Over the past week we have had a lot of rain, all the pot holes are full of water and some of the roads are getting nice
and muddy. Take care when driving through the parks. Moremi Game reserve was already wet and wild last week when
I exited from Xakanaxa to South Gate. the 3rd bridge area should be ok as this area is mostly sandy. South of there
will be muddy. North Gate Khwai area will most likely be pretty wet and muddy too as while I was in Xakanaxa there
was Dark Clouds over the Khwai direction for two days. The Mababe Depression will also be a little muddy now as there
can be a fair amount of traffic through there.
In one shower we had 46mm of rain in 1.5hrs. On Saturday it rained the whole day. We did a day trip to Makgadikgadi
Nat. Park around Khumaga and Njuca Hills area. Because these area's are sandy the roads were fine, but be aware
if you travel further south in the Park.
Enjoy and dont forget your raincoat.
When I past through Savuti last Sunday they had had rain all night so the roads in the area were
very wet. Going through the Mababe depression road it as also very wet, with a storm behind
me and one alongside me.
This week on the 30 th nov we had 39mm of rain here in Maun and another 30mm last night. It is raining
now again as I'm typing.
My driver came back from Xakanaxa yesterday and he said it rained for the entire journey. All the holes
are full of water he said.
This morning I met and spoke with Veronica Roodt, she said the whole Xakanaxa area is very wet, also
the 3 re bridge to south gate road is pretty wet. She also Informed me that the wildlife department
(DWNP) have made a new road around the river crossing on the road to Khwai. So you go from
Xakanaxa to Khwai as normal but when you get to the river crossing there is a new road going around.
You can then proceed as normal via Dombo hippo pool or go straight to Khwai.
If Xakanaxa is wet the. I am assuming that Khwai is probably wet as well.
19 October, we had a good shower of rain last night from Maun all the way past South Gate almost
to Khwai and Xakanaxa. South Gate recorded 17 mm of rain.
Shorobe to South Gate is a bit better with the rain water, not so dusty but a little wet and slippery, also still
South Gate to 3rd Bridge is fine, a little wet and slippery for the first few kilometers and then it is it's
normal self. 1 st bridge over and 2nd Bridge around to the right or the detour to the left just before.
South Gate to Xakanaxa is also wet and a little slippery for about 20 km and then it's dry again the second half.
3rd Bridge to Xakanaxa is mostly ok. To 4th Bridge is ok. The flooded closed road is almost dry now and
passable. The detour road is still there and is bumpy and dusty.
South Gate to Khwai is also wet for about the distance. Not muddy but a little slippery in places. The second
half is dry and no problem.
Xakanaxa to Khwai.
The closed road is unofficially open. A little muddy from the rain, but generally ok. The river crossing is no
deeper than a meter. It just went above my bumper on the cruiser. After the crossing there is a small detour
where the road is flooded and where the Elephants have pushed over some trees. From Dombo to North Gate
the road is dry and dusty, but fine.
Khwai to Savuti
The road out of the village is now dry and not a problem. The big river crossing is still there but no deeper than
half a meter. The road then to Mababe gate is ok. Mababe has had 16 mm of rain on 19 October. This is almost
dry already but is also muddy and a little slippery at the moment. The sand ridge is getting really soft and one can
struggle a bit if passing through in the midday heat.
Savuti to Kachikau
This is all ok with no problems to report
The First rains have arrived in the South Gate area of Moremi Game Reserve. On the 2 October
there was 16mm recorded, there were a few puddles formed but these have already dried up.
The water level is also dropping. It has dropped about 50 cm so far in Moremi. Some of the
road are becoming visible again, if you attempt these be very cautious.
Maun to South Gate:
From Shorobe to Mawana Vet Fence is getting pretty Corrugated and there are some dangerous sand
patches forming. If these are hit with speed it can go a bit awry. The 30km from Mawana Vet fence to South
Gate is in need of a desperate grading, there are some nice big corrugations for most of the way and some
big hidden potholes which are encountered unexpectedly.
