Top Gear

Season 10 Episode 4

Botswana Special

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 04, 2007 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
105 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The boys travel to Africa with a mission (or two): they must each buy a car – but not a 4x4 – for no more than £1,500. They must then drive (the cars) across fairly unforgiving terrain in Botswana - including the Makgadikgadi salt pans, without being drowned in the rivers, or eaten by the wildlife.


Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
  • Africa...

    This was the very first episode I ever saw of Top Gear and what later made me watch this show and love it even more until now I am totally hooked with it (even if my dad hates that... I'm a girl)

    Anyway, this time they get to go to Africa and with unlikely cars they try to do what noone has tried before - drive over the salt desert what is moody.. and dangerous and.. but they do it. But the cars lost a lot, expect Oliver..

    Oliver and the emotional attachment with that car was the best part of this episode. it was different and funny and good to watch.

    Also there were those amazing scenery, the beauty of the nature, wild animals..

    What a episode.moreless
  • best episode so far this season, it showcsed the interaction between the three amazingly, very entertaining and great to watch the journey

    This episode was a true example of why the series has such a following, the banter between jeremy, hampster and james is so great each cutting into the other for their choices shortcomings or just lack of style, the pranks played on james were particularly funny, the highlight of the episode came forma salt lake which had nevcer been crossed before the hilarity which insued came from the requiremtn of low traction and weight, and both james and jeremy had to tear their cars to pieces before even trying to cross and they still got stuck various times, all the while hammond rubbing it in that his car remained untouched, with some good camerawork and great scenery, the show was a great example of how good and how un-niche this show is, whilst claiming to be about cars, its most interesting fasit is its presenters, a great example for a great showmoreless
  • This episode made my day, it was plain perfect!

    If this episode was, lets say, a movie: "Top Gear in Africa" for example, I would be the first in line for tickets. Yes, this episode was that good. Beautiful shots, ridicules cars and three I-would-sit-and-drink-a-bear-with guys as the cast. I laughed, I cried and I really felt sorry for "Oliver". One more thing, those guys really know a thing or two about cars, they rebuild those car's engines everyday. I don't know what the hell they did to the Lancia but she just would not die.

    If you thought that the last season was the best one and no way they can make a better one... guess again.moreless
  • Brilliant Episode. A must watch.

    Brilliant Episode. A must watch for all fans.

    This episode just shows how fascinating and durable cars are. It is highly recommended viewing as they travel across salt plains, desert, and deltas basically across a whole country to the opposite side using cars worth only 1,500 pounds.

    I just couldn't believe that those cars stood up to that much punishment and yet they still managed to travel that far. It is also a very funny episode as the Stig tests their cars against one another to see which one has the fastest lap times like their Top Gear race track, except only in Afica.moreless
  • Top Gear is always great fun to watch and the idea of Jezza, Captain Slow and the Hampster running around Africa just sounded brilliant. And it was!

    Watching Richard fall in love with his car, and give it a name (Oliver); watching Jeremy smash his car to pieces and then attack James' car - all in the name of fun and adventure was superb.

    I never tire of watching these guys - they obviously have such fun together, and with the cars, that even though I'm not a great car lover (as long as they can get me from A to B I'm happy)I really look forward to this programme every week.

    If you've never seen it before (surely not!) - seek it out - you'll not be sorry.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Richard's 'emotional attachment' to Oliver was not just a holiday romance; he has bought the car and shipped it back to England, where they will live happily ever after.

    • Even though the Honey Badger sounds like something Jeremy has made up, it truly is a real animal and, amazingly, is as ferocious as Jeremy states (except maybe the attacking testicles part). Called the Honey Badger because of it's love of honey, it has a reputation for being pound for pound, Africa's most fearless animal despite its small size. It is even listed as the "most fearless animal in the world" in the 2002 Guinness Book of Records.

    • 6.3 million viewers watched this episode - a 24% share of the TV audience.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Jeremy Clarkson: Some say he's seen the Lion King 1,780 times. And that his second best friend is a cape buffalo. All we know is he's not the Stig, but he is the Stig's African cousin.

    • Richard Hammond: This is just the happiest car in the world! I shall call it Oliver. Not that we'd ever name a car on Top Gear. I wish I hadn't said that.

    • James May Wow! Look! Look!
      Jeremy Clarkson: A hippo's head.
      Richard Hammond: Oh it is.
      James May: Well it's probably a whole hippo, it's just the rest of him is under the water.

    • Jeremy Clarkson: A honey badger does not kill you to eat you, it tears off… your testicles.
      Richard Hammond: It does not!
      James May: Why's it called the Honey Badger?
      Richard Hammond: Exactly!
      Jeremy Clarkson: Because that's what made it angry.
      Richard Hammond: Why isn't it called the Badger of Death?

    • James May: Can I point something out?
      Jeremy Clarkson: What?
      James May: Hammond's walking around his car muttering about how he needs all of it.
      Jeremy Clarkson: I know exactly what he's doing.
      James May: He's formed an emotional attachment, hasn't he?
      Jeremy Clarkson: It'd be like saying to him: 'could you cut bits off your wife?

  • NOTES (2)

    • African Stig's Lap Times:

      James's 1985 Mercedes Benz 230E: 1.06
      Richard's 1963 Opel Kadett: 1.12
      Jeremy's 1981 Lancia B Coupe: Did not start

      A time for the Lancia was not recorded, as the car began to smoke heavily and Stig's African cousin got bored and left.

    • In the end credits, Clarkson, Hammond and May were credited as Archbishop Desmond Clarkson, Archbishop Desmond Hammond and Archbishop Desmond May.

      All crew members were also credited with the title Archbishop and Christian name Desmond.


    • Richard Hammond: We were having fun, but then we discovered we were travelling with Bill Oddie.

      Bill Oddie is a one-time member of the comedy trio The Goodies, who found fame on British television in the 1970s. More recently, he is recognised for his love of wildlife – particularly birds. He can now be seen on Springwatch and Autumnwatch talking over the VT and ruining Kate Humble's links.