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Cape Town to KTP

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
charamal
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Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby charamal » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:04 pm

Hello,

I would like some input to help me choose our route between Cape Town and Kgalagadi as part of a 5 week family trip around South Africa and Namibia. We definitely want to start with Hermanus and De Hoop and then can't decide whether to continue along the coast as far as Wilderness and then go up via Karoo N.P or whether to go north from De Hoop and visit Tankwa Karoo (and possibly Bontebok) on the way. We have 4 nights between De Hoop and Kgalagadi...

I would be grateful for any comments.

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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:07 pm

Welcome to the forum charamal.

Both of your options sound great.

Wilderness is more of a recreational park, with canoeing and birding as options, and Karoo is a lovely semi-arid park also with good birding. The game is a bit sparse if you are purely looking for that.

Bontebok is a small gem. There are no predators there but you can see quite a few of the endemic bontebok and mountain zebra, (as you will in Karoo). Also birding is good. Tankwa, I have never been to , but it is less visited than the others, and remote, but the birding is good.

If you are not a birder, I suggest you start, because your trip will be a whole lot more enjoyable if you do. Also Kgalagadi is raptor heaven!

Hope this helps.
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charamal
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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby charamal » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:21 am

Thanks for that, Bush Baptist. Love the signature quote too!

We are not birders, though on trips to other countries (particularly Iceland) we have spent many a fascinating hour observing them. Do you have any suggestions for a good reference guide?

If any of the Tankwa fans out there could reply to my first post that would be a great help..... unless of course you're trying to keep it to yourselves!! It's really difficult to find information about the park as it's not in either the Bradt of the Lonely Planet, and there's very little on Internet. However, it has been warmly recommended to us.....

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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby bambazonke » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:11 pm

hi

re Tankwa: Moggiedog did a TR on this park, so look under Trip Reports, has photos as well, have only ever done day trip there and am into birds.

Agree with BB, Bontebok and Karoo Nat Parks are under rated gems. The Wilderness area is well worth a visit if you have never been before.
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charamal
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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby charamal » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:58 pm

Thanks. Will look up the trip report. We seem to be spoilt for choice on the underrated gems front!

Have just re-read my slightly ambiguous previous post and would like to point out that the fascinating hours in Iceland were spent observing birds rather than birders, though the latter is probably almost as intriguing....

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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby saraf » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:15 pm

Hi Charamel, welcome to the forum.

Sorry, can't help you with the parks as I've yet to travel to any of them but just to answer one of your previous questions, the best birding guide for you would probably be the Roberts Field Guide or the SASOL Birds of Southern Africa Third Edition.

Happy travels.
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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby Crested Val » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:27 pm

I'm quite new to birding, and have just bought a Sasol Guide. It is GREAT!!!!

I have been visiting the SANparks for 35 years, and I can't tell you what a difference birding has made to our visits!! We still look for the bigfive etc, but have an extra interest to look for!! :thumbs_up:

Have a fab time and travel safely. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Sun May 01, 2011 11:41 am

No worries charamal, some of the birders are worth watching.

I have a well used SASOL. My next one is the one by Oberpreiler & Cillie. It has pictures instead of drawings.

There are a lot of birds that are easy to ID, and are very rewarding, but some of the juvenile raptors and lbjs are a mystery.

You can download birdlists from this website for most of the parks, and I have some in excel format if you are interested.
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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby charamal » Sun May 01, 2011 4:49 pm

Thanks for all the tips. Will invest in a good reference book and read up on the various websites before we go!

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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby bambazonke » Sun May 01, 2011 5:28 pm

hi charamal

have the Sasol Guide, also Newmans which has illustrations like the Sasol guide, Sinclair's Field Guide
which is photgraphs, also have specific Bird Field guides for other countries in Southern Africa.
All these are paperback. Kept at home HB editions of Robert's, which are great for double checking.

Also depending on where you are in the world, the auction websites and secondhand bookshops can be a source of books and guides.
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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Tue May 03, 2011 12:51 pm

I am disappointed with the latest Roberts field guide. Some of the drawings could be better!
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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby bambazonke » Tue May 03, 2011 2:57 pm

My Roberts are hardback editions (3) that date back to 199something, I find them usuful for referencing
the I though I saw's. My Sinclair's Field Guides are the ones I use the most.

I think though for new birders even a used copy of a decent guide is a start, says me who owns
about twenty, also have found it useful to make notes about habitat where you saw said bird
even it flies off before you can point the binos never mind photgraph it :)
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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby Kigalia » Fri May 06, 2011 5:59 am

The 5 week trip sounds awesome. :D If you do decided to stay over in Tankwa Paulshoek cottage is really great. Has a little water hole about 30 mts from the homestead. The roads are all sand and some are severly corrugated but the scenery is really worth it. An average car is capable of handling the roads in Tankwa. The staff in the Tankwa are great and very helpful but then again so are : the staff in all our Arid parks. Birding is a wonderful and rewarding passtime. Travel safe. :thumbs_up:

charamal
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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby charamal » Fri May 06, 2011 8:33 am

Thanks Kigalia. We will choose the Tankwa route, now have to decide which of the lovely cottages to book (and where to break the journey between Tankwa and Upington, but that's off topic!)......My copy of the Sasol Guide arrived from Amazon yesterday, but I haven't been able to look at it properly because our 13 year-old has monopolised it!

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Re: Cape Town to KTP

Unread postby Kigalia » Mon May 09, 2011 10:03 am

Great :thumbs_up: to hear that you have decided to go the Tankwa route even better is that the young one has such an interest in the SASOL bird guide. Tankwa has an incredible bird list so you should certainly put the new book to good use. The Elandsberg cottages are also great to stay in. Take care and enjoy your trip may it be all and more than you wished for. :dance:
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