Photo Roulette #67: Travel Fails – Vehicle Repair in Botswana

(Last Updated On: December 10, 2020)

What is a “travel fail?” Is it the unexpected thing that doesn’t go right and creates frustration, confusion, or humor, but that really doesn’t matter in the long run – the delayed luggage, the missed flight, the lost hotel reservation, the ridiculous translation, the vehicle that breaks down along the way? Is it a “travel fail” when the delay, the missed connection, the error, the accident simply change the trajectory of a trip? Or is it only truly a travel failure if it leads to disaster – the end of a trip, real danger, or even physical injury?

I ask because this week’s theme for Travel Photo Roulette is “Travel Fails!

I have had those moments when I’ve thought “oh, so this is how people get killed on vacation,” but those moments have (fortunately) passed without disaster actually occurring. Of course, I usually haven’t had my camera at the ready to document the moment either. For that reason, I’m instead featuring one of those irritating, odd, and (after the fact) funny occurrences that never put us in real danger, but did leave us scratching our heads at the strangeness of it all.  You’ll have to decide whether or not it counts as a travel failure.

Here’s the story –

We began our first trip to Africa in the Kalahari, where our guide was a careful driver, knowledgeable not just of the wildlife around us, but also of the capabilities of his vehicle and the idiosyncrasies of the “roads” we were traveling.  This was not true of the driver of our supply vehicle, who roared along the rutted tracks, plowing through the sand, and generally bumping along like a madman.  In time this resulted (not unexpectedly) in a significant crack in the vehicle’s frame.

truck repair in BotswanaThis is the repair team in action. Note the scraggly stick by the axe on the far right of the photo? That, along with a sturdy strap, was how the guys planned to address the cracked frame: The stick would serve as a splint to hold the frame in place until they could get back into a town and to repair shop.

Since (amazingly) it was enough to get the vehicle back into town (albeit it VERY slowly and gingerly), does it still count as a Travel Fail?

Would you use this technique to hold your vehicle together?

Thanks to Stuart at Am I Nearly There Yet? for hosting this week’s round of Travel Photo Roulette.

Full story of Leaving the Kalahari (originally posted on

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