Botswana - Savuti

May 18, 2011 - Livingstone, Zambia

We thought we had left the worst of the bad roads behind at Moremi but the journey to Savuti was far worse, in fact the worst roads we have travelled on by far.... especially if you are towing!   It took us 8.5 hours to do 200kms. We stopped on the road to de-stress the caravan, empty the water tank and put all the weight we could elsewhere as the side walls were tearing apart on the back left leaving a gaping hole! A bolt holding the supporting beam underneath had come loose so the shell of the caravan was no longer supported and tore apart. Thank goodness for duck tape – George did a fine job patching things up and getting the supporting beam propped up to hold the shell till we could get help. It stood the test of the next stretch of road to Chobe which proved to be even worse and quite an adventure!

 

Apparently game was poor at Savuti and usually there are lions in camp, we did not see much though elephants had definitely been through. Apart from disgusting roads the camp site facilities were poor too....... but at least they had toilet seats! We stayed two nights then began the journey to Chobe, a full day’s drive and thank goodness we left early! On the way there was an Isuzi 4x4 twin cab that had been stuck in deep sand since 2.30pm the day before. No one had passed these four young Dutch people since then and they did not have any water! They took all their kit out the car so they could sleep and dangled their feet out of the window hoping no lions would come past! The girls danced when they heard us coming along.  Karl came to the rescue dishing out the water and pulling them out of the sand with his landy.... “Are they on?” he said, there was so much power he could not even feel he was towing! We had stopped some way back from the Isuzi since they were in deep sand, the other two pushed on and then we got stuck where the Isuzi had been but managed to get out with just tyre deflation.

 

Later there came a big valley, a good downhill with a bad news big uphill since the bottom was full of deep sand. There were 3 lanes going up this hill, it was pot luck – which one would be the right one?! They all had deep sand at the bottom. The right lane was closed as a game vehicle was stuck there with his trailer, another party from his lodge was trying to help him out. Karl took the middle lane and the Isuzi followed.  We waited to see that they all made it and charged down the hill trying to get some momentum for the following ascent but the other party that was stuck had made a good mess of the sand and there we went bogged down deep. George did all the tricks he knew but we only sunk more.  We tried to pull ourselves out with Karl’s landy but soon he was stuck too, so we uncoupled and got himself out of the mess. Lucky for us the army pulled in! First came a landrover full of soldiers, their cheery and confident sergeant constantly shouted out instructions. “George, George” he shouted...do this or that or whatever. Eventually we were winched against their landy and had the full force of all their men, our Isuzi party and me huffing and puffing as we pushed the caravan out of this deep sand pit. It was quite exciting and a lot of activity as a Bedford soon arrived and also tried each lane in an attempt to get up, he got stuck several times, descended and went up the opposite side so he could gather momentum for the next attempt as did the other stuck party. Eventually the Bedford charged along the grass and bundu bashed his way just past us till he could pull into our lane and he was gone. There were so many people pushing at one stage that the only space left for me was at the passenger seat side of the landy. The front wheels started to spin and I got a face full of sand with a bra literally one size larger and weighted short tucks as the sand filled every space! Well we made it out and felt elated it was an exciting time! The rest of the journey went well though at times the road was so narrow with trees on each side that we wondered how on earth we were going to handle oncoming traffic....thank goodness there was none! We finally popped out on a good tarred the road, kissed the ground, re-inflated our tyres and continued on to Ihahaha camp. Roads from there on were much improved. What an adventure we had!

 

 


Pictures

Elephant shaking a marula tree
Waterbuck
Moremi 064-550
Second Bridge Crossing - Detour around the side.
 
 

6 Comments

Liza:
May 18, 2011
Hi Alice, You can say that again!! What an adventure you had!! Now that is what you call 4x4 hey! I would love to experience that, but will need you 2 to get us out everywhere. Ha-Ha!
The only exciting thing today in Stellenbosch is that everybody is voting. So we have a publick holiday. You know, one of those where you have to cut the grass, catch up on your admin ect.!!!
ENJOY
Love LIza
pippa:
May 18, 2011
Hi there- have loved reading all your posts - such interesting reading - well done guys. Am trying to figure out if you will meet up with Stewart en route??? He left on Saturday - Mutare, Mozambique - where he still is - a few days in Gorongosa (amazing he says) and now is travelling north to Ncala and Ile de Mozambique, through to Tanzania - Zanzibar, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda (gorillas, Rwenzoris) Kenya, (Mount Kenya & Stanley) Ethiopia, Sudan and then onto Cairo Egypt - he is planning on taking about 5 months but has no rigid time table - depends on the photos!! so am not sure if your paths will cross!! His email is stewart.rickards@gmail.com and he is updating when possible on Facebook but not an update like yours (even though I did ask!!) Have fun, travel safe love Pippa
Uli:
May 18, 2011
Well done!!!! Maybe I should take back my last remark about more adventures ;-)
Uli
May 18, 2011
Hey guys thanks for updating us what an exciting time you are having. Will be updating my blog soon with our Europe trip Lots of love and hugs
Ellie:
May 20, 2011
Gee... What a journey! Glad you made it out. You are becomming well travelled!
Jenneth:
May 24, 2011
Oh Alice you have me laughing here! Thinking of you and all these wonderful adventures you are having, surely stretching stuff as well! God bless you mightily with his outstretched arms of peace and may he give you sure roads and miracle ways through the terrain, lots of love Jen
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