Trip Report- Hwange via Botswana

Hwange, Mana Pools & The Victoria Falls 'Smoke that Thunders' Mosi-oa-Tunya!
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Trip Report- Hwange via Botswana

Post by » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:51 am

A group of 8 of us have just returned from a visit to Hwange and then
Vic Falls and a quick stop off in Kasane on the way home.

This part is just a report on the Hwange part of the trip.

Our group consisted of two Xcape caravans, mine towed with my D-4D
Fortuner 4x4 and Jan’s towed with his 10 year old 4x4 Hilux 2.7 twin
cab. Third vehicle was a new Hilux 3l D-4D single cab 4x4 with rooftop
tent and a the fourth was a brand new (10km on clock) 4x4 Fortuner

From Eshowe KZN (my home town) we routed via Martins Drift.

Day 1: Eshowe to Potgietersrus.
Day2: Potgietersrus to Elephant Sands via Francistown & Nata.
Border easy – had vehicles pre-cleared by KwaNokeng. Saved us over an
hour – e-mail
Diesel was P5.95 liter.

Please note that the P100 and P50 notes have been changed to new ones
– I had a P1000.00 in the old notes – can only be changed at Bank of
Botswana. I got skinned alive buying Pula with US$ at Martins Drift
KwaNokeng – be careful. Paid for a huge diesel fill with credit card
here. No decent tap to fill caravan with water – I should have filled
before the border.

Great stop at Elephant Sands – P85 for a great dinner at the lodge
with elephants drinking out of the pool next to us. Camping @ P50 pp.
Highly recommended.
New Wimpy in Nata – very good – great coffee – credit card machine not

Day 3: Elephant Sand via Pandamatenga border post to Robins Camp and
then on to Masuma Dam.
A long day this but without issues.
Nata – Kasane road being rebuild for 135km – excellent temporary road
– can travel at 100kph mostly – big difference from last years
Were first vehicles in 3 days through Panda border. Filled tanks at
Panda garage – no unleaded and cash only.

Zim border was easy – US$40 and we had bought our 3rd party from AA in
SA – definitely do this. Take carbon paper with as it saves writing
everything out twice.

Checked into Robins camp on our way to Masuma. Paid park entrance: $15
per week pp and $5 per car and per trailer per week. Robins neat and
tidy but old. No-one staying there – 2 people had last been there 4
days before us. Drove on 50km to Masuma.
Park is very wet with water everywhere – game has dispersed far and
wide and is very sparse.

While at Masuma visited Shuma (looking great) and Mandavu - also
stunning views but maybe game to far from hide here.

After 4 days a Masuma drove 150km south to Kennedy #1 picnic site to
camp. Took 8 hours with stops. Saw 2 other vehicles all day – very sad

Much more game in south and better birding at the moment.

As to cost of camping we had to pay for 10 people @ US$11.50pppn to
get the picnic spots.

Visited main camp to check-in in the south. Same as in north. Great
staff, will do anything to help but everything is closed – from the
garage to the pub. Just no-one there.

Water was available everywhere but shower not working at Masuma.
Fortunately the Xcape has a great shower but required us to refill the
tank each day.

I used a 70W solid solar panel and with good power management had no
problems for the entire time we had no hook-up. I also have a 52l
National Luna in the car as well as the 50L National Luna fridge/
freezer in the Xcape.

We left Kennedy #1 and went via Main camp onto the Vic Falls/Bulawayo
road to Vic Falls.

14km outside the park we stopped at the Painted Dog Conservation
Project which is endeavoring to save the remaing 150 wild dogs in Zim
from extinction – I recommend this as well worthwhile.

The Drive to Vic Falls was uneventful with one police roadblack at
Hwange town (drivers licence – we all had international drivers
licences- and insurance checked) and one road toll of US$1.00 or

I have posted a few pictures - follow this link for the Hwange part. ... 4fd5ca7278

Source: Gerald,
Discover unspoiled Africa by 4x4, individual freedom and a true African adventure!
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