Author Topic: Dreaming about Okavango  (Read 1079 times)

September 04, 2015, 03:47:19 PM
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trapsuutjies

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Hi!
I'd like some advice please. I'd like to brave the Okavango next year, proposed trip from Maun through either Khwai or Mababe, then Savuti, Linyati or Chobe, and Kasane, and then over the border into Zambia to Vic falls. Everything is still up in the air, but if anyone has done any section of the trip, or a similar trip, I would appreciate the info.
We're taking two Foresters: An 06 XT and 07 X. I suspect we'll have to purchase LSS's lift kits and sump guards (if he's still making them?), but I have no idea what kind of tires would be best for the sand (HT, AT or MT?). I'll also add a compressor to each vehicle to be able to deflate and reflate as the situation warrants.
Both vehicles still have the stock plastic radiators - is there any reason beyond the normal to replace them with Alu before going?
Both have stock filters - should I think about different filters (air and/or petrol) to be able to sift through the sand?
As far as fuel is concerned, from what I can see there isn't any available between Maun and Kasane - is this right? So far I'm planning 40l extra petrol per vehicle, which should give us around 600km of driving - obviously any experience in the area with either vehicle will be welcome.
Time of year being a factor, what would be ideal to allow a Foz enough options to be able to get through without getting stuck (...too often)?

Any other hints, tips, comments or cautions - please let me know. As I said this is little more than a dream at this stage, so there is absolutely nothing set in stone, except the participants and the vehicles - if you know of a worthwhile stop to add to our itinerary please mention it.

September 07, 2015, 08:24:59 PM
Reply #1

westcoaster

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Damn, I've been dreaming about the same thing for a coupla years now!
That sounds like an AWESOME trip!!!
I of course want to get there via the pans - ie a day or two through thick sand..

Unfortunately I don't know the specific areas well enough to comment, apart from having read that conditions can vary greatly - thus you may strike either tar-like conditions, or thick, hot dry sand, or impassable mud in the same area...

a few 2c items on the Fozzies, from a few proper trips (and just mucking around  ::)):
1. Get the lift kits and sump guards.
If you don't venture too far offroad, you likely won't need them, BUT you also don't want to feel you're missing out on interesting detours because you're worried about damage. And digging a fully loaded car out the sand can become a waste of valuable beer time... ask me, I spent a good 90mins under the car in hot sand in Nam, in one incident.  The biggest problem with high middelmannetjies are the lower control arms dragging and accumulating sand under the car. Makes for heavy fuel consumption, too (more about that later).
2. Radiators:
Linked to the above, temps will be higher in the sand and likely = more barometric pressure in the cooling system..which is what many of the radiators couldn't handle.  I'd recommend you get Alu, especially considering you have older cars. Yes, it's a R5k item, but compare against a stuffed up holiday, being stuck in the veld with lions/hyenas around AND spending a LOT more getting your car back to 'civilisation'...
3. Tyres:
AT is better, MT is best, but finding MT sizes to fit Fozzies? Good luck... So I'd go for AT, as you can still use them daily when you're back.  If you have a bit more money, consider one size up (as they are typically odd size and more pricey) - slightly higher profile gives you lift where you need it most - ie lifts those control arms up from the ground a bit. It also allows more deflation, which is the biggest contributor to getting through sand, much more than HT/AT tyre type.  Perhaps one extra (3rd) spare tyre (ideally on a rim) bewteen the two cars.
One compressor between the two cars should be enough, if you're travelling together. Rather use the space for essentials (beer).
4.Filters:
Stock is fine, just clean the air filters out after dusty sections (every 2nd/3rd day?) - and take turns driving in front. Fuel filter? if you've got sand in there...no. Let's not think about that.
5.Fuel:
Good to have 95 on you. Keep fuel on the roof, if you can - there are always fumes. Don't want to be in the veld smelling only petrol. Perhaps throw in a bottle of octane boost in each car (in place of that other compressor), in case you run out and can get only 93. Consumption in the S-edition in thick sand runs above 20L/100. Yes, that's not a typo.
6.Other:
a) check out 4x4community.co.za - lots of trip reports on Bots, with tips on good/bad places - and someone recently asked about taking softies into Bots.
b) A metal foot plate to put the jack on if you're on soft terrain. A bracket to fit between jack and plate or ground can give you extra lift if you need it.  This worked for me in Nam - after digging under the car for some time, I realised that instead of moving the earth, I could also just lift the damn car.  Jack up a wheel, move sand from underneath the car to under the wheel, set it down and go to the next wheel. It's a LOT less work!
c) I had a seed net, in case - only needed if travelling extensively through grass, which can accumulate in the radiator and on the exhaust. So if you do this, get a net and stop frequently to clean the exhaust. Many cars have burnt out in the veld like this.  I bought cheap netting from Builders, tied with cable ties
d) Oh yes...Cable ties!
e) Traction control off in sand/mud (if you have the option) - momentum is your friend
f) Fozzies are CAPABLE. BELIEVE.
g) Keep us posted on your plans!

