Yesterday I rode 600 km across the arid savanna lands of northern Botswana, half of that distance crammed in to the tray of a ‘bakkie’ (utility truck) with five cheerful Botswana women. Maybe this is taking real travel a bit too far… Along the way we slowed briefly for potholes, a pair of browsing elephants and a couple of scrub fires burning uncontrolled. Semi-trailers from four or five African countries flashed past in the other direction, heading south from the Zambesi River crossing. For the first hour I laid back and admired the clouds struggling to keep up… but by 8 o’clock when I finally found a room in Kasane, on the bank of the Chobe River, I was dog-tired and filthy. But this is how the ordinary small-town African travels, hitching a ride (for payment) whenever he or she can.