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25.4. NP Nxai pans

 

We got up very early in the morning, at 5 AM. We wanted to be at the entrance gate to the N´xai pans national park  early morning. It was 70 km from our campsite. Driving at night is very dangerous, because of the animals going across the road.

 

At the gate, we had to wake up the rangers. We were the first visitors at the park. N´xai pans are systems of salt pans. We had to go about 60 km from the main road to the secondary gate. The road throught deep sand. We saw oryxes, jackals and several gnu. When we were at the second gate we got the map of the main salt pan. Our first trip led to the waterhole. There were a few animals (ostriches and springbooks) and near the waterhole we saw the biggest elephant of our journey. We drove around the salt pan and we saw only birds. After two hours driving, we returned to the waterhole. There were many more animals, than our first visit. Zebras, springoks, gnu and ostriches were drinking here. It was very nice, and we spent one hour here.  Then we made a second trip around the pan, throught the bush. But we didn´t see any animals. When we went across the Elephant bath we damaged an engine protection plate. Honza repaired the plate and Jana with Alena guarded him from predators be keeping watch. Milan found a big lion footprint. After we repaired the plate, we could continue to the next part of the park. When we overcame deep sand on the road, we came to incredible trees. They were baobab trees, some of the most massive trees in the world. The circumference of the one tree was more then 15 meters, and they live more than three thousand years.

We went back to the first gate through very, very deep sand. We inflated our  tires at the gate, because for driving in the deep sand is easier with 50% inflate tires. Which we found out that we had lost our spare wheel. We had a big problem, because our other trip without a spare wheel could be dangerous. The Rangers at the gate helped us. They phoned to the second gate, because on the road we had met car with other rangeres. We were lucky. The rangers found our spare wheel. We agreed with the rangers, that we come for the wheel the next morning. We were lucky.

That night we spent at the same camp in Gweta. It was a wonderful, but very hard day.