Kenya to Botswana Road Trip: Tips For Budget Travellers

  • A signpost of Botswana.
    A signpost of Botswana.
  • Travelling on long-distance road trips usually entail a lot of planning for most travellers especially to places outside the country whereby it takes days and nights in order to arrive at the intended destination. 

    However, to Joel Wachira, a Kenyan traveller and nature enthusiast, one can still travel to far-flung countries at a pocket-friendly price

    During a past road trip to Botswana with journalist Alex Chamwada, he gave noteworthy tips for those seeking to embark on a similar road trip. 

    A file image of Kenyan traveller Joel Wachira.
    A file image of Kenyan traveller Joel Wachira.

    Inspecting your vehicle before embarking on the journey

    For those who enjoy long-distance travel, Wachira advised on vehicle inspection before embarking on the journey. 

    He pointed out that the designated driver ought to take the vehicle for inspection preferably to a familiar mechanic. This, he added, would save him the trouble of a car breakdown scenario during the trip.

    Further, he advised on ensuring the vehicle runs on a full tank. 

    He pointed out that his fuel consumption throughout the journey took almost Ksh70,000. 

    He advised travellers to always budget in advance before embarking on any journey.

    Booking all the accommodation in advance

    This incorporates utilising all the offers on some of the tours and travels websites in order to keep the budget pocket friendly. 

    Wachira also pointed out that, on numerous occasions, he has had to sleep in his car or pitch a tent at night in order to save extra coins. 

    Further, research on some of the sites by reveals that most travellers can book the time they seek to travel, the number of nights they'll spend as well as fun activities they will engage in. The sites then give a figure of the total amount- a useful tool to gauge the cost for the whole ordeal.  

    Have all the necessary documents

    Being in possession of all the necessary documents will save you time and money especially at border points.

    According to Wachira, in Tunduma along the Tanzania-Zambia border, it once took more than two and a half hours for the documents to be inspected and verified. 

    "It has taken two and a half hours for us to get cleared at customs. We provided documents such as logbook for the car, passport and two copies and my driving license in order for the car to be processed," he stated. 

    Dangerous spots

    He also narrated his encounter with thieves during a trip to Zambia in 2018. 

    "I remember I was arriving in Zambia at night at a section where the road was damaged. At the time thieves climbed onto my trailer. They ripped and stole a lot of my clients' merchandise undetected. I didn't realise until when I went to look for a place to sleep," Wachira stated. 

    He affirmed that some spots are not safe for driving at night due to such incidences.

    Outlook: Kenya-Botswana Roadtrip

    The trip takes about five days, covers a distance of about 4,000 kilometres.  

    The border points you will course through are Namanga (Kenya-Tanzania border), Tunduma (Tanzania-Zambia border) and Kazungula (Zambia- Botswana border).

    At the Tanzania, Zambia border
    At the Tanzania, Zambia border