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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:26 pm
Posts: 13
Hi :)

So I managed to book the following for my trip to KTP:

14th: Mata Mata RF2
15th: Mata Mata RF2
16: Gharagab
17th: TR F2A/4A
18th: TR F2A/4A
19th: KTC FDT4
20th: KTC FDT4
21st: KTC FDT4

22nd: Karoo National Park (CO3) on the way Holiday with the family :)

I was VERY lucky as some nights I got the last accommodation available for the park.

I have a few concerns:

1) Driving from mata mata to Gharagab in a day

2) Driving from Gharagab to TR in a day.

3) I am also slightly worried as I have never done any 4x4 training nor have any 4x4 driving skills and I read the road exiting Gharagab is sometimes tricky

4) I will be leaving JHb midnight on the 13th and should arrive in TR midday and 3 hours to Mata Mata should give me 3 hours or so spare. Is this ok to do?

Any advice or suggestions are welcome as this is my 1st time to KTP

Thanks :)

David


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:26 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Sweden
Though this comment regarding driving from Tambo airport to Upington is overdue for Marc I think it could be important to some future visitors.

Most of us have to keep to a certain travel budget and do not want to waste money and it may seem very expensive to fly within SA compared to driving. However, return ticket JNB-Uppington is about 4000 Rand but just the fuel cost for a somewhat bigger car and 1 day extra rental is almost 3000 rand. For a single foreign traveller you save very little money by driving this long and exhausting distance. Some hours extra to relax in Upington can be very nice since there are many good B&B and lodges. If you are more than one person, the calculation will give another result but than you will likely be more than one person to drive too. Alternatively, one-way car rental could be considered. For exampel, the extra cost Upington-Tambo for a Hyundai IX35 (class K) is only 760 Rand at Avis.

KTP is wonderful so whatever means of travel to get there it will provide great experiences.


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:58 pm
Posts: 271
Location: Stellenbosch
Jburg MM in one? as a single driver or is the girlfriend joining and driving too?
What about changing first night MM for 2R?
Once (in June) we did Upington Nossob in one day. The road conditions at that day were terrible in the park, which means very very slow driving. We left Upington at 6 in the morning and arrived at 17h00 in Nossob. We did stop at the stops for the toilet and something to eat and drink, change driver seat and we did not stop for sightings because all the attention went to the road. We were surprised it took us so long as often we do Nossob Augrabies in one day without any problem. But it can happen.

MM Garaghab is a long way/day, I don't know if there is any one else who has done it and can advise you. I would keep an eye open if something comes available in Nossob instead


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:57 am 
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David1 wrote:
Hi :)

I was VERY lucky as some nights I got the last accommodation available for the park.

I have a few concerns:

1) Driving from mata mata to Gharagab in a day

2) Driving from Gharagab to TR in a day.

3) I am also slightly worried as I have never done any 4x4 training nor have any 4x4 driving skills and I read the road exiting Gharagab is sometimes tricky

4) I will be leaving JHb midnight on the 13th and should arrive in TR midday and 3 hours to Mata Mata should give me 3 hours or so spare. Is this ok to do?

Any advice or suggestions are welcome as this is my 1st time to KTP

Thanks :)

David


Hi David,

Some answers to some of your questions.........

In June you'll have a 10 and a half hour day. Gates open 7H30 and closes 18H00

1. A drive from MM to Garagab (entrance route) should be doable in 9 hours. Then you have no real long stops and you have to be moving at 40 km per hour. It's a really long drive ( which we've done, but that was in summer) Please remember to fill up in Nossob as that will be your last fuel station.

2. Drive from Garagab to TR( exit route) should be doable in 7 hours.

3. As long as you remember to deflate your tyres enough you should not have problems.

4. 3 hours spare is just enough to unpack and go for a short late afternoon drive.

Enjoy your visit and I hope you'll be spoiled with some stunning sightings.

I'm sure a lot of others will be along soon with some good advise!!!

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You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West


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 Post subject: KTP or Mokala???
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1209
Location: Centurion
I know, I know... This may seem like a stupid question. But let me elaborate...

