Distance: 3500km Duration: 15 days Countries: 3
I have decided to do a series on some of our itineraries. When you start planning your trips, it can be a little overwhelming knowing where to start. Where do you overnight? What is a good distance to travel with kids? What is a realistic travel time vs what the Garmin says? (FYI -it always takes longer)
Simon and I tend to be a bit chilled when it comes to planning (read VERY), but we have very organized friends. We like to ‘wing it’, but when travelling into Africa that is not always the best option, especially with little kids. So it is really helpful to have friends who like to plot and plan. One of these useful sort of friends to have is our neighbour, Mike. He loves to spend hours researching various routes, alternative and less travelled options etc. We have been to some incredible places because he saw something on google Earth and then traced it and plotted and planned.
To Drive is the Holiday
Before our Kgalagadi trip, Simon and I had done the Okavango and various others, but always without kids. The drives to the beginning of our adventure destination were generally loooooong, and the thought of being in the car for that duration with our young children was frankly terrifying. But we have come to realise that this is because the drive for us was a means of getting to a destination. Mike and his wife Georgie have taught us differently. They took us on our first family overlanding trip when Jesse was 5 and Olivia was 3 , showing us that these long journeys are possible with kids. They changed our mindset; the drive is the holiday. The distances they suggested were shorter, which meant that you could stop along the way and if the kids needed time, you had it.
Back to the Useful Friends
Back to the reason these organised friends are so useful, they are very detailed. And with being so detailed comes very detailed trip itineraries with time lines etc. I thought it was overkill to start, but it really helps with planning your days, lunch stops and so on. Where Mike and I differ is that he can’t stay in one spot for too long. I would recommend a 2 night stay more often and subsequently we have compromised on trips since this first one.So here is the first overlanding trip we did as a family to the Kgalagadi. You can then get an idea of the distances we travelled, where we stopped and then use it as a guide to start your own adventure planning.
A special thanks to Mike Borgstrom whose itinerary this is.
Vryburg – DO NOT use the community campsite (unless it has had a revamp) That experience now goes down as one of the ‘remember when’s’, which is great story telling now but not so much fun to experience at the time
Route – If going into the Botswana side of Kgalagadi, I would do the trip the other way round. So enter Kgalagadi either at TweeRivieren or Namibia and then head through to Botswana and out McCarthy’s. Reason being is that the Botswana side is so wild, so when you get to the SA side it is much tamer and feels a bit of a let down.
Booking – The SA side books up so quickly and that is why we had to do our trip a bit higgledy piggledy. We had to take the bookings we could for Nossob and Mata-Mata and then work the trip around that.
I hope that it helps with your planning and if you need any advice or have a question, please feel free to send it our way.
Lots of love
Simon and Tammy