Go! Camp & Drive - - Destination Botswana -


Magotho has 15 stands that are all a few hun­dred me­tres from each other. There is no elec­tric­ity or any other fa­cil­i­ties, but you can’t re­ally get any closer to na­ture. Big, old camel thorn trees pro­vide am­ple shade, and the ad­join­ing Kh­wai River in­vites any­thing from noisy spot­ted hye­nas to in­quis­i­tive ele­phant bulls. The res­i­dent group of vervet mon­keys also won’t think twice be­fore steal­ing your Corn Flakes while you’re tak­ing an af­ter­noon nap, so make sure your food is locked away when there’s no one around to keep an eye on things. Even though you get a stand num­ber on your book­ing form, Magotho is a camp­site where you choose your own spot. If some­one has al­ready made them­selves at home on your stand, keep on look­ing un­til you find a space you like. That said, you do have to camp on a de­mar­cated stand. Rogue campers who ar­rive with­out book­ing and who pitch a tent un­derneath a tree of their choice pay dou­ble. Some­one from the Kh­wai De­vel­op­ment Trust drives through Magotho ev­ery month to check book­ings, so you don’t have to drive through to Kh­wai Vil­lage.

Sable Al­ley and Matswere

Ac­cord­ing to the Kh­wai De­vel­op­ment Trust’s web­site, Sable Al­ley and Matswere are only avail­able to reg­is­tered Botswana sa­fari op­er­a­tors and their clients, but with our visit one of their em­ploy­ees con­firmed that any­one can book these two camps. Both lie in a lead­wood for­est that looks out over a marsh where hip­pos and os­prey en­ter­tain you at sun­rise and sun­set. There are also no fa­cil­i­ties and you’ll sel­dom en­counter other self-drive tourists around the camp. There are, how­ever, a few gamedrive ve­hi­cles from the sur­round­ing lodges that come here in search of an­i­mals.


You only have to take drink­ing wa­ter. Shower and dish­wash­ing wa­ter you take from the river or marsh. Just make sure you get a spot where the wa­ter is shal­low and clear so Mr Croc­o­dile doesn’t give you a nasty sur­prise. Take at least two empty 20 ℓ plas­tic bot­tles to fill up, as well as a 1 ℓ bucket to make the process eas­ier.

Ablu­tion fa­cil­i­ties

There aren’t even pit toi­lets at the stands, so you have to bring along every­thing you need to heed the call of na­ture com­fort­ably. We dug a deep hole, placed a steel sheet with a hole in it over it, and then put our toi­let chair on top of it. For pri­vacy and shade we spun shade cloth be­tween posts. There is also no of­fi­cial rest stops in the bush, which means you’ll prob­a­bly have to squat be­hind a tree at some point. Keep a small spade in your car and al­ways burn or bury your toi­let pa­per, oth­er­wise the an­i­mals will scat­ter it ev­ery­where. Gross.


Put your trash in heavy-duty black bags and hoist it into a tree with a rope at nights so hye­nas can’t tear it open. Mem­bers of the Kh­wai De­vel­op­ment Trust come to Magotho with a bakkie ev­ery now and again to col­lect rubbish.

Kh­wai Vil­lage

If you run out of flour or tooth­paste you can shoot through to Kh­wai Vil­lage. It’s less than an hour’s drive south-west from Magotho. There is a shop with a sur­pris­ing va­ri­ety of pro­vi­sions, like baked beans, ice, Coke, and even ice-cold Black La­bel quarts.

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