In this three-part series, Getaway, AVIS Safari Rental and BFGoodrich take you to some lesser-known places that only a trustworthy 4×4 with the right tread can get you to. This month, we head to the Khwai community concession’s Magotho campsite in Botswana.
Wedged between Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park is an 180000-hectare community concession known as the Khwai Development Trust. Most visitors to the two heavyweight parks on either side don’t know it’s there and those who do mainly use its transit road to get from one to the other. But here, hidden along the northern banks of the Khwai River, is a network of sandy 4×4 tracks not to be missed. Complete with water crossings, wooden bridges (be sure to check your vehicle width first, some are very narrow) and twisty turns through thick riverine woodland, the concession is the perfect playground to put your off-road skills to the test using BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02 tyres. Of the standout features of these tyres, one is particularly suited for this type of terrain. It’s called Advanced Deflection Design and was developed using computer prediction to best deflect objects (such as loose stones and fallen branches) away from the sidewalls, which have thick, bruise- resistant shoulder rubber and are also 20 per cent tougher than the previous All-Terrain T/A K0 tyre.
Along with great driving, there’s also a good chance of spotting antelope, elephants, hippos and even big cats at Khwai Development Trust. Its relatively small area means you can cover most of the tracks in the southern section in a day, but it’s worth spending at least one night at the totally self- sufficient Magotho campsite. It’s close to the Khwai River so you’ll hear hippos at night and likely wake up to fresh animal tracks next to your tyre tracks – a beautiful prelude to another day in one of the wildest places on Earth.
How to get to Magotho campsite
From Maun, head northeast on the B334 for 38 kilometres to Shorobe. From there, continue straight along a corrugated calcrete road which turns to deep sand with occasional water crossings, past Mababe village and on to Khwai village. The turn-off to Magotho campsite is 17 kilometres past Mababe village on this road but you will have to check in at the Khwai Community Trust offices first and then return to the campsite. Allow at least three hours for the whole trip.
Maun office: Tel +2676801211
Camping and costs
There are no formal gates for the Khwai Development Trust. Visitors are required to report to the offices in Khwai village (open from 8am – 4pm). Day visits cost about R190 per person and camping at Magotho campsite is about R390 per person (including entry).
The tyres and vehicle that will take you there
Economical on tar and built to be the best offroad, BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02 tyres will take you there, wherever there is.
Avis Safari Rental has a fleet of fully kitted offroad vehicles, equipped to make any 4×4 adventure a reality.