Time to leave the hum of traffic, WiFi and civilisation behind as we tackle the soft sand tracks that lead to our campsite. Cue the hiss of tyres being deflated to 1.0 bar and the clunk of low-range transfer cases being engaged for the journey ahead.
By Damian Adams
READ: Join us on a Jimny safari expedition in Botswana – Part 1
Day 2: Game Viewing Drive
We awoke the next morning fuelled by excitement and anticipation. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast and were reminded that this would be the last opportunity to update our Instagram stories, as we’d be off the grid from this point on, then departed for Savuti via Kachikau for a full day of a 200km game viewing drive.
Our Jimnys were put through their paces, but there was nothing these guys couldn’t handle with low-range engaged. Within the first 20 minutes of our drive, and many giraffes, bushbuck and impala later, we came across a German family in a Toyota Hilux that needed rescuing from being stuck in the sandy terrain. We were thanked with a box of delectable German chocolates and we continued our journey.
The drive was incredibly slow as a result of the terrain and the Jimny showed off its ability to get us through some tough bits and narrow sections. The easy pace allowed us to take in everything there was to see and check it off enthusiastically in our booklets. Our guides were phenomenal in sharing their knowledge and expertise via the walky-talky and we learned more in these four days than we had in seven years of Natural Sciences in school.
Given the fact that we were driving along the Magwikhwe Sand Ridge track and through vast spaces where all wildlife is free to roam unrestricted by fencing and any enclosure, we felt very privileged and vulnerable at the same time because we understood that we were in their space. We made sure to yield when elephants and giraffes were moseying across the path and it goes without saying that our cameras were out and ready for each and every sighting. The novelty never wore off.
We arrived at our campsite in the early evening which was all set up by the guiding team. We spent some time wrapping our heads around the long-drops and shower-bag facilities; and the fact that we were sleeping alongside the Khwai River – home to many honking and grunting pods of hippos.
We then got to enjoy some refreshing sundowners and just as we were unwinding before dinner, we stared in amazement as a few hippos climbed out of the water and were grazing a stone’s throw away from our campfire.
Model: Suzuki Jimny 1,5 GL AllGrip
Price: R343 900
Engine: 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: 5-speed, manual
Power: 77 kW @ 6 000 r/min
Torque: 130 N.m @ 4 000 r/min
Ground clearance: 210 mm
Fuel consumption: 6.3 L/100 km
CO2 emissions: 146 g/km
If you’d like to experience this for yourself, which we would highly recommend that you do, visit africaexpeditions.co.za.
Keep an eye out for Part 3 of our journey!
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