Fly & drive in the paradise of Botswana

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

Author and references

A journey that started from South Africa to also touch Namibia in 4000 kilometers of deserts and parks in search of the people of the bush and the big five.

For about ten years we had been planning a trip to Botswana, an unknown land that is difficult to face if you don't have a swollen wallet. Few information is available online and especially on "Western" channels. Many offers from agencies with prices starting from six zeros per day.
The first project involved Namibia to touch the land of the San for a couple of days. But the impervious roads of the Parks, accessible only to 4x4s, have diverted us to a ring of four thousand kilometers inside the Kalahari desert.
We discovered for ourselves how easy it is to travel to Botswana and Namibia (a previous trip), two very hospitable countries where it is not "dangerous" to travel alone and for both sexes. Are there more? equipment than is found on the net, even very cheap, can you? always pay by credit card and everyone gives you a hand to solve problems. But be careful, there are many kilometers and a good supply of drinking water and a full tank are essential.
Botswana? a nation of 600 thousand square kilometers (about a square with sides of a thousand kilometers, by extension twice Italy), straddling the Tropic of Capricorn, on a plateau of about 1000 meters, despite not having the sea nearby, the its climate? tempered with temperatures that do not rise above 30? during the day and can drop below 10? at night, but with humidity? very low and considered desert due to the scarce rains. The attractiveness? Delta dell'Ovavango, the river disperses in the desert after 1600 kilometers of walking through Angola and Caprivi (Namibia). There are many parks, huge and impenetrable, such as the Chobe, the Moremi and the Kalahari divided by the Lonely Planet into 25 distinct areas.
As said we have changed more? times the travel schedule in the last six months prior to departure. We chose the month of May, low season but out of the rainy season. First of all we searched for three days in Moremi and found a cheap Lodge (so to speak as it cost us a quarter of the entire trip) and a tented camp. Then the flight to Johannesburg, a 4x4 (essential to access the Parks) and then planned the route to take. Few alternatives since c '? only a ring with its diameter to trace the asphalt road within the nation. We were interested in visiting the Bushmen who live in their "primitive" state only in some remote areas of the Kalahari. So we decided to stop in Ghanzi and Tsumkwe in Namibia, to return to South Africa through the "diamond road".
But the heavy rains of March and April, which even the elderly do not remember so? abounded, they flooded roads and structures and the ok there? was given only a few hours before departure, putting the whole holiday at risk. In the end we got by with a cost of 2000 euros per person divided about a quarter for the car, a quarter for two days of Safari at the Moremi, a quarter for the flight and a quarter for sleeping and eating.

1 day

1? day - 11 May 2017
Egypthair (760 + 60 euro flight and insurance for two people) anticipates the flight at 14, we leave home at 10 to reach the Fiumicino car park (Alta Quota 2 to 30.60) then boarding and stopover in Il Cairo from 17.30 to 23.10 to land at 7.10. Six hours of stop in the capital that could have allowed us to visit the pyramids, but which we gave up due to the internal problems of attacks.

2 day

2? day - 12 May 2017
At the airport we are picked up by those of Britz (pick up 4x4 equipped for camping around 600 euros) to take us to the depot where we can pick up our Nissan NP300. Drive right and immediately onto the N1 and then take the N4 in Pretoria which leads directly to the border. Stop at Zeerust for lunch (9 euros for two) to get to the Skilpadshek border at 17 pm, quick entry procedures (paid the 13.67 euros car tax) and before night we stop at the Warm Hands Hotel in Kanye (55 euros the double). The tiredness? a lot, in bed without dinner.

