BEHIND THE SCENES
This month we’ve got a 13-day travel plan for an amazing wilderness holiday in Botswana (p 28). To research the feature, our map man François Haasbroek put his 4x4 into low range and went looking for the best campsites in Moremi and Chobe.
Who did you travel with? Tour guides Douwe Vlok and Phil van Wyk from Bhejane 4x4 Adventures. Bhejane is our travel partner and this trip was a recce to see what the campsites and roads look like. Next year, they’ll launch a tour through Moremi and Chobe in collaboration with Swampland Safaris.
Your favourite campsite? There’s no shortage of great campsites on this route. Xaxanaxa and Savuti, for example, are two of the most incredible campsites in southern Africa.
You can’t just pitch your tent in the veld in Botswana, except if you know the right people… One night we camped next to the Khwai River – there was nothing, just a clearing. Swampland Safaris is busy setting up a camping spot here, with running water, showers and flush toilets. Keep an eye on swampland-safari.com for updates.
Which of the 4x4 roads were most challenging? Phil was determined to drive the Savuti border road. There’s not much to see along the road, but it gives you bragging rights around the campfire. The road runs in a straight line south of Linyanti for nearly 100 km. It is very sandy and no one uses it except for a truck that passes by every five days or so. But
Phil thought his Land Cruiser was up to the task, and it was. Still, I would not recommend this road. Rather drive to Savuti rest camp the normal way.
What do you always pack? A few audio books to keep me company (this time it was The Martian by Andy Weir and 11.22.63 by Stephen King), a tyre pressure gauge and a Leatherman. Oh, and a GPS and the latest go! Botswana guide.
Where next? Botswana! The pandemic cut this year’s Botswana tour short. Next year, I’d like to do a TransOkavango tour: You get on a boat at Sepupa and cross the delta to Maun.