One of the great things about “travel” is new experiences and surprises but not unwelcome ones … here are a few recent lessons that may be worth noting:
- When leaving SA via Botswana for Zimbabwe, be sure to ask for a SARS temporary export permit for your vehicle. This is not readily offered or requested when entering Bots but it is requested on exiting Botswana or SA and again on re-entering.
- It is pretty common knowledge that carrying meat and dairy products when travelling back from the North via Botswana is not a good idea. The many thorough road blocks are irritating and empty fridges do speed up the process. This time however, we were not permitted to carry mangoes, yes, of the fresh fruit variety due to some fruit fly outbreak! If you know the huge, nectar sweet, fibre-less mangoes sold at Chobe Farms in Kasane, you will understand that I resembled Gollum losing the ring when we had to hand my two boxes over at the roadblock.
- The clear, wide, quiet stretch of tarmac between the Kasane border post and Vic Falls is now subject to a frustrating 80km speed limit. Trapping by radar gun makes it advisable to comply.
- The Martins Drift border into Botswana can be busy and our gem the Stockport/Parrs Halt border is a breeze. On 21st December we were the only vehicle encountering friendly, efficient officials and again the same on our return. The turn off is in Mahalapye and the only drawback is 50 kms of dirt but it is really not a bad road and the border post is open from 08h00 to 16h00.