We woke up later than normal and only got onto the road at 10:00.
The road from Nata to Francistown was in a terrible state – and it took much longer than the suggested GPS time. Also … when you drive over the speed limit you get fined – again. This time round, Pieter was apparently speeding 100 in an 80 zone.
Again, we had to pay the fine. In all the years we have been travelling through the rest of Africa, this is the most we have been fined. Pieter is always super cautious not to exceed the speed limit – but I guess there is no way in questioning another countries law officials.
The alternative route through Francistown proved to be a road that everyone else uses as well … and when we stopped for diesel we were informed that Francistown is out of petrol and diesel. This has happened to us before – hence our motto of always filling up where you can even if you don’t really need to.
Just outside Francistown there is a newly built petrol station, small shop and ablutions. We stopped and enquired about diesel – which they had. Also made use of their ablutions (for which you have to ask the key for) that were in an immaculate condition. First time ever I smiled using a rest room in the rest of Africa.
Now refreshed, Pieter enquired if I was up for pushing on and staying over at Kwanokeng Lodge just before the border post. As it was still early afternoon, I agreed and we were on our way. Both of us knew that the border would be super busy, and judging by the amount of trucks we had on the road, we knew it was going to take long to get through customs the next day. The nearer we could get to the border, the easier it would be to cross over the next day.
We got to the border just before 17:30 and we looked at the huge amount of trucks already lined up in the queue to exit the next day. Right there and then we decided to cross over and drive home. Neither of us wanted to be stuck in long queues the next day. We quickly got some take-away from the local shop at Kwanokeng, filled up the Landy and set out for the border.
Still – at 5:30pm we were in a fairly long queue on the Botswana side, but we were swiftly helped and on our way to the South African side.
Ugh … here, we had to stand in a longer queue (less officials) in the sun and heat (how disappointing can your home country be after such an amazing holiday crossing borders in the rest of Africa). When we eventually got helped, we were stuck in a truck queue wanting to exit the various gates.
We eventually entered the South African side when the sun was already setting. Only then did we inform our family that we were back in the country and on our way home.
Twelve hours later we stopped in front of our house with my mom and dogs waiting. Long and tiring day – but worth it. We plugged in the fridge and freezer, locked the Landy and went to bed. Unpacking would only follow the next day.
Was it worth it ??
Yes – a million times YES!
It was a holiday without major hick-ups. We got to see new places. We got to meet up with old friends. We got to meet people that are doing amazing work like Mike in Kasungu National Park.
I got to see Jet (the Boxer) again – also Brett and Lara at Makuzi Beach in Malawi.
Pieter got to thank the doctor that treated he’s leg in 2015 in Chipata properly.
We got to see Africa again … the continent where both of us are firmly rooted.
We got to spend over 20 days in each other’s company without work, home, dog, and phone or laptop interruptions.
We are already planning our next trip in December 2017. Bangweulu in Zambia has been on my bucket list for the last year – and now with the info that Mike provided us with, we are even more eager to see this amazing place. Pieter also wants to explore northern Luanga and possibly Katavi National Park in Tanzania.
For now we are grateful that we got back home safely and without major incidents.
For you … still wondering if you want to explore the rest of Africa, here’s what we say:
“Sometimes the best thing that you can do is not think. Not wonder. Not Imagine. Not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best”
We hope you have a very blessed 2017 and many happy camping adventures!!