TRAVELBUCKET

Botswana

UNDER LOCKDOWN DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS. NOW WHAT?

At the moment the world is holdings its breath in anticipation of the corona virus outcome.  So what can you do while under lockdown? You can be lazy and lie on the couch, watch series and get lazy.  My motto is to tackle only one task that I never get around to do or just always find an excuse for and get it done and dusted, but then thoughts wonder to travelling and I somehow still do not get around to completing my task.  If you are hungry for a camping trip, but all the campsites are locked for safety reasons the next best thing to do is to unpack and check your camping equipment.  Get the kids involved and pitch the tent, check the zips and window gauze and give it a good waterproof washdown.  Put things aside that needs attention for another day when under lockdown.  Remember the… Read more >

TIPS ON HOW TO NEGOTIATE AFRICAN ROADS

This post is mostly for the inexperienced first-time visitor/driver to the African continent.  Always remember that Africa is quite different than any other continent.  So be aware that you sometimes need to come out of your comfort zone to survive the continent.  Things that seems abnormal on other continents is sometimes quite normal in Africa! Check your tyres before you drive off. It sounds a bit foolish, but this can safe you some embarrassment if you just walk around your vehicle once to check if all your tyres are still okay and inflated to the correct pressure.  Now you are ready to hit the road and enjoy the rest of your trip.    Tyre compressors and gauges at garages, especially in remote locations, are not always correct.  Be aware of that.  We have a habit of using our own tyre pressure gauge that we carry in our cubbyhole.   Part of… Read more >

HOW TO ACT AROUND WILD ANIMALS

Your trip is planned and you are about to set off on your overland trip!  Excitement is big and contagious, but on the other end of the scale you are also a bit nervous as you are unsure how to act around wild animals. Let me, as an experienced and seasoned African traveller, give some basic do’s and don’ts when you are out there: Zip up your tent – no matter how hot it is in side, zip up for various reasons. It keeps out bugs, mosquitoes and slithering things like snakes.  A lion will not bother you in your tent.  They do not realise that they can rip open the canvas with a quick stroke of the paw and no, an elephant will not trip over your tent.  Elephants are amazingly gracious when they walk. When you go to bed stow all food (and garbage) either in your tent… Read more >

WHICH ONE? ROOFTOP VERSUS GROUND TENT

It is quite difficult to decide which is best: a rooftop tent or a ground tent. The truth is that both have advantages and disadvantages and there are a few factors that will determine which one will work best for YOU.  So let us have a look at the broader picture. A rooftop tent is the easiest way to sleep off the ground.  You will have to decide why this is important for you and your family.  We as a family prefer to go for a ground tent as we do not want to carry all the weight on Wallace’s roof as it becomes a bit top heavy then.  Top heavy in a Landy spells danger going down slopes – it always feel like Wallace is going to topple over. The pro’s and con’s One of the pro’s of a rooftop tent is it helps when your campsite is uneven… Read more >

COOKING IN THE BUSH

This surely is my favourite pastime when we are camping in a group – to watch how innovative people can get when preparing a meal with what you have at hand, especially when it is week two of a serious off-road trip.  I myself like to keep things very simple! I prefer to travel as light as possible and keep the kitchen equipment/ utensils to the minimum.  Fancy cooking is something that I will attempt when I am at home with all the crockery and cutlery at hand.  After all, this is why we come to the bush – to get back to basics again and appreciate nature.  I can proudly say that I have had a braai in countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Zambia! When camping there are basically two ways to cook – either with a gas cooker… Read more >

GOING SOLO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK?

Going solo off the beaten track is not for every off-road traveller whether you visit Botswana, Namibia or venture further into Africa past Zambia, going north.  There are pros and cons to it so you need to consider everything.  If you are a social person and like the company of fellow travellers and hate being alone then going solo is definitely not for you.  Groups also provide some security and you can share costs of planned activities. If you like your own company and have some travel savvy then going solo is for you.  Going solo gives you freedom of choice and total independence to change your travel plans on the spur of the moment if something interests you on the wayside. Things that you need to consider when planning your next solo African trip are the following. You will need the ability to navigate.  There are not many countries… Read more >

SEEKING SOLITUDE

If you look on a map you will see that Botswana is dotted with many salt pans, but early morning on Deception pan is a magical place.  It is cold (if you visit during winter) and it is quiet.  It is time to reflect on life while you wait for the sun to show its face on the horizon, but soon you will be taking off your jersey and enjoy life under the Botswana sun. First things first.  As always when you are in the bush you first need to scan your surroundings, while standing close to the vehicle, to see what is moving or not moving ….  You never know what lurks in the grass and is watching your from their hideout! As the soft light of the rising sun turns the landscape of the pans into all sorts of beautiful colours it is time to take out the… Read more >

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