Salt Pans - Day 21

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Africa » Botswana
November 4th 2008
Published: November 11th 2008
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Francistown CampFrancistown CampFrancistown Camp

Francistown Camp
The road out of Francistown was excellent as we sped towards Nata - in a north westerly direction. The German couple who had camped next to us for the previous two days told us that there would be two Vetinary checks along the road. Apparently there is Foot & Mouth, or some other nasty diseases, in parts of the country so vehicle movements are restricted in that fresh meet and milk products cannot be transported about at will. Fortunately we were told, so we were prepared when the time came.

They duly inspected our fridges and we had to disinfect our shoes and drive the cars through dips. We refueled at Nata before setting off for Gweta, some 50 or so miles on towards Maun.

This is where we planned to enter the Makgadikgadi Park hopefully to see the pans. The park entrance fees had to be obtained in Nata (duff information we had been given that we could get them at the gate!) so we set off, out of the park, in a south east direction, through a maze of tracks to find the pan. The pan, when we reached it, was huge and absolutely flat. All of
Track to Pan Track to Pan Track to Pan

Travelling to the Pan
them are of a salty substance which was very unwise to drive on - particularly so when wet - except on the well worn track. Cars that deviate from the hardened tracks have been know to break the hard crust on the top and then sink into the “liquid concrete” below - never to be seen again! Our cars are pretty heavy and we don’t want to lose them, so we kept to the track.

The day was rushing on and we felt that we had to cut our losses and bush camp on a track back towards Nata, rather than make for Kubu Island - the real desert island - an outcrop in the middle of the pan. We established a lovely bush camp beside a tick tree where we felt a little threatened by rain, the wind veering through 180 degrees as we tried to park our cars into wind for comfort’s sake. Finally it abated completely and we had a still evening. A lovely spot, totally remote.

(Note - Having viewed the Pans with Google Earth - a poor second best to being there! - they are clearly visible even from a high altitude -
Salt flats!Salt flats!Salt flats!

Mgadadikgadi Pan
they seem an impressive size)

Additional photos below
Photos: 5, Displayed: 5


Crossing the panCrossing the pan
Crossing the pan

Crossing the pan

Bugs around the camplight

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