Khubu island

 

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// 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 the area, and seriously, why ?? Well, to keep people in the very few campgrounds, which charge a mere 50usd per person per night 😀 So I guess we all agree, we’ll go for sneaky bushcamping.

A short drive in the bush, a toll gate to pay ?! and we hit the salt pan. This is the closest you can get from the salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, with a few, important differences.
In Bolivia, you should drive in the central part, and never get close to any edge. Here, it’s the opposite. And I didn’t know that.
So I drove to the central part to make the classic perspective pictures with mister Fox, but when I wanted to enjoy my 100kph ride over the salt pan, I ended up breaking the salt crust, and the van just sank into mud ! Shit !
I went into 4wd, low gear, but still not able to drive my way out of this mud !!!!
Alright, no panic, I can still walk back to Eiji and Chizu for help at this point, it just takes a very gentle push on the throttle, and some adjustments to the steering to get out, gain speed, and finally get back to the edge ! pfffiou ! Sounds easy, but it took me a fair amount of time.
Another difference is the climate. 40c during the day, 20% humidity, which goes to 8c, 80% humidity at night…. the switch happening around sunrise and sunset, in just a few hours. In Uyuni, it gets below -20c at night !
Vegetation is also very different with giant baobabs on Khubu !

Last difference : the salar in Bolivia is free of charge, and if you avoid the tours, you can get for free on any island, and camp wherever you want (just put triangles around the vehicles to signal your position at night).
We were lucky to camp here for one night, apparently, it is forbidden (we didn’t see any sign…..), so they get people in the only campground on the island, which is very expensive and completely crowded. So next day, we’ve been politely kicked out.
No choice but to drive out of the salt pan, one hour before sunset, to find a lovely spot in the bush, just north of the island. And this time, it’s too far for anyone to find us 🙂 At least, we managed to enjoy one night on the salt lake, one of the most magical place of Botswana !

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