Distance: 181km (Cumulative: 3 225km)
Moving time: 08:30
Average speed: 21km/h
Road surface: 100% Sand
Deception Camp 02 - R50 p.p
Nice trees and enclosure for pit toilet and bucket shower
We had the usual tea with rusks to wake up, surprisingly we still have rusks left. Without buying any we got a massive supply from all three pairs of parents. And after tea we had a mix of Weet Bix, Oats, Peanuts and raisins for breakfast.
We set off at 08:00. We had to drive the 9km back to the gate and refilled some bottles at the police compound. From there we turned North to Piper Pan. The road didn’t get any better and the 74km took as 2.5 hours as indicated by T4A. We didn’t see any game besides perhaps a steenbok.
At Piper Pan we stopped and waited at the waterhole. Jaco added a few more birds to his list of sightings in Botswana (51 unique birds so far). He said seeing a Bateleur made the bad road worth it. We also saw two different types of vultures and a secretary bird.
Animal wise there were the usual jackal, Oryx and Springbok. We thought elephants were approaching the waterhole, but it turned out to be Wildebeest. It looked like a scene from a National Geographic documentary when the Wildebeest got close and kicked up dust walking in their demented way.
We drove around Piper Pan and then East to Deception Valley which is another 108km.
The road was so bad that only at 10km/h it felt safe but still very bumpy. That would however mean that we would reach camp at 22:00. At 25km/h the shaking is so bad that it’s hard to say whether our bodies or the Hilux would break first. We thus had to go 40km/h to make the shaking a bit less, but it’s so nerve racking you can’t keep it up for longer than a few minutes.
We stopped for lunch at a picnic spot and when Hugo tried to start the Hilux the key wouldn’t turn. After numerous failed attempts we had to take out the spare key. The spare key however required as to open the rooftop tent as we keep it in there. We weren’t optimistic about the spare key working, because why would the main key just suddenly stop working? Luckily the spare key did turn the ignition and the Hilux immediately started.
Despite trying to go as fast as safely possible the sun was getting low. The road luckily got better closer to Deception Pan as the road goes over multiple pans where the surface is harder and without corrugation. On one of these pans Hugo almost raced past a Cheetah but stopped in time. The Cheetah posed for us, yawned and even stood up just to lie down again.
We finally got to the campsite just as the sun set. We quickly set up the tent and lit a fire. Jaco braai’d some steaks again. We went to bed early after the long and tiresome day.
The next day we stayed in camp until the afternoon. We just closed the rooftop tent and went for a game drive around Leopard and Sunday Pan. We saw plenty more of the usual, but still no lions.
We got back to the campsite again just as it started getting dark.