3 day

3? day - 13 May 2017
At the first light of the sun we set off again, first stop in Kang for the full tank and immediately headed for Ghanzi in the long strip of asphalt that cuts the Kalahari desert in two. The view ? monotonous and the bush does not allow us to admire the view and the animals. If here the bell towers indicate the presence of a village, we realize that here are the very high mobile phone antennas to signal the inhabited areas. They were installed in the center of the villages to connect these human settlements to the world until a few years ago completely isolated from the rest of the world.
The Trailblazers Lodge (79 euros)? on the road before arriving in the city? surrounded by nature, they make us choose the "little house" where to stay,? large and comfortable with the bathroom inside. On the way we get holes, we call the Lodge where they leave immediately to come and help us, they change the tire in a few minutes.
They organize an excursion for us with the Bushmen of Xede (Kalahari center) when the sun starts to set. A bus of very young tourists from all over the world stopped at the campsite. Many of them are with us in the bush on the trail of the San. Shipping? composed of eight individuals: the elderly, the elderly, two young people a little more? than teenagers, two mothers with their respective children in their wombs (actually tied by skins behind their backs). Only the skins to cover the private parts, barefoot in the middle of the Savannah. Every now and then one of them stops to explain the "tricks" for survival, from their mouth comes a strange snap of the tongue in speaking, typical of this ethnic group. From healing herbs, including quinine against malaria that make us chew, to purifying ones. They also sketch hunting with the spear. On the move an unexpected stop. A scorpion? L? on the ground in their path. They carelessly avoid it. The translator-guide, on the other hand, stops. He instigates him with his stick in order to make him raise the sting swollen with poison, while with the pincers he tries to strike. They lie down and the young people try to light the fire with sticks. The first sparks fall on the straw which starts to smoke, it blows until it catches fire. The old woman takes out a kind of pipe and lights it with a couple of puffs. In the meantime, the young women have gone into the forest and come back with some wood on their heads. Serve? to light the fire in the evening in their "momentary" village a few kilometers from the Lodge. For dinner we move to the nearby Ghanzi where at the Kalahari Arms Hotel you can? eat à la carte (14 euros including Windhoek beer, our favorite). The Spar supermarket is closing, but they are nice and let us in. We buy something for the trip and we get an idea about the things that can be bought and their prices, it seems to us that there is everything you need and if you do not choose western brands, at very cheap prices. Let's go back that? deep night, only the full moon illuminates the horizon.

4 day

4? day - 14 May 2017
Start the day on the card pi? hard: 530 kilometers of which 190 of white road from 4x4, the navigator gives us? over 10 hours of walking. We open the map to evaluate the route and we realize that the last stretch of the border is missing. Panic arrives, there are at least no other paths that can be covered in a day. We set out with anxiety. We meet a police patrol and ask ... confirm that there is not? border. Yet on Google Earth we have seen it, we have flown over it to understand the difficulties? of the route, we also remembered the times (7-17). Could we have made a mistake like this? gross? In Sehthiwa, the last season of service along the route, we stop to refuel and they also confirm that there is no. the border. But now we have no other possibilities? than to tempt fate and continue the journey. In Nokaneng the fateful intersection we stop in a market and reassure us that the border c '? and? tightness The 150 kilometers that take us to Namibia are dusty but comfortable, just an uphill stretch? eroded by the rains and you have to zigzag between the wide chasms that have been created, but no problem for the 4x4. After Qangwa the road splits, c '? only one sign on the right goes to the camp. Convinced that it is a campsite, we continue on the road more? wide, but immediately we realize that this could be the intersection between the border and the junction for the caves of Drotsky's. In fact, a few kilometers and after a curve the border network. A small house on one side with a military tent next to it, four (bed) nets to act as a door, this is the gap between the two states. Before us a van in the opposite direction, three elderly women dressed in the party dresses of the Herero people with the unmistakable hats and bright colors are sitting in the chest. Only three cars had passed before us. In the middle ground a little man makes us get out, disinfects the car with us at the wheels with a pump that we use to give the acquaramata. The Namibian border post? pi? structured, c '? even the police office, with some blocks of flats, other Herero women are lined up in front of us. The street ? pi? large and well cared for. The 50 km that separate us from Tsumkwe can be covered in half an hour. The Tucsin Lodge (224 euros two nights more? meals) not? signaled, we ask for directions to the village, we reach it at lunchtime. Do they give us a house close to a pond that with heavy rains? become a real pond. A quick snack and a shower recharge our batteries. In the afternoon we go in search of the gas station, on the road we pass a little family of San, grandmother, mother and a string of children. We ask to visit their village, they tell us yes, but the road we realize that? long and we have no place in the car to accompany them. A police patrol follows us and asks us what we need. We try to explain, but in the end they understand that we want to go and visit a Bushman village. They escort us for about twenty kilometers to the crossroads for the village. The sun is setting and we decide to return the next day. Let's go back what? now night (the sun sets at 5.30 and 6? already? dark). We fill up before going home. Dinner ? ready, isn't there? WiFi, but they make us connect via lan to the network. We download the mail including the pass for the Moremi (which we print). We can choose between three different roasts: Lamb, Pork or Kudu. We have half a portion of Pork and a half of Kudu brought ... the surprise Kudu (we ate it in Namibia but in a totally different way)? great. The full moon is reflected in the pond right in front of us, let's try to immortalize it ... but the photos are not as good as reality.

