We woke up at around 7am on our second morning at Ihaha rest camp in the Chobe National Park in northern Botswana, having only slept for about three hours the night before. The massive tree branch that had snapped in the middle of the night, crashing onto our roof tent and car was now lying about a metre away from the vehicle. We were tired, sore, hot and still in shock but those evil Camping Gods were not done with us yet.
What better way to end off a very busy work year and to get some much needed rest & relaxation than to go camping in northern Botswana for about a week? Well, it would seem we had angered the Camping Gods in 2018 and they were not having any of this “R&R” nonsense. It was going to be one of “THOSE” kind of trips and we had no idea what was coming!
Most of our online research about the Moremi Game Reserve in north-western Botswana, and more specifically, Third Bridge Campsite within the MGR, revealed that this was proper, wild bush camping in the sense that you were in the middle of the wilderness and wild animals will be a common sighting in camp. This sounded perfect to us and thus we went and spent 3 nights of semi-camping at Third Bridge Campsite.
It has become tradition with us that anytime we decide to go camping, something will always turn up or happen that will make the trip that much more exciting or frustrating or nerve-wrecking (or in most cases all three). Our latest trip to Khutse involved fire, rain, magnificent sunsets and an elephant charge!
Over the past few years that we have lived in Botswana, we have travelled to most of the “main” wildlife/camping areas in the country. We’ve visited the Tuli Block in Eastern Botswana, Kasane and the Chobe river and national park in the north, Khutse in the South-West and so we figured it was about time we went to the North-West and visit the town of Maun, the Moremi Game Reserve and of course, the Okavango Delta!
When one mentions the town of Palapye in Botswana's Central District, the association with the now well-frequented Moremi Gorge (read our review here) is often made. If, however, you want something a bit more off the beaten track, then why not explore the Old Palapye ruins and visit the smaller, but still very scenic Motetane Gorge?
The small town of Palapye, located about 270km North East from Gaborone has a population of just over 30,000 and is known for being near the Khama Rhino Sanctuary and en route to the more popular tourist destinations in Botswana like Nata, Kasane and Maun. Yet this little gem of a town is home to some amazing landscapes and boasts a couple of fascinating gorges with crystal clear waterfalls and bubbling brooks!
“If you go to Khutse alone and unprepared, you will die!” That was the general consensus from all our research as we planned our first trip to the Khutse Game Reserve in Botswana. "One life, live it" was our cheesy attitude and off we went on our 3-day/2-night camping trip to Khutse…and we lived to tell the tale!
After our last rain-soaked trip to Kasane in northern Botswana, we decided to give it another go, but this time before the heavy summer rains started. The Independence Day long weekend (end of September - beginning of October) gave us the ideal opportunity, so we invited my dad along, packed up a few items and made the 940km drive up from Gaborone to Senyati Safari Camp, about 17km before Kasane itself.
A road trip around Botswana over the Christmas holidays seemed like a perfect way for us to see the country we live and work in and to quench our desire to be out in the bush, mixing up some camping with some lodge accommodation and seeing what Botswana has to offer along the way. Little did we know how unprepared we’d be for a seemingly simple but exciting trip!
"We are a young, married, Botswana-based couple with a passion for going out into nature and the bush any chance we get!"