Entries from 'Africa'

Caprivi strip

 

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// Nikon D7200

After this magical encounter, we drove across the caprivi strip, but hey, this is Namibia after all……. not easy to bushcamp ! In fact, there is people everywhere and it’s simply impossible to find a place to sleep !
Our best option is the national parks, since this part is very remote , parks are cheap, and camping inside usually cost around $5. Our next good option was the Mudumu national park, and the camping spot was so nice we spent 3 days there !
Bbq every night, looooot of noise at night from nearby hippos, and even lions, but nothing came close, with the notable exception of vervet monkeys, always trying to get inside our vehicles.

I also managed to repair my CB radio (4 faults to find and re solder !), and we now have a long range radio system between the 2 vehicles ! Alleluia ! I’ve got this radio since the beginning, and we never managed to use it so far, I guess it was about time, but we need it here !

Next day, we decided to explore a bit the park and his deep soft sand tracks. We spotted a lot of zebras and antelopes, but highlight of the day was to get stuck in the sand for the first time… Alright ! Time to get the sand ladders and shovel out ! First time, so couple of mistakes, here is the thing to do :
Everyone talk about low pressure on tyres, do you have time to deflate your tyres everytime you see a small patch of soft sand ? No, you only do it on long sandy sections, because it takes a good 15min to deflate and re inflate your tyres. So every small section is a potential trap. So what to do is :
stay in low gear, and keep some speed/momentum to cross those small sandy sections. If stuck, don’t insist too much or the vehicle will sink, making the recovery process even more painful.
Dig the vehicle out, position your sand ladders in front of the back wheel. Don’t put them flat, curve them a bit in front of the tyre so they can roll below the tyres as soon as they spin ! Very important ! If the sand ladder is sitting flat on the sand, the grip on your tyre won’t be enough to climb on it !
Done in about 15min, but with this sun, it was fairly exhausting…

Time to get back to camp, I made another bonfire to keep everyone warm at night, but if I was by myself, I would simply go to sleep, that day just killed me.

Next, we went to the Mamili national park, where we had the opportunity to meet the most unfriendly park ranger in the continent. It almost felt like she was paid to be in a bad mood behind a fake smile.
On top of that, this park had nothing to offer but a challenging curve in deep soft sand (this time I got stuck by driving mistake), and I had a new chance at getting mister fox out of his sandbox. This one ended up being very challenging !

But so far, I managed to get out every time by myself. I’m glad Eiji and Chizu are nearby to help me just in case, but it is very important to figure out everything myself, in case this happens when I’m travelling alone. And it may in the future !

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Caprivi strip

  // Nikon D7200 |-18.10887 : 21.67396 | alt. 1035m It’s now time to go back to Namibia ! First thing first, we need to refuel before the border since it’s way cheaper here in Botswana. Then the border crossing….. well, no big deal, everything went pretty smoothly, everyone was helpful and friendly, if only…

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Maun

  // Nikon D7200 |-18.78607 : 21.74048 |alt. 1017m Alright, this is it, time to leave the park ! After a long time planning our route, since I’ve got barely no brake, we took the shortest gravel road east to exit the park, and at the gate, we asked if we could drive along the fence…

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Central Kalahari

  // Nikon D7200 |-21.32411 : 23.86979 |alt. 953m Central Kalahari, here we are ! Very important note before going into this park/desert…. there is no water ! It is a very remote place, and you have to be completely self sufficient, this also means you have to be able to fix your car if…

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Bush camping

  // Nikon D7200 | -19.74897 : 26.07107 | alt. 961m Just a few hundreds kilometers to drive today, but it gets really hot during the day, 38c with 20% humidity, which goes to 8c with 80% humidity at night. Our next stop is Elephant sands, a campground north of Nata, with a man made…

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Khubu island

  // Nikon D7200 |-20.88986 : 25.83075 | alt. 900m Thanks god, the east side of the great salt pan in Botswana is not a national park, yet. No gate, no expensive fee, but still a few rules to respect, which we’ll try to bypass as much as possible. It is forbidden to bush camp in…

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Khama rhino sanctuary

  // Nikon D7200 |-21.87159 : 26.45137 | alt. 1078m Our first proper stop in Botswana is the Khama rhino sanctuary, which is the place where they keep rhinos safe. Because of poachers, there is only a few of them left (around 50 in this very small park), and it will probably be our last chance…

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Botswana, here we go !

  // Nikon D7200 | 26.12566 : -24.62047 | alt. 1013m Prior to crossing into Botswana, I’ve got some important shopping to do. You never know what “technology” is available in the next country, and I believe there is more chance to find good quality stuff in South Africa. I need new spanners (despite being from…

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Unexpected meeting in Kruger

  // Nikon D7200 | -24.55288 : 31.1064 | alt. 565m This morning, I decided to go a second time inside Kruger national park, after all, I have the pass, so I don’t have to pay the expensive fee to get in every time ! I didn’t see much that day, but what was completely…

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Kruger national park

  // Nikon D7200 | -25.03485 : 31.22078 | alt. 468m A few more hours hiking into Mlilwane reserve, and it was time to go north, quickly leaving Swaziland after only 2 days. Time is running out very quickly, and I have to see if I can get my visa extension……. well, nope 🙁 Cannot believe…

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