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The bus from Gaborone to Maun took 10 hours in total and much to our surprise departed and arrived exactly as scheduled. I couldn’t believe it! I had expected to spend at least an additional few hours roasting on the crowded bus while waiting for every last seat to fill up before leaving, but no this was an incredibly efficient African bus experience. It was however crowded and very, very hot. The seats were tiny and there was no air conditioning with the windows only opening a smidge. It was just over 40 degrees that day and our route took us past one of the hottest places on the planet – the Kalahari desert- so this should you give you an idea of how hot it was. The driver was absolutely blaring down the road only stopping three times in ten hours. Twice for five minute bathroom/food breads and once at a check stop. There are many check stops throughout Botswana. They’re called veterinary stops (not entirely sure why?), but they are mostly checking to see if anyone is in the country illegally (ahem, Zimbabweans) and sometimes they take away fresh meat products or so I’ve heard. Our stop was just a passport/ID check, so we were wished a great stay in Botswana and sent back onto the bus. With typical insane African driving, we made it safely to Maun – but only just. There were many roadblocks of the donkey/goat variety that had to be dodged on the way and the bus didn’t feel like the most roadworthy vehicle I had ever been on.
We took the ever popular and comfortable “Jesus Bus”(aka InterCape) from Johannesburg north to the Botswana Capital and arrived in Gaborone late in the evening. The bus ride was roughly 6 and a half hours long and aside from an interesting border experience the trip was fairly uneventful. At the border between South Africa and Botswana we were told to jump off the bus, and on foot clear both sets of custom posts. The South African side was no problem, however we were at a loss as to where to walk to find the Botswana counterpart. Since we we reached the border at night, the road ahead was completely dark and we were forced to blindly walk through a field/parking lot hoping we would reach Botswana immigration before some muggers reached us. A couple of street lights or signs would have been greatly appreciated. After a bit of blind wandering we managed to finally find the customs building an proceeded to officially enter our second African country.