22/05/2010 – Deception Valley to The Kharma Rhino Sanctuary (near Serowe)

Headed out of the Kalahari. Sad to leave what might possibly be the last wildnerness before we hit South Africa. It was great just to relax in the afternoons and watch all the birds including our pest, the yellow hornbill, that we see all the time.

It took an hour to get back to the tarmac and from there it was a flat, unexciting drive to get to the Kharma Rhino Sanctuary so we could split up our journey to the capital, Gaborone. We avoided the large storm clouds brewing to our west. We were hoping to get a free wash for the Landcruiser after all the adventures in the north of Botswana over the last few weeks.

We got in a short drive at the sanctuary and spotted some of the rhino protected within the park, after residents banded togehter to protect the remaining population in Botswana.

21/05/2010 – Pipers Pan to Deception Valley / Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Two hours in the Landcruiser today, driving between camps. Lots of stopping, checking out all the small creatures that were near the track. Loads more gemsbok. We’re still on a mission to see a cheetah. We explored Leopard and Sunday Pan after we had found our next spot for the night. We headed north and did a loop before heading back and cooking up another storm over the fire.

20/05/2010 Passarge Pan to Pipers Pan / Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Good chance to take it easy, moving onto the next camp. We had a really good site last night and a rest in the morning. Nice! All the camp sites are quite far from each other so you get to have the site to yourself and they are miles from anywhere. We passed one couple on holiday from Namibia. They stopped and chatted to us for a while. They were coming from the site we were heading for – it was the only vehicle we passed all day. Pipers Pan is meant to be the last stop in the park before the conditions get horribly worse. We had contemplated leaving the park from an exit at Xade, but things didn’t work out for us when we booked the last available camp sites at the Wildlife office in Maun

19/05/2010 – Maun to Passarge Pan / Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Took it easy at Backpackers in the morning. Grabbed our washing and had some breakfast. They do a mean breakfast bap. Just a few things to get in Maun before heading off. There is no chance of getting anything in the park, so we had to make sure we had enough firewood, food, water and fuel. On the road, we had to double back trying to find a way over the Bateti river. We followed the GPS, but it took us to some water. After the problems with the radiator fan over the last week, we drive back to the tarmac to take the road near to Rakops.

From there we got to the main gate to the park at Maganga. It was four by the time we signed into the park. We were told it would take a further two hours to get to our first camp. No chance, It was just after dark when we got there. Bun had a rest from driving and I zipped through the narrow sandveld tracks. At one of the junctions we got to see our first gemsbok and one lone jackal. We got the fire going when we arrived and cooked over it with the new braai grill we had bought in Maun. Now our food doesn’t drop into the hot fire!