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Reader Travel: Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

Story and images by Don Lund

I invited Les and Pat Stockman, who also own an Xcape X3, to accompany me and my wife, Teresa, on an adventure to Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). After all, two Xcape X3s would be better than one − but we hadn’t anticipated that the vehicles, caravans and travellers would be put through their paces in some severe conditions. It all began well. The only hiccup was when Les forgot to lock his kitchen door and it flew open, bending the hinges − a problem quickly repaired on the roadside. We spent the first night at Seekoeigat just outside Groblersdal.

This is an ideal overnight spot, run by Ferdie Pretorius, that offers lovely grassed sites and electrical points. The second overnight spot was Big Fig Inn, some four kilometres from the Martin’s Drift border post. This venue is run by Jan and Marita Folkus, and comes highly recommended for cross-border travellers; it also features lovely grassed sites with electrical points, and a braai boma. You’ll find chalets here, as well. Camping comes easy with the Xcape X3 − setting up the king-sized bed is a doddle; and, thanks to its 72-litre double-door fridge, and the outside cabinet at the rear of the caravan, containing braai utensils and charcoal, everything is close at hand. We were first at the border post the next morning at 06h00, and the crossing went smoothly and quickly.

We arrived at Khutse Game reserve at 15h00, after a long, but uneventful, journey that included over a hundred kilometres of gravel, and five kilometres of thick sand up to the reserve’s gate. We’d lowered tyre pressures on both tow cars and vans, so this section wasn’t a problem for us at all. However, at the gate, we discovered that our campsite at Molose lay another 50 kilometres away over sandy tweespoor. This took us another two hours, including some stops for game viewing.

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