Botswana
Botswana

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74 travelers at this place:

  • Day16

    Khama Rhino Sactuary

    May 22, 2017 in Botswana

    Cold night, but able to get a good sleep. We were looking forward to an easy day, but woke up to find the tire, which we had just fixed the other day, was completely flat!! Found a big piece of wire stuck in tire so was a different issue than before. John was able to remove the wire and temporarily seal the leak. Used the compressor to fill to a drivable pressure and drove to nearest town to get it fixed. The temporary patch was too good and we could not find the leak. Put one of our spare tires on and will keep a close eye on the pressure. The last thing we want is to have to change a tire in the middle of the Kalahari desert heat with wildlife wandering around. We will let you know.Read more

  • Day13

    Maun Day 14

    April 20, 2017 in Botswana

    The Sedie students, their Headmistress and another staff member, had all stayed in tents for the night and we gathered together as a group at breakfast. From there we moved into Maun in two vehicles and the first activity of the day to catch-up with our primary students of yesterday at Mathiba. More activities followed, with Oxley College 'teaching' smaller groups and a lot of fun occurred and it was sad in the end - and somewhat poignant as the kids sang a farewell to us - to leave for the secondary school later in the morning.

    After a wait at Sedie School, the group departed for a visit to a local farm, some 18 kms from Maun. Crops included maize and water melons, with cattle and sheep in evidence.

    Returning to school for lunch, we ate the packed lunch that had been provided by Sitatunga Camp. After lunch we practised for the 'concert' and also tackled some problems set in an Ethics task set by Mr Parker.

    By 3.30 enough of a crowd of Sedie staff and parents had gathered for a presentation to take place. Both groups of students sang songs - the entire Oxley party sang 'Waltzing Matilda' - and the Oxley students introduced theatre sports to Botswana, with James Rapp producing an outstanding skit. After a rendition of 'We are the world' by all those involved in the exchange the 'concert' ended with a thoughtful 'thank you' speech by Tom Lloyd and a prayer.

    Back to Sitatunga Camp by early evening where we moved into cabins for our final night. Much talk at dinner with tiredness catching up with everyone.
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  • Day17

    Kori camp, Kalahari

    May 23, 2017 in Botswana

    We do not want to sound repetitive, but another longer than expected drive from Khama to our first camp in the Kalahari. Partly our fault since we didn't follow an important rule when driving in most parts of Africa; fill up at every gas station! If you have only driven 10 miles since filling up and you see an open gas station, with gas, top up! Going into the Kalahari you have to be prepared for any situation since there are no services in the park and on a busy day you may only see one or two other travelers. So let's describe some of what we drive with. Our 4x4 has a 110 liter long range fuel tank. We also carry 40 extra liters in 2 cans on the roof. There's no water here so we have 40 liters of water in 2 cans, another 40 liters in an internal tank inside the 4x4 and a few 5 liter bottles. 2 spare tires, repair equipment for flats, hi-lift jack and a compressor to inflate repaired tires. Sand tracks if we get stuck in deep sand and a winch on front of the 4x4 so we can pull ourselves out if really stuck. A lot of stuff to carry, not including food and camping stuff, and hopefully we do not have to use this self-rescue equipment.
    Back to why it was a longer than planned drive. We had planned to do our last fuel 'top-up' in the last town before turning towards the entrance to the Kalahari. This is not a one-horse town, but a 2 donkey one fuel pump town with a windowless, brick structure called 'Her Majesty's Internet Cafe' called Rakops. We pulled up to the pump and a woman from the shade of her hut gave us the international sign - arms crossed in an X above her head, no gas and don't know when we'll get more. Our only option was to drive back 50 kilometers the way we had come to Mopipi where they hopefully had gas. Our calculations suggested an added hour driving but an extra 100kms worth of gas. We had also been pulled over on the way to Rakops for speeding, but managed to talk our way out of the fine. Going back to Mopipi, however, meant we had to go by the speed trap 2 more times - much more carefully.
    Once we were full of fuel (thankfully), we returned to Rakops and turned off the main road towards the Kalahari park entrance. Once you leave the main road in Botswana, everything is sand-or mud in the rainy season. Since they had an exceptionally wet, wet season, the roads were really impacted and have now turned to either bone rattling corrugation that goes for miles, interspersed with deep holes or deep, soft sand or a combination of all of these. With 50kms to the park gate and another 50kms to our first campsite it was great to finally get in, set up camp and go straight to bed.
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  • Day12

    Mathiba School + Day 13

    April 19, 2017 in Botswana

    Today was our introduction to primary education as we visited Mathiba Memorial Primary School, a feeder school to nearby Sedie School. We were welcomed by 60 little kids all excited about the arrival of the 'Australians'. After introductions, we broke up into groups of about 12 Mathiba kids to two Oxley students who taught them new skills of speaking in English, colouring in, theatre games, etc.