[attachment deleted by admin]
Current: S-edition 2011 Steel Silver (S-exy young thing) - Forged, Chett tjooned, 76mm s/s wrapped DP, King Springs, 225/60/17 G012s, Sump & AT guards, cheap mud flaps, HID fogs, LED parks.
Ex:        2.5X man 2010 Pearl White (Dirty Girl) - LSS lift, 235/60/16 G012s, Sump guard, HIDs and more..

September 07, 2015, 09:11:18 PM
Reply #2

Stev0

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September 09, 2015, 03:59:26 PM
Reply #3

dreamerza

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Now that is an adventure inspiring pic  ;D
SG9 XT 
LSS Sump Guard
LSS Diff Guard
WRX 4 Pots
3"Turbo Back from A.C.E Performance
PSPerformance Tuned
Romic Motors Maintained
Willing to get muddy!

September 11, 2015, 11:18:42 AM
Reply #4

trapsuutjies

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Fozzies are CAPABLE. BELIEVE.

+1000! Thanks a LOT for the info, fortunately there's about a year between now and then so I can gradually gather the bits and pieces together, and take a few 'dry runs' into areas that can more or less compare in one way or another.
I've received an e-mail from Subaru by the way, confirming that a 1" strut spacer lift is completely fine and won't ruin the control arms etc, so I'll be getting in touch with LSS as soon as I've got the cash together  8)

September 11, 2015, 02:29:23 PM
Reply #5

0012

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this is going to be a schweet trip!

Instead of going to zambia from kasane, go to zim, way better view of the falls and more to do than in Livingstone.

Best time of year to view the falls is june/july/early aug


 8)

September 16, 2015, 08:41:09 AM
Reply #6

4wdrift

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this is going to be a schweet trip!

Instead of going to zambia from kasane, go to zim, way better view of the falls and more to do than in Livingstone.

Best time of year to view the falls is june/july/early aug


 8)

I agree, zim is awesome.

But as said before. Take octane booster with, zim has a nice blend of petrol, water and much more that wont be nice to a turbo charged engine.

September 16, 2015, 10:07:18 AM
Reply #7

trapsuutjies

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Instead of going to zambia from kasane, go to zim, way better view of the falls and more to do than in Livingstone.

 8)

I'm a bit sceptical about Zim, don't really want to go there unless I have to: if I happen to run into Uncle Bob I'll be obliged to kill him, and then I'll probably be stuck in a jail cell for a while   :o
Seriously though - I'm just including the falls so that my family can see it, so I'll stay on the Zambia side to be safe. My personal experience was that Zambian people are much friendlier and less corrupt than those in Zim, and those that are corrupt have much less expensive tastes so the bribes are affordable.

The  octane booster is good advice, thanks - I've also read about pushing the petrol through a chamois before pumping it into the tank, how does that work?

With regards to time of year, July/August was our aim anyway so I'm glad it's good for the falls AND Chobe. Thanks all!