Tuli Block Botswana

Old May 29th, 2022, 11:00 PM
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Tuli Block Botswana

My wife and I have just returned from a long holiday weekend spent in the Tuli Block, Botswana. This area has a great deal to offer Ė abundant wildlife, Boer war battlefields, lovely scenery and accommodations that wonít break the bank. But something it doesn't offer right now are open border posts between Botswana and South Africa. The northernmost border post currently open is at Martins Drift. Zanzibar, Platjan and Pont Drift border posts all closed at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and have yet to reopen. And the road running parallel to the Limpopo River on the Botswana side is in a sad state of repair between Zanzibar and Pont Drift. We didnít need 4 wheel drive but were pleased to be in a high clearance vehicle. We were told that tenders have been called to upgrade the road but it will probably be some months before arrears of maintenance are attended to.

The closed border posts have had a bad effect on the local accommodation providers and many have yet to reopen, with some closed permanently. Not all, of course. We stayed at the Limpopo River Lodge. Both the campsite and the lodge were open and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The Lekkerpoet Junction petrol station has closed permanently and the pumps have been removed.

I donít want to create the wrong impression here: the river road is driveable, there are some very nice accommodations open for business and the wildlife viewing is superb. We even saw a hyaena at very close range as well as the usual elephants, giraffe, hippos and antelope. But anyone planning to visit this winter needs to (i) arrive with a full tank of fuel; (ii) check on the status of the border posts if you want to cross between Botswana and South Africa Ė donít assume that any north of Martinís Drift will be open; (iii) allow plenty of time to negotiate the road; and (iv) book accommodation in advance. Donít just drive up the river road (as we did) expecting to find some accommodation along the way.

Most of Botswana is back to normal so far as tourism is concerned. But the Tuli Block is not. It is still a great destination but requires a little advance preparation.
graemeB is offline  
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