The return journey for Freedom3
North Eastern Chobe National Park – Botswana
After all the excitement of the media launch, loading Freedom 3 that night on our trailer and double checking all the tie downs and sitting down with the Freedom Won team, reflecting on the day’s events, myself & Tania finally got a few hours sleep before the long trek of over 1300 km back to Chobe Game Lodge on the banks of Chobe river in North Eastern Chobe National Park, Botswana.
Just after 3 am on the morning of the 21st of August 2014 we were wide awake and prepping for departure with Lizette & Antony giving final instructions and advice, we nearly thought they had second thoughts letting their baby, Freedom 3 go, but at 03h45 we were in our Land Cruiser with Freedom 3 in tow leaving their driveway, last glimpse back with heavy hearts waiving a final good bye.
We drove in silence till we hit the N1 north bound and then we could feel the excitement mounting getting, now our baby, Freedom 3 back to the bush!
At about 90 km per hour this journey back to the wild took us a good two days and would have taken longer if we did not keep all our stops brisk, explaining to admiring and fascinated government officials and public what freedom 3 is all about. The fact that Freedom 3 is the first of its kind in Botswana and is set to give a whole new dimension to game viewing, invited lots of discussion and speculation, also the fact that Freedom 3 is powered exclusively by batteries, after all, we live in a country where big capacity, thirsty 4 x 4 vehicles rules!
On the second day as we passed through Ngwasha veterinary gate, about 80km north of Nata, I just couldn’t wait to off load Freedom 3 and drive the last 100 odd km home. Needless to say, the +- 160 km to Panda took forever, and those that know this part of the A33 running north to Kazungula eventually, its straight and at 90km per hour, well, very boring (apart from the wildlife)!
Tania with the FREEDOM 3 launch number plate next to that looong stretch of road to Panda
Finally! Touchdown about 70 km from Chobe Game Lodge I off loaded our first electric game viewer and drove her home! What a great feeling, our dream of 5 years, becoming a reality! For the first week at Chobe Game Lodge I just could not get any office work done, just as I want to get in behind my desk, there stands another batch of the lodge family ready for a ride in Freedom 3! But the excitement and broad smiles when I look back at my passengers says it all!!
In the past weeks we have done over 300 km in Chobe National Park and Freedom 3 is performing fantastic in the wild, where she belongs!