Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hazards while driving in Botswana.

Driving in Botswana can be a real adventure.  Last May I was passenger with Russell Frankish of Greenbushpig Safaris, guide for Britz Rentals self drive 13 day tour of Botswana from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls and return. 4WD vehicles are necessary for the National Parks as road are often deep sand, with some hairy river crossings. Here's a few pics of the fun we had along the way. Click on each to bring them up full size then click ' back' on your browser to return to story.

4WD vehicles are necessary. We hired from Britz Rentals.

It's good to have a help get you out of the mud!

Guides are also useful for getting you out of deep sand.

Drive carefully. Kalahari-Ferraris have been known to overtake at speed.

Always stop for zebra crossings.

If you have the right vehicle, picking up birds is easier.

It is rumoured latest radar detectors utilise elephant ears.
We spotted this guy trying to hide behind a roadside tree just like any cop! 

Some pedestrians just step out in front without warning!

If you find a bakkie full of tourists all looking the same way,
 there's a lion close by.

Keep an eye out for these wee fellas.

Often a bunch of jaywalkers just stand there and gawp at you.

Old man kudu just couldn't give a damn about crossing the road.

Sometimes old guys think the highway is theirs
to sit and contemplate all the world's woes.

If you have a head-on with a 2 horse power Kalahari- Ferrari,
you could have a real nasty smash!

Right guys. We survived all those wee hassles, let's go have a great trip!


Oops. Stowaway on board!
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Rimly said...

Wow! That must have been such fun, Jim. I remember during my childhood going to visit my aunt who lived in a town an hour away. We had to cross this thick jungle and the surprises it held every time we crossed it. Tigers, leopards, wild elephants, snakes, monkeys crossing the road as if they owned it. It was like a mini safari for my brother and me.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Hahaha! HHHMMMmmm... not so different to driving in the Australian Outback from the first few pix ... but after the last few?? I take it back!! Congratulations on surviving that minefield!!!

Jim said...

Hi Rimly, it was just such a fabulous adventure. I'm glad it reminds you of your childhood 'safari'. Your memories of tigers are unique as so few left now.

Hi Red, yes in many ways it was much like your outback. Similar colour soils, brilliant sunsets, dry sandy areas, but we soon got jolted back to reality when an elephant walked out in front of us.

sulekkha said...

Enjoyed the journey with you, lovely sights and beautiful animals ...

JIM said...

Really exciting trip, it must be a photographers heaven out there. I have heard that the baboons can be pretty aggressive and dangerous is that true?

Kent @ No Vacation Required said...

That's awesome! Makes me wat to get back to that part of the world. Actually, Botswana is on our list.

English tips (blog) said...

Awesome, dear friend, I hope someday to travel to South Africa, and I could see a great job have done by a tour guide. What's his name, Jim? Shared on StumbleUpon. And added you too. See you around.

Rachel Hoyt said...

AWESOME details in that lizard shot! I love all the animals crossing the road as well, especially the elephant hiding like a policeman. :)

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Beautiful photos of a great trip! The animals must have been amazing to see up close and personal!

Jim said...

Hi Sulekkha,
The animals were so plentiful. But we had to drive carefully in case anything stepped out onto the road. With foliage so close to the road at times, you just cannot travel fast in the parks.
Yes JIM, every minute is a photo opportunity. I kept my camera ready and took numerous shots through the windscreen so as you can see the pics do have a lack of clarity because of that.

Hi Kent, you won't be disappointed when you guys finally go. When are you thinking?

Hi Carlos, the guide was Russell Frankish and his link is there where it shows Greenbushpig Safaris in the opening paragraph. Get in touch as he does arrange small group safaris.

Hi Rachel, that's a flap-necked chameleon. Quite common but a lot get killed crossing the roads. We saw that one in time, stopped, took pics of it, then released it into a tree on the side he was headed to.

Yes Mari, JIM and yourself would be in photographers' heaven in that part of Africa. Sunrise/sets are stunning, and there is a lot of wildlife in the national parks. I came back with 2,500 photos.

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Oh this is so wonderful - I love the way your little narrative goes with the pictures. The new header looks fab but takes a little while to load - perhaps a lower resolution might help. Stumbled and shared, Jim.

Melissa Tandoc said...

The best things in life are free! Oh this is among the best posts I've read. And those animals are just wonderful, hahaha...My nieces would enjoy looking at this Jim...thanks for sharing :)

I love the images...:)

Bec Owen said...

My first visit to your blog...I love it!

Beautiful photos, and I really enjoyed reading your commentary...especially your 'conversation' with your Inner Self.

Following on NetworkedBlogs ❤

Sonia Rumzi said...

What an amazing journey. That was wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing those pictures. :)

Nelieta said...

Lovely photos Jim! Very difficult indeed to drive there with all the sand. Your new sit looks great!

Jim said...

Thanks Melissa, Hope your daughter does enjoy and perhaps one day travel to Africa and see these for herself!

Hiya Bec, Yes those conversations do calm the nerves. It's amazing how I can convince myself that the future holds the key to the outcome of any situation I'm in. It's one way of finding the confidence to stay calm in scary situations. Someone asked me once why I didn't appear scared when we went skydiving...I replied because I knew I was going to be OK so what's the point of being scared? Might as well enjoy ever second of it!

Thanks Sonia. Every moment was wonderful. I kept my camera ready for anything that might jump out across the road. Lots more photos.

Hi Nelieta, some main roads are tarmac 4 laners now. But within the National Parks very sandy or boggy with late rains. And you can be driving 100 kms in deep sand!

AJ said...

The pedestrians are like those in my country. They cross the street without looking! Except that pedestrians there come in all shapes and sizes...and fur. Haha! Love the photos, sir!

Roy Durham said...

Jim this is wonderful , i take Sunday drives in the mountain and deserts of Utah. we don't have lions, tiger and elephants and we don't have the bears and wolves that called this place home. their all gone the elephant is a long distant memory here. you are blessed with all that you see. keep the memory of these wonderful animals alive, with your photo's and in our hearts. god bless

Unknown said...

Great pics! And like the new look around here!

Bhavna said...

hey your page looks just Awesome with great background and a super templates the safari pics looks so temption... i want a holiday now

do visit my blog too

lakwatsera de primera said...

Hi Jim, thank you for taking me on this journey through your lovely images. I have yet to experience this kind of adventure.