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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 2 Jun 2005
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South Africa/Botswana crossings.

Looking for some info on the condition of roads between South Africa and Botswana. Was thinking of travelling from Francistown to Pietersburg via Martins Drift.
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Old 2 Jun 2005
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Hi,

The road you mention between SA and Bots via Martins Drift border post is tarred and a pleasure to drive on. It continues all the way through to Francistown and the last stretch was being resurfaced when I was there 2 years ago.

I'd be interested to hear how it is now as I'll be using it again in November.

In general the main roads in Botswana are in a very good condition (some of the best in southern Africa) although the border posts can take a while to get through at peak times.

Hope this helps,

Ben
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Old 3 Jun 2005
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Excellent piece of news, did not fancy going back via Gabs, as someone in the know, what sort of problems do you get at the borders?

Will post the condition of roads if it is of any interest.
Julian
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Old 3 Jun 2005
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Main problems with Botswana crossings are delays due to traffic, especially at busy borders and close to holidays. I have had a couple of instances where the customs guys charged me the commercial road tax for my vehicle. First time I didn't know better than to pay. Second time I argued. They got pretty arsey, but finally agreed my car was not a commercial vehicle.

Hope that helps.

Cheers

Graham
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Old 3 Jun 2005
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What gjackson said… The heavy vehicle traffic can be bad.

Keep in mind that Police of both countries like to trap motorists for speeding near borders. Botswana police lay down heavy fines and South African Police in that area are known to be corrupt.

Please post your experiences when you get through – up to date reports are very welcome.

Cyril
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Old 3 Jun 2005
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Hi
It's not just that the borders are busy - the actual staff are very nearly comatose! If I remember rightly, there is also a hefty "vehicle duty" to pay on top of the TIP cost.

Only good thing about the SA speed traps, esp. around the Louis Trichardt area, is that they are open to you buying them "lunch" for R50 in consideration for them not fining you R200!

Last edited by Bundubasher; 3 Jul 2014 at 23:39.
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Old 7 Jun 2005
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I will let you all know how well it went, what will be will be and I will just have to do my best. Be back at the end of August.
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Old 14 Jun 2005
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best route is Francistown/Selibe Phikwe/ Sefope, turn left new tar road, Zanzibar border post into RSA, then Alldays/ Pietersburg (now renamed Polokwane) The Zanzibar border post is very quiet, friendly and a 20minute cross both sides included. Tar all the way.
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Old 16 Sep 2005
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Remember always to be ultra-polite with the border officials in Botswana. It's part of their culture. Be friendly. Be positive. Smile. Ask them how they are. Don't be impatient. Be prepared to chat with them.

We've crossed through many times. Never come across any corruption on the Botswana side, but have had to provide "breakfast" for officials in SA. The main crossings are just really busy. Tlokweng can be a real nightmare if there are coaches going through.
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