Khutse Game Reserve to somewhere between Dutlwe and Sekoma (Botswana)
Distance : 298 km
As you can see from the picture below, the day started with everyone in a phenomenally good mood…
The temperature had dropped overnight so it was a bit chilly in the morning and with a fairly long day of travel ahead of us no-one was racing around full of energy.
The plan for the day was to leave the park and travel south to Letlhakeng, hang a right and head west towards Dutlwe. At Dutlwe we would leave the tar road and take the north-south cut line down towards Sekoma. Camping for the night was to be somewhere along the cut line road…basically where ever we could find a “comfortable ” spot.
Once breakfast was done and the vehicles packed we headed off across Mahurushele Pan towards the gate. There was a fair amount of game that kept us entertained – including a small herd (three of) gemsbok that decided we must be bad news so they took off at a gallop when we drew close. The only problem was that they ran parallel to the road, about 50 m into the grass, so all they achieved was a large amount of breathlessness as we comfortably kept up with them. Eventually they stopped, gave us a completely uncomplimentary glare, turned 90 degrees to the road and disappeared into the bush. Not the brightest antelope then…
For the next 2 hours exactly nothing of excitement or interest happened so rather than bore you with 25 paragraphs of meaningless scenery descriptions I will just fast forward to…
Late afternoon found us at Dutlwe, the point of departure from the tar and on to the cut line. The goat infested area close to the main tar road soon gave way to a more grassed and bushy area where cattle appeared to be predominant. Cattle fences soon appeared on either side of the road and we eventually started coming across farm gates which we let ourselves through.
After an hour or so of cattle fences and gates, and with the sun starting to get lower and lower on the horizon, we began to look out for a place to camp for the night. At this point we were closed in on both sides by 2.5 m game fencing and the visions of spending the night camped in the middle of the road started to cross our minds. Then just as we were resigning ourselves to this eventuality, both fences turned 90 degrees away from the road and the perfect camp site opened up for us.
After a short reconnoitre we ended up camping on either side of the road. While we put up the various tents Dietwin set about constructing a masterful braai pit which was put to good use that evening as the temperatures plummeted when a cold front came through from the cape.
We had a nice quiet night – no game to disturb us, just the gentle lowing of some seriously confused cattle who decided to camp down next to us. Although, shortly after supper, as we were sipping hour post dinner aperitifs, a set of car lights appeared down the road heading towards us at speed. As it drew closer, the car slowed down, obviously confused to find tents and lights on either side of the road. I imagine thoughts of road blocks and breathalysers was crossing the driver’s somewhat anxious mind. As they passed through our camp, the bakkie load of farm workers burst into smiles and waves which we, naturally, returned along with raised glasses!
Comment of the day :
Looking up at the glorious Milky Way Galaxy carving a line of light across the night sky, “Hey Kevin, check it out, a Cut Line in the Sky!”
Facts for the day:
Distance 298.0 km
Min Alt 1001.620 meters
Max Alt 1151.230 meters
Max Speed 160.9 km/hour
Avg Speed 28.8 km/hour