Our survival trip across Botswana

Some years ago me and my wife decided to travel across Botswana, by car, to visit the Chobe National park. She would drive from Parys in South Africa and meet me in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.

As I always do, I planned the route we would drive as well as where we would sleep over. Near to Chobe, I booked at a safari camp, but they could not promise that a cabin would be available for us. Camping however was not problem. With that in mind, I told my wife to also pack what would be needed for camping and that is where the crux of this post comes from.

Amazingly my flight, with Botswana air to Gaborone, was on time and at around 9h00 I was waiting at the exit/entrance of the airport for my wife to arrive. 10H00 came, then 11H00 but no Kia Carens came into view. To be honest, I was really worried as she had never driven such a long distance on her own nor had she ever had to cross an international border by car. Being a woman who takes no crap from fools and those who try to waste her time, I just prayed that the immigration agents would get out the encounter alive or not hurt to badly.

Just as I was at the point of starting a search party, at 13H42 exactly, a white Kia Carens appeared from around a corner, up the road. After watching cars dodging potholes for several hours and not seeing even one Kia Carens, of any colour, I immediately knew that my wife was finally close.

The amazing thing was that I could not see anything via the windscreen all the way through the back window. The car was loaded up to the top and from left to right. My first thought was that new shock absorbers would be needed by default before we even attempted to drive across Botswana. It turns out that she planned and packed for the trip, as if we might need to camp and survive on our own rations and even do some hunting for the whole 12 days. Those prepper type weirdos from the USA should actually pay to take lessons from my dearest wife on how to prepare and pack a bug-out vehicle.

Apart from a tent that would be correctly sized for a family of 8 people, she also packed 6 large crates full of cutlery, food, water and a variety of camping gear. I was 100% sure that with all she packed, we could have traveled to Egypt and back. We would even have been able to feed many hungry people on the trip, without having any need to buy food along the way. Added to that, she packed clothing for every conceivable weather eventuality, including severe snowfall….”Snowfall in Botswana”, FFS’.

The most amazing thing of all was that she forgot to pack my fishing tackle, although I explained several times and in absolute detail what I would need. My heart sank into my shoes as I realized that to her, my plan to do tiger fishing, measured as a mere -5 on the scale she used to pack for survival.

In the end the Kia made the trip with no problems and we never had to camp. The camping ground staff was able to supply me with all the fishing tackle needed for tiger fishing, boat included. That helped my blood-pressure a lot, while also ensuring that no unnecessary pressure on our marriage and nightly “activities” was experienced.

Amazingly, she caught three tiger-fish, while I managed to get only one.

It must have been beginners luck….but to this day she tells that part of the story around every braai (barbeque) fire….while I keep up the nightly “activities” afterwards.

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