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 »


James Bryce (as Archbishop Desmond Bryce)




Episode cast overview:
Jeremy Clarkson ... Self - Presenter (as Archbishop Desmond Clarkson)
Richard Hammond ... Self - Presenter (as Archbishop Desmond Hammond)
James May ... Self - Presenter (as Archbishop Desmond May)
The Stig The Stig ... Self (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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

botswana | See All (1) »


Did You Know?


Richard Hammond was so impressed with his car "Oliver" that he actually shipped it back to the UK as mentioned in the episode. See more »


When the presenters initially introduce the faults of the cars they bought, May claims the handbrake of his Mercedes was broken 'which I can pull like this' (and nothing happens.) However, the Mercedes W123 actually has a foot-operated parking brake, with a pedal, and the upper lever lever May pulls to demonstrate is just the handbrake RELEASE. In other words: The parking brake was probably perfectly in order and May just hadn't found the somewhat smallish pedal yet. See more »


James May - Presenter: Can I just say? Hammond's walking round his car, muttering to himself about how he needs all of it.
Jeremy Clarkson - Presenter: I know what he's doing. He's developed an emotional attachment to the car. It'd be like asking him to cut bits off his wife.
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 »


Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Performed by Elton John
See more »

User Reviews

Simply the best top gear episode
11 January 2016 | by alexf-25-270614See 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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Release Date:

4 November 2007 (UK) See more »

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