5 day

5? day - 15 May 2017
We wake up that? still night, in Namibia they are an hour behind Botswana (same time as Italy). We have to wait to have breakfast, we set off again in search of the road indicated by the police, but first we stop at a tire shop to repair the tire we have punctured. While the little man works, we take the opportunity to talk to the passers-by of the villages. They tell us that there are many on the road (we read on the guide 36) but they all point us to the Museum to visit. We do not want to see reconstructions, like that of Ghanzi for example already? seen also in Namibia a few years ago, but of the real villages where the descendants of the people still live who 60 thousand years ago introduced the first society? modern as we had already? made in Tanzania by visiting the Hadzabe of Lake Eyasi. Knowing how he lives today, even if repudiated and marginalized by all ... in danger of extinction, forced to leave his own traditions of hunter-gatherers and above all the forest, to be incorporated into society. The Namibian government, on the project of the American director Johan Marshall, in 1980 granted this area, the Naye-Naye, where they can live following their own culture and customs. The villages are of the Ju 'Hoansi ethnic group and can still practice traditional hunting prohibited in Botswana.
We leave the main road to enter the harsh bush of the Baobab Trail, a ring interrupted by spring floods. After about ten kilometers you can see the huts and a satellite antenna stands out on a clearing, a pick-up truck parked near the hut. We are met by a boy who makes himself available to be an interpreter, despite being of another ethnicity and from another village. The first visit? to the Cape, which still sleeps, outdoors under colored blankets surrounded by a net to keep mosquitoes away. Only his slender arm pokes out, then his white head, while around him already? ? started the day with the daily rituals. Curious children come running, they want to be noticed even if in their shyness. Then slowly they melt away to the usual games. We move near a hut where there are women intent on the first day's work, while a boy makes cars with wire, he immediately shows us one like ours. The young mothers are nursing their babies, they all have a handkerchief on their heads and blankets on their shoulders. Do you not live anymore? with animal skins covering the private parts, but with fabrics and stuff remedied in supermarkets. We move with the children who are always in greater numbers. In one space there are four who are having breakfast, from the bowls they take some rice with their hands, careful that the dogs do not come near, for "man's friends" only the one that falls to the ground.
Yet another village with another Chief, on the ground a small photovoltaic panel that is used to recharge mobile phones. They all have a small plot of land, where they grow tobacco, corn, sweet potatoes and other foodstuffs. The Guide explains that they are very sympathetic to each other, they help each other between the villages by exchanging goods. Pi? distant the fences where the animals are still enclosed. The first ? that of the goats,? a little girl to open it to leave them free to graze. A newborn lamb is lost and looks for its mother, but has a hard time staying up and following the group. Tell us to go to the cow pen that? split the two to separate the dairy beasts. A cow has just given birth, still has the placenta hanging down, while the calf? all wet and looking for the first feed of his life. Still the smells are to surprise us, in the midst of all that manure they are completely absent. Barefoot children enter the pen amidst the animals, while the men watch. Then they open the fence and let them go into the bush. Watch out for the Mambas, the fatal snakes that claim victims in this area. They are not afraid even if they tell us that a child recently? died from his poisonous bite. They tell us how to deal with it if we spot it, only the idea gives us anxiety.
Village life? in full swing, behind a hut, in the shade, a woman taps pebbles to make them round, while an elderly person pierces them in the center, they will be the beads of the necklaces they sell to tourists (we buy two too). We don't feel like disturbing, Why? we see that everyone continues the usual life, the elderly do not want to be photographed while the children are the first to pose. Someone wants to see themselves on the camera monitor, laughs and then makes a sign of shame. Young women are keen to come well and bulge their breasts.
Hospitable and peaceful peoples for whom the hours fly by and not c '? want to leave them.
But another car comes, maybe other tourists, so we decide to say hello.
They are South African missionaries from Port Elizabeth who have come to bring the Word of God to this people ... Jehovah's Witnesses. We ask if there are other villages in the area, they tell us that there are? one a few kilometers away. We reach it,? the one marked on all the papers, they immediately tell us not to photograph and not to film. A woman comes to meet us to establish the rate, we do not agree both for the exorbitant request but above all Why? the previous visit had satisfied us more from all points of view ... human and logistic. The way out? interrupted, we have to go back and stop again to greet the children who are playing, the girls with ropes, the children with the swing that are the branches of a tree with elastic wood. As we turn on the car they come to greet us, their smiling faces will accompany us throughout the day.
A big Baobab? imposing in front of us, we stop in the clearing to photograph it.
We go back to the Lodge to eat something and take a nice refreshing shower, the temperatures have risen even if you don't sweat. In the afternoon we are again looking for villages, but everyone tells us to go to the Museum. The detour is about twenty kilometers from the town, on a road interrupted by the rains? a zig zag between the houses. The sun is about to set when we arrive. We see the village, a boy tells us to continue and stop in the parking area. He comes out of the forest all tired and asks us what we want to see. The program ? vast but it is necessary more? of the time we have before night falls. In an hour, more? attend traditional dances. He runs to the village to organize the "little theater", while another boy has joined us to entertain us. After about ten minutes the women arrive, with traditional clothes, that is? one skin in front and one on the shoulders to leave the breast uncovered. Behind them the children completely naked, on the ground the sand of the Kalahari which when raised becomes dust. Singing and dancing for over an hour in front of the fire, with temperatures starting to drop, like the sun. Smiles and ritual gestures follow one another, but the most? happy are the children who try to imitate the grown-ups. We leave the village that the sun? already? set and we reach the Lodge when? already? night. At dinner we ask for Kudu, but? finished, we opt for the Pig.

