Just a summary of how we found Nxai Pan to be.
I hope these details will help persuade others to add MNP as a stopover during a visit to Botswana. I don’t believe in “secret places” and instead believe the more often places are visited the more likely that their existence will remain viable. As alluded to in yesterday’s posting timing is of the essence it seems to try and guess where the animals will be and this also mean guessing some time in advance what the rains will be doing, not a reliable pursuit at the best of times. What I would plan for the future. Dry season (June to November) – Khumaga and the Boteti.
Distance travelled: 290 km Time taken: 8 hours
TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED THUS FAR: 2517km.
The feature of today’s travels was the bad condition again of the road from Deception Valley to Matswere Gate and then onto the tar near Rakops. This bit of road is in far worse condition than any of the roads within CKGR. It obviously never receives any maintenance whatsoever. Fortunately the mud ponds had largely dried up.
I would like to encourage all nature lovers passing through Botswana not to miss out on a visit to CKGR. Most travelling Africa will end up visiting Moremi and Chobe National Parks in Botswana. The semi-arid parks like CKGR and the Kgaligadi Transfrontier Park (shared with South Africa) are very different to the water rich popularly visited reserves. I know that many love the stark beauty of Namibia and this is a similar type of experience. Perhaps it can also be compared to the arid north of Kenya.
For those who might want more details of the wonderful Central Kalahari Game reserve (CKGR) having a look at these 2 previous trip reports of mine might help, from 2011 here http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php?t=83984 and from 2014 here http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php?p=2208932#post2208932 I think these have as much detail as you might require.
Distance covered: 410km. Time Taken: 8hr 30min (including stop for fuel, checking in at CKGR GATE and game viewing).
Route: Khama – Letlhakane – Mopipi – Rakops – CKGR (Central Kalahari Game reserve) – Sunday Pan campsite no 2 (booking code CKSUN03)
DISTANCE TRAVELLED: 910km TIME TAKEN 11hrs
ROUTE: East London (home) to Lichtenburg.
Details: East London - Queenstown - Bloemfontein - Bultfontein - Bloemhof - Wolmaransstad - Ottosdal - Lichtenburg.
Fuel consumption (allow for my defective maths) 5,6 km/l. I think this is not unexpected considering the heavy load and the long steady climb from sea level to altitude. I must admit to having a bit of a heavy foot today due to the distance we needed to cover.
I have recieved the most wonderful advice from various people during the planning of our trip. The most useful seemed to emanate from those researching the Southern African legs of their trips whilst on the road from North to South Africa. They seemed to have found my self-drive trip reports helpful and contacted me directly. They then very kindly reciprocated by offering excellent advice for this trip of ours.