Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody
The route crossed a couple of reserves, (each involving registering and payment), and after some 60 kms of soft sand, we arrived at the first gate.
There was then a choice of two routes through Chobe, a deep sand one and a marsh one. We chose the recommended second, and it turned out to be a real treat. Yes, a narrow twee spoor (two wheel track paths) that was very rough in places, but fine at a crawl, opening out onto a huge plain with many hundreds of buffalo grazing (yes, all the darker area on the photo is just pure buffalo!), and a big herd of elephant later on.
Not everyone gets through unscathed. This trailer was left in the bush many kilometers from any habitation. It looked to have been in good order when left, but curious animals, 4-legged or 2, have taken their toll.
Eventually arriving at Savuti, one of the camps we had debated as a stop, the sand got much deeper, and the going worsened. The ruts had alternating big corrugations that threw the car and trailer from side to side. Both uncomfortable and damaging. We had to do a temporary repair to the tent bracket again, using a block of wood and a ratchet strap to hold it together.
Then we got stuck in deep, really soft sand when the car bottomed out going uphill. Now the Land Rover can alter the suspension height at the push of a button, but it was already raised and so it was time for the spade and gathering of brushwood. And the heat doesn’t help!
Very thankfully, a pick-up with four large guys in it arrived from the other direction and took over. Twenty minutes later (and a pack of beer!), and we were moving again. The irony was that we had driven hundreds of kilometers without a problem and had ground to a halt only a very few more before we were back on tar! More relief took the form of a fuel station where we were able to refill our tank and the jerry cans. As mentioned previously, this type of off-road travel makes for high fuel consumption and the extra fuel is essential.
Having jumped ahead of our itinerary by not stopping at Savuti, we decided to head for the nearest town was Kasane, for an unscheduled night at a campsite that had a swimming pool and a restaurant! Absolute luxury after a very long, really gruelling day.