South Gate to Xakanaxa:
Is very bumpy and dusty, but can still be travelled in 1.5 to 2 hrs.
South Gate to Third Bridge:
The first rains have arrived in Moremi (2 October there was 16mm in the south Gate area). The puddles
have already dried when I passed through yesterday. Some people have already driven through the
puddles that were there making some horribly bumpy potholes now. The road is generally ok. 1st Bridge
is still crossable. At 2nd Bridge we went through the water in the crossing to the immediate right of the
bridge. We went to the right hand side of the crossing with the water coming up to the headlights on the
Defender and landcruiser. If you don’t have a snorkel I wouldn’t cross. Alternatively 100m before 2nd bridge
there is a detour on the left going around and is completely dry.
Third Bridge to Xakanaxa:
This is a section with the sandy patches that is getting tricky. The sand is much softer now as we are going
into the hotter months. 4th Bridge is ok although someone has slipped to the left and damaged 3
upright poles. Please cross slowly and stay in the middle. From 4th bridge continue until you reach the
No Entry sign and turn right onto the new sandy and bumpy road to Xakanaxa.
Xakanaxa to Khwai (North Gate):
This road is still closed although some people are trying it at their own risk. The route still remains via
South Gate. I have been told by the DWNP official in Moremi that they will make a new road around the
flooded areas soon (Their grader has had a puncture for the last two Months!!)
South Gate to Khwai (North Gate):
There were a few drops of water along this road but as usual nothing to worry about along here.
Khwai (North Gate) to Savute:
I have heard from good authority that the water is going down at the Khwai Crossings. I haven’t been
there for 2 months. Please just double check with fellow travellers and the game scouts at North and
South Gates. I am sure it will be ok as the water has gone down a fair bit in the last 3 weeks. From Mababe
Gate the left (New) road is sandy and bumpy and the old Depression (straight Road) is a Little Bumpy,
but pretty dusty. The last 7 km of the sand ridge is getting softer as again it heats up. People are getting
stuck here as the evidence shows with all the sticks protruding from the sand. Be careful of getting a puncture
here if your tyre pressure is too low and you hit a stick.
Savute to Ihaha:
Still no big problems here, just dusty and sandy until Kachikau. The tar road is doing well to Ngoma. Please
be aware the speed limit is 80km/h; in some of the villages children have taken to playing on the roads
(especially on the weekends) Please be CAREFULL. From Ngoma to Ihaha is sandy from the gate down
to the river and there is a lot of corrugations.
The water level is finally going down!!!!!!
South Gate to 3rd Bridge is ok with just a little water at 1st and 2nd Bridges. 3rd Bridge itself almost broke when
I was Crossing on Saturday am(17 Sep). When I returned I passed the truck and staff with supplies to repair it
so should now be ok.
3rd Bridge to 4th Bridge is the usual sandy track, It appears as if a heavily laden vehicle has crossed the bridge
as it is sinking on the left hand side and a vehicle has clipped and damaged a couple of uprights along the
bridge. It is still fine to cross, just go slow.
The Xakanaxa road is still closed, the new road is very sandy and bumpy but ok if your not in a rush. I attempted
the closed road and got through the deep water, in another two weeks it should be ok to drive until the rains
Xakanaxa to Khwai is still closed due to the flooding.
I haven’t exited Khwai since Late August so cannot comment on the river conditions there. From hearsay it
is still deep and people are travelling via South Gate and Sankuyo
through Mababe to go to Mogotho and Savuti.
17 August, Maun to South Gate
The road from Shorobe to Mawana Vet Fence has been graded but is now very dusty and starting to get bad corrugations.
From Mawana vet fence to South Gate is currently being graded as we speak. They are currently half way today.
19 August, South Gate to Xakanaxa
This road hasn't been graded yet so is still bumpy and dusty. Hopefully they will grade here once they reach south gate.
Xakanaxa to 3rd bridge
This road is still badly flooded. They have graded a new road between Xakanaxa and 4th bridge. It is sign posted about 2km from the Xakanaxa airstrip on the south gate
road. I didn't have a chance to drive it but believe it is pretty good.
