Getting wet in the Okavango and then bumpy and sandy in Chobe

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Africa » Botswana
March 10th 2020
Published: March 10th 2020
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It had rained overnight and that was not a good sign for the day ahead. Many of the roads that had just opened as the rain had stopped would become impassable.

We got up early and made our way to the north of the delta. The road was plagued with hundreds of washouts and water up to ½ a metre deep but Nelly did well until we got stuck. The water was higher than the doors when we did get stuck and I stupidly opened the door not realising and it flooded in and then even after I shut it it started coming through the floor and the seals in the door. Also the water was grey and absolutely stank, likely as a result of the animal poo in it and more besides.

Alain and I got out into the water which nearly reached our waist and worked out (via feel alone) that we were stuck in a trench. We managed to get the sand ladders in to use to climb the truck out and we were only in the water for about 20 minutes. However everything got wet from the passport for the car to all the maps – whilst Warwick who was in the truck did a great job moving everything to higher ground it wasn’t quick enough.

Once out water came out of everywhere and Alain and I were caked in thick mud from scrambling in the water. Thankfully we learned our lesson and didn’t get stuck again and often ended up walking the deep sections before the car to check.

Our progress was slow but we eventually got to the North of the park only to find it was all flooded and so we couldn’t go in. So we headed north to Chobe where the endless puddles made way for deep sand which bought its own challenges. On the plus side the wildlife was amazing with endless herds of elephant, giraffe, zebra and buffalo. On the down side in 3 hours we made 66km and probably had to drive 60km of them in deep sand and the other 6km under water in deep puddles.

As we made our way north into Chobe we passed a Canadian couple and their 18 month old in a car far from suitable for the road who were stuck and attempting to go the way we came. Firstly we told them to go back the way they came, secondly we towed them out of the water where they had sunk in (with water lapping at their feet). Once we pulled them out the immediately got stuck in the sand again so we offered to shadow them to the top of the park. They were immensely grateful and totally overwhelmed.

We ended up in the North of Chobe at an amazing site which most importantly featured a swimming pool which was a slightly different colour by the time we got out.

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