Summary of KNP Botswana side – Mabuasehube 4X4 Wilderness Trail:
We made our booking telephonically at the Gaberone offices. We found that e-mailing a request and waiting for a reply was nerve-wrecking as the reply took a number of days and most of the questions we asked in the e-mail were not replied to. After calling directly, we received a confirmation e-mail two days afterward. Payment is easiest by credit card or direct deposit. We followed up to confirm payment and had hassles again, but received confirmation of payment the next day. On the previous visit, we paid in cash at the Two Rivers customs offices and were a bit peeved with the Pula/Rand exchange rate. Once you receive confirmation of payment, print it and take it along as the offices in Two Rivers does not have a computer. We did not have access to a printer to print our booking document the last time and this delayed us with three hours.
As your Wildcard is not part of the Transfrontier arrangement, please keep in mind that a daily conservation fee will be levied as well as a vehicle levy on top of the daily camping fee per person. Since we did the Mabuasehube trail in August, we initially wanted to do the Polentswa trail, but it became a very costly venture of P200.00 per person per night on top of the daily levies. What amazed us, was the fact that Polentswa had one formal camp site on this trail only – the rest of the trail offered “tree suites” only, thus we reverted back to Mabuasehube which is better value for money at P30.00 per person per night, given the fact that the camp sites offer an A-frame and a minimum of a long drop. It is only Mosomane site on this trail that has no facilities, and once again charged at R200.00 pax.
If you enter via Twee Rivieren and exit at the same, you will not need a passport to do the trail, but if you exit at Mabuasehube gate, you must have your passport and necessary documentation for your vehicle. All formalities in this regard must be taken care of at Two Rivers before you enter the trail.
We carried everything we needed to be self-sufficient. Water and fuel are the essentials, as some of the camping sites do not have water, and those that have, are not fit for consumption. It also advisable to take insect/mozzie repellant in summer time, as they come hungry at dawn and dusk…
All the camping sites have A-frames and at least a long-drop. Matopi one and two, Mosomane and Mabuasehube site one have no facilities. In August we camped at Rooiputs and there was water, in November when we were there, there was not a drop – so be careful not to assume anything with these wilderness areas and rather prepare to expect nothing.
We love this trail and the camping experience that it provides. It is truly wild – no fences, no modern facilities and chances are that you will see the odd vehicle passing you on the roads on rare occasions. The camp sites are situated far apart which creates a feeling of being alone in the bush, yet, Mabuasehube site offers an ideal venue for a group as two of the sites are within close distance of each other. With the exception of Matopi one and two, all the sites are situated on the outskirts of a pan, which allows for magnificent views and extraordinary sunsets – especially Lesholoago, Bosobogolo and Khiding. Most of the pans have water holes which attract game and birds – especially raptors.
This trail is an incredible experience and definitely worthy of including in a KTP visit, given that you have a 4X4 and know the basics of negotiating your vehicle in sandy conditions.