|Happy Campers BotsNam 2018 – Travel log Day 20 & 21|
|Place||Elephant Sands, Nata|
|Type of lodging||Camping|
|Water at site||Yes|
|Wi-Fi||Yes, at the bar area (buy vouchers)|
|Kilometers travelled||Day 20 & 21 – 277kms|
We had started our descent down south, back towards South Africa and home, but luckily we had one more camp site to visit before we said goodbye to Botswana. Elephant Sands came highly recommended by all the camping forums and social media pages so off course we had to check it out on our way back home. The bookings were done well in advance as this is one for the most popular camp sites in Botswana. They offer tented accommodation as well as camping sites, with a huge restaurant and deck area that look out on their water hole. The road to get to the reception is fairly deep sand so it’s best to deflate your tyres before driving around on the property.
To be honest, we were not overly impressed with the camping grounds. There are no trees so there are zero shade for your camping setup. The sites are not properly demarcated so we ended up with the lodge management pitching tents for an overlanding group literally underneath our awning. We had to park our car in between the two camp sites, so that we could get some sort of privacy. Their attitude was also really crappy when we addressed it with them, you could see that the overseas currency was way more attractive than our measly rands. This attitude is what made that I vowed never to camp there again, and I will also not recommend this establishment.
We had dinner once at the restaurant, which was really nice. Good old proper African food with lots of meats and carbs. You can buy Wi-Fi vouchers at the bar in case you need to check in with civilization and the signal is only available at the deck area. It’s also from this deck that you can sit and watch the elephants that come to drink water at the waterhole. It’s not as abundant in numbers as what we experienced at Senyati but it was quite the thrill standing in the shower and having an elephant race past you to get to the waterhole. They had a recent incident where elephants destroyed the ablution block due to the ongoing drought conditions so I will not comment on what we experienced at the time. I haven’t seen the new ablution blocks but I’m sure it will pop up somewhere on social media soon.
The next day we went for a self-drive game drive on their grounds, we saw more elephants and other wildlife during this drive. We also stumbled upon a dead elephant in the field, which was something to behold. This would have been our last night in Botswana and we spend the evening reminiscing over all the wonderful sights we saw these last couple of weeks. On our way back home we stayed at Baobab Farm Cottages which were very comfortable and clean. We pre-booked our dinner that night with them and we left from home early that following morning.
Keep in mind when you’re travelling from north to south in Botswana, you are not allowed to bring any raw meat and meat products with you. There are quite a few veterinary stops along the way and they search your vehicle and camping rig for meat products, which they confiscate if they find any. Don’t be a Boet & Bro type and try and hide your contraband, they are protecting their livelihood by imposing these rules. You are a visitor to their country so respect their laws and regulations.