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Pictures - Self drive: Nxai Pan, Moremi & Chobe - August 2008

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Nov 23rd, 2008, 04:52 PM
  #21
 
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Carrie, totally agree. I have one friend who loves safari, and she is a great travel buddy but is a bit of a worrier. She would never, ever sign on for self-drive without several nervous breakdowns. And that's without me mentioning the possibility of automobile breakdowns.
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Nov 23rd, 2008, 04:55 PM
  #22
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It's a tough situation you're in - I don't know what to suggest. Maybe someone on this forum will have an idea. I am lucky to have a husband/travel companion who shares my passion for these trips! Robin
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Nov 23rd, 2008, 05:01 PM
  #23
 
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Robin, maybe you or tockoloshe hit this point somewhere and I've forgotten, but what did you or your husband do if nature called after you were tucked in for the night up in the little rooftop tent?
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Nov 23rd, 2008, 05:17 PM
  #24
 
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I'm actually not too worried about the possibility of break-downs...I'm pretty independent and capable of taking care of things (I've changed tires, etc.). What would worry me more is basic safety (not from animals necessarily but from people) and also the sand mentioned...I don't know what I would do if I got stuck and couldn't get out (although, I guess that's why you have the phone, right?). Robin, if your husband got stuck in the sand, how would you help him? would you try and push?

Other than those concerns, I actually think it might be very nice to be out there alone - time to think and do your own thing on your own schedule and just enjoy it all without someone else there to drive you crazy.

Leely2, at least you have someone who is pretty compatible for regular safari-type trips. I do agree that the self-drive type trip wouldn't be for a worrier. That's why no one I know could do the self-drive ;-)

Carrie
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Nov 24th, 2008, 06:13 AM
  #25
 
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canadian,
I so enjoyed your photos and commentary. What a wonderful trip.
Beautiful to look at and so informative.
Give your DH a pat on the back for us and tell him well done.
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Nov 24th, 2008, 06:27 AM
  #26
 
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Robin,
Will read through your report thoroughly now with the map for reference and hold you to your promise of the next one!

Carrie,
I too think it's a difficult trip to do on your own, though I am loathe to say it, being quite independent myself. I can empathise with the idea of spending time on your own, that bit I could see myself doing, but the practicalities are quite daunting. Even if you can deal with a mechanical breakdown it’s better to have back-up, even if it’s just someone to keep an eye out for wildlife. And 2 heads are better than one when it comes to problem-solving – shall we get stuck crossing that bit of river or that one?? When we got stuck in sand it took both of us some heavy work to dig ourselves out – of course the problem would be the same for 1 or 2 people, if you’re stuck you’re stuck, and would have to wait and hope for help, but two of you can at least keep each other’s spirit up! (we didn’t have a phone so made sure we had sufficient supplies for several days in case such a thing happened). If you’re alone doing all the driving it’s difficult to drive and look out for animals, you’d miss a lot if you’re driving without a ‘spotter’. As Robin said, setting up camp could be done by one person, but sharing the workload halves the time it takes. As for sharing a tent, you can get a Toyota double-cab (like ours) with 2 tents on top, only canvas between you but you’d have your own private space.

Leely,
I often had to answer the call of nature in the night, the more I told myself not to the more I would need to! The advice is not to leave the tent after dark but it’s not always possible! We were usually a long way from the ablutions (when there were any) so had to use the ‘bush toilet’. We found that it was best to make some noise rather than try to do it quietly, that way you don’t surprise anything lurking around, and if you make a noise then animals will look in your direction, so you can shine a torch around and look for shining eyes looking back at you! And be as quick as you can! Could be a bit of a problem on the more crowded campsites, when a vigilant camper might shine his torch in your direction thinking you are a pachyderm on the rampage...! Apologies to readers of a more delicate disposition.
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Nov 24th, 2008, 07:04 AM
  #27
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Carrie:
I agree with Tockoloshe - one of us would watch for wildlife while the other digs. If it came to pushing, I would have Robert push while I steered!! Also the "two heads are better than one" is so true - we debated water, bridge and mud crossings amongst other things. I also find that I don't have as much opportunity to enjoy the scenery and game viewing when I am driving - too busy watching the road, even when crawling along. It is nice to be able to share the driving. Tockoloshe's idea of two tents might be a good compromise - I know that Safari Drive only puts one tent on the roof of their vehicles - if there are 3 or 4 people, they provide a ground tent.

