North of Maun
Shorobe is a sizeable village about 26km north of Maun, and 53km south of South Gate, Moremi. Drive slowly through here as you can usually expect plenty of goats and people wandering on the road. On the south side of the village you'll see Shorobe Primary School, and dotted throughout are a few small, local shops which sell soft drinks and very basic supplies.
The one place that is worth seeking out here is the Babomoso Basketry Co-op, which was set up as an income-generating project for the local people by Conservation International. It sells a wide range of baskets at generally lower prices than you'll find in Maun. What's more, you know that the money you pay is going straight back to the local community.
From Maun to Moremi or Chobe
Leave Maun heading northeast – passing the radio mast and airport turn-off on your left. After about 10km you'll reach a large and newish roundabout with a right turn to Francistown and a left to Shorobe. Taking the left, you'll shortly pass Island Safari Lodge and Crocodile Camp.
Just under 40km after Maun you'll pass straight through the village of Shorobe. This is a good gravel road, but beware of travelling too fast as you'll find domestic animals and some quite large rocks on the road – quite apart from a steep camber to the road that encourages careless drivers to slide their cars off to the side.
Around 19km from Shorobe you'll reach the Veterinary Control Fence, or the 'Buffalo Fence' as most people know it. Just 2km after the fence you'll meet a fork, signposted with a green concrete bollard. Turning left will bring you to Moremi Reserve's South Gate after about 32km.
There are three places beside the road that you may want to stay, one community campsite and two relatively new lodges.Sankuyo Village
Sankuyo Tshwaragano Management Trust have recently developed a campsite and traditional village about 25km south of Sankuyo, south of the split between the roads to Moremi and Chobe. This is signposted from the road, about 70km north of Maun, 7km from the Mowana Gate on the buffalo fence.
This is on the eastern side of NG34 but has been included here for continuity, as it's most applicable to people who are driving themselves through this area.Kaziikini Campsite
Kaziikini Campsite has a bar and a restaurant offering a range of traditional and European meals. There is a supervised playground, guided walks and (at a push!) you can use it as a base for driving into Moremi or Chobe.
Unfortunately the main bar/restaurant here was burnt down in early 2002 and, as I write, the plan for four simple rondavels had not yet materialised. They have five large, private pitches.
For more details contact: People and Nature Trust; tel: 6865126; email: email@example.com; web: www.duke.edu/~sas21/sankuyo.html. A daily shuttle service between this and Maun was also planned – though it seems very unlikely that this will ever happen.Shandereka Traditional Village
Beside Kaziikini, Shandereka Cultural Village offers village tours and activities with the local people, the revenue from which goes directly to them. If you've the time to stop it's a project that's worth your support.
NG34 Reserve – Starling's
The Chobe road until a little north of Sankuyo and all of the road from the Veterinary fence to South Gate are in NG34 concession – Starling's Reserve.
NG43 Reserve – Mankwe
To the east of Sankuyo is the drier NG43 concession, where you'll find Mankwe Bush Lodge.
Continuing to Chobe
If you're heading straight to Chobe, follow the directions above for South Gate, but just after the Buffalo Fence take the right turn.
This right turn leads, after about 24km, to Sankuyo Village. Shortly after Sankuyo the road forks again. Take the right fork to reach Mababe Village after about 30km. Leave Mababe Village with a left turn to head west of northwest. From there keep right as the track forks after a kilometre or so. After crossing the cut-line that marks Chobe's boundary, you'll soon be heading north towards Chobe's Mababe Gate (GPS: MABGAT 19°06.182'S; 23°59.119'E), which is about 22km from Mababe Village.
Had you taken the left fork after Sankuyo, you would travel about 33km due north along the Moremi cut-line before joining the road which links the Mababe Gate with Moremi's North Gate, and crosses the Magwikhwe Sand Ridge. From this junction, a left would take you to North Gate (about 22km away), and a right would lead you across the sand ridge and, eventually (29km), back to the road mentioned above – from Mababe Village to Mababe Gate.