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Self drive April Kasane - Savuti - North Bridge - Third Bridge - Muan

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Feb 22nd, 2012, 11:51 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Self drive April Kasane - Savuti - North Bridge - Third Bridge - Muan

We're planning a self drive (hilux + all the gear, satellite phone & GPS) starting in Namibia 31st March for 15 days round trip to Windhoek through Botswana;

31    Windhoek - Etosha - Okaukeujo
1      Etosha - Namutoni
2      Etosha - Namutoni
3      Caprivi - Ngepi
4      Caprivi - Mazambala
5      Caprivi - Mazambala
6      Kasane - Chobe safari lodge
7      Kasane - Chobe safari lodge
8      Chobe - Savuti Camp
9      Chobe - Savuti Camp
10    Chobe - North Bridge
11    Moremi - 3rd Bridge Camp
12    Moremi - 3rd Bridge Camp
13    Moremi - 3rd Bridge Camp
14    Gobabbis - khalahari Bush Breaks
15    Windhoek

We've done a fair bit of research & also managed to book all of the accommodation ourselves over the last week (think it's lucky it's the off season).
Hoping that despite being the off season it will be good...

Main bit that i'd like some advice on is Kasane - Savuti - North Bridge - Third Bridge - Muan
We're only a lone vehicle & whilst I've had mixed reports - would love to make this route. The missus is starting to get nervous & I'm seeking some advise
I managed to phone Muan self drive & they seemed to think it's 'fine' (guess that's all relative when you live there!) now & should be then but any advice would be great...
nomadicblood is offline  
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Feb 22nd, 2012, 04:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,367
If they say you will be ok, don't worry. Maun self drive
4x4 sends lots of people year round on that route. Take your time doing the water crossings. Get out and walk it to be sure of best path.
luangwablondes is offline  
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Feb 22nd, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,367
Btw, walking it means to walk the path of each set of wheels, not the center of the vehicle or walk across and then retrace your steps. Sounds goofy, but lots of people do something like that. You don't want to drive into deep water and flood the engine or get stuck in a 'hole'. This is more important instructions for you because the hilux doesn't sit as high as land rovers and land cruisers, the more common vehicles used on these tracks.
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Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
You don't say exactly what your concern is - water crossings? deep sand? We (lone vehicle, two almost seniors!) drove the route (from Maun to Kasane) in early October and it was fine. The area north of North Bridge was still closed due to high water levels so, to reach Khwai from Third Bridge, we had to detour via the village of Mababe - not as pretty and longer, but an easy detour. In October, the rangers were driving through the water, but they were still advising everyone else to go around via Mababe. By now, the water levels should have dropped significantly but, if not, it is easy enough to take the detour. The deep sand, while slow, was not a problem. We found the rangers (at each gate) most helpful in terms of giving us advice on what roads to take and which to avoid - they marked the ones to avoid on our maps for us. Be certain to ask for their input when you enter each park.

Below is the link to our trip report and photos - there are photos of Third bridge, Savuti and the roads. Pity you are not staying at the Khwai Community campsite - it is beautiful. Wonderfully isolated!

Have a wonderful trip - we love Moremi and Chobe! Tell the missus not to worry - you will have a great trip! If my DH and I can do it, anyone can! CR

PS. If it were me, I would drop a night at the Chobe Safari Lodge and spend it at the Ihaha campsite on the Chobe riverfront (despite the bandits) - see photos in the report.

http://bert-and-bin.smugmug.com/Trav...0148040_sCzBLk
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Feb 24th, 2012, 10:10 AM
  #5
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Just what i wanted to hear guys - thanks!

Nice advice luangwablondes - thanks

canadian_robin my main concern is takling something that is not advised for the time of year i'm going & i end up getting stuck in wild country for days! Having said that now thanks your & others advise i'm feeling much more at ease! Good tips & plan on reading through your report this weekend!

I'll be sure to follow up with an update after the trip unless people leave more comments which would be welcome!
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Feb 24th, 2012, 11:08 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Since you will have a satellite phone, help will always be at hand. Just make certain you know how to make a call, and that you have the phone number of Maun 4x4.

Assuming you will have an Iridium sat phone: to make a call from the sat phone, you dial 00, then the country code, area code and phone # of the whoever you are trying to reach (Maun 4x4, family etc,). Very easy!

For family to call you on the sat phone, they will dial 011, then 8816 (the country code for the iridium sat network) and then the 8-digit # of the sat phone. Again, very easy!

Thanks to contaminated diesel, we had vehicle difficulties in Zambia this past October. As a result, we made good use of our sat phone and had no difficulty getting help.

Maun 4x4 has a good reputation, and they wouldn't send you into the bush if they didn't believe the conditions are safe - especially given that you are driving one of their vehicles.

I will look forward to reading your report. Have a wonderful time! CR
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