20 August, South gate to 3rd Bridge
This road is still ok and dry. 2nd Bridge there is still water, this is driveable if taken in the the right place. If you don't want to wet your wheels then there is a detour to the
left which goes around the water.
The road from Xakanaxa to Khwai (North Gate) is still closed due to flooding, the water is still rising and getting deeper.
21 August, South Gate to Khwai and Moghotlo community campsites.
South Gate to Khwai(North Gate) is fine and dusty. North Gate to Moghotlo is getting bad. There are three deep crossings as the water is rising. The water is coming over
my bonnet on the Land Rover Defender. To be safe I would suggest going from Xakanaxa or 3rd Bridge via South Gate around Moremi through Sankuyo and Mababe
villages to Moghotlo or Savuti.
23 August, Mababe Gate to Savuti
The road has been graded either side of the Gage for a short distance, the dust is sitting like talcum powder about 30-40 cm deep. The second you touch it there is dust
everywhere. The road forks about 200m From the gate, the left fork is a little sandy but ok. The right fork is the old road which is currently dusty and bumpy.
The sand ridge is starting to get very soft, I can see where people are getting stuck already. Around Savuti the water is still rising and so the road is disappearing. Be
careful where you drive in the water.
26 August, Savuti to Kachikau
Nothing Special here, just the usual sandy road.
xakanaxa to khwai - roads are flooded
The water level in Moremi is continuously rising, therefore Xakanaxa- Third Bridge Route is not easily accessible. So please be informed that 1st and 2nd Bridge Route
will be an alternative access, as all the bridges are currently under maintenance.
Track Conditions Update - July 2011
Maun to South Gate - July 14th
From Shorobe to Mawana vet fence has recently been graded but is starting to get corrugated with all the traffic now.
Mawana Vet Fence to
Is still bad. Bumpy and slow going. It still hasn't been graded.
South gate to Xakanaxa
Also hasn't been graded. The grader was supposed to come from Makgadikgadi a month ago but apparently has a puncture that's waiting to be fixed!!!!
The road is dusty and bumpy but can still be done in about 2 hours.
Xakanaxa to 4th Bridge
From Xakanaxa Gate towards 4th Bridge after about 3 km the road forks and one goes left towards 4th & 3rd bridge, after about a further 1-2 km's the flood has crossed the main track. There is no track around - you must go through the water. It varies from 30 cm to about 100 cm in some of the holes. This section is approximately 2 km's.
4th Bridge to 3 rd Bridge
Is fine on the main track, the sand patches are still there and are ok.
3rd Bridge damaged this morning and no vehicles could cross. The Game Scouts are busy repairing it and say hopefully tomorrow will be ok.
3rd Bridge is repaired, but please cross with CAUTION. The water is flowing over the bridge with a depth of about 20-30 cm.
The road from South Gate to 3rd Bridge
I didn't travel this time but have it from good authority is still ok. 1st bridge you can still cross over and 2nd Bridge wade through on the far right if heading from
Xakanaxa to North Gate (Khwai)
This road is still closed. You must drive via
I used the Xakanaxa/Khwai road today. It is the usual dusty and bumpy road and not well used this year. Approaching from Xakanaxa, I used the far right crossing and the water only came up to my head lights on the land cruiser. After the water crossing it's still bumpy and dusty. Be careful though as the water is starting to rise now which means some of the game drive roads on the flood plains will soon be out of action.
19 July Khwai to Savuti
The road through the village is dry so there is no detour, proceed straight through and follow the gravel road. When it rounds to the left keep going for about 2 km. Take the turning to the right in the Mopani scrub, when you come to the river keep far right and follow the track around. No deeper than lower headlight level on the cruiser. After that go on and cross the concrete bridge. From here to the Mababe gate turn off is ok but with a few corrugations here and there. The track up to Mababe gate is ok. The sand starting to get a little loose. From Mababe gate to Savuti is bumpy; dusty a d the sand is starting to get loose. Drive with care.
