Our initial plan was to cross Chobe NP from north to south but after getting stuck twice in the soft sand and reading stories about disappeared tourists we decided to take the detour around Chobe on proper roads.
Taking off at 6.15 was rewarded with the sighting of another hyena close to the road. We did more than 1’000 km that day but thanks to mostly excellent roads and our drive style we made a drive that was calculated by google.maps to last 10.5 hours in less than eight hours. Only the part before Maun with all its potholes felt like Mario Cart and the part in between Maun and Mankwe camp was a bumpy sand road.
This campsite was probably the most expensive we had booked but it made it up with the poorest service we had so far. No electricity, warm water or internet and with deep sand roads you feared to get stuck again. Further on there was no shop, no chef and the full-day safari we had requested by e-mail was only available at a ridiculous price – as it seems they were only prepared for fully guided tours and not for individual travelers as we were.
But it was also the most remote campsite we had ever stayed. Our neighbors were about 1km away and the reception another 4km which gave us the purest feeling of nature we have had so far. In the evening we could hear an elephant close by and at night the laughing sound of a hyena. The next morning, we had three southern hornbills watching us during breakfast and when we took off into the direction of the Moremi NP our “house elephant” was greeting us. Moremi NP was beautiful but as we didn’t arrive early in the morning and couldn’t stay until sundown we saw less than expected. The driving was challenging – including crossing water pans and sandy roads we weren’t always sure where they would lead us. But thanks to reduced air pressure in our tires and lots of training we managed all those challenges.
The next day we returned to Maun and therefore to civilization and after arranging everything for our 2-day Mokoro trip into the Okavango Delta, including organizing a tent, a bed and food we enjoyed the fact of having internet again until relatively late at night.