6 day

6? day - 16 May 2017
In the early hours of the day we are ready to move to Maun but we realize that a tire? to the ground. We ask for help from the staff of the Lodge, who with many difficulties? manages to raise the Pick up on the sand. We ask for the opening time of the crossing, but the answers are vague. Large breakfast and on the move, the tire dealer? still closed. We arrive at the border just after 7. The customs officer recognizes us and makes us fill up the paperwork quickly, so? as in the police command. Disinfection between the two "networks" and formalities? in Botswana, a few minutes, just the time to transcribe the car data and stamp the passport. The 190 kilometers of white road seem more? short, in the middle? along the way, a turtle cuts our way. We go down to photograph her and to help her get to the other side. We enter the paved road making chicane between the deep holes. Do we get to Maun when the sun is heaviest? and immediately looking for a tire dealer. We find one on the street, doesn't it even have electricity, the compressor? powered by car battery. But the work? meticulous and meticulous, without neglecting any detail. He gives us a part of the jack that was missing between the car's equipment, but the hole? pi? small of the iron and must be adapted. He shows us a blacksmith, with African slowness he learned with a drill to widen it and show his skill. There are some urgent things to do in the city. The first ? pay the entrance to the Moremi (25.83 including the car, but be careful Why? To enter you must have a reservation of stay), go shopping Why? where will we go? nothing, full and map (5.40) so as not to leave in the dark, finally find the hotel. We are curious about the idea of ​​taking a helicopter flight over the Delta, we look for an agency, but we are not satisfied with the price of $ 600 divisible by three if you find other travel companions. At the tourism agency we ask for the address of the hotel, they call and answer that they will come to pick us up. The Qhwigaba Guest House (60.14 euros)? about 7 km from the center on the road to Nata, a small villa with a patio where the doors of the rooms overlook. A refresh and go back to Maun where we shop at the Supermarket. Huge with about twenty boxes, on the bachi c '? all with an Italian. We have dinner at Pizza Debonairs (11.45 am) and then go back to the hotel.

