National Geographic : 1996 Mar
;*N HlHE SCRATCHING ONLY MAKES ITWORSE. (A JOURNEY THROUGH BOTSWANA'S OKAVANGO DELTA.) Recently we subjected the new Nissan Pathfinder to one of the toughest test-drives imaginable: a 5,000-mile safari across Africa. Our journey treated us to incredible wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and some of the poorest excuses for roads you can imagine. Over the next few months, we'll share highlights, lowlights, our favorite destinations and survival tips. We may even mention a word or two about the vehicle that took us there and back in one piece. Today's story, as the saying goes, begins in Botswana. BOTSWANA W ITH OVER 85% of his country covered in sand, scorching temperatures that routinely soar over 115° F, and roads that have never seen an ounce of asphalt, Botswana's Minister of Tourism would seem to have his work cut out for him. Add the ubiq uitous mosquitoes and voracious tsetse flies and you'd think he'd quit and find a new job. Indeed, you'll find few souls adventurous enough to visit this at THE DREADED I m orf TSETSE FLY or usots ast e oo Catte S i oer. sss ,r D sack ne as.ot oft cun ty woAoO Mkioglnt vortswana' ango De aea SDeA t Y.... ... H r....Lr/ ee to .. '' . u t'e peas oly Coan ayco THE DREADED R her Ru f er MOSQUITO Ores s- IoyNATURAL ='"a s RESOURCES se THE DREADED TICK rough and tumble country But for us, Botswana was the perfect place to prove the mettle of the new Nissan Pathfinder. We arrived in Botswana on September 30th, which was, auspiciously, "Botswana Day." Our intended destination was the northwest corner of the country, where Angola's Okavango River spills into Botswana's sands and forms the Okavango Delta: the largest inland delta in the world. Here, we were told, tem peratures only reached 105° and any discomfort would be recompensed by the hundreds of different animal species that inhabit this wildlife oasis. (And, of course, the fact we could set our automatic tempera ture control on a more humane 72°F.) Our jumping-off point for the Oka vango Delta was a BOTSWANA TRAVL P small frontier town called Maun where, as our Pathfinder's built-in compass con firmed, we caught a two-lane road north. It took us only a few minutes to surmise that Botswana's Minister of Transportation must spend most of his time consoling the country's Minister of Tourism, for just two miles out of Maun the tarred road abruptly ends and turns to sand. Indeed, since there is no pavement or gas station or traffic sign or conve nience mart for the long, slow 75-mile drive into the delta, we recommend keeping the Pathfinder in 4WD and bringing along a good collection of CD's. THE PATHFINDER MISSION. Congratulations. You are reading about the all new 1996 Nissan" Pathfinder; the finest sport utility vehicle we have ever made. From design to manufacturing, we've endeavored to build a vehicle that provides its owner with an exceptional level of comfort, ruggedness, safety and reliability With proper care and maintenance, it should provide years of loyal service, wherever your outdoor pursuits take you. To learn more, please call us at 1-800 -335-3745 (Canada: 1-800-387-0122) or visit us at: http://www.nissanmotors.com/nb/pathfinder/. ...........