Driving Botswana..Cool Video Inside


Jan 31st, 2012, 08:31 AM
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Driving Botswana..Cool Video Inside

A great self drive video...showing the highs and lows of traveling to Africa...especially flying.

Thumbs up on the music as well....

scootr29 is offline  
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Feb 1st, 2012, 02:40 AM
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Composition-wise (music included) it's great. But I honestly am not that convinced that it was good planning.

First of all, why fly via Dakar and Jo'Burg? I think they could have done with one flight less: first to Germany (Frankfurt), and then to Namibia directly. I think by doing so they'd also have avoided the passport issue (Schengen agreement states that tourist visa for country of destination s enough for ppl in transit, but I could be wrong on this).

Secondly, and this is typical: wanting to cover too much in too little time.
I'm not even counting the first drive of 900 km from Namibia straight to Maun (even though it looks silly to go to Namibia for a vehicle and then not staying there at all and even though it was at night, which is madness after all that flying. But I think that's because they arrived three hours late).
I'm actually referring to the other things I see:
- Almost all the time he was driving too fast IMHO. Too fast to spot anything. Three countries, two weeks, not seen a single cat. Also; a lot of scared elephants. If you speak to experienced guides in that area (like Ewan Masson), that's their biggest complaint towards self-drivers. "Give Ellies time, and they will not react at all to your presence" is what he told me. We never got ellie behavior like in this movie.
- Distances-to-cover are obviously too big. "We have to get there before sunset" is what I heard a lot. He even skips parts that are really beautiful. I've seen no footage of the waterholes in Savuti. And at the Chobe river, when I was thinking "finally he can go slow on a nice stretch along the river" ...he chooses the inner road to speed across the Zim border to go bungee jumping on the bridge! Too bad, as that drive along the river is fantastic, especially the western parts where the jeeps from all the lodges (located on the eastern border of Chobe) don't come.

I hope this trip is not "standard" for self-drivers...


pixelpower is offline  
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Feb 1st, 2012, 02:14 PM
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Maybe the flight thru Germany was booked or too expensive...maybe they had frequent flyer points.

I agree that he seemed to be a mission and that there was too much going on.....

Oh well...different ideas and different thinking is what makes us unique.

Got to give them credit for effort...
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 02:59 AM
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I must confess to watching only the first 30 minutes of the video, but what I did watch I found painful. The self-drive seems more about rushing from one place to the next and covering great distances, rather than enjoying the safari and the sights along the way. The distances covered in a day were incredibly long, resulting in very little time to enjoy the experience. I agree with pixelpower, the self-drivers were driving much too fast to see much of anything, and likely endangering animals in the process. Most of the video seems to be about the (deep sand) roads, not the wildlife. It shows two blatant examples of breaking park rules: there are many shots of vehicle drive-bys, where one or the other person is filming from an amazingly long distance from the vehicle, given that they are in prime predator country; there are also shots where they are out of the vehicle when there are animals very nearby - the shot with the giraffe, for example. I cringe when I watch videos like this because it is exactly this sort of behaviour (driving too fast, wandering too far from your vehicle, breaking the silhouette of the vehicle when there are animals nearby) that gives self-drivers such a poor reputation. Botswana is in the process of bringing in some new restrictions on self-drivers in Chobe National Park, and it is exactly this kind of behaviour that they used to justify the new rules. Arrrggghhhh! End of rant! CR
canadian_robin is offline  
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 06:01 AM
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CR summarized it a bit better than I did (and can). I even forgot to mention the fact that they are getting out of their vehicle! But indeed, I had noticed that too.
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