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Rediscovering Kgalagadi on 4x4

THALEFANG CHARLES
The expedition involves five members travelling 8000km throughout Botswana for 27 days with four vehicles PICS: THALEFANG CHARLES
Two herdboys in Mara hear the roaring vehicle engines from a distant.

That is when they run up to their highest sand dune to watch out who is coming.

From their vantage point view they could see four approaching vehicles coming their way. Inside the vehicles is yours truly in the leading vehicle, trailblazing through the high dunes of the Kgalagadi Desert for the three vehicles that are part of an epic Rediscover Botswana expedition.

Dubbed “Big Big Roadtrip”, Rediscover Botswana is an initiative by fellow media practitioner, Sonny Serite and I, supported by Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) to promote domestic tourism.

The expedition involves five members travelling 8, 000km throughout Botswana for 27 days with four vehicles. Other expedition members are filmmakers Donald Sejo and Bashi Kikia and Dawson Ramsden from BTO.

The expedition began with an exploration of the Kgalagadi Desert. Our first night stop was out at Tsabong Camel Park, the home of 587 camels. In the morning the team witnessed the milking of the camels before hopping on two of them for a short ride. Riding a camel feels like a waist exercise. The camel shakes your bum and waist as if you are twerking in slow motion.

We also got to taste the highly sort after fresh camel milk.

From Tsabong, the team headed deep South into the Kgalagadi.

We detoured from the Trans-Molopo Highway to Khawa village. Khawa, the little previously unknown village next to the picturesque sand dunes shot to fame through a dune challenge event named after the village. It was interesting to see the people of Khawa playing on the sand dunes without the crowds of the Khawa Dune Challenge.

From

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Khawa we went to the southernmost tip of Botswana where we literally touched the corner of Botswana at Bokspits. Our travel plan also took us to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) on our way to Mabuasehube.

At Two Rivers Gate the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) informed us of a Covid-19 roadblock at Nossop Gate that would block us from reaching Mabuasehube. They allowed us inside the Park to camp at Rooipots campsite next the Rooipots Lodge while we readjust our travel plans.

The guides at Rooipots showed us an alternative route and helped us by guiding us on our detour, The detour from the roadblock uncovered an amazing route that I would love to travel through once again.

This scenic route is popularly known as “Tsela ya di plaas” (Farms, road). It connects Two River and Khawa and passes through number of farms on the sand dunes.

Mara, where we met the herdboys on the top of the highest dune after they heard roars of vehicles approaching, is one of these farms.

The desert farms in the middle of nowhere, with some odd windmill for the well pumping water for the livestock (mostly sheep and cattle) makes picturesque landscape.

The herdboys speak about the peace of the place. They have no cellphone connection but they are content in their modest lives in the desert.

Driving through this route with a powerful four-wheel drive vehicle inspires thoughts of proposing to Dakar Rally to bring the race to Kgalagadi desert in Botswana.

The Rediscover Botswana expedition is supported by BTO, Mascom and Engen Botswana.



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