On 3 August eighteen of us met at Matamba Bush Camp near Lephalale, ready to explore Botswana. Little did the group know what they were in for. Botswana is an awesome country and there are lots of beautiful places to see. However, to get to these places means traveling long distances that includes some big tar sections. It may sound easy but add boring straight as a ruler tar to it, add animals, add pot holes and add 37 degrees and you see people’s energy fading during the day and you have to do your best to keep everyone focused. Botswana is a tour of experiences not awesome dirt roads and you have to get yourself into that frame of mind. Botswana does not offer a lot of awesome dirt roads and once you go off the main routes there is only 3 meters of sand…. 3 meters deep!!!! Now as much as everyone wants to be Rambo and wants a challenge we all know that when you mention sand to the average adventure rider out there they run for the hills. That being said our route included some dirt sections with a little sand here and there but nothing that the average rider could not manage. Once you get into this frame of mind you are blown away by the beauty of Botswana when you reach your destination.
Along the way people are friendly and children are always smiling and running out to see the bikes. The locals will stop and ask us if they or their kids can have picture of them on a bike. Everyone want to know where we have been driving from, how long we have been on the bikes and where we are going to. When you drive into garages or towns you see them pulling out the cellphones to take pictures. This is something you will never experience when you sitting in your car or a 4×4. Our route started at Lephalale (Ellisras) where we crossed the border into Botswana via Stockpoort. We then travelled to Nata where we camped for our first night. Zulu Overland did a great job providing everything from tents, camping gear, chairs etc and cooking up delicious meals every day. During this time they pitched 231 tents, prepared 210 breakfasts, 210 light lunches and 210 dinners. All we had to do was eat the food ride our bikes and enjoy the tour. From Nata we travelled to Kasane where went on an awesome sunset cruise on the Chobe river, definitely one of the highlights of the tour. The next day the group was transferred to Vic Falls where they spend the day checking out this magical place. Some did flights over the falls others wandered around but everyone loved it.
Then it was time to leave Kasane and we travelled through the Caprivi to Ngepi near Divundu. It was a long hard day with temperature reaching 38 degrees, sapping the energy from the guys. The road into Ngepi gave everyone a feeling of achievement and lots to talk about around the campfire. The next day was a no bike day and some of us went to visit the remains of the old 32 Battalion others just took a break and enjoyed the magic of Ngepi and a few cold ones. It was time to say goodbye to Ngepi and we set off for Shakawe which was only 60km down the road but there was a secret dirt loop of about 230km that was on the cards today. It was an almost all dirt day, something which is very scarce in Botswana and the guys loved the ride as it gave them something of everything, some nice solid dirt, some loose bits, and some great single track. Arriving at Shakawe the swimming pool at the lodge was a welcome sight as again temperature’s hit 38 degrees. From Shakawe we were off to Maun and this was the road of potholes and donkeys. We were in for a treat in Maun when we go taken into the delta on morokoros. This was the closest most of us ever got to an elephant when one was interrupting our lunch and everyone had to carefully move out of his way.
What an experience!!!! Finally we left Maun to my favorite place Kubu Island, what a magical place. Everyone navigated safely through the bit of sand onto the pans and the ride on the pans was just awesome. The sunset was magical as was the sunrise. Sadly this was our last night in Botswana and what a special place to end a tour. Herewith some pictures taken of this awesome adventure. Pictures can never do justice to what the eye sees but it will give you some insight into our experiences. A big thank you to our clients to stand up to the challenges and for going on this journey with us. You were a fantastic group of people. Now spread the love…..like them share them and lets infect the world with this sport we love so much. Till next time Keep it Twisted!!!!
“A rare, unforgettable experience!!”
– Werner Spies