Savute to Kachikau
The Road is ok. The sand is not too bad yet, but is just starting to get a little softer. The road from Ghoha gate to Kachikau is the normal sandy. From Kachikau the tar is also fine.
The road from Shorobe to Mawana Vet fence was in the process of being graded as I passed so should be nice and smooth.
From Mawana to South Gate hasn’t been graded yet and is very bumpy.
South Gate to 3rd Bridge is still all dry, the sandy patches are starting to get a little worse, but nothing to worry about yet.
3rd Bridge to 4th Bridge is not a problem.
4th Bridge to Xakanaxa is still only via the main track, all the game drive routes are still under water.
Xakanaxa to South Gate is now dry but very bumpy as it has not been graded yet, The game scouts told me the grader is coming up from Makgadikgadi in the next month.
Xakanaxa to Khwai (North Gate) this road is still closed due to the river being too deep. You have to go via South Gate when travelling between the two camps.
From Khwai you can still get to Dombo Hippo Pool’s as this is before the river crossing.
I am told the water is still dropping in Khwai so the water crossings shouldn’t be a problem on the way to Savuti.
From Shorobe to the vet fence was being graded as I passed by today so this is nice and bump free at the moment. Mawana Vet Fence to
The first several kilometers are a bit slow, the puddles have dried up and now there are big holes in their place, slow going as you negotiate the craters. Most of the way is ok. It is the normal bumpy road, I stuck to the main track and did not go via Xini lagoon, this road is very bumpy but dry and scenic. 1st bridge the water is there and I opted to go over the bridge, water to the left of the bridge didn't look inviting. 2nd bridge is also lots of water, I went far right through the water, always check though before crossing which looks like the better route. After 2nd bridge I took the left fork. This road was fine, a little bumpy and sandy but nothing serious. When you join the main track again to 3rd Bridge there are sections of road where the flood has crossed, nothing serious as there is a sandy bottom and the water is no more than 50 cm deep.
3rd Bridge to Xakanaxa. 05/05/2011
The 3rd Bridge itself is under water at the moment, the water is about 30-50cm deep. After that all the way on the main track to 4th Bridge is ok. From 4th Bridge the road goes straight into sand and onto the flooded flood plain. Choose your line right and you'll be ok, DO NOT TRY and drive off the road and go around the water, you WILL get stuck! After the water the road is dry for a short time, Then all the way to Xakanaxa gate the holes are full of water which just slow's your progress at the moment. From Xakanaxa gate to the campsite the holes are mostly dry until you turn into the campsite itself, here the road is being flooded and turning into a mud bath, the campsite itself is ok.
I have it from a good source that the Xakanaxa to South Gate road is ok, he says it is fine all the way only the water slow's you up a little.
This road is about 90% dry, it is fine just a little bumpy. The few water puddles left are no deeper than a few cm. Nothing to worry about.
Khwai (North Gate) to Savute. 08/05/2011
While driving through the Khwai village turn left just before the homestead alongside the flooded road, go left through the water crossing and again the second crossing go either far left or through the middle. Follow the track back to the main gravel road and follow it around to the left. Keep going until you go through a terrible muddy, bumpy patch. After this patch you will see a well used track to the right going into the Mophane scrub, follow this track until the river, go extreme right and follow the curve, it is like a huge horseshoe. It is no deeper than the headlights of my cruiser, after this there is a second smaller crossing, a little slippery with the mud but not serious, get back on the gravel road and proceed. After the concrete bridge the road is mostly ok with a few sections here and there of corrugations and the odd pothole. All in all an ok stretch. After the 30 km mark where you turn left to Mababe Gate the road is dry and bumpy, the potholes are all dry, just bumpy.
From Mababe go Savuti the first 10 km are sandy and bumpy, a little slow going. The next 10 km is bad, here there has been lots of water, it dry now but very bumpy and very slow going. After that the road is dry and a little bumpy. The sand ridge was not too bad either, after the sand ridge the last 20 km to Savuti is not bad at all and one can cruise along comfortably.