7 day

7? day - 17 May 2017
It is still night when we set out for the South Gate of Moreni National Park. At Sankuyo the asphalted road ends, then the well-marked crossroads for the entrance. The staff tells us that there have been lions nearby at night and indicates on the map the area where they could be. With much regret he marks us on the map all the closed roads and the detours to be made, in the end the card looks like a cemetery full of crosses. We immediately decide to take a detour to look for the lions. Few, very few animals. Only the mongooses are abundant, they cross the road quickly, being careful not to get under the wheels. In the first pool is not there? no sighting. A short distance from the entrance to the main road, behind a bush, two lions. Let's try to see them from the other side, and we notice that in the next bush there are and are many. It is only the very young who get excited, they play with the tails of the adults. A family of 6 adults, 6 girls and 4 children. We stand still for an hour, then we decide to continue. But after a few kilometers we regret it bitterly, Why? other animals cannot be seen. An elephant cuts our way before reaching the first bridge. The second one ? not far away, we await the third where? positioned our campsite, we see the houses of the gate, but no bridge. At the entrance of the Third Bridge Camp Site (156 euros per night in the Lodge) two rangers await us, they want to see our documents and the reservation, we ask if you can? take a boat ride, they are very vague, must we? ask the "fishermen" who are now out. They tell us that our Lodge is called Lion and that the key? hanging on the door. The little house, a military tent mounted on a stilt structure with wooden doors,? the last of a series of five, in front of the barbecue and the reinforced concrete open space for accessing the fire. Inside, in addition to the two beds, there are two tables, a door at the bottom that leads to the toilet, again an opening this time with a tear, which lets you get out where there is? the sink and shower. The temptation ? too much, a shower in the middle of the Savannah and we don't give up. We hear the sound of the boat and go back to the Gate to ask for some information. There are two more cars waiting, two British couples from Oxford and Cambridge. They give us an appointment at 15.30 for two hours in Mokoro (40 euros) on the river delta. There? time to take a ride. We skirt the immense campsite, and a pool of water interrupts the journey. Before the Third Bridge? all flooded. There? a camp site to hang the laundry in front of the services facing the bridge. Do you reassure us that you can? pass, he did it more? times with a car like ours. We put the second, a thread of gas, and the pick-up sinks to the hood, and then goes up slowly, before taking the wood of the bridge. The heart yes? stopped for a few seconds. The way to go? short, why? the fourth bridge? just closed and you have to go back. We retrace the third bridge with pi? nonchalance, but fear? so much when the water gets to the windows,? just a moment and then resume the dry ground. We go back to the house with the English who confirm that they will come to take us for the tour in Mokoro. You go on foot to the river where? set up a small jetty, get on the aluminum boat and with the roar of the engines you will travel along the thousand bends of the river. It is the lotus flowers that enchant us, then the papyri, two giraffes on the shore. You can also see some small crocodiles before reaching a pond. Then the return with the setting sun and the inevitable photo with the star that falls among the vegetation. Not yet ? dark when we return and we find some boys playing volleyball among the gate houses. Do we equip the camping table supplied with the car, cool drinks, something bought at the supermarket and dinner? done. Let's go back to the tent before night, c '? a photovoltaic panel that powers a battery to give electricity even at night.

