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AfricaBotswana

Broken leaf spring on the salt pans in Botswana

The slow African rhythm has been successful!

Due to the broken leaf spring of the car we could not go any further! After two days on the planned route in Botswana we arrived in the salt pans, off-road right through the sand to Kubu Island. An incredibly beautiful place in ‘the middle of nowhere’. After we had set up camp between the old baobab trees and flopped in the chair with a can of cold beer, Roel caught his eye on the leaf spring … No! Broken!

Our chill afternoon went there!

And there we were, far away from the civilized world and garages with only a flashback to our Dakar trip where 6 years ago where the leaf spring of the car broke, only then in the middle of the Sahara. The advantage of this situation was that we knew what to expect. With a piece of hard firewood and tie-wraps we managed to temporarily fix the car so that we could make the trip of 50km through the sand back. The alarm clock at 6:30 the next morning. The ranger of the park needed a lift to the village and that seemed us useful in this case. Could he help us nicely if the log would fail 😉

The special world of car garages in Africa

Unfortunately, there was little to find in the first village so we had to drive 250km to Francistown (yes it was a strong stick). We have seen a lot of garages. Parts in all shapes and sizes, of good and bad quality. Because the car is heavily loaded (read: for the next trips we need more diesel and water to be self-sufficient for 7 days parks) the total weight of the car is about 3200kg: actually just above the max .

We finally decided to have both leaf springs replaced by new “heavy duty” versions of Old Man Emu. We happily negotiated the labor to replace them. Anyway, because everything was so solid that they were busy with the rest of the afternoon with 5 man + the boss himself. When the old broken leaf spring came from under it, the other one was already partly broken. Luckily a good choice to replace them both.

We are ready to go again!

We are now ready to go off-road again. He drives like new again and feels like he is empty. The car is behind 7 cm higher and we went from 8 to 12 sheets! They can (hopefully) have quite a few bumps in the coming period. Fortunately, we have been able to book most accommodations and we now even have a few days to explore the area before we enter the delta and Chobe National Park. 7 days off-road on dirt roads between elephants, lions and other game. Actually we are so lucky that they are broken for that time 😉

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