Leely:
We tried to avoid getting up at night but that wine at dinner...lethal! When I did get up, we would check the area with our floodlight and then - as Tockoloshe said - skip the ablution block and stay near the 4x4.

Cybor:
Thank you! I will pass your message on to Robert.
Robin
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Nov 24th, 2008, 04:46 PM
  #28
 
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I didn't know that they had models with two tents...hummm...now to find someone who isn't a worrier! Luckily I have a couple years to try and find someone since I'm going to Europe in 2009 (planned before I did my safari otherwise the self-drive may have bumped Italy).

Robin, did you like the time of year that you went on this trip or, now that you're back, would you have chosen a different month to travel?

Carrie
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Nov 25th, 2008, 09:45 AM
  #29
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We tend to go to southern Africa in the dry season, when the animals congregate around the waterholes, making viewing easier. However, at that time, it is very dry and dusty and the landscape is a tad brown. The nights can also be quite cool if you are camping. Sometime, I would love to view southern Africa's game parks in the green season. Robin
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Feb 10th, 2012, 10:01 PM
  #30
 
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Thank you so much. I have found my trip to Botswana with your help. I so do not want the "luxury" version. How exciting. I am encouraged.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 03:06 AM
  #31
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Glad to be of help! I have just returned (Oct/Nov 2011) from my second self-drive through Botswana - I will be posting photos and a report shortly. CR
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Jun 14th, 2012, 09:00 PM
  #32
 
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Hi Robin,

I am so thrilled to have found your Smugmug postings, they have been so helpful and informative! Thank you for posting such great photos and practical information.

I am hoping you can help me with an issue. We are planning a trip, October 2012, the same time as your last trip.

Due to a tight schedule (Americans with little vacation time!) we would like to drive from Kasane to Maun in one day. Do you think this is possible, taking the route through the National Parks?

Many people suggest we take the road via Nata, but I would much rather take the more scenic route through the parks. We will be driving a Toyota Hilux 4X4, 2 of us in one vehicle, neither very mechanically inclined. The vehicle does have an extra fuel tank and 2 spare tires, etc.

I have asked the advice of our vehicle rental company, based in Swakopmund, Namibia, but they always say they will get back to me, and they never do.

I am hoping you can provide me some insight since you did the same route at the same time of the year recently.

Thank you for any advice you can provide.

Kind Regards,
Jim
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Jun 14th, 2012, 09:37 PM
  #33
 
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Hi Jim
It is not worth the attempt.I drove it once, from Kasane to Maun. Left before the sun was up and arrived at about 9PM. I have driven this many times before and didn't need a map. I would not advise anyone to do this. Without a doubt, keep to the highways and go via Nata. It will still take you most of the day.
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Jun 15th, 2012, 08:25 PM
  #34
 
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Thanks Luangwablondes,

It was not what I wanted to hear, as I was looking forward to driving thru the parks, but the more I have read, the more I realized doing this in one day was not practical, so we will take the highway via Nata. Thanks for the advice.

We will be purchasing Tracks4Africa, but as we have not purchased it yet I have been relying on Google Maps, which, at least in this case, appear to be very inaccurate! Google Maps indicated the drive to be 5 hours! I am hoping that will not turn out to be the case for the rest of the itinerary I have planned.

We will be leaving Kasane on the 21st and need to arrive in Swakopmund no later than the 24th. I know it will involve a lot of driving, but I am hoping our previous 10 days from Swakopmund to Kasane will have been pretty easy, to make up for the “mad rush” of the last few days.

I wish we had more time!

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, I appreciate the advice.
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Jun 25th, 2012, 02:23 AM
  #35
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Hi Jim! My apologies - I have been away, so I missed your post.

I agree with luangwablondes - I would not attempt Kasane to Maun through the parks in a day. It would be a very long day, and you would have to drive fast enough that it wouldn't be possible to appreciate the parks/wildlife.

Who are you renting your vehicle from? I would be a little concerned if the company is not responding to your emails. Hopefully, they will be more responsive if your vehicle suffers a breakdown.

If you need an overnight stop between Maun and Swakopmund, I would recommend Edo's Camp near Ghanzi - one of the busiest waterholes we have ever experienced, including lots of rhino. Here is the link to our latest Botswana/Zambia adventure - it is a work in progress, but the Botswana portion is complete. Enjoy! Robin

http://bert-and-bin.smugmug.com/Trav...0148040_sCzBLk
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