8 day

8? day - 18 May 2017
Breakfast on the fly and immediately set off before dawn. Just the light to see the road and yes? on the way back to the South Gate. First a small detour. On a clearing a stone's throw from a pond a large group of Baboons in the trees. They warm up in the first rays of the sun, the pi? chicks make evolutions among the branches. A trio of Ostriches, then Warthogs, then a Hippopotamus in a pool. Then an Elephant, then a group of Antelopes, Kudu and Zebras. Small stop at the Gate to take the road inside the Park that leads us to Khwai. The bush? high and does not allow us to see. We arrive at the North Gate at 13, cross the long bridge, to reach the Village, the Khwai Guest House (930 euros, two nights all inclusive even four safaris). They welcome us with a smile, offer us a coffee? and show us the accommodation. In the meantime they prepare us lunch, pasta with courgettes and carrots, the flavor doesn't? a great deal, but not? bad. The first safari? at 15.30 with us there will be a couple of young Americans and two German boys.
The ranger immediately leaves the main road to enter the Savannah, the first stop in a pond where there are numerous Marab ?, also an eagle on a dry branch. A male Elephant makes us understand that he does not want to be bothered and we do not make him nervous. The search for predators becomes insistent, but no one has found them. Almost sunset on the road there are two lionesses. They are lying on the ground as if to say "you can't go here". The "P? next to us he wakes up, raises his head and like a big cat begins to lick himself to wash his face. Then she gets up and walks towards the bush, immediately followed by her partner, while a lion appears from behind a tree. The three are quick to vanish among the tall vegetation. We can be considered lucky, even if c '? the awareness, and perhaps a bit of disappointment, about the few animals present. At sunset, we stop in a clearing where we have an aperitif and return to the Lodge with the car's access lights. There? just time for a shower ... dinner? ready. Then everyone in front of the fire to admire the stars.

9 day

9? day - 19 May 2017
At 6 they come to wake us up, a large breakfast and at 7 we are again looking for footprints. During the night, the roars of the Lions were heard, their traces are on the road leading to the Village. Let's try to follow them. We find two males in a clearing, lying down to rest. They give us half an hour of shots and films, then get up and disperse in the bush. We arrive in an area with many trees. A little head moves on the horizon on one of them. The ranger runs to get closer. It is a Leopard who, annoyed, first turns around and then gets off. We have about ten photos and a few minutes of video left, a good shot ... Shall we stop for a coffee? in front of a pond where several hippos are immersed. They are at a safe distance, they are dangerous and they hear every sound. They take turns going out with their nostrils out of the water to breathe. One of them approaches the shore and we wait for him to come out to look at the immense tonnage. Let's go back to the Lodge, c '? time to visit the village of Khwai and talk to the natives. They are friendly and let us visit their huts. Are two young boys the most? enterprising, they introduced us to their family and they show us how they make beer. An old woman weaves the rushes perhaps to prepare something to sell to tourists. The mud huts, where the cans stuck to the walls stand out, are mixed with the concrete ones, all colored with pastel colors. There? also a small shop where we go to photograph the products. There are basic foodstuffs, some biscuits and a lot of canned goods. A child with a whistle accompanies us,? barefoot on the sand, he keeps his slippers in his pocket. Near c '? even the school. We are told that the village has about eighty people, many of San origin. Lunch, siesta and again Safari. We cross almost the whole area to get to the north and skirt the Khwai River, here there are two Elephants on the banks. Not far from the campsites, an Elephant grazes next to the tents. Shall we take the main road back now? night and it starts to get cold. Two spotted hyenas cut our way, only with the headlights we see them. Cold we arrive at the Guest House and we stand in front of the lit fire waiting for dinner. ? arrived a couple of English and an Irish girl who lives in London and what? in Botswana to evaluate, for a travel agency, the costs of the various accommodations (we think it does the best job in the world).

10 day

10? day - 20 May 2017
Six in the morning wake up, breakfast and in the Jeep for the early morning Safari. Few animals: Baboons, an Elephant, some Antelope and Zebra and various birds. Back to the Lodge a little disappointed, we expected to see a lot more. We ask the way to go back to Maun, they tell us 3-4 hours, we decide to retrace the camping area to spot some animals by ourselves. But we are unlucky. We arrive in Maun in the afternoon, just time for a bite at Wimpy (15 euros), full and back in the car towards Makgadikagadi Pans. We get to Xhumaga what? already? night, luckily Tiaan's Camp (134 euros including breakfast and dinner)? well signposted. The owner gives us the accommodation. Do they serve us dinner and explain the priorities? of the Park. In the morning you could enter and skirt the river to try to spot some animals, in a path of about twenty kilometers. But to reach the park you have to ferry the Boteti river with a barge.