Savuti to Ngoma Gate. 10/05/2011.
Savuti to Ghoha gate is not a problem at all, the sand is fine at the moment. Ghoha gate to kachiku along the cutline is fine, the sand is not loose yet and is ok. Just the last several kilometers is the normal sandy narrow track. From Kachikau the road is now tarred all the way to Ngoma Gate. Be cautious along this stretch as there are no signs up yet, or road markings. The contractors are still doing some finishing touches to the road. there is still the problem of domestic and wild animals crossing the road to and from the river. Travel with care.
We visited your website before we went on our Botswana trip now at the end of April 2011 to check the Moremi road conditions.
Just to let you know that it is possible to travel from Kwai camp to Savuti without going back to Soutgate...
At the entrance gate of Kwai a very friendly guy took us to an guy called "Witness" (a guy from the Kwai Village) and he showed us exactly where to do the three river crossings on the way to Mabebe gate. The first two was easy to cross (even with trailers) and not too deep when we were there (28 April). The third crossing was more difficult as you have to pass through specific places and trees to get to the other side- it was also not too deep if you travel exactly where we were indicated to drive. One of the four vehicles got stuck due to turning too late when we passed through the two trees because of our fear that the trailer will get stuck- we were easily recovered within 3 minutes and were on our way to Mabebe gate. Witness told us that he took and coached about 12 cars through the river in the two days before we were there. Crossing the river saved us +- 3 hours! The road between Mabebe and Savuti is very bad with lots of mud and bumpy sand roads - this was far worst than in the Moremi itself. We travelled from Kwai to Savuti in 5 hours (+- 96km).
Ist bridge (Moremi) we crossed using the broken bridge and at 2nd bridge we crossed through the water - also not too deep but have to drive carefully. From Kwai to Hippo pools were okay- just a lot of water and mud close to the hippo pools where some vehicles also got stuck and had to be recovered.
Hope this will help other travellers in the Moremi!
Maun to South gate is all ok, dry dusty road with only a few hundred potholes here and there.
South Gate to 3rd Bridge, is still open at the moment with one having to cross through water around 1st and 2nd Bridges, but am told it is ok.
South Gate to Xakanaxa is the usual bumpy self with only rain water in the road holes, nothing serious.
Xakanaxa to 3rd Bridge. There is no water to drive through unless you venture off onto the side game drive roads. There are no game drive roads
accessible in Xakanaxa as they are all under water; the road from Xakanaxa Gate to the campsite is the only one dry in the area. Between
4th Bridge and 3rd bridge there are a few Game drive roads under water. The main road is dry.
Xakanaxa to Khwai. This road is CLOSED. There is too much water and the river crossing is too bad I am told by the game scouts. I tried from the
Khwai side and had to drive through about 1.5km of water covering my head lights in the land cruiser, slippery in places. I turned around at
Dombo Hippo pool. So from Xakanaxa one has to go via South Gate to Khwai.
South Gate to Khwai, is dry and takes the normal 45 min. In the Khwai Area all the flood plains are under water and this leaves only the
main road in the Mophane to drive on.
The Khwai to Savuti road is closed due to lots of water, you have to go via South Gate and then Sankuyo Village and Mababe Village to
Mababe Gate and then onto Savuti.
The Khwai Community area I am told by a reliable source is that the water is waist deep in place on the road along the river front.
Mababe Gate to Savuti there is a little bit of mud and rain water along the road, nothing serious.
Savuti to Kasane I haven’t been along this year yet but am sure it is still the same, Sandy.
DECEMBER ROAD CONDITIONS 11/12/2010
Maun – South gate: This was ok, a few potholes with drying out water between Mawana Veterinary
fence and South Gate, just enough water in them to slow you down a little.
South Gate to 3rd Bridge: The first 4 km was a little wet and muddy from the traffic that has
passed through there recently. The rest of the way was not bad at all, the sandy patches were nicely
compacted from the rain and there was just the odd puddle here and there drying up.
