For over 2 months we have hardly seen the sun – the rain has just been amazing.
The rainfall figures (in mm) are just incredible, especially since our average annual rainfall is 250mm:
The whole of Botswana has had excellent rains and Gaborone Dam is overflowing – the first time in 16 years.
For some it hasn’t been that pleasant:
All this in a country where 85% of the land is part of the Kalahari Desert.
I have updated our weather page and The Plot’s rainfall
I found this report on the 4×4 forum:
“A quick update for all planning to go into the Moremi: The road from South Gate to North Gate is closed after a self drive got stuck for 1 1/2 days without anybody passing.
South Gate to 3 rd Bridge closed as impassable, 3rd Bridge campsite closed, Bodumatau loop closed, North Gate to Xakanaxa impossible, Black Pools a nightmare.
The only road still open is the straight one from South Gate to Xakanaxa but described as “very, very difficult with vehicles still stuck on it.
DWNP expects to have the park closed for the next 2 weeks.
And the weather forecast is rain”
So CKGR, Moremi and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are no go zones. The rain is wonderful, but bad for tourism – thank goodness this is the low season.
The cyclone hit the coast of Mozambique, causing a lot of damage and deaths. Hitting land it started to slow down. By the time it got to the Kruger National Park, reports showed that it was not as bad as expected.
As it still had some distance to go before entering Botswana we were beginning to think not much was going to happen here. However, with predicted rain, Sue and I went to The Plot on Thursday evening and planted about 10 trees.
The cyclone, now downgraded to a tropical depression, was meant to reach us, here in Letlhakane, at 11h00 on Friday, but at 11 it was cloudy with no sign of rain. Then at 12h30 it started raining and we had lovely soaking rain on and off the whole afternoon.
The main part of the storm came through early Saturday morning, but it was amazing as it was all just soaking rain. Not violent storms.
It rained constantly the whole of Saturday morning , then on and off in the afternoon, before clearing in the evening.
In total we had an amazing 160mm at The Plot 150mm falling in a 20 hour period. This takes The Plot’s rainfall to 671.5mm so far this season.
Cyclone Dineo to trigger weekend downpours, floods in Botswana
Heavy rains of up to 100 millimetres in 24 hours, as well as possible floods are due in the North East, Central and Gantsi districts starting on Friday, as a tropical cyclone known as “Dineo” bursts into the region, from the Indian Ocean.
If you are planning a trip to Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the next couple of months, please take note of the below:
From the Botswana Government Page.
WARNING-ENTRY INTO KALAHARI GAME RESERVE
The public is advised that road conditions in the Kalahari Game Reserve are very bad due to heavy rains.
Driving in the park is not advisable at this time, therefore those who choose to drive in the park are advised to use no less than two vehicles.
The public is further advised that in case they get stuck in the park, they should remain in their vehicles and not try to walk to any nearest place as there are dangerous animals, especially elephants and lions that may prey on them.
Moreover everyone going into the park should make sure they are equipped with adequate supply of food, water and any other supplies and equipment which they may need in case they get stranded.
Other tourists are encouraged to help those who may need assistance. It will be better to cancel all planned self-drives until the weather conditions improve.
For any enquiries call +267 6530084 /+267 71400304
January was a stunning wet month with 20 days of rain. Our average for Letlhakane for January is 10 days. It doesn’t seem to be over either with 40mm falling overnight.
A friend of ours who guides on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans says they are full, full of water and he won’t even go there. He also claims he hasn’t seen rain like this for the last 12-15 years.
At The Plot we have had over 400mm this season so far, not bad for an area that averages at about 250mm
With all the rain the temperatures have been mild, so what a fantastic January it was.
For all the figures go to https://ourbots.wordpress.com/letlhakane-weather/ and for rainfall figurs at The Plot go to https://ourbots.wordpress.com/botswana-travel/the-plot-letlhakane/the-plot-rainfall/
I received a comment on our blog from a gentleman, who was part of the group of 3 Landys and a Toyota that got stuck for 5 days on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans last year. This should be read by all that are planning to venture out onto the pans during the rainy season.
“Just to let you know, we survived! Struggled for 5 days making our way from kubu to zoroga village. It was one of the toughest most demanding trips of our lives.
New appreciation for mud, showers, shovels, and the botswana police (who flew in on a spectacular helicopter). Just one of those things I guess. Kubu was dry when we arrived and water logged when we woke up the following morning.
One bit of advice, no matter how well equipped you are, what’s required most is determination to get out. Don’t rely on anyone to assist, as it’s likely they will get stuck too”.