11 day

11? day - 21 May 2017
Wake up before dawn, at 6.30 yeah? already? on the bank of the Boteti waiting for the little man of the barge. At 7.30 the shadow is still not visible. The program plans to cross the border, 650 km to travel which at the Lodge tells us about ten hours. We can't wait too long, we opt for a stop along the way. The panorama through the Pan changes and the vegetation gives way to the desert. We stop in a village to immortalize the view and a dozen kids come to meet us. Then again on the road close to Lake Xau del Mapipi Pan two children join us on the back of a donkey. They pose for us. We skirt the massive mines of Mine where? No stopping or standing. We arrive in Serowe at noon and decide to visit the Rhino Santuary (25 euros entrance including the car and the map). We aim for the pools of water where at that time of day we can spot animals. We are lucky. Why? we see four white rhinos that are heading right towards the water. We wait for them along the shore to photograph them closely and we stop to admire them until they go away. Two hours of sighting well spent, but now c '? you have to run in order not to travel at night in South Africa. We cross Palapye not before having a full tank (diesel in Botswana costs 68 cents compared to 95 in South Africa and Namibia). Procedures at the busy Martin's Drift-Groblersburg border are quick, but there are more kilometers to go. than those indicated on the map and the roads are now more busy. Traveling at night in South Africa? pi? dangerous that in the two states already? visited and a mechanical problem could be fatal to us. We reach Lephalale what? already? night, we look for our accommodation in the suburb of Onverwacht, a village born within a golf course. At a large service station we ask for lights, they tell us that we are close, two or three turns and we find the Hotel. And instead we are forced to ask another station. Once again we get lost. Then we find a sign with directions and we reach the Bosveld Guest House (48.23 euros). Extensive security measures in a villa between the holes of the Mogol Golf Club. The room? large and comfortable, with two bathrooms. We go out for dinner in a restaurant area that we had seen in Lephalale and opt for Cappuccino's (20.75 euros).

12 day

12? day - 22 May 2017
The intention was to sleep a few more hours, and instead at 5.30 we are already? awake. At 6.30 we have already? had breakfast and then we start looking for some park nearby. The choice goes to Marakele National Park, but we don't know where the entrance is. No sign at the border, so we ask a ranger where to enter. It shows us an earthy road that we travel for about forty kilometers and then cross another ranger. Which tells us to go back for another twenty kilometers. Then another that tells us about twenty kilometers more. We reach the entrance to the Park (24.50 including the car), never reported, at 10. We have time for a quick tour. Very few animals, you could see more? on the road, but in compensation the scenario? enchanting with the high mountains as a frame. The road begins to narrow and climb right on the pi? high. We arrive at the top of 2088 meters, with a breathtaking view, too bad that at this time of day the visibility? decreases. The race to the exit Why? we have the obligation to deliver the car by 16 pm. We call to warn of a few minutes of delay, this reassures us and allows us to face the N4 and then the N1, super crowded even if with five lanes, respecting the limits.
We return the Nissan with 3889 kilometers more, we consumed 459.37 liters (an average of 8.47 km / l) and a cost of 343.33 euros, in total the car there? cost a little more? of one thousand euros (a quarter of the total budget). Untangle the formalities? of return of the car accompany us to the international airport of Jo'sburg where still not? open check-in. A piece of pizza (5.54) to recharge your batteries, the sliding lines at the security checks and the entrance to the airport, fleeting dinner (19.22) and boarding with other security checks.

13 day

13? day - 23 May 2017
The flight to Cairo? half empty, we lie down on a row of four seats that allows us to have a long sleep until the morning alarm. Breakfast and landing in the Egyptian capital. Three hours of stop sitting at the deserted tables of the bar and again at the controls for boarding to Rome. At 13 pm the landing ... we are back and our thoughts turn to the next departure. Certainly in Africa but where?

Audio Video Fly & drive in the paradise of Botswana
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