A travel journal
to Botswana by African Explorer
Quote: Botswana is one of my favorite African countries, I have traveled there many times and have crossed the country overland in all directions. The people are friendly and the wildlife abundant.
Hotel | "Chobe Game Lodge"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 3, 2000
Chobe Safari Lodge
Border of Chobe National Park
(267) 625 0 336
Hotel | "Riley's Hotel"
Celebrity Resorts Steamboat Springs Hilltop
1000 High Point Drive
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80477
Hotel | "Jacks Camp"
P. O. Box 173
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana
The best route I have found from Johannesburg is to take the N4 into Botswana at the Pioneer border gate. The border patrol officers here are very friendly and easygoing due to the lack of traffic at this post. Get on the A2 in Lobatse and fill up your gas tank and any portable tank you can find. Continue northwest on the A2 through Kanye and Jwaneng until you reach Sekoma. Head south on the dirt road to Khakhea for approximately 50km. Turn south at Khakhea with a compass and start asking locals where you can find the nomadic bushman.
A 4x4 is required, or I guess you could hike from Sekoma however there are wild animals. For a reasonable fee ($1.00 per day) you can hire a local to come along in case you get lost or get into trouble. Word of mouth gets around fast and you will find many places to sleep in local villages. If you are willing to invest a week or so, you can find the bushman tribes of Botswana.
We followed a dirt road out of Gaborone heading northeast attempting to find a nice location along the Limpopo River for animal watching. After about two
hours on the bumpy dirt track we arrived at a small native village. The natives stared at us quietly as we drove through their village. Heinrich (My friend from Johannesburg) told me to smile and act normal. After winding our way through huts and livestock we left the village heading due east towards the Limpopo. After thirty more minutes of driving we came to another small village. Again the people ran out of their huts and just watched us as if they had never seen anyone in a vehicle before. We passed on through scattering
dust everywhere. It was beginning to get late so we decided to pitch camp at a dry water hole and continue to the Limpopo in the morning. We both
opted to sleep on top of the Mercedes Sprinter (A common place to camp in Africa where there are wild animals) so after dinner over the fire we climbed atop to enjoy the sounds of the African night.
Five miles west of the Limpopo river- tonight I am sleeping out under the stars in beautiful Botswana. The moon is full and the stars bright. I can hear the sounds of wildlife all around. There is a cool southern breeze keeping the mosquitoes at bay. Good night.
Finally found a pen! Well, I am writing by moonlight, I had just fallen asleep when out of the southwest came the sounds of native drums! I can hear the drums and people yelling. It makes me a little nervous. Heinrich says its fine.
The drums are much louder now, the yelling and singing seems to be getting closer. Heinrich decided it was time to put out the fire and he extinguished his
They are surrounding us! Heinrich and I are sitting quietly in the dark straining to listen at the footsteps and whistles coming from the bush all around us. The drums are very loud and monotonous, I hope they don’t molest us!
Still awake, very nervous, we are totally surrounded by natives in the bush watching us. They communicate to each other by whistles and clicks. The drums are still pounding but I can hear women singing and laughing off in the distance. I have written my address and information in the back of my journal in case something happens and my journal is found.
I can hear people walking in the bushes, it sounds as if they are fading away in the distance, Heinrich and I sit still waiting and hoping that they decided to move off and let us be, which they did. The drums sounded all night. To this day I can still remember each moment sitting there tense with anticipation of an attack. and wondering if I could escape and survive in the bush until I found my way to safety.
Since this memorable experience I have learned a considerable amount about the rural natives. Simple common sense would have saved us the agony we
went through. I should have stopped in each village and offered the chief a coke or gift and asked his permission to travel or camp on his land. He would of made sure we were left alone. Instead we offended them by just taking up residence on their land without asking permission or at least making friends with them. I consider myself fortunate that they were content with just scaring us instead of harming us.
Johannesburg/ Fort Worth Texas, Texas