    We rotated through the morning and finished a midday at which time we walked around to Sedie School where we joined the Sedie School students for lunch.

    After lunch we visited the nearby HIV/AIDS clinic for a talk given by the nurse who explained how the Botswanan Government had introduced programmes to prevent the spread of AIDS and educate the local people.

    From the clinic we bused into the town centre and wandered around for a while (generally in and out of fast food joints!) before we returned to our campsite at Sitatunga late in the afternoon.

    Once we all returned to the camp, plus 10 Sedie students who came to spend the night with us, we were lucky to be the audience for a talk given Mike Fitt of Wilderness Safaris about the reintroduction of rhinos into the Okavango, and the progress that the program was making. It was fascinating for both Australian and Botswanan students and appreciated by all. It was very generous of Mike to give up his time to talk to us.

    After dinner the rest of the evening was taken up with practising for tomorrow's 'concert', whether it is song, dance or theatre sports. We were joined by Senatla, the Headmistress of Sedie School, as well as one of their staff. A busy day for all!!
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  • Day5

    Nata Day 6

    April 12, 2017 in Botswana

    Today we left the Chobe River and after packing up our tents and breakfasting we headed south on the main road (that eventually leads to Gaberone). Hundreds of huge trucks parked on the side of the road waiting to clear customs at the Kasangula border post (it can take up to 2 weeks for them to get through!!).
    Dry flat country (although one huge irrigated sorghum farm) and occasional wild life. We saw a big bull elephant, some zebra and occasional buck. Reached our campsite at Nata Lodge early afternoon only to learn that our visit to the bird sanctuary was impossible because the roads were flooded. So plenty of R & R and relaxing around the pool during the afternoon. Sat and chatted after dinner and all had made the best of the circumstancesRead more

  • Day20

    Sunday Pan, Kalahari

    May 26, 2017 in Botswana

    The camps in the Kalahari are exceptional in that they're all in beautiful, shaded spots with nice views of the bush and they're incredibly private. Each group of camps only has ~4 camps each and they're generally spaced anywhere from 500 meters to 7 km apart from each other so you don't see, hear or feel as if you have any neighbors. It feels truly wild. This is reinforced by the nighttime noises and morning footprints you find in your camp from lots of critters, big and small. Had good sightings of lion (Cindy's big-headed males at last) and cheetah stalking some springbok, bat-eared foxes, jackals and other great critters. We had owls in both camps and got really good views of one of them. A less welcome visitor was a large puff adder (4-ish feet long) that was waiting in camp one late morning after we returned from our game drive. Yikes!Read more

  • Day52

    Savuti, Chobe National Park

    June 27, 2017 in Botswana

    Drove down to Savuti for 3 nights and were glad that the sand wasn’t as bad as we remembered (it had been a terrifying experience crossing a huge sand ridge on our past trip). The landscape there is very different, more dry and with large stands of baobob trees. Very beautiful. We saw some amazing elephants at the water holes there, a lioness in the distance, and most exciting of all a group of 4 wild dogs! We’ve been fortunate enough to now see wild dogs 5 different times! This sighting was interesting because the dogs had just eaten and were simply sleeping on the road. We were able to observe them for a few hours, sleeping, playing, and interacting with each other and sometimes with the vehicles there – including chewing on our tire - as they’re very inquisitive creatures.Read more