The Bushbuddies usually only get 1 week off in December, during which we usually holiday with family in Stilbaai. This year we were lucky. We will take leave 14 Dec to 1 Jan! :dance: We will still spend most of the time in Stilbaai with the family, but we wanted to add a bit of bush to our holiday. We already booked for Karoo National Park on our way down to Stilbaai for the 14-15 Dec. It will be our first time there and looking forward. Then we'll be in Stilbaai till at least the 26th of December (Christmas with the family). Now we have one of two scenarios after that:

A) Leave Stilbaai on 26 December and drive up to Upington to sleep over there. Enter KTP on 27 Dec with the itinerary as follows: 27 Dec - TR, 28,29 and 30 Dec - Kalahari Tented Camp, 31 Dec - TR (Doing the midnight drive there as well). Out early on 1 Jan, and all the way back to Pretoria from TR on 1 day.

B) Relax a bit longer in Stilbaai, and leave there on 30 Dec. Spend 30 and 31 Dec in Mokala (which will be on our way back) and do the last stretch from Mokala to Pretoria on 1 Jan.

We do want the holiday to be relaxed and not feel rushed. This leans towards option B - as driving 1100km on 1 Jan doesn't sound like a lot of fun... But we haven't been to KTP since June 2010, and really LOVE the place. We would love to see it again.

What would you do? Is 5 nights in KTP enough for the long drive up from Stilbaai and then another long drive back to Pretoria? Should we rather take it easy and see Mokala for the first time - or will we regret not going to KTP?

SO and I are both sitting at 50/50 currently... :hmz:

_________________
3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: KTP or Mokala???
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Posts: 4688
Location: Centurion, ZA
Do you want rare antelopes - Mokala, Look here

Do you want cats and raptors - KTP

Three days in KTP, two in Mokala, then you not doing 1100km in one stretch :wink:


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP or Mokala???
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1209
Location: Centurion
Bush Baptist wrote:
Ja/Nee. :hmz:


Exactly my point! :lol:
Duke Ellieton wrote:
Do you want rare antelopes - Mokala, Look here

Do you want cats and raptors - KTP

Three days in KTP, two in Mokala, then you not doing 1100km in one stretch :wink:


Elize de Klerk wrote:
Lions, leopards, cheetahs - Kgalagadi YES

Kudu.s ens. - Mokala

Easy. I love both but we will be at Nossob from 28 - 31 Desember then to Mabuasehube.


Look guys - it is easy to choose the park. KTP for sure! BUT it will be a bit of a sacrifice in time spent on the road. And my question is just - if I spend 5 nights there - will all the rest not be ruined by one 1100km drive back to start working the very next day??? So do I choose the best park, and the bad drive, or the best drive with the second choice park... :hmz:

Ja-nee....

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3-4 Dec 2014 - Aghulhas National Park
5-6 Dec 2014- Ebb and Flow - Garden Route (Wilderness) National Park

13-18 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
19-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-28 June 2015 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: KTP or Mokala???
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Go for it!

Rest at work!

Visiting the parks is not restful, I get back knackered and go to work the next day to recover.

Heck when I visit my children in the UK, the plane gets in early and I have a quick shower before going to work.

Leave is too precious to waste.

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Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".


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 Post subject: Booking Wilderness Camps from UK
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:27 pm
Posts: 78
Hi all. This has probably been covered before but as a newbie perhaps you would take pity and explain again? At the early planning stage and need help on three issues.

1. Can we do a self drive tour around the park without staying at the larger rest camps? Say enter at Twee-rivieren drive to Kieliekrankie for 2 nights, drive on to Urikaruss for 2 nights, onto Bitterpan 2 nights onto Grootkolk or Gharageb for 2 nights, leave via Mata Mata for Namibia? Very flexible on time and can do the trip in any order. thanks

2. BOOKING :roll: Live in UK and have seen that although its possible to book online that the wilderness camps are booked very quickly. So ... say we wanted to go September 2014 I realise we have to wait until the bookings are opened. Is it 11 months by telephone and 9 months by email in advance? I guess they will all be booked out by the time I can email if you can telephone two months prior?? Am an OAP so can't afford to phone SA from UK.

