We will be traveling independently throughout Africa next spring. We'd like to get from Chobe NP to the Okavango Delta. We're not budget travelers but we're on a tight budget. Driving looks like a 7 hour marathon, I think we'd prefer a small plane - any suggestions re: accommodations and getting from one place to the next?
There are several companies running flights from Maun and also from Kasane, one of which is close to Chobe. The flight takes about an hour or 1.5 hours depending on where in the delta you are going. I've been there several times and it is well worth it. A trip to remember.
We stayed at some of the tented camps, which made it a great experience.
Thanks Matt...we are really looking forward to it. Do you remember any of the names of the camps? Did you prearrange everything or did you set some things up after you were already in the country? We're not going at peak season but I'd like to make sure we get into cool places. I read a recommendation for Muchenji Lodge in Chobe and Little Vumbura in Okavango - any ideas?
il prefer you go to savuti ,its in the ngamoilang,jnus browse the net ul n read abt it,thr is also nxabega not far from savuti,thts wer i have been caus my brother is working thr..i travel thr for free,but thr r small planes tht take u to these different camps..
I have just come back from a 7 week stint in Africa including botswana and if the flights turn out to be expensive I can tell you that the road from delta to chobe is not bad at all and the drive is actually quite a pleasant one - we even stumbled across a herd of elephants about halfway through and we were told this is quite frequent! It's also nice to do a bit of driving in Africa - I enjoyed nothing more than driving through Africa; the scenery is beautiful and you will be surprised how much wildlife you encounter even out of the game parks.
Thanks Krystie, do you need a 4WD - we've even thought of renting a motorhome, do you think it would make it?
I went in an overlanding truck that wasn't a 4wd and we didn't have any problems, however, our driver was very used to driving those roads and I'm not sure how much that had to do with it. I can say though the road was all tarmac. I suggest maybe double checking because to be honest, I'm not sure how a motor home would go, I don't see a problem but someone else might be able to confirm.
The advantage of having the motor home would be the option of having an onboard toilet because there isn't the option of stopping at a gas station whenever you need to go and unlike parts of East Africa, a lot of the land in Botswana was all privately owned ---> so it was difficult even finding a suitable bush that wasn't behind a fence. In the end, we resorted to asking land owners if we could pee on their yards if we saw them close to the road - most of the time they were very accommodating :P
Another thing I forgot to mention though - as you come out of the Okavankgo Delta to get back onto the road to Chobe you should be aware that there is a hand, foot and mouth checkpoint. This checkpoint had officials and police who wanted to see our passports (checking we all had entered the country legally) and they made us disinfect all our shoes so have your shoes and passport handy. Silly me packed my walking shoes in my backpack and only had my flip flops on which was a pain in the ass - had to unpack my shoes etc etc. They may also want to come and check your vehicle and if they do this, I suggest keeping at least one passenger in the truck just to be sure that they aren't taking anything or looking at anything they shouldn't be. We didn't have any problems and found the officials in Botswana probably the least corrupt in Africa but you can never be too sure. Things they are going to be looking for in the truck - is that you don't have any meat (you may be transporting hand, foot and mouth back into the farming district) and that all shoes had been disinfected.
My wife Teresa and I had a serious accident in which my wife had suffered a broken neck and the conduct of the Sergeant Motsamai from Gweta police station was outrages and the focus of my complaint. At the scene of the accident the Sergeant asked me what happened and I explained what I thought was the cause that Teresa who was driving was trying to avoid what she thought was a pothole. (My wife does not remember the accident) He then advised me after a very short time looking at the scene (circa 10-15 mins) that he thought it was careless driving and that there was a fine of 500 pula. He then said for us to go on and that he would take my belongings in the police vehicle and follow on after the ambulance to the hospital at Gweta to take a statement. Lynn Jones from Maun very kindly called the police and the ambulance for us and was at the scene of the accident when the sergeant arrived.
The Sergeant only arrived at the hospital after I asked Dr. Olivier Betu to contact the police station asking for my belongings which contained the travel insurance papers I needed to get a helicopter in to evacuate my wife, Teresa Brigdale Dean, to get her to a hospital with the facilities to treat the very serious spinal injuries my wife suffered. The scene of the accident was about 20kms from Gweta and there is no reason for the delay in getting to the hospital by the police (who had already decided it was careless driving and taken measurements etc .at the scene at about 2.30pm) - then arriving at the hospital at about 6pm, over 3 hours later, when it was already dark. I have been advised that the Gweta air field does not have lights for night time landings to allow her to fly out.
In my opinion the delay was a deliberate ploy by the Sergeant to delay our exit from the area until he was paid the imposed fine. He originally asked for the payment directly without any paperwork being presented and this was at the time my wife was literally waiting in the ambulance to be taken to Maun, with the nurse and driver, waiting to be flown out for treatment. The conduct and the delay was motivated by the Sergeant’s insistence that I pay the fine before leaving the country in a manor that put by wife's life in peril. The Sergeant stated, as we were about to leave that he would have to detain us, either my wife or myself if the fine was not paid.
I refused to pay the Sergeant directly and said I would pay the US Dollars to Dr. Olivier Betu – ( I did not have sufficient Pula on me) but he refused to get involved - I insisted on a ticket or notification that the matter will go to court - I signed a document (copy enclosed) and paid US$70 to the nurse Mvula and a further US$70 for towing charges (as the sergeant said earlier that 500pulas was required for towing – when a gentleman turned up for payment for the tow without paperwork he suggested that it was US$500 I disagreed and nurse Mvula back me up on this) and this had to be paid for and also had to be exchanged the next day as the accident was on a Sunday. Nurse Mvula was wonderful and a tower of strength and was solely interested in our welfare at all times. However Sergeant Motsamai showed a total lack of regard for my wife's very serious and life threatening condition where one would have expected a police escort to the hospital and assistance with her evacuation by helicopter to Maun or Francistown in similar situations elsewhere.
The result of the delay was that Teresa had to be driven 200km to Maun with the her head moving side to side and up and down for over 2 hours with her broken neck to meet a plane from the Flying Mission - this would be completely unnecessary if the sergeant came straight to Gweta hospital with my documents. – The Flying Mission then stabilised her and flew her to Gaborone then onto Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital at circa 1am in the morning where she underwent surgery on the 04/05/2010.
Sergeant Motsamai behaviour showed a complete lack of care and a dereliction of duty to my wife and myself.
The subsequent police report was a whitewash and I am still awaiting a response to the anomolies exposed in the report.
Copies of the report and reply e mail firstname.lastname@example.org