Top Gear (2002– )
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Botswana Special 

Jeremy, James and Richard each buy a used two-wheel drive car for £1500 and drive it for 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) across Botswana from the Zimbabwe border across the Makgadikgadi salt... See full summary »


(as Archbishop Desmond Bryce)

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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Presenter (as Archbishop Desmond Clarkson)
Himself - Presenter (as Archbishop Desmond Hammond)
Himself - Presenter (as Archbishop Desmond May)
The Stig ...
Himself (as Archbishop Desmond Stig)


Jeremy, James and Richard each buy a used two-wheel drive car for £1500 and drive it for 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) across Botswana from the Zimbabwe border across the Makgadikgadi salt plains and through the Okavango Delta to the Namibian border. The Stig's African cousin also makes an appearance. Written by Allister Coots

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Plot Keywords:

helmet | See All (1) »


Comedy | Talk-Show





Release Date:

4 November 2007 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


In the end credits everyone's first name is replaced with "Archbishop Desmond," even though Archbishop Desmond Tutu is not from Botswana, he's South African. See more »


When Clarkson, Hammond and May are crossing the Magkadikadi and arrive at Kubu Island, in the aerial shot the three cars are parked in a line. In the next shot, from ground level, Hammond's Opel is parked behind Clarkson's Lancia. See more »


Richard Hammond - Presenter: I suppose I'd better practice my lion drill. Oh no, here comes a lion. What do I...
[closes car door]
Richard Hammond - Presenter: . There we go. Oliver will protect me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All of the cast and crew in the credits of this Botswana Special were referred to as "Archbishop" and their last names. For example, "Archbishop Clarkson". See more »


References Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) See more »


Written by Dickey Betts
Performed by Christian Henson
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User Reviews

Simply the best top gear episode
11 January 2016 | by See all my reviews

I really starting following top gear during the 10th season, and this episode was my absolute favorite. I've followed the show to the end, and watched all the previous seasons as well, and can say no other episodes reached the level of quality this one has.

It's the best top gear travel episode, and the best top gear episode ever made.

What makes it so? Well first there's the setting, which is nothing short of breathtaking. Botswana's landscapes are unique, and well highlighted by the episode's direction. Then there's the cars. They're a combination of weird, fun and enthusiastic. They will go through a lot and not come out unscathed (this is Top Gear after all), but all along the show, they're made "special". You end up caring about those beat up £1500 lumps of steel more than you ever do in other travel specials. And last but not least, there's the production. Yes, it's scripted. Of course it is. But the script is here to carry the show, not force it into obvious jokes like it does in the later seasons. It's lighthearted, fun, and somehow never breaks suspension of disbelief too much. The visuals are greats, the jokes are fun, and at times, you truly find yourself wondering what will happen next.

Just watch it.

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