With Sue’s mom up from South Africa to visit us, we were keen to take advantage of the long weekend here to get out into the bush.
I had heard that at Planet Baobab Lodge, just outside the village of Gweta, you could go on tours to see Meerkats that are very relaxed around humans and will even sit on you. This sounded like a great experience – so off we went to see Meerkats.
One thing about Gweta is that as the crow flies it is not to far, about 200 km, and between us and Gweta is the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans so our adventure was going to start almost from our doorstep.
We had done the route once before, but had got horribly lost – see https://ourbots.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/into-the-african-bush-book-2/ – but this time we weren’t going to make the same mistakes.
As we headed out I got the normal questions from Sue, “have you packed ……..”, “did you remember to …..”. I had done all asked, doing so well, until at about 1 hour out and already deep into the bush, she asked “did you leave a key in the hiding place for the maid, so she can get into our house to feed our pets”.
I thought about this for a while and looked down into the compartment where we put keys and there the key was. There was no option but to go back, without that key being at our house our pets would have no food for 4 days.
We un-hitched the trailer and I left Sue and her mother with it, in the middle of nowhere whilst I turned around and headed home.
It seemed sensible at the time to take a short-cut, that was until the road turned very bad. You could see where people had got stuck before. I knew that if the same fate happened to me there would be major problems, as nobody knew where I was and all our vehicle recovery equipment was in the trailer. Lucky enough I got through, but did take the longer route back.
Whilst I was away some local farmers stopped and asked Sue if she needed help, they must have been very surprised to see two white women and a trailer out in the middle of nowhere.
The delay cost us 2 hours and on top of that I realized that we weren’t on the road I wanted to be on, so we had to back track about 5 km to the vet fence road.
The first place of interest we reached was where the Boteti River used to flow out onto the Makgadikgadi Pans. Now it is just a dry river bed.
We followed the vet fence road and every now and again we got a stunning view of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Eventually, after a very long and dusty experience we reached the vet gate and were soon onto the pans itself.
The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are spectacular – it is amazing how miles and miles of nothing can be so beautiful. You need to go there to experience it for yourself to appreciate it.
After about 25 km crossing the pans we hit land again and shortly after that the impressive Chapman’s Baobab.
A further hour of dusty, bumpy roads saw us reaching the little village of Gweta.
Part 2 to follow