3rd Bridge to 4th Bridge: As usual this normally sandy stretch was a breeze although a little bumpy.
The sand again been compacted by the rain.
4th Bridge to Xakanaxa gate: The first kilometre or so of sand was fine then I went via Jessie’s
pools, all the dark soil here was dry or drying out, down the old airstrip road was nice sand. The
main road from 4th Bridge to the Gate is mostly dry with some of the bigger holes a little muddy, but
not too bad.
Xakanaxa Gate to South Gate: this road seems to have had more rain than the 3rd Bridge road,
there was a lot more water in the first 10-15km and again in the last 15km, in between this there
was a little puddle here and there. The water for the first =/- 15km and last 15km is big wide
puddles, enough to slow you down to drive through slowly, the deepest being about knee deep. The
odd one being a little muddy/slippery but nothing to worry about.
Xakanaxa to Khwai: This road is closed according to the DWNP Game Scouts. I never had a chance
to drive it myself but wouldn’t recommend it. It is usually closed most rainy seasons as the big
holes in the road fill up with water and there is no way around them in the Mophane Tree’s. Some
Tourists recently tried that this road, got stuck and spent THREE Days there until someone
came past and helped them. Rather go the safer option via South Gate to Khwai. You can still go to
Dombo Hippo Pool from the Khwai side if needs be.
South Gate to Khwai: This road has the usual big Puddles and mud patches, the worst one
being +/-12km from south Gate at the Cutline. This one is not deep but muddy and has several
tree stumps that catch out some people. There is a small detour around this hole to the right. The
rest of the way is normal with just a few puddles for about the last 5 km to Khwai with a little bit
I haven’t been from Khwai to Savuti since the rains have started so can only guess the road
conditions, But I know that from Mababe Gate to The Sand Ridge will be a bit of fun from about
10km after the gate, there is a 10km stretch of Black Soil that can get to about knee deep and get
quite slippery dependent on how much water is there.
Then I am sure from Savuti to Ghoha Gate will ok, the only area to possibly be careful is about
25km from Savuti when you go over the sand ridge and onto the plain below, this is usually a bad
muddy area after rain, It is for about 2-3km then there is sand up to the gate.
From Ghoha Gate to Ngoma gate shouldn’t be a problem at all as this is mostly sand. On the way
Kachikau to Ngoma where they are tarring the road it should nearly be open now for traffic, if so
then this will speed up your journey time a little.
Since writing this up yesterday we had about 35mm of rain! So please be careful if going into Moremi
in the next few days, we had another couple of mm this am and it is still threatening more rain from
the Moremi direction. The Third Bridge road will probably be a lot wetter and muddier now as more
ROAD CONDITIONS SEPTEMBER ‘10
Maun to South Gate:
Road is all good with just a few corrugations starting to form. The 30km from Mawana Vet fence to South Gate has recently been graded so people are driving faster than normal. Be cautious along this stretch as there are a couple of tight bends which have caught out a few people. The Mopane Trees still stand with many scars.
South Gate to Xakanaxa:
Graded about a month ago, a little sandy and can be done in an hour and a half, again beware of other motorists exceeding the speed limit of 40km per hour.
South Gate to Third Bridge:
I did this road today 24/09/2010, on a day trip, the water level is defiantly receding along this road. It is dry with the normal sandy patches all the way to Third Bridge. At First Bridge the water is dry and you can just go through the sand. At Second Bridge going to Third Bridge go to the left of the bridge and the water there is only a foot deep with a sandy bottom, nothing strenuous.
