488km travelled – 9.4km/lt – 68km/h average speed. Our journey to Palapye had one or two surprises, but was quite pleasant nonetheless.
We left Maryke’s home in Pretoria at 7:30am and it was raining. We had such a lovely time with Maryke it was hard to say goodbye.
The road from Pretoria to Mokopane is very good. It is the N1 and is a well-maintained dual lane freeway. From Mokopane, however, the road (N11 westbound) is very bumpy and narrow. It got a bit better about 20km outside of Mokopane.
Border Crossing into Botswana
We arrived at the border pretty confident that we were well-prepared with all our documents in order. However, when we got to the customs office I was told I need a ‘Road Manifest’. I did not have such a document. Upon inquiry, I found a clearing agent at the border who could help me to prepare it. This was an unexpected cost of R2500!
After getting past South African Customs and Police checks, the vehicle was officially permanently exported. The next step was to arrange that we could transit through Botswana with this de-registered vehicle. The Botswana Customs officials were satisfied with my documents, but required that a transit permit be obtained. Again, this was obtained by a clearing agent in Botswana near the border. This was an unexpected cost of R1160!
Finally Heading to Palapye
We spent a total of 3 hours to get through this border control. We were very happy to be on the road again.
The trip from the border into Palapye took about 2 hours. It was dark when we arrived at Itumela Camp where we had arranged a room for the night. We ordered dinner just before their kitchen closed. We ate a tough T-bone steak with chips which really tasty since we were so famished! Thankfully, our rustic room had a working air-conditioner which worked throughout the night.
We rested very well having been exhausted by the day’s activities. We were happy to finally be in Botswana and on our way to Zambia.