  • Day56

    Ihaha, Chobe National Park

    July 1, 2017 in Botswana

    Back to Ihaha for a night, where we enjoyed a beautiful drive back up and were lucky enough to see an elephant crossing the very deep river. So fun to watch that versatile trunk become a snorkel. Fun times. We will miss this park, but aren’t sure if we’ll be back. Not sure why it is that when something becomes more crowded, it somehow takes away from the feeling of authenticity and the excitement of discovering and sighting animals on your own. We hope Zambia is as wild as we remember it, we’ll keep you posted.
    One last thing to report with rather mixed feelings. While having breakfast on our last morning and enjoying the sun coming up over the Chobe river, a baboon we'd seen on previous occasions came into camp and tried to grab breakfast. John was behind the truck because he'd seen this guy earlier up the hill (recognizable by a withered arm). The baboon had snuck around a nearby bush and rushed straight for Christy at the front of the truck. Christy threw her yogurt bowl --then a spoon -- when he kept coming at her with teeth bared being very aggressive and scary. John managed to grab our pepper spray and get some in his face - but he also got plenty in his own face, too! The baboon took off, but obviously had lost fear of humans. On the way out, Christy spoke to one of the rangers, who said "I'm going to go see about him" as he pulled out a rifle and started loading what looked to be real bullets. Of course, we feel sad and responsible on the one hand knowing that we signed that creature's death sentence. Yet on the other hand, the baboon had become a serious danger (he'd also been aggressive with other campers that morning as we heard screams and also shared stories at the abolition block). Definitely people's fault (making food too accessible/possibly feeding them), not the baboon's, that he'd become this way. Sad.
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  • Day45

    Kasane, Botswana

    June 20, 2017 in Botswana

    From Popa Falls we drove to Kasane in Botswana (easy border crossing) after another nearly full day of driving. There had been a minor fuel leak in one of the tanks that was getting worse (our mileage went from ~10km/liter to ~6.5) so we had to make a stop at a repair shop when we arrived in town. The shop that our rental operator had told us to go to appeared to be an empty warehouse. After a few calls back and forth, we drove around back to discover quite a busy place. They diagnosed that we had a crack in the fuel tank and were able to make a temporary fix (bonding it with some sort of compound) until we can get it welded in once we get to Lusaka, Zambia – a much larger town where we’ll be making other repairs/maintenance.
    Given repairs weren’t complete until dark, we opted to stay in a real bed in a local guesthouse. Very comfortable place located in a residential area of Kasane. Had a good sleep before our visit to Chobe for the next 10 days.
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  • Day56

    Ihaha, Chobe National Park

    July 1, 2017 in Botswana

    We spent 6 nights at what was our favorite camp the last time we visited Botswana. It’s still a beautiful setting on the river, but because poachers had been coming to rob tourists (in addition to killing animals), the Botswana Defense Force had to step in and so now patrols through the night are normal. These disrupt the feeling of being in the wild. The other big change is simply how many people are now here. On our drive into the park, we saw at least a dozen safari vehicles along our river drive --- very different from the past trip where we maybe saw a few in a day. All that said, Chobe is still incredibly beautiful and teeming with wildlife. We saw lions on our first and second days (cubs at last!) and from our campsite, we were able to see a pair of honey badgers, springhares, a male lion, a hyena, and elephant (all in the dark) and wilddogs running by one morning (Christy’s favorite wake up call is now “Christy! Wilddogs!!!) We also had an amazing experience watching a martial eagle (Africa’s largest eagle – majestic as you can imagine) trying to hunt a mongoose. It was sitting on a dead tree branch watching a group of mongoose below and eventually tried to grab one of them. It missed and retreated to a branch. The amazing thing was, the entire clan of mongooses (mongeese?) charged up the tree and chased it away to nearby bush. There was then a bit of a standoff before the eagle, trying to retain some dignity, swooped down again to try to scare the badass mongooses before flying quickly away. AMAZING!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Botswana, Botswana, Bɔtswana, ቦትስዋና, Botsuana, Botsƿana, بتسوانا, Botsvana, Батсвана, Ботсвана, Bɔtisiwana, বোত্‍সওয়ানা, བོཙ་ཝ་ན།, Bocvana, Botswana nutome, Μποτσουάνα, Bocvano, بوتسوانا, Botswaana, Botsouana, An Bhotsuáin, બોત્સ્વાના, Baswana, בוטסוואנה, बोत्सवाना, Բոտսվանա, ボツワナ共和国, ბოტსვანა, បុតស្វាណា, ಬೋಟ್ಸ್‌ವಾನಾ, 보츠와나, بۆتسوانا, Botiswana, ບອັດສະວານາ, Mbotswana, Botsvāna, Botsoana, Боцвана, ബോട്സ്വാന, बोट्सवाना, ဘော့စ်ဝါနာ, Botwana, बोट्स्वाना, ବୋଟସ୍ବାନ୍, බොස්ට්වානා, Botuswaana, Bocuana, போட்ஸ்வானா, బోట్స్వానా, บอตสวานา, Potisiuana, بوتسۋانا, Bốt-xoa-na (Botswana), Zvanän, Orílẹ́ède Bọ̀tìsúwánà, 博茨瓦纳, i-Botswana

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