Self-drive through Botswana - Moremi and Chobe

May 14th, 2011, 04:37 PM
  #1  
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Self-drive through Botswana - Moremi and Chobe

We are planning a self-drive trip through Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe from June 15 - July 27. We are picking our 4x4 truck and camping gear in Pretoria and heading north from there. One of the routes we are considering is to head over to Maun (Botswana) and head NE through the western edge of Moremi Wildlife Reserve and up to Muchenje/Ngoma in Chobe Forest Reserve/NP. We would then cross over into Zambia at Ngoma Bridge.

We are wondering about the state of flooding in Moremi - I've read that the flooding is higher than usual this year. We would be travelling through Moremi and Chobe around the 3rd week of June. Does anybody know how the 4x4 trails are in these areas (or expect them to be in 3rd week of June)?

Also, we considered travelling this route (but in reverse order) 2 years ago when we were travelling in the area, but ended up not taking this route because we were told that all of the public campsites were fully booked and we wouldn't be able to make it through the entire route (from Kasane to Maun) in one day - this would have been around the end of July 2009. Any comments/thoughts on availability of campsites around the 3rd week of June? The campsites we'd be considering would be South Gate, North Gate, Third Bridge or Xakanaxa in Moremi and Savute in Chobe.

Thanks!
d_and_dtravels is offline  
May 14th, 2011, 06:28 PM
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From what I understand, your chances of cobbling together camping itinerary on that route is bleak.
luangwablondes is offline  
May 14th, 2011, 09:33 PM
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Hi LB - in my other post on the Zambia forum, you recommended that we go through Botswana and enter Zambia at Katima Mulilo, rather than Kazangula. Which route were you recommending to get us through Botswana and up to Katima Mulilo? We are not interested in, nor do we have the budget to stay at, high-end safari camps. My impression from your website and other entries on these forums was that you do a lot of self-driving, so I imagine that you have some good routes for self-drivers?
d_and_dtravels is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 02:02 AM
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Have you tried phoning DWNP in Botswana for campsite availability? You never know, sometimes there are cancellations, and if you could at least get Savute you would have a more interesting trip through Moremi/Chobe. Otherwise from SA you could head straight for Kasane via Nata. The 4x4community website has a lot of up to date information on road conditions in Moremi.
tockoloshe is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 06:03 AM
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If you want to try to book campsites on your own, read what is on this page. www.maunselfdrive4x4.com/dwnpreservations.htm The DWNP does not manage any campsites in that route you wanted since the privatization of their campsites started in October of 2009.
luangwablondes is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 06:13 AM
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I have driven around East and Southern Africa more then most people. If you want I can suggest an itinerary taking in consideration the possible issues of availability of campsites along the way. It certainly will not include the popular stretch Moremi - Savute - Chobe. That should have been booked a long time ago. The DWNP limits the number of people and vehicles in the parks.
luangwablondes is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 06:31 AM
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Sorry - lapse of concentration there, forgot that DWNP don't handle bookings in Moremi now - I'll leave you in LB's capable hands.
tockoloshe is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 09:32 AM
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Hi LB (and tockloshe). Thanks for your thoughts. LB, I have taken a look at the maunselfdrive website and we will make some calls to see if it is at all possible to find some cancellations. We are pretty tenacious and are willing to give it a try. We were told on our last trip in July 2009 that most of the campsites in Moremi/Savute get booked early by SA overlander companies, but that they don't always show up, so you never know.

However, that being said, we would appreciate your alternative route suggestions for travelling from SA to Zambia through Botswana. Originally, we were just going to transit through Botswana and focus on Zambia, but if you have some interesting routes incorporating camping that you can suggest, we are certainly interested. As previously mentioned, we do have self-drive experience, having driven over 8,000 km in 2009 through SA, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana (Chobe) and Mozambique. So we have experience driving on 4x4 trails and will come fully prepared (although are conscious of the fact that we are only a single vehicle, not travelling with other vehicles).

Thanks!
d_and_dtravels is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 08:19 AM
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Lots of options. This is kind of late in the planning stage. If there is no conflict with TA, it would be easier to email or PM directly so you can start finalizing your itinerary. Then post back here what route you settled on.
luangwablondes is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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Too bad you can't be in Kasane or Maun on the June 13th.
luangwablondes is offline  
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