For our English speaking friends
In February I was in Kgalagadi. One evening at about seven o’ clock in the Polentswa camp on the Botswana side of the park, my friend Conrad Bos and I heard a noise. He got onto the roof of the A-frame shelter and saw a battered man walking out the bush.
The man, a Frenchman, was dehydrated and in a state. He had a backpack, a 4x4 fire extinguisher (to chase off wild animals), a sleeping bag and empty water can with him.
We gave him water and medicine, let him shower and covered him to warm up. He shivered of shock. We notified the Twee Rivieren and Nossob camps by satellite phone.
Late that evening he revealed his story: He and a travelling companion met on the internet and he invited her to accompany him on his first visit to Africa.
They met in Windhoek and travelled via Mata-Mata and Twee Rivieren in a hired 4x4. Here they registered to do the wilderness route over Nossob and Polentswa to the Kaa border post.
Two days earlier, on 3 pm, they arrived at two pans about 40 km from Polentswa. Both pans were submerged in water – including the road. Apparently the Frenchman drove into the water and got stuck.
They tried to get the vehicle unstuck until darkness fell and went to sleep. The next day they walked about 10km in search of water but found nothing.
The next morning at about 6 am he started walking back to Nossob (about 90 km). In temperatures of about 34 degC…
He left his travelling companion behind with food and a limited amount of water- very daring in lion territory…
The next morning we went to fetch the lady and their clothing and took the two to Nossob and handed them over to Parks personnel. The personnel were going to fetch the vehicle.
That was the last we saw or heard of the two French.
All we know is that it must be one of the luckiest Frenchmen alive!Sanparks technical personnel went to recover the vehicle the next morning. It was repaired at Nossob, after which the couple continued on their journey. According to Botswana Wildlife there were no further incidents. - Red