Mabuasehube again

A Forum to ask questions and share advice that pertain to self drive, self-sufficient overland safaris to Botswana. Questions about border procedures, National Parks, Lodges and destinations welcome.
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Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:29 pm

Mabuasehube again

Postby Geoff » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:02 pm

Father & son’s Easter 2014 Trip
Botswana Mabuasehube Second Time Around

Our 10th annual father and son Easter trip was go Mabuasehube (for the second time) in Botswana. The title of this report is a bit ironic as we missed Easter by a week and only one of the son’s (Dave’s son in law) was going. We had visited Mabuasehube last in 2007 and then the park for only 1 day. The plan was to spend a bit more time there and also to traverse through to the South African side via the Nossob trail. After battling to get any bookings (I don’t like booking in advance as it spoils the spontaneity of the trip) I was referred to Tara Lee from the SA 4x4 Community Forum and she proved to be a gem. Thanks for the bookings Tara Lee.

The participants for this trip were

Geoff Hill alone in a Toyota Land Cruiser 100VX 4.2TDi aka Meneer
Dave Nixon and son in law Craig in a Toyota Hilux double cab 3.0D4D diesel.
Steve Hill with his mate Kevin in an Isuzu 280 doublecab.

Going through my old records I realized that Dave and I were the only ever present participants in these Easter trips. The vehicles had changed but we were still there

I left White River on Tuesday 22 April 2014 at 11h00 en route to my son Andy’s place in Sunninghill in Johannesburg. As I left Janice noticed my brake lights weren’t working so I stopped at the local Midas & bought a couple of globes. Even though he wasn’t joining us on the trip I still stayed at Andy’s place and he took me to supper at a local Indian curry den which was the best curry I’d had since the UK last year.

I left Wednesday morning at 06h43 to meet the rest of the traveling party at the Wimpy in Lichtenburg. I met up with Dave & Craig on the N14 around the Lanseria on ramp and we travelled together until we came across a “service delivery” road closure near Randfontein and had to redirect towards Magaliesburg which ruined our timing a bit but we still arrived at 09h30, had breakfast and left for Ramatlabama border where I filled up with diesel @ P9.74.

Our plan was to camp at the same spot where we had bush camped for the last night on our previous trip in 2012. We arrived there at 16h45 and settled in for our first night back in Botswana. Steve and Kevin produced a Pork belly stew which went down very well.

Next morning we left at 08h11 and went to Bray for a top up of diesel. After refueling and putting on the shade net radiator covers we hit the road. We stopped along the way once we had entered the lower approach track to Mabuasehube near Makapong for our traditional Bacon sarmies. It was good to be back.

After Goa pan there were new fences that had been put up and the cutline running next to these were recently plowed. So the going was pretty heavy and then I realized we had veered away from the track but there were new fences in the way. After going for a while and getting further away from our intended route we doubled back and next to one of the new cross fences we picked up the track again. Unfortunately the track went in a northerly direction and we were south of a fence. So doubling back yet again we picked the track on the other side of the fence and made good ground for a while until yet another fence. Anyway we eventually found the cattle gate and we were through the private farm area. The next problem was this track hasn’t seen any traffic for a long time and it was very overgrown. So bush rash and grass seeds were the order of the day.

We finally arrived at Mabuasehube main gate at 15h30 and booked in. Our first two nights were at Bosobogolo pan. After meeting the resident friendly squirrel and setting up camp we settled in for some “African TV”. A great meal was provided by Dave. We set about sorting out of the world’s problems and we hit the sack.

05h30 the next morning we were woken by the resident lion pride. There were 11 of them frolicking through the camp including a huge male. They weren’t there for long but they certainly got the adrenaline going. A short while later the campers from the other camp site at this pan arrived enquiring about the lions. The lions had apparently harassed them all night and as they were in ground tents they were rather frazzled.

We took a day drive around the park with me being the lucky one who didn’t have to take down the roof top tent. We saw loads of buck and bird species and got back to camp to resume the problem solving of the previous evening. Around our camp site we spotted a Crimson Breasted Shrike (similar to our Fiscal Shrike aka Butcher bird) but much more striking.

That night I made a chilly con carne which I’m pretty proud of.

The next morning at 08h30 we set off for Matopi camp which is en route to Nossob. As we had all day to do the 70 odd kilometers we took it very leisurely and had many photo stops. Even so we reached Matopi at 13h03. As it was the hottest day so far we found a shady spot and just parked off until much later before setting up camp.

It was almost dark and we could still hear vehicles going past so who knows where they were headed at that time of the evening. An Ostrich stew was the fare for that night.

We were a little worried about the distance that needed to be covered to get to Two Rivers so we set off before 08h00 and tried to keep a decent average speed going.

Along this route I was wondering where Flippie had had his problems if indeed it was on this route at all. For those who don’t know the story go to the 4X4 community forum and do a search. It’s quite a story.

We also spotted a Cape Cobra in one of the community weaver nests going from nest to nest.

Nevertheless we got to Nossob by 12h00 and made bacon sarmies and then set off for Two Rivers. Corrugations from Nossob to Tweerivieren were the order of the day. We were lucky and saw lion and cheetah near Two Rivers. We arrived at Tweerivieren at 16h00. At over R15 per liter for diesel I only put in R500 to make it to somewhere more reasonably priced.

As we had cell phone reception once in Two Rivers and after setting up camp all the important phone calls were made. I also phoned my son and congratulated him on his engagement that had happened the previous day. We also had hot water and we enjoyed a magic shower. Dave made arguably the best meal of the trip which was a pasta dish with bits of this and bits of that.

The next morning we went through the easiest border crossing ever and we were on our way home. We were going via Van Zyl’s Rus and as Steve had work commitments the next day he decided to push on so he left us and went all the way home. Dave and I set course for Kameelboom Lodge in Vryburg where we enjoyed a Kalahari steak which was great. The rooms were very comfortable and I slept like a baby.

Next morning after filling up at the truck stop on the other side of Vryburg we set off with me having to go all the way to White River some 850 kilometers away. I arrived home at 17h10.

Two problems I had with the Cruiser. My left rear trim fell off again. It’s the third time
and each time it’s about R1600 to replace. The second problem was the corrugations set off my idiot lights i.e. the battery, oil, sedementer, AT oil temp and hand brake light. The Cruiser is at the auto electrician as I write this.

The auto electrician replaced the voltage regulator, rectifier and bearings and all is well again.

Great trip thanks again guys.
2785 kms @ 13.71 lt /100km not too bad for a Cruiser.

Geoff Hill
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Re: Mabuasehube again

Postby Geoff » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:06 pm

Some random pictures but in reverse order :?:
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Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:29 pm

Re: Mabuasehube again

Postby Geoff » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:08 pm

Some more pictures.
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Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:29 pm

Re: Mabuasehube again

Postby Geoff » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:10 pm

And the last pictures.

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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:57 pm

Re: Mabuasehube again

Postby KevinLab » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:41 pm

Nice report Geoff.
Was great to be with the boys in the bush again and those lions where something else, so huge :)
never mind that snake 8)

Thanks for the awesome trip!

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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:07 pm

Re: Mabuasehube again

Postby jayefe » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:53 am

Thanks for sharing the trip report ;
We went to mabua in 2012 ; would like to revisit ...but with our off road caravan next time ; in 2012 we did nossob > matopi1 >boso trail > mabua 3 > wilderness trail back to nossob ; fantastic trip ; highlight - leopard callling at night behind the tents !!!

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