Africa

Kasane, gateway to Chobe National Park

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We continue with the stories of trip to Botswana: we leave Maun behind to drive to the small town of Kasane, where explore Chobe National Park and cross the border to see the Victoria Falls.

At five in the morning we were already riding in the car. The night was still reigning, but the first lights of dawn began to emerge. He yesterday We had filled the gas tank, so we started without further delay. Ahead we had a journey of more than eight hours of driving, since the road to Kasane by the national road is nothing direct and we wanted to arrive before lunchtime. On the road between Maun and Nata there are hardly any villages to stop, although we do find a couple of roadblocks. When we left the Maun area, we stopped at a control where we had to pass all the shoes through a disinfectant liquid (which was black and red) and pass the car through a strip full of the same liquid to disinfect the wheels. They told us that these controls are made when you leave an area with wild animals and cattle to control the disease of crazy cows. And a few years ago, Botswana suffered an epidemic of foot and mouth disease (foot and mouth disease) and many cattle had to be slaughtered. In addition, it represented a great problem because many people had invested their savings in livestock and the disease forced them to sacrifice it, which lost their savings for a lifetime.

Ostriches on the side of the road

After officially leaving the Okavango Delta area we entered the Nxai Pans National Park and when we left we passed another road control. Until Cream We did not find service areas in conditions where to stop to refuel, rest and eat something before continuing the trip. Before traveling this section we had been told that the road between Nata and Kasane was in bad conditions, but in our case (November 2013) they were already fixing it. For about 60 kilometers we had to go at 50 km / h instead of the normal 120 km / h because the road was under construction, so I guess that soon the road will be completely renovated. Anyway, all the way you have to drive with great caution because, in addition to the goats, cows and donkeys that are on the side of the road, you can also find wild animals, such as pretty ostriches.

Houston, we have a problem

After about 20 kilometers from Nata we stopped along the way to talk to those responsible for Elephant sands, since we wanted to do the excursion to Kukunju Island to spend the night under the stars in the Makgadikgadi Pans, huge salt flats or lakes that offer spectacular scenery, and we wanted to finish closing details in person. The Elephant Sands complex is about two kilometers from the main road along a very sandy track and, although it seemed hard enough, the car ended up completely stuck in the sand a mile from the hotel. When a car without four-wheel drive gets stuck, there is no choice but to ask to be towed. Luckily, after a few minutes a small tanker truck passed from the hotel and as neither the driver nor we had rope to get the car out of there, the man ended up calling the hotel to come and rescue us.

The best of Elephant Sands hotel is that it is built around an artificial pond where elephants go to bathe, so you can almost always have these huge mammals nearby to enjoy them. With those responsible for Elephant Sands we agreed to make the excursion to the salt flats when returning from Kasane, but as it was the beginning of the rainy season, until the day before we would not know if the excursion could be made or not, because if it rained everything would be muddy and you could not travel the roads with the car.

Then we follow the path and, as we had planned, we arrived in Kasane at about two in the afternoon. This is a much smaller population than Maun, so the hotel offer is scarcer and a bit more expensive. We decided to stay in The old house, a family hotel on the banks of the Chobe River, in a double room with bathroom and air conditioning that was a blessing with the heat that was there in November. In addition, it has one of the few restaurants with menu in the area, where guests have priority at dinner time. We were very comfortable.

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