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Travelling Through Botswana in the Rainy Season

A few of my friends and I decided to do a self-drive tour to Botswana during the rainy season. All of us began our journey from our individual home towns and met up at the Ramatlabama border post just outside of Mafikeng. From here we travelled west, through the Kalahari Desert, Namibia arriving in Maun. Seeing that this trip was meant to be more of an adventure than a luxury tour, we decided to camp at various sites along the road, rather than staying in lodges. After all, this is  a 4x4 safari. Botswana is ideal if you want to discover the rougher parts of Africa but be sure to get some Botswana travel advice before you go. 

Our first stop was the Audi Camp in Maun, and from there we moved on to the Chobe and Moremi National Parks.

Above: The crew and the bakkies before entering the national parks.

The scenery this time of year is spectacular. The vegetation is lush and green almost like a green carpet rolled out on the plains of the African continent. Even though a bit rainy, animals seem to flourish and is seen in every directions.



Above: Green plains in Botswana.

Using only maps and no GPS we got lost from time to time and the rainy weather made it more difficult to travel. One evening (still a bit lost) we ran out of time and we had to abandon hope of finding a good campsite for the night. Eventually we ended up pitching camp in the dark in the middle of nowhere only to discover that we camped in lion territory.
At night the roar of lions all around you increases your sense of fear but also is a symbol of being it reminds you that you are in the African bush.

Above: Lions close to camp.

The rainy season presents a few obstacles … a lot of mud and a lot of water! This reduces road visibility and the road is much more slippery. We got stuck a few times and there is not many people passing through these areas so you really need to be prepared in every possible way.
With no cars passing, we had to pitch camp in the Moremi National Park, Botswana. Fortunately, a car passed the next day and helped us to dry ground.

Above: Getting stuck next to the road.

After being stuck for almost two days we were delighted to carry on with our journey and spent the next night in the Savuti Camp, Okavango Delta where we finally had a hot shower, hot meal and a dry place to sleep.
The next morning we were on our way to Kasane. Botswana is filled with wild life. On our way to Kasane we had a few encounters with elephants. These magical giants made our 4x4 safari Botswana worth all the effort.



Above: Elephants crossing a swamp in the Chobe National Park, Botswana.

This time of year elephants are not that aggressive and one can get quite close to these magnificent creatures.

After admiring these creatures we passed through the Chobe National Park and to our delight were once again travelling on a tar road which led us to our final destination in Botswana, Chobe Safari Lodge in Kasane.

Above: Choosing the road ahead.

The Chobe Safari Lodge in Kasane is a luxury lodge, but camping options are also available.
One of the most popular activities at this lodge is the Chobe River fishing safari. This is a true African safari, and because of the surroundings one can’t help enjoying your sun downer just a little bit more than usual.

Our last stop before returning to South Africa is Livingstone, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. We stopped only briefly before taking the road on the eastern side of Botswana that leads to Francistown, Mahalapye and then into .

 

George van der Westhuizen

George van der Westhuizen Title: Blog Contributor
Affiliation: Drive South Africa Blog George is a South African that now lives in Tanzania. He is a professional hunter an also the owner of a fishing company (www.proselect.co.za) in the Selous Game Reseve. He loves travelling to African countries and has been to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana a few times. He has also travelled to Mexico, Australia and Canada in the past.
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  1. Gravatar Kayleigh says:

    The genuis store called, they’re running out of you.

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