SA4x4

THE SYNCRO SAGA

An article in SA4x4 of February 2016, titled ‘Shoebox on wheels – Zim, Zambia and Bots in a VW Syncro’ brought back so many memories of our own attempt to drive through Botswana’s Moremi and Chobe game reserves in my dad’s VW Syncro. was , we were in our late twenties, and my husband and I and two friends (one being three months’ pregnant at the time) decided after months of research and preparation that we had done enough to tackle Botswana. We’d even had a custom roof rack, the length of the Kombi, made out of steel, which weighed a ton and took all four of us to carry.

What we could not have planned for, was that Botswana had experienced some of its highest water levels in 40 years in the time we had chosen to visit. We entered Botswana through Martin’s Drift border post, driving via Palapye, Letlhakane, Rakops (where we overnighted) and Maun, before entering Moremi. It poured with rain during our two-day trek to Maun and this should have been a sign of what was to come.

I can echo Rene Bauer’s experience of finding that park officials gave his Syncro a strange look, and commented that he and his passengers were ‘nuts’ to attempt the rough back roads. That is exactly what we experienced upon entering Moremi: looks of utter disbelief. The more they explained that we needed a 4x4, the more we tried to explain it was a 4x4. Eventually, they gave up, and let us continue on our way.

South Gate

We entered Moremi through South Gate, where we also camped for our first night. The next day, we were off to Third Bridge campsite, which was when the adventure really began. There were huge water puddles, which were more like pools, all over the roads. We did our best to dodge them, but we couldn’t always go around the edges because of the foliage and dead trees lining the roads. The Syncro did well, except that

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