Third Bridge to Xakanaxa:
If one stays on the main road the sandy patches between Third and Fourth Bridges is getting quite bad, as the days are getting hotter the sand is becoming more”Fun”. At Fourth Bridge One must go extreme left through the big water hole, the water here comes up to the land cruiser head lights, do not drive straight through as I attempted today, there is a DEEP hole that you drop into the water rising up over the bonnet and bounce back up with the rear bumper catching and almost getting bogged. The second water hole is only about a foot deep and again go left and then go slow, Low Range over the bridge, People have been going fast over the bridge for fear it will break. Guess what, it is. Half the bridge is missing but it is still crossable, where the logs are missing the vehicle tyres can reach the ground, but be aware there are still logs under you to catch your diff. Alternativly you could go to the right of the bridge and go through the river, a little deep but a sandy bottom. Walk this first to check the depth. The Government is building a New “Fourth Bridge” but by the looks of things won’t be completed for several more months.
Xakanaxa to Khwai (North Gate):
I haven’t done this road for about three weeks now but the sand was starting to get bad after you turn off the Xakanaxa/South Gate road, plenty of dust. The river crossing was about the same as the last update. Go to the middle crossing, again walk it first to check the depth.
South Gate to Khwai (North Gate):
30km of straight graded road with a little sand patch of no concern.
Here are the latest road conditions from Kurt McKenzie's latest Safari from 15th – 25th July 2010 from Kasane through Chobe and Moremi to Maun.
The Chobe River Front is accessible, although a little sandy in places but not much of a challenge.
From Ngoma Gate through the villages to Kachikau the Chinese contractors are busy upgrading the road from Gravel to Tar, there are many Lorrie’s, excavators and Bull dozers all over the roads with many detours as well slowing up progress. Once past Kachikau the road is really sandy until the cutline (+/- 5km), then it is sandy and bumpy most of the way to Ghoha Gate, the sand is nothing to worry about. From Ghoha Gate to Savuti if one takes the airstrip road there is no problem, however if one goes left at the fork I believe it is quite sandy. The Savuti River slowed down earlier this month and the water level dropped about 2 Foot, Last week however I noticed it has risen again about one foot and will probably rise a little more over the next couple of weeks. To cross the actual channel is no big problem, the best is to stay on the upstream side just to the left of the fence post and cross in
Savuti to Khwai:
From Savuti the first 20km is not bad just a little bumpy every so often, once the sand ridge is reached you need to be a little cautious as it is very sandy now for about 7km, after that it is fine all the way to Mababe Gate. From Mababe Gate along the
Khwai to Xakanaxa:
The Khwai river is rising again, so be careful when driving around the flood plains, the river crossing after Dombo Hippo pool is getting deep, there are two crossings, the first one is a little muddy but shallow, the second one is sandy but deep, best to walk the crossings first to check the depth and the bottom. After the crossing the road is fine to Xakanaxa.
Xakanaxa to 3rd Bridge:
The road is as normal fine, after 4th bridge there is the usual sand patch with many roads going around and through. At 4th Bridge cross with caution, some of the logs are loose, once across go left around the deep water hole and then keep hard left next to the termite mound through the next puddle. They are building a new stronger, higher bridge but it looks like it won’t be finished for about another two or three months.
Both these roads have recently been graded so are a little slippery with the sand but no problems otherwise.
3rd Bridge to
I have not used this road this year. But getting second hand info from my staff they said it was ok, very wet but ok. If you are unsure then go via Xakanaxa rather.
The road to the Veterinary fence has also been graded so no problems there. Please be aware the speed limit is 60km/hr, many people are exceeding this up to 100km/hr and there have been several near misses as there are many blind corners. From the Veterinary fence to Shorobe is no problem and then from Shorobe to Maun is the usual tar road with Plenty of Donkey, Goats and Cattle obstacles.
A new track is expected to open Jan 2010 between North Gate and Mababe Gate,
which will allow for easier access to Savuti.
Look to Tracks4Africa for the most current Botswana Map shortly thereafter in 2010.
by Hans Schoelink
The 'annual flood' takes up to 6 months to flow from the Angolan Highlands. The Okavango Delta is very flat and the flood seldom goes in the same direction through the lower Delta. Sometimes it goes north around Chief's Island, sometimes it flows into Lake Ngami. .
