Nxai Pan trip: Part 3

Travel tired we set out from the town of Gweta for Nxai Pan. For a part of this stage we had tar which was a welcoming change. It was after 3 in the afternoon, by this time I would have liked to have already set up camp and relaxing with a cold lemonade (ok a beer).

We had left home at 7.30 that morning, so we had already been traveling for close on 8 hours and only covered about 100km. Having too back track twice before the Makgadikgadi Pans and cutting through the bush hadn’t helped.

The 70km of tar to the entrance to the park was far more comfortable than the bouncy roads that we had been on earlier. Of course our booking made over the phone the day before hadn’t be relayed to the park, least I had an invoice to prove it. The campsite we were allocated to was booked to a Willy.We were told that we should drive to the camp and it will be sorted out there.

Now we had traveled on some bad roads already that day and even off-road, but the worst was still to come. The 37 km road to the camp – yes exactly 37 km, I counted down everyone of them – was one of the worst I have ever traveled on. Yes it was very thick sand, but we are used to that now, but the road was corrugated.

Our teeth rattled, our eyes almost popped out, we bounced all over the place and worst of all it was impossible to have a drink. We had over an hour of this and with moods at a low we finally made camp. It had taken us 10 hours to get here, a distance of just over 200km.

There was nobody to meet us and to sort out our campsite problem so we just headed to our allocated camp site, which was a mission to find. We were very relieved that Willy was not there – his problem now.  Tired as we were, we set-up camp in the fading sunlight.

My dry throat and mouth erupted with joy as golden liquid activated every sense bud as it passed through. This drink called beer is really great stuff, maybe I should drink more of it.

After all it was still Sue’s birthday, I am sure not a way she would have wanted to spend it, but we were still going to celebrate. A lovely prawn dinner with bubbly rounded off the day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUE

Part 4 to follow


About PeteMorrie

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4 Responses to Nxai Pan trip: Part 3

  1. amarnafrica says:

    Hello Pete,

    thank you for this lovely story of your journey!

    We know the Maghadighadi Pans after having crossed through about 5 times, but every time we had some little “adventures” and sometimes had to back track too! And the road to Nxai Pan…it is a challenge!

    Once we stayed over at Kubu Island and there was a thunderstorm in the night with a lot of rain, we had some difficulties to get back to Lethlakane and our car was covered in grey mud, like cement!

    In September we are coming through Lethlakane, on our way from Khama Rhino Sanctuary to CKGR, it would have been fun to say Hello to you! It will be our 17th time in Botswana! We intend to camp at Rakops river lodge before entering the CKGR

    It would be nice hearing from you…

    Best Regards Karin Muller-Holmberg Institut Amarna Rue du Marché 37 1820 Montreux Switzerland mobile: +4179 637 33 06

  2. Bridgette & Geoffrey Flint says:

    Me gods – you should do beer ads!!! Really – maybe you really should!!!

  3. Suki says:

    Chuckling at the lemonade description and how well it went down. I have travelled on many roads like that round the world and felt every bump and jolt with you. I recently did one such road in Colombia and the security guard stated… “Madam is pleased to hold her chest”.

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