of each month to book sites? I realize that August is peak season, but do sites really fill up on the first day? I had read that you could book 12 months in advance, but SD told us only 11 months in advance - perhaps SD was incorrect in telling us that we couldn't book until 1st September for August 2008? Pity if that were the case because we were ready to book in August. At least we got in - and we are quite happy with what we got as long as the baboons don't make our lives a misery at Third Bridge! I read one trip report where a couple cut their visit to TB short because of the baboons.

Would appreciate your suggestions. Thanks! Robin
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 03:44 PM
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Get a can of pepper spray-- that advertises some distance. Make sure you are upwind from the buggers and give them a wiff. Get a couple cheap slingshots and leave them out for baboons to see. Usually they have had some bad experiences from SAfricans. These guys can be cheeky and come down outa the trees and steal those too, when you aren't looking.

Also, try to avoid parking directly under the big trees at 3rd Bridge- although that is pretty much the camp.
I prefer the sites near the bridge itself. The sites further away is where I have had baboons in the trees when I was there. Maybe someone else can relate a different experience.

Which campsite did you get at 3rd Bridge? Savute?
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Old Sep 13th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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Hi Luangwablondes! Good question! I have no idea what campsite #'s we have been assigned to - I will ask SD - our itinerary doesn't tell us. I should have thought of pepper spray - we carry it with us when hiking in bear country. Sling shots are also a great idea - although my aim leaves a lot to be desired. I have seen park rangers using them in SA! Thanks! Robin
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Old Sep 13th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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You don't need to be a good shot. Just the sight of the slingshots should get them excited and cause them to move on. First overland trip from SA to Kenya, I used to lay a slingshot out for the vervet monkeys and baboons to see, and that would be the end of any potential problems--- till at Lake Nakuru, Kenya. One cheeky baboon waited all of 2 seconds till my back was turned and stole it. It was such an idyllic spot too.
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Old Sep 13th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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They are cheeky, aren't they? Did you just make your own slingshots or do they have to be a little more professional/official looking for the baboons to recognize or feel threatened by them? Where on earth does one purchase a slingshot?
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Old Sep 13th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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Thats right. You're starting in Maun. Might as well bring it from home. Or email Shoprite Maun and ask if they stock them. You can google that for the email address. IF you have T4A map, its easy to find.

I used to start looking in Zimbabwe for children that made slingshots along the side of the road or at places where curios were sold.Not really very good, but as long as the baboons kept their distance, what did I care. Botswanans aren't as industrious as other Africans are in general. I rarely could find the local handiwork in that country like in other East and Southern African countries.
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Old Sep 17th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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Thanks Luangwablondes! I will look for a slingshot here! I must say, this trip is certainly expanding my horizons - and I haven't even left yet! Robin
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Old Sep 27th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Found a slingshot at good old Canadian Tire - of course, I am probably now flagged by the RCMP as a potential terrorist because of my purchase.... and because I have been scanning hunting suppliers for a good floodlight! Hmmm!

We are thinking of purchasing a new GPS for our self-drive trip through Moremi and Chobe. Any suggestions as to which Garmin? - simple, but does all that is required, including allowing us to use the T4A maps? Thanks! Robin
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