Jay's sister reports:
Cape Town to Kalahari and back
Total mileage = 4500 km
Duration 2 weeks
Date: 27 th December 2005 to 11 th January 2006
Temp: Between 47 and 37 degrees Celsius
Carrying 100 L drinking water and 130L fuel
Food for two weeks
Leave Cape Town 27th, stay over at De Werf Keimoes. Nice accommodation with aircon and swimming area and restaurant and springbok grazing on a very green lawn, good value for money at R360 per night for four people, an oasis!
28th Leave Keimoes and travel to Gemsbokpark where all accommodation booked is in the Botswana side of the park.
Arrive at Rooiputz our first camp site (all camps we stayed at were unfenced and VERY basic). Here there is a lapa for shade and a long drop toilet, there are reed showers but no water!!! Don't ask! Lots of animals around here and a Brown Snake Eagle nesting on a tree every evening. Have lion in camp after sunset and hear lots of roaring - VERY scary. We stayed here for three nights the first two there were campers as well but they are to far away to see, at night we see a small glow from there fire, the third night we are alone. There is a green tank with water for washing dishes but no drinking water available, the temp the first two days is 47 degrees Celsius, but drops to 38 on the third day and stays at about that for the rest of the holiday. Lots of wildebeest, secretary birds, springbok, rooi hartebeest, bee-eaters, rollers and much much more....
Day 4 in the park entails a 90km sand track that heads in an easterly direction into the Botswana Kalahari desert. It is amazingly green and looks like the garden of Eden! Butterflies and flowers everywhere and millions of pied babblers and LION! Game is scarce this end as there are no man made water holes and everything is as nature intended. Our camp site consists of a tree - that's it - no water, showers,toilets - just a tree and the magical African desert! For five days on the track we see a total of 5 other vehicles. It is another 80km to our next camp and top speed on the track is 40 km/ph.
Day 5 is spent in Mabuasehube on the pan, we hear a leopard in our camp and chase a brown hyena out the lapa! There has been a lot of rain and the pans are muddy. Here there is a long drop toilet and water for showering. We see Abdims storks and have hornbills and red billed franklins sharing our food with us! On the way to the camp we see a herd of Eland that cannot be less than 500!
we spend three nights at Mabuasehube pan and it is much to short. The sunsets are beautiful and the silence is amazing and the views carry on forever.
We head back to Motopi 1, the camp site that is a tree! That night our braai is cut short by a nosey lioness and we hear lots of roaring. In the morning we look for prints and find HUGE ones all around.
Head back to Rooiputz and find a male lion has made his home at the watering hole and for the next three night while braaing we stick VERY close to our cars.
The next two nights are spent in the South African side of the park in the luxury tents at the Kalahari Tented Camp (this is a spur of the moment thing) and relax for two days with a pool and being able to wake up at night and walk to a toilet - LUXURY - and boy do you appreciate it!
Leave the park and travel for 10 hours straight to get to the Old Mill Lodge, Springbok and head back to Cape town following day!!!
Arrive home and wish I was back camping again!