Maun, Botswana - Polarsteps
Okay the last day. This day starts early. We have a long drive ahead of us and we drive through Xakanaxa for a last game drive and cross Third bridge to get to our last stop in Maun. Every morning we have a ritual of checking the car, oil, cooling water and that stuff. I’m chief of battery. It’s pretty low in the morning but I’m not too worried. It’s pretty low every morning because of our fridge using the battery and usually is charges itself while driving. Just don’t stop the engine before you drove for 15 minutes and it will be fine. Apparently not this time. After an hour a light in the dashboard starts to blink and the metre turns to the left. Low battery. And low on fuel. Damn. I’m starting to get a bit worried now. Our monster is letting us down. The drive is amazing but as always exciting and adventurous. Deep water pools in front of us. All of a sudden my worst nightmare becomes reality. Just in between two deep water tracks in the swamp of the Okavango Delta the car shuts down. I can’t help it but I’m freaking out. Wildlife around us and we’re stuck. We haven’t seen any other cars driving this road so how long will it take before someone finds us? After 1,5 hours waiting a car comes towards us. I start yelling and waving as if they wouldn’t see us if I didn’t. Our angels are a couple from Johannesburg and experienced game drivers. I have to stop myself from hugging the woman as I’m so happy to see someone and have the feeling that they’re in control of the situation. They tell us we will never make it on this bad road if we follow it while we’re this low on fuel and with a broken alternator what causes the dead battery. They advice us to drive back to the camp and take the main road to Maun. They jumpstart our car, deflate our tires and let us drive behind them. The car lets us down again after approximately 20 km, it can’t even run stationary. The couple can jumpstart it again and once we’re on the main road we say goodbye to them. We give them all our supplies and food we have left over from our trip. On our way to Maun our monster fails for another 5 times but I’m starting to get fun of it. We meet a lot of local people on this road who are all very helpful. Except for that one time we had to take a detour because the road was completely flooded and we got lost in a swamp with hippos and crocs. If the car had stopped there we could have been waiting for hours as we were not on a road but luckily G who was driving decided to quickly turn around (what sounds easy but it wasn’t) and drive back without letting the car stop! Only 300 metres before we arrive at our B&B in Maun the car stops again. We end up pushing the monster to our last stop and drop off (4 guys pushing and I’m filming but hey). It’s a symbolic end of our adventure. We survived and it was amazing. I would do it again tomorrow if I get the chance.
Zimbabwe, Botswana & Zuid Afrika