Overlanding in 2023: Part 5


We had 6 weeks to fill and our objectives were to wild camp up the route, explore the Botswana-Eastern side of the river, to research river camping along the Kavango River to and around Rundu, and to seek wild and farm camps en route to Etosha.

 We started quite well by using 2 wild camping spots on the way to Shakawi before crossing the new bridge at Mahango to the east side of the Delta. Then we used 5 river camps to Rundu, which was very rewarding. This lasted throughout the May in warm climate, with a variety of birds on view in addition to the elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, hippos, water monitors and occasional snakes. Birds included hornbills, louries, giant kingfishers, green bee-eaters, green-backed herons, kurrichane thrushes, peacocks, burchells coucals and guinea fowl in strange colours.

The shock was that we could not register for a simcard before Rundu, and needed to survive without internet services for 22 days without being able to make payments, book campsites etc. Good news was that we stayed at 5 great and affordable river camps till 29th May, when we moved South towards Grootfontein, due to be at Gerus R.V. on 14th June.

We found affordable campsites with mixed standards of facilities, as the weather remained warm to hot. The first stop offered no wind protection and poor layouts of bathrooms, and the next was just completing an ablution upgrade. However, we had a thatched boma, pleasant staff and a grassed site to make up for daily bathroom changes. Here we spent time on route planning for the Damaraland riverbed routes, and enjoyed the 30 deg. climate whilst Capetonians were freezing.

2nd last camp was at the Meteorite Camp for 5 nights, after a visit to the historic rock.  Great farm camp and full of Europeans leaving Etosha to head home via Windhoek. Then another farm camp on the Waterberg road south of Grootfontein, being opened shortly by the family of the Carmine Camp owner in Botswana. We were taken on a game drive, with sundowners & eland biltong at their proposed waterhole campsite. Quite stunning! This proved to be a good choice, and left us with a relatively short trip to the Etosha trip RV, with the night temperatures plummeting.

The 6 weeks was packed with high-value stops, and we now look forward to the next phase of our trip.

Viv and Mary