Africa

Travel to Botswana by car. Route from Johannesburg to Serowe

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That morning we had a long driving day ahead. We left Johannesburg behind to cross the border of Botswana to the population of Serowe. Next we describe how it went drive through South Africa and how we passed the border of Martin's Drift in Botswana.

The GPS told us that we had almost six hours of travel ahead, so we decided to leave our B&B in the outskirts of Sandton, Johannesburg. A little later than half past six we started the car and it was already day. In fact, it was already getting quite hot. When driving through South Africa and Botswana you have to take into account the hours of sun because you have to avoid driving at night at all costs. In November, the sun rose at half past five in the morning and set shortly before seven in the afternoon.

Trunk prepared for adventure

Being a Monday morning, the highway to Johannesburg was quite collapsed. Luckily, our accommodation was on the outskirts of Sandton and, when driving in the direction of Pretoria, the traffic was quite smooth to get out of the megacity.


Driving in South Africa

Before leaving our B&B, the owner gave us a tip: «drive with caution and do not exceed the speed limit. The police in South Africa are very corrupt and take advantage of any excuse to be bribed. If they stop you, don't give in to the bribe and ask them to pay you the fine. Luckily, we had no encounter with the police, but it is true that during the journey we saw several agents doing speed controls.

The highways in South Africa They are pretty good. They are well paved, have enough lanes (between three and five) and the service areas are great: restaurants, clean bathrooms, ATMs and shaded parking. On the highway we took we had to pay four tolls of 8.50; 40, 32 and 13 rands. On this trip we could pay by credit card without problem. However, on the way back the highway concessionaire had to be another and they did not accept any Spanish card, so it is best to carry enough rands on top just in case.

South Africa Service Area

After 235 km on the N1 motorway, we continue on the N11, which is a conventional one-way road, for 200 more kilometers to Groblersburg, the exit gate for South Africa. Several tips on this route: the road is quite well paved, although you can find the odd bump and the odd piece of wheel bursting in the middle. The speed limit can go from 60 km / h to 120 km / h, but you have to go with an eye because you can find cars and trucks that are very slow.

Another tip is that, once you have left the highway, refuel and fill the tank in Mokopane, a fairly large and lively town 25 km from the highway exit. From this point there are hardly any gas stations and among them there may be many kilometers away. The last tip: Before refueling, ask first how you can pay. Off the highway it is very rare that they accept credit cards, so you will have to pay in cash. We stopped at the gas station and, when going to pay, they told us that it must be in cash and it did not reach us. Luckily, there was a cashier at the same gas station ... thank goodness! As an informative fact: we paid 295 rands for 23 liters of gasoline.

Globersburg border post, South Africa

Cross the border between South Africa and Botswana in Groblersburg - Martin's Drift.

When we crossed the border I would have liked someone to have explained to me in detail what the process would be like. That would have saved me the disgust of having to go back in Botswana to have to go back to South Africa to look for the exit stamp. Below I explain in more detail.

Once you reach the border point of Groblersburg, the agents will give you a piece of paper at the entrance that you have to take to the immigration office. You park the car in front and go first to "Customs", where you have to go to the "Nothing to declare" window. Once you have sealed your passport and paper, you have to go a little further to the left where the "Immigration" windows are. Your passport will be stamped there as you left South Africa. With your passport sealed, you ride in the car to drive a few meters to a covered booth. There you have to show the passports and the driver has to get off so that the officer can inspect that the car has the papers in order to leave the country. It is very important that your car rental company give you the necessary documentation to get the car out of the country.

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