The Okavango Delta is very flat and the flood seldom goes in the same
direction through the lower Delta. Sometimes it goes north around
Chief's Island, sometimes it flows into Lake Ngami.
Earth Touch research near Xakanaxa Doesn't get much more current then this
Third Bridge to Khwai- the water level has dropped and the roads are fine.
Khwai to Mababe - water is dropping and the roads are ok as well. If the
self drives keep to the main tracks, they will not have a problem with water.
Most of the water is on the back roads, which most tourists are not aware
of. We haven't had much rain yet, so depending on the rainfall this month
No water, dry and roads are good.
.....,IHAHA will be fine as the water level there has dropped quite a bit since
when I was last there in June, LINYANTI I have not been to or heard of
anything that side but don't think there will be much of a problem there.
SAVUTI will be it normal hot,dry ,dusty self with lots of sand to contend
with but nothing new. SAVUTI to KHWAI(North Gate) there is currently a
River crossing in the Khwai Community but nothing serious. I crossed it on
Sunday, yesterday, and it was only up to cruiser hubs, if taken wrong then
it will be up to the headlights. Khwai to XAKANAXA there is also a crossing
but again like the Khwai one if done correct it will be ok, if done wrong it will
come up the windscreen!! XAKANAXA to SOUTH GATE is all ok fine and
The road is fine and dry to South Gate.
South Gate to Xakanaxa is dry with one or two little puddles left over
from the rains.
Xakanaxa to Khwai is dry until Dombo Hippo pools, there is one
river crossing and the 2nd you drive around. Dombo Hippo Pools to
Khwai the floodplains are all flooded you have to stay on the
main track, there is one section of about 300m you have to drive
through the water but it is no more than 3 foot deep at the most. The
Game Scouts are recommending that everyone drives Xakanaxa via
South Gate to Khwai, this is not necessary and is an extra 30 - 40kms.
Khwai to Savute there are three river crossings to go through one is
deep!! Stick to the main track and you will be ok. follow where
everyone else is driving and you'll be ok. About 25 -30 kms from
Khwai in the Mopane trees there is a fork in the road the left fork is
very bad and muddy with some deep wet holes, take the right hand
fork and it is dry from then on, there is a little bit of sand, after a
few kms you'll come to a cut line, turn left for about 10kms and you'll
arrive at the Mababe Gate. From Mababe Gate to Savute is 60kms,
there is a new cutline again which is bone dry again with a little bit
of sand for 4kms, this sand is very soft and can catch you out!!!
Savute to Ihaha(ChobeWater Front) the road is its usual dry sandy
self, no change until you get to Ngoma Gate. From Ngoma Gate
right along the river front the flood is currently there and so there is only
the main road to drive along.
Happy driving, stick to the main track, dont drive off the road and
you should be ok.
Special thanks to Kurt (safari guide in Maun) for the update and
Chobe Game Drive Roads
Khwai Floodplain to Mababe
Khwai to Mababe
Mababe to Savute
Merc rescue 1
Merc rescue 2
River Crossing Khwai
river crossing on the way to Khwai
Savute to Ghoha
Xakanaxa to Khwai
The road to South Gate is not too bad. Dusty and bumpy as usual with a few new
elephant holes from the rainy season. South Gate to Xakanaxa is drying out with only a
few wet patches and a couple of nice mud patches to negotiate through (enough mud to
have some fun in). Xakanaxa to Khwai is rumoured to be wet, wet ,wet. Apparently there
is water everywhere blocking off some game drive routes. Dont know if this is due to rain
or the Khwai River rising to the early flood.
Khwai to Savute -- If Khai is wet then you are going to have some fun driving through
water and mud, from Khwai Moremi through the Khwai community up to Mababe gate.
The road from Khwai where you leave the river in Chobe up to Mababe gate is in the
Mopane so it will be muddy if they have had lots of rain as there are a few big holes to
drive through. From Mababe Gate to Savute should'nt be a problem as the new cutline is
mainly on the sandridge with only a short distance being on the Black Cotton Soil which
again will be a litlle slippery because of the rain.