As I was cruising along the David Thompson highway in my Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, Led Zeppelin’s “Rock & Roll” was playing on the radio, the magnificent Rocky Mountains were filling up my windscreen view and I thought to myself, “Welcome to Canada!”
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!
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!
“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!
As a keen, amateur overlander I have a tendency to spend more time than is healthy looking at used 4x4 car ads online and one such ad had me quite intrigued to the point where I thought to myself “This is too good to be true”, and as fate would have it, it was.
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!
The date was 14th February 1975, the starting point was the town of Kragujevac in (the former) Yugoslavia in Eastern Europe, the end point was Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the vehicles in question were communist-era, 5-door passenger cars made by the (now defunct) Yugoslav auto-giant Zastava.
"We are a Botswana-based family of 3, with a passion for going out into nature and the bush any chance we get!"