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Venturesome Overland

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Seems like a good time to share this snap from Tanzania. As our disgraceful so-called president throws a tantrum because he didn’t get his way, it’s worth remembering what kind of people we really are as Americans. Our tax money went to support a road in Tanzania, linking villages together. That same tax money - our money - should not go to build walls to keep people apart. We’re from a complicated country with a complicated and troubling history. But I still believe that the idea of America is a good one. Seeing this sign reminds me that we can choose to be our better selves. We have to do that right now. ✌️ #choosegood #americathebeautiful #roadsnotwalls #tanzania #america #usa #thisisus #unitedstates #buildpartnerships #travel #ontheroad #roadsign #dotherightthing #africaoverland #overlandafrica #overland #overlanding #whoweare #nowall #nowalls #callcongress #stevedaines #greggianforte #jontester @greggianforte @jontester @jontester @stevedaines
Steve and Toto play in the mud in Tanzania. Today on the blog, Tanzania overland tips galore! 🇹🇿 #landroversofinstagram #totothedefender #landy #venturesomemore #landrover #defender110 #landroverdefender #landroverdefender110 #landroverclassic #landroverlove #onelifeliveit #best4x4xfar #landroverphotoalbum #alloyandgrit #defenderdisciples #tanzania #overland #overlander #overlanding #africaoverland #overlandafrica #playinthemud #dirtroad #enlightenedoverland #travel #roamtheplanet
Hedada ibises. We’ve grown to love the ibises here. They are unbelievably loud, with a harsh call. Our first introduction to them was when they would land en masse on our roof and make a racket. Now, we spend evenings on the patio watching them fly home from their day. Of the many, many things I will miss about Southern Africa when we have to leave, watching the ibises go home is at the top of the list. ✨✨✨✨✨✨ #hadadaibis #ibis #southernafrica #africa #gaborone #botswana #birdsofinstagram #birds #wildlife #natureisamazing #natureisawesome #theworldisawesome #theworldisamazing #expatlife #venturesomemore
We love the road food. In Uganda you can get a Rolex, which is a hot, thin, perfectly seasoned omelet laid over a fresh chapati, garnished with small onions and fresh tomatoes, and wrapped up like a burrito. It is magic, magic deliciousness. We stopped in a tiny village and bought one from this kid. Quite the crowd gathered to watch us order, and the cook was shy, but acknowledgement of good food is universal, and our smiles when we took our first bite made him smile as well. 🌯 #roadfood #streetvendor #streetfood #rolex #uganda #chapati #omlet #africa #trynewthings #travel #eatthefood #eattheworld #overland #overlander #overlanding #africaoverland #overlandafrica #streetphotography #roamtheplanet #localcuisine #eatlocal #venturesomemore #travel #wander #wanderlust #tryityoulllikeit #goodfood

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Steve @venturesomeov… on For the Love of Nothing: …

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“If someone told me I could live in Botswana forever, but on the one condition that the only place I could ever camp was the Central Kalahari Game Rerserve, I would say, ‘Where do I sign?’”

I mentioned this to Julie out of the blue the other day as I was planning this week’s trip. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve – the size of Switzerland – is not necessarily the most interesting place in Botswana, or chock full of wildlife, or even particularly difficult as an off-road challenge.

There are endless miles of monotonous sandy tracks, hemmed in by impenetrable thorn bushes, with little to see. Many of the campsites are indifferently maintained, hounded relentlessly by bees (on our last visit the bees literally tried to colonize our Land Cruiser), or saddled with overflowing pit toilets. It’s hot.

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Why go back? Why go back less than two months after we were just there? Why go back when we’ve been there twice already? Why go back when there is so much more to discover in this amazing country that is new to us?

To be honest, we do struggle with those questions sometimes, but surprisingly little. The answer is easy, really.

In a world crammed with everything, the sheer nothingness of CKGR reorients us, resets the compass, reveals new realities. It’s the same reason we are drawn to the Utah deserts year after year. There is no one and nothing, and yet weirdly that nothingness is more than enough.

Oh. And the occasional elephant. No elephants in Utah.

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We have approached the CKGR from all directions but one – the south. The road between Khutse Game Reserve and the Game Scout Camp at Xade is one of the most notoriously lonely, barren, and difficult tracks in all of southern Africa. The locals don’t bother because they know there’s nothing out there, so why wouldn’t we try it?

In fact, that map above doesn’t even include our second night’s campsite, Bape, because it doesn’t appear on Google Maps. That’s my kind of campsite.

Seven nights, eight days. When we reach Deception Valley, we’ll be meeting some friends of ours from Montana who are visiting Botswana. They started their safari up north at Victoria Falls just a week ago. That will be a surreal experience.

We are looking at nearly 650km between fuel stops from the last gas station before the Khutse Game Reserve (100km south of Point B on the map) and Rakops (Point G on the map). This will require more than a few jerry cans.

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6 comments on “For the Love of Nothing: CKGR

  1. run|ride|wine says:

    This is great! We’re about to head out on a 17-day adventure 4×4 through Botswana ourselves. Check out my posts – would love your insight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right on! You cannot go wrong in this incredible country. I’ll check out your posts for sure. Have a great time!

      Like

  2. Julie says:

    It’s our favourite place too – even after travelling all over southern Africa, closely followed by the Okavango. Love your blog! Maybe we will bump into you one of these days on the road.
    Julie and Keith

    Like

    1. Definitely! We’re headed to South Africa and Lesotho in March, so let’s stay in touch.

      Like

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