Heine's Ramblings and Rumblings

2015/01 Botswana/Zimbabwe

Instead of my usual exciting prose , this is more of a photographic trip report. Click on any thumbnail for a slideshow .

Day 1 4 January

Easy day from home to Woodlands ,Francistown. We crossed at Grobler’s Brug which was fairly busy but went quite quickly. The only wrinkle was that we couldn’t pay for our 3rd party on the Botswana side in rands. Not sure of this is a new policy , or if they were just being FOS. Luckily they accept Visa credit cards , so no real harm done .

Woodlands was fully booked , including the bush camp , but we found a spot that hadn’t been cleared in the bush camp

Distance 700 km



Day 2 5 January

Woodlands to Elephant Sands with a stop over at Nata Lodge which was flooded last time I went past there (March 2014) .

IMHO , Elephant Sands is a shithole and should be avoided ,other than for the ellies in camp. The lounge/bar area was a dump , and the campsite was full of litter and overflowing rubbish bins. It took complaints from 3 separate people to get the water in the ablutions going. Pity , beacause it could be quite a nice stopover if it was run properly.

Distance 241 km



Distance 241 km

Day 3 6 January

Elephant Sands to Leadwood Pan -Hunters Road

Hunters was very green and quite wet , we stopped for lunch at Two Tree Pan and were visited by lone elephants on 4 separate occasions over a period of about 2 1/2 hours. After lunch we headed to Leadwood Pan were we stopped for the night  .


Distance 100 km


Day 4 7 January

Leadwood Pan to Deteema Dam, Hwange

I felt that we would probably not be able to continue much further along Hunter’s , based on the amount of water at Leadwood Pan , be we decided to see how far we could get. Turns out not very far, and about 20 km later we had to turn around at Nundu River and had back south to take a cutline out to the tar road. We crossed into Zimbabwe at Pandamentanga and headed to Deteema Dam after stopping for lunch at Robin’s Camp. We were surprised at how empty Robin’s was.

That night we heard quite a lot of lion , and it appears they came past us during the night.

Distance 216 km

Day 5 8 January

Deteema Dam to Masuma Dam

Shortest day of the trip. We went for a look at the picnic spot near Deteema Dam and on the way there I damage the sidewall on my left rear tyre. Although it’s not meant to be done , we repaired it with a gaiter for the time being. At Masuma , we had the same camp attendant that we had previously in December 2012 . I offered to give him a lift down to where the water pump was , as he mentioned that he had seen a large pride of 34 lions the previous day and he was a bit nervous to walk down alone . On the way , we stopped in to have a look at Kapula Private Camp. We saw quite a lot of game on the way there , and I suspect we would have seen a lot more if the bush hadn’t been so thick. That night we had a great sighting of about 40 elephant at Masuma , including two newborns. We heard the lion again as well .

Distance 67 Km

Day 6 9 January

Masuma Dam to Woodlands

Easy border crossing again at Panadamatenga . The only issue was that the tyre finally gave in after I went through a pretty deep pothole just before Franscistown , forcing us to finally change it . Woodlands was full again , so we have to use the bushcamp .

Distance 490 km

Day 7 10 January

Woodlands to home. The end of a too short trip. But it was better than staying at home.

Distance 707 km

Total distance 2523km

Trip fuel economy 6.03km/l





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