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Venturesome Overland

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We get passport stamps, Toto gets stickers. Thanks for the hookup, @lasertech_botswana 🌍 #totothelandrover #overland #venturesomemore #overlander #overlanding #womenoverlandingtheworld #overlandafrica #africaoverland #africatravel #africa #malawi #stickers #passportstamps #landroverafrica #alloyandgrit #landroverphotoalbum #landrover #landrover110 #landroverdefender #landroverdefender110 #defender110 #onelifeliveit #best4x4xfar #landroverclassic #landroverlove #landroverlife #traveltheworld #roamtheplanet #adventureisnecessary #startsomewhere
One of my (Julie) crankiest times traveling was in Singapore at the Raffles Hotel. I haaaaated it. It was the worst kind of tourist trap IMO: full of white people indulging in their colonial wet dreams. It was just...wrong. 😣 We never go to tourist stops when we’re on the road, but we did make a Vic Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya in the local Zambian language, stop. If you can get past the gift shops and tourists, it’s a lovely walk. The falls are beautiful and it felt so good to be out of the car. But there’s a definite reason we usually bypass touristy areas. 🙄 After thousands of miles through seven countries, it felt strange to be in such a big tourist center. It is super hard to square the tour busses that say “Explorer Club, Africa” and tourists in safari gear with the daily life (and hustle and grind) we’ve been seeing, and that exists juuust outside the city. No shade, but it’s a tiny bit jarring. 🤷‍♀️ It’s not as bad as the Raffles by a long shot. Nature does her thing, thankfully, and that can redeem just about anything. Still, we couldn’t help wondering what the place would look like without all the souvenir shops. 💧 #victoriafalls #vicfalls #mosioatunya #zambia #livingstone #touristtrap #overland #overlanding #overlander #overlandafrica #africaoverland #venturesomemore #selfie #nature #waterfall #waterfalls
Front left coil spring fixed, back left shock needs attention. Lower shock bushing and retaining rings disintegrated. Always check your bolt tightness after replacing parts, kids. 🔧 #overland #overlanding #overlander #overlandafrica #africaoverland #landrover #landroverdefender #landroverdefender110 #landrover110 #defender110 #alloyandgrit #landroverphotoalbum #onelifeliveit #best4x4xfar #landroverlife #totothelandrover #landroverlove #landroverowner
Annnnnd, good night from Zambia. Overlooking the Zambezi. #zambia #zambezi #zambeziriver #livingstone #africa #sundowners #overland #overlandafrica #africaoverland #sunset #river #venturesomemore

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“Kubu” is the Tswana word for hippopotamus, which speaks to the ancient history of Botswana’s salt pans as a huge inland sea. If you squint a little bit, you can just make them out, wallowing in the long-departed shallows, grunting and blowing exasperated bubbles. The fossilized droppings of pre-historic sea birds stain the big grey boulders that litter the island.

 

Today, of course, the hippos are only imaginary, and the island, situated in nearly the very center of the Makgadikgadi Pans, is surrounded by infinite horizons of salt and mud flats. In contrast with Kukonje Island, Kubu hosts a developed campground, and you can find a handful of nearby lodges within 30 kilometers of the island on the edges of Nwetwe Pan. Camping is $6 per person per night for Botswana residents, and $15 for international visitors.

 

The Kubu Island Campsites are administered by the Gaing O community trust, and each well-spaced site is situated under a spreading baobab tree, the signature flora of the island. You’re not the first to lay your head here, however, and you won’t be the last. People have been traveling to and living on Kubu for thousands of years, stretching back to the Stone Age. Some archaeological evidence suggests that even our pre-Homo Sapiens ancestors visited the island.

 

The island is criss-crossed with meter-high stone walls, built during the historical period known as Great Zimbabwe from the 1400s to the 1600s. It continues to be a locus of cultural practice and spirituality for residents of the local villages, especially rites of passage for young men. Rambling over Kubu (you’re free to walk where you want, just try not to disturb stone structures and never remove any artifacts), you can understand why people are drawn here.

 

No discussion of Kubu Island is complete without mention of its otherworldly sunrises and sunsets. It’s well worth breaking camp before dawn and taking your tea on the edge of the pan as the sun rolls swiftly into view across the salt flats.

 

The island is impossible to access during the high water season, and even in May, we had to negotiate some soft and muddy tracks as we sped south to Gaborone across Nwetwe Pan. The folks at the Gaing O Trust are very responsive to email, so check with them to see that the roads are open, and you can book your campsite via their online form.

 

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