‘Limpopo 1, Ford 0′
My wife and I travelled in Namibia about two years ago, and returned home through Botswana. We entered South Africa at the Zanzibar border post near Maasstroom.
Botswana border personnel allowed me to inspect the Limpopo River to see whether I would be able to drive across the causeway. Everything looked fine and we slowly started the crossing.
The water was running strongly and I couldn’t see the causeway. We ended up in a hole on the bridge that the powerful stream had washed open. The bakkeie tipped to one side and stopped halfway off the bridge. As it wasn’t a 4×4, I couldn’t do anything.
There wasn’t really time to be scared and we had to hurry to save the day. Bystanders tried helping, but I had to brave the water alone. (They only told me afterwards that they were scared of crocodiles!)
A farmer from the area eventually dragged us out with a front-end loader and we spent the night at their house.
A recovery service fetched us and dropped us at home in Pretoria at two the next morning. Because water got into the engine, the car was written off and I also lost my cellphone, hat and sunglasses.
My friends still poke fun at me about it, and I regularly have to endure comments such as, “Can your new vehicle swim now?” and “Limpopo 1, Ford 0″.
The causeway is in a bad state and it could so easily have been worse. This should serve as a warning to anyone who wants to use the border post if the causeway is submerged. The causeway is very narrow and eroded, and there are no warning signs.
This happened to Gerhard Roos from Pretoria.