Thursday 17th July

Livingstone, Zambia – Kasane, Botswana

It was our slowest start to any morning so far on the trip as we realised how bad we are at hangovers in our old age. With promises of no more alcohol, we headed to the supermarket for food and fuel before leaving Livingstone and Zambia in a cloud of dust.

After a short drive to the border and a mildly painful border control, we jumped on the ferry crossing at Kazangula and landed on Botswana soil. We were happy to quickly find Thebe River Camp and enjoyed a quiet afternoon of chess and cards before a much needed early night.

16,464 miles

Friday 18th July

Kasane – Mababe Village

Refreshed with a new will to live, we topped up our fuel and picked up a nice couple of English backpackers – Nick and Jen – who were on their way to Maun. We paid the park fees for Chobe National Park and headed along the river watching the hippos, buffalo, elephant and common cow amongst others.

The drive through the park was hard work on Bru as we ploughed through the deep sand. Despite a couple of engine overheats, we made it out of the park as the sun was setting and looked for a place to camp. Despite GPS and maps, the route was not too clear to find a village that we heard had a community campsite. After circling round some water for nearly an hour, we tried going through the water.

With Nick on the bonnet trying to spot through the murky water with a  stick, we plunged into a hole and the water started to come over the bonnet and into the foot wells. Realising the error of our ways, we quickly retracted and after another 30 minutes of driving, we found our way to Mababe village and the campsite. Despite the cost, it was a great new place with open air showers and we enjoyed dinner with Nick and Jen around the fire.

16,649 miles

Aborted river crossing
Birds swarming


Saturday 19th July

Mababe Village - Maun

The power steering had not enjoyed the submersion from the day before and we cautiously drove for a couple of hours along the good gravel road to Maun. With some road works in place, we got to use our winch to pull out a couple of vehicles who were stuck in the sand. This obviously dented morale for a rich South African guy whose wife started abusing him for not buying a Land Rover which was obviously superior. We didn’t argue with her.

We dropped off the hitchhikers at a campsite and went into town to try and find a garage that was open on a Saturday to look at the steering. Unfortunately, every mechanic was out in the bush saving someone and with Monday and Tuesday being a holiday, Wednesday was the earliest that anyone could look at Bru.

We filled up our fridge at the supermarket and headed to Audi Camp just out of town. There we met an Australian guy called Roo who was on his way from South Africa and about to embark on a worldwide journey in his Land Rover ( We compared notes and checked out each others yutes for the afternoon before getting dinner on the go where we were joined by a young Dutch couple who were in a hire vehicle that they had been destroying on the sandy roads.

16,762 miles

Sunday 20th July


Having been kept awake by an elderly group of South Africans who were singing their folk songs until 4am, we had a groggy start as we headed to the airport with Roo to see if we could hire a small plane for the afternoon. We managed to book a one hour scenic flight over the Okavango Delta with Kanvango Air and as we sat having lunch by the airport, we met Matt and Hilary - who we had been passing since Livingstone – who joined us on the flight to help reduce the cost.

We jumped in the 6 seater Cessna with our pilot George who flew at about 3,500 feet over the vast delta. Passing over numerous elephants, giraffe and hippos, it was great to see the scale of this natural phenomena whereby the water from a huge river simply drains into the ground.

As Roo took the controls, Hilary struggled to contain her lunch on the bumpy ride in the small plane. We all remained focused on the horizon as we came to land and enjoyed a cold beer on hard ground. We headed to the more subdued Maun Rest Camp with Matt and Hilary and enjoyed a great barbeque with a pair of Americans who were also staying there.

After dinner, Roo managed to persuade us to head over the river to the more upbeat Old Bridge Backpackers where there was a great atmosphere. We made our mark quite quickly by taking on the local pilots/pool sharks at their own game. Being less inebriated than them, it was an easy defeat and we stayed on the table for a while until the effects of the victory sambuca shots took effect.


Monday 21st July


We packed up and said bye to Nick and Hilary who were heading back to work in the capital, Gaberone and headed over to the Old Bridge Backpackers ( where we spent the morning updating diaries and sorting out photos before heading into town for web updates and e-mails.

It was also time to commit to booking our flights from Cape Town. Andy is returning to Scotland whereas Nick is continuing his travels without Bru in Perth, Australia for a year. It was a strange feeling for us both to set a date for the end of the adventure despite still having Namibia and another three weeks to go.


Back at camp, we chilled out for the afternoon by the river before joining Roo and several other backpackers for food and an evening of games including chess, pool and cards.



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South Africa