Sunday, 19 July 2009

Botswana Self Drive Holiday. Last Day.

Wednesday 24th June, we left South Gate Camp and headed back to Maun. We had not seen as much game as we had expected to, but this was due to the unseasonable rain. I was pleased to have got out onto the Delta both by Moroko and Moter boat. It had also been great just to experience the wilderness in a tent! I was also very impressed that we had not got stuck or broken down once! Not even a flat tyre! The 4x4 driving course in Wales had really paid off.
We took the main road, this is a dirt road as far as the village of Shorobe. The road joins the Chobe road just before reaching the vet fence. The road was in good condition, very hard sand, with a few rain puddles.
We were stopped at the vet fence and the guard there checked that we were not taking any uncooked meat into the areas where the domestic cattle are. He really checked us out, taking well over 10 minutes looking through every thing. Just past Shorobe, I stopped at the woman where we had brought the firewood from on the way through. I wanted to drop off all our left over provisions, I also gave her my Primark Dressing Gown and a load of other things I did not want to cart back home with me.
We had decided to book in at the Motsentsela Tree Lodge in Maun for the last night. The Bradt book says that you can book this through Travel Wild. There office is opposite the airport, so this was our first stop. The Bradt Book is out of date, as Travel Wild no longer deal with the bookings for the lodge, you phone and book direct. We wanted to hire a car for the last day, thinking this would be cheaper than getting around by Taxies. However, hiring a car was far to expensive, the prices started at over £70.00 for the day! So that idea was quickly scrapped!
We drove up the road to Mac & Brenda, Mac was out in Moremi rescuing a motorist who was stuck on the North Gate road! We chatted to Brenda about our plans for the night, and she asked us how we were going to get to the Tree lodge? When we said we would get a Taxi, she suggested that we keep the Land Rover for one more night, free of charge. Such a generous offer, and saving us a lot of money.
The company that Mac & Brenda run is called Mechto Ltd, they rent 4x4s, and offer a breakdown service. The 4x4 that we rented from them was such a good vehicle, and so well equipped, I would recommend them.
We got lost going to Motsentsela Tree Lodge! but found it in the end. We almost did not get in, when you book they give you the code to the ‘key pad’. So, I was looking for a key pad on the gate and could not see any thing. Then I saw a silver padlock and looked at it. It was the padlock that needed the code, I was being far to high Tec looking for a digital key pad.
Upon arrival, lunch was ready and waiting for for us, we sat on the deck and had a very nice lunch, we heard the call of the Fish Eagle, one has a nest just past the main lodge. Our accommodation was in a very large ‘tent’, it had a fantastic bathroom, with a bath and unlimited amounts of hot water.

During our short stay we were constantly fed and watered, and treted like Kings! In the evening a resident Spotted Genet could be seen in the large Leadwood tree by the main lodge. We were given hot water bottle when it was time to go to bed. We really needed the hot water bottles, as this was one of the coldest nights in Maun in a long time, it got down to -3. I was so cold I wish I had kept my dressing gown for one more day!

Do you want a hair cut?The next day our flight from Maun left at 14.30, and the BA flight from J’Berg was at 23.00. Once again this flight was full. Finally was arrived home at 15.00. Happy to be home, but missing Africa already! Next African adventure, planning for Kilimanjaro.