3. If I did manage to book Kieliekrankie for my first 2 nights do I have to wait for 2 more days for Urikaruss to open for bookings etc etc. I can see that I may end up with some serious gaps in the itinerary. There must be an answer. Its making my brain hurt trying to figure it all out :shock:

If you can help explain I would be very grateful. Pen


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 Post subject: Re: Booking Wilderness Camps from UK
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:58 pm
Posts: 271
Location: Stellenbosch
Call early morning 11 months in advance and try to be the first, it will be a lot of redial, but in the end worth it
Make your planning and add behind each camp an alternative. It is one trip so yes you can book it in once and do not have to wait. 11 months in advance means that the whole month can be booked

Start with the most difficult camps, the wilderness camps
enter at 2R for one night, just to get used to the KTP and if you leave via MM you have to do your customs etc. here at 2R
2 nights KK
2 nights GK
1 night Gharagab
1 night Nossob
1 night Bitterpan
2 nights Urikaruus
and leave via MM to Namibia

keep in mind you do need a 4x4 for Gharagab and Bitterpan

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Booking Wilderness Camps from UK
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:27 pm
Posts: 78
:clap: thanks so much that's just the info I needed. Really made it clear what I have to do.

Just one thing, we were talking last night about doing the Botswana and Namibia part first working our way around in an anti clockwise direction. We would end the 5 week trip at KTP entering at Mata Mata. Could you suggest the best way to drive the park entering at MM and leaving from TR? That way it will be warming up a bit by the time we arrive. We are driving a 4x4 camping equipped Land Rover hired out of Jberg. Cheers Pen


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 Post subject: Re: Booking Wilderness Camps from UK
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:58 pm
Posts: 271
Location: Stellenbosch
Hi Pen,
entering MM is the other way around
you can start with MM camping or chalets or drive to Kalahari Tented Camp it is just 4 km upon Auob Riverbed from MM - dune road to Nossob camping or chalets - Grootkolk - Gharagab - Nossob - Bitterpan - Urikaruus - KK
We never ever forget the other Arid park being so close on our way back to the Cape: Aurgabies, after all that sand it is a treat to be at the falls

Success with the planning!


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 Post subject: Re: Booking Wilderness Camps from UK
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:57 am 
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Posts: 1046
What time in the morning should one start ringing? We are in the same position as Penolva.
If I chose to send an email request instead on the 1st of the month (we are booking in June for May 2014) then are our chances for wilderness camps very slim?

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 Post subject: Re: Booking Wilderness Camps from UK
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:34 pm
Posts: 251
Location: SAffie in Southend
Hi guys

We are in the same position as you and have found that phoning is the best way to get the camps you want. We tried emailing once and ended up not getting the camps we had hoped for so ...... bite the bullet and get up early on the 1st (or 1st Monday) of the month and get in the queue. We were in KTP in September last year and it took 15 minutes in the queue but we got the camps we wanted. We have booked up for Feb next year and my call was answered in about 2 minutes, again we got the camps we wanted.

Remember that Daylight Saving will change the time difference. In summer SA is 2 hours ahead of the UK and in winter they are only 1 hour. The booking office phones are open at 7:30 am SA time so it is not too bad : wake up, roll out of bed, book your camps - what a way to start your day!!! Phoning at that time of the morning is also cheaper :D We have also found that if you are on the phone and your ideal accomodation is not available for whatever reason you can at least chat to the reservations staff and book an alternative - instead of trying to do it by email ... very frustration let me tell you :roll:

I know that sometimes availability changes in the last month as people's plans change and they don't/can't make the booking but don't rely on it as with the wilderness camps this is very few and far between. Once someone has a wilderness booking they try to keep it come hell or high water :lol:

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Issy

Trip Reports:
The stuff of daydreams ... - Kruger
Kalahari Dreamin' - KTP
Just What the Doctor Ordered - West Coast, Augrabies, KTP


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 Post subject: Re: Booking Wilderness Camps from UK
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:15 am 
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Thanks icurrie! I will phone - for us 7.30am SA time is mid afternoon in South Australia so just have to get the timing right and hope for the best!

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