The Long Road to Maun

The drive from Harrismith to Maun, Botswana is always a long one. The sheer distance makes the trip already overwhelmingly long, but other factors add to it. For the majority of the way, the road we need to drive on is only one lane each way. This makes passing slow traffic a more challenging and slow process than usual. Another big factor is the plethora of animals in the road (goats, cows, and donkeys being the primary ones). It seems you just get up to speed when you need to slam on the brakes for some animal in the road. By the time you finally get back up to speed again, you're bound to encounter another furry creature and need to brake yet again! And so it goes, for hours on end, until you finally arrive in Maun.

There are also scattered villages along the drive, for which the speed limit reduces, tremendously and suddenly, to half the normal speed; and there are random control checkpoints as well. Usually at these checkpoints they ask if you have meat in the car or make you "clean" your shoes (all the shoes from your luggage!) in a milky substance which is intended to rid your shoes from foot and mouth disease. While it sounds very much like a joke or an illogical solution, it is nonetheless the way it is done. Thankfully, we were spared that adventure on this trip!

One checkpoint, though, required us to complete a full-page survey (asking questions such as how often we drive the road, what our destination is, are we traveling for business or pleasure, etc.). On such an already-long trip, it seemed a humorous oddity that they would ask (require!) us to stop and fill out a survey!

Thousands of kilometers, one border, hundreds of donkeys, a handful of checkpoints, several potty breaks, and one long survey later, we arrived in Maun last night, very happy to be here!