At one stage it seemed we were going to be a massive group of 17 people on the trip with 9 vehicles, but unfortunately, some people for various reasons had to pull out and our final numbers were 5 people with 3 vehicles.
Iain, whom we had met on a boat cruise, from Durban, had invited 2 friends of his Kim and Jan. They left Durbs a week before our trip was planned to leave and after a 3 day drive they arrived here in Letlhakane.
They left the day after for Lekhubu Island; we were all to catch-up again in Maun, to stock-up before heading out.
Sue and I left early on the 19th for Maun and after a long, hot and uneventful drive we arrived in Maun. It was now time to get the last provisions we needed, such as fresh vegetables, a few food items we couldn’t get in Letlhakane and most important of all fuel for the vehicle and petrol cans. From this point to Kasane we weren’t going to be able to get any supplies. Anything forgotten we just had to do without.
Jan and Kim had pushed on the day before to Moremi South Gate, so it was just Iain, Sue and myself relaxing on the banks of the Thamalekane River, that flows through Maun, that evening.
As the sun rose the next morning, we packed and headed out for a most amazing adventure. The tar road soon came to an end; for Sue and I the trip had now started. The dirt road was dusty and corrugated and the drive to the vet fence was not to much fun.
With the dust we were throwing up I couldn’t see Iain’s vehicle behind us and further I knew he would be some distance behind to avoid my dust. We crossed the vet fence, where we were warned about trying to bring meat and veggies out. We pulled off the road and waited for Iain to make sure he was ok and got through the vet fence ok.
We sat and waited, watching people that were leaving, having items confiscated from them. We waited some more. With Iain nowhere in sight we needed to go back and find him.
After being warned about taking food out across the vet fence we wondered if they would let us back with our stocks. After a quick chat with the officials they let us through. Sure enough as we got across the fence Iain arrived. He had been battling on the corrugations with his vehicle and had just been travelling slowly
We reached the fork in the road, the one way going to Moremi South Gate and the other was the Savuti Road, the latter being the one we were to take. Iain was still lagging so I thought it best that he dropped his tyre’s pressure. Just as we stopped, Jan and Kim came out the South gate road. Not even planning could have worked as well as that.
We were at full strength as we headed out, with deflated tyres for the little village of Mababe where we were going to be staying.
The road was now much better and we managed to get up to about 40kmh. Something caught my eye in the bush and at the same time Sue said “Lion”. We stopped and went back. It wasn’t a lion but a leopard. We had a wonderful view as it walked down a bank and around a bush before disappearing over a ridge.
Our first animal sighting – a leopard – how awesome was that.
We finally reached the village of Mababe and the first thing I noticed was all the elephant dung all over. The following day we were to see lion tracks through the village as well. This was a village deep into the African bush.
We crossed the metal bridge just outside of Mababe and soon found the turnoff to Dijara Camp where we would spend the next three nights.