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 Post subject: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:02 am
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My firs t post on the forum and hope to get lots of advice from the experts.

I have not really done a trip in SA as a long road trip like Kgalagadi. It has beena dream of mine for a long time and now that I live in SA, I thought my wife and i must do this trip.

She is not adventurous enough to consider camping so booked the various camps in the park.

I know going in mid-Nov is not ideal given it will be hot but it about the only time we can get time off. So have booked from 8th Nov for about 8 nights. Had to battle getting the right camps for the right nights so have had to compromise given only booking in June for Nov.

I have booked as follows:

8th Nov Twee Rivieren
9th Nov: Nossob
10/11th Nov: Gharagab
12th Nov: Bitterpan
13/14th Nov: Kalahari Tented Camp
15th Nov: Twee Rivieren

Can people who are experts tell me if this is a decent itinerary? What are the key things to do in any one of these camps that are unique to that camp ?

Also, will be travelling on the 8th Nov from Jo'burg driving to KTP. How much time should I allow and which is the best way to go ?

Given the time of year is hot, any advice on what clothes to take etc ?

My wife is worried that we have never done a trip like this without other friends. Anything in particular I should be aware of on this trip ? I have a Prado VX so am not worried too much about getting stuck etc.

Any advice really appreciated and if anyone thinks above itinerary needs changing pls tell me although the availability at the wilderness camps is slim.

thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:45 am 
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Location: Benoni, RSA
Katanga

Welcome to the forum!

Replying to you live from Twee Rivieren!

We drove here via Kimberley. The road from JHB to Kimberely was great....kimbereley to Upington....not so great ....stopped counting at 6 stop/go's! Even taking the Kuruman road....look at at least 10 hours.

Your itinary....depends on what you want from your trip....Bitterpan and Garaghab are beautiful in their own right....superb places to really get a feel for the peaceful dune landscape of the park....can be a bit quiet animal wise....nice for peace and quiet! Garaghab has a look out tower at the back of camp you can climb-great for sundowners! As new visitors to the park, I would rather stay at one of the 2 of these camps for 1 night...and rather spend more time at eg Nossob. Or, I realise availability is a problem, a night or 2 at Grootkolk. Kielikrankie is also a nice option for a bit of a dune feel but with easy accessibility to both the Nossob and Mata mata riverb beds.Just an opinion!

We have a Prado and no problems!

Enjoy your trip


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:57 am 
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Jo

wow - I am jealous!

Given how late I left things and just booked the trip about 2hrs ago for Nov, both Grootkolk and Kieliekrankiw almost fully booked.

I am hoping to get good animal sightings but at the same time want to experience the tranquillity of the wilderness camps.

So dyou reckon, I could drive to TR from Jo'burg in 12hrs with some stop time for filling up on fuel and comfort break as well as meals ?

Which is the best way to go ?

What would you advice as things to take on this trip with the heat that time of the year ?


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:25 am 
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Katanga, a very warm (hot?) welcome to the forums. :dance: :dance: :dance: Since I have only been once to Kgalagadi, I'll just soak up all the advice along with you from the experienced campaigners. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:47 am 
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Garaghab has a great view over the waterhole in front of it-you could sit on your verandah with a good book and a pair of binocs!

To take with in Nov: swimming costume (pools at nossob, kalahari tented, twee rivieren and mata mata). Lots of water-you can drink the water here but it is quite brakish so makes your tea/coffee taste strange....and I also find it makes me more thirsty. Some people take bandanas which they dampen and then in the heat of the day they lie under them and find it cools them down. They also put the damp bandana around their necks to cool down. We take those fruit juices which the kids buy from the school tuck shop that can be frozen-take them out with you in the morning-nice and cool to drnk after a few hours! Go out at gate opening while the animals are still active...by midday the heat also gets to them and they tend to stick to the shade. Go out in the late afternoon again. Take sunglasses-the glare off the white sandy roads can be a problem. Although there are shops at twee rivieren, mata mata and nossob-they stock basics only (tinned stuff, beer, cold-drinks etc-not much in terms of fresh procuce). If the jackals start going mad at nossob-get to the hide....often means there in a predator around!
12hours is about right-we haven't travelled the kuruman road for a few years as they were doing roadworks on it then....and it added 2 hours to our journey...but it may be better now-lets see what the others say when u get more replies.

Don't expect animals around every corner-you do have to work a bit harder for your sightings here than in kruger but when u do see something u tend to "see it well" due to the open vegatation....enjoy your trip!


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:03 pm 
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I am new to south Africa a but also hear that there are two different routes from Johannesburg to Twee river.

Which is the best route to to take?

Am I being ambitious if I plan to leave early in the morning and get to TR. I will probably only stop in Uppington to fill up and get some supplies like firewood etc. plan to get most things in Jo'burg.

Really need help on the best way there so details appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:10 pm 
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I agree with Jo: add extra night to Nossob and stay only 1 night T Gharaghab. In summer tents at Gharaghab are extremely hot, with no real roads to drive - can just sit on deck in sweltering heat, with limited animal scope. Nossob after 1 night at Gharaghab will make travelling also easier (can travel in afternoon to Bitterpan, after morning drive at Nossob, and last dip in pool).


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:25 am 
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Location: Twee Rivieren, KTP
@ Katanga,

Welcome to the forum, hope you will have a great time here. You have received very good advice from the mites. If there are any other assistance you need please do not hesitate to ask or you can email me and we can take it from there.

Regards

KG

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:57 am 
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Welcome to the forum katanga.

The most important thing is water. as Jo says the water in KTP is not nice (except for one waterhole you can't go to!).

The heat is not intolerable, but I often soak a towel and put it around my neck at midday.

The predators are usually active in summer, but early or late.

The migratory birds will be back.

Just ensure you have enough to eat and drink for 3 days in the car at all times.

It is a special place, no matter the itinerary or time of year. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:34 pm 
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Welcome to the forum katanga :thumbs_up: Best advice - book a walk with KG on one of your mornings at TR - absolutely awesome to do in the summer months - you leave before the gates open while its still cool and fresh - just MAGIC :D Also consider either a sunset or evening drive from either TR, Nossob or KTC - lovely to do in the summer as well and you stand a great chance of seeing some pretty cool nightlife ....

Also take lots of good sunscreen - you will land up with a farmers tan on the RHS of your body if you are the one driving and a good sunblock helps - also stops all the wierd questions when you get home as to why you are unevenly tanned :? Otherwise, swop out drivers often .... Lots of lipice too as the summer heat is something else.. if you are lucky it might be the start of the rains with the most amazing thunderstorms ...

Take a buff and wet it and wear it round your neck like Jo suggests and a sarong or 2 for wetting and lying under, especially at night as it can get warm in the accommodation ...

Otherwise, have an amazing trip - Im sure you will be hooked for life !

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:44 pm 
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SO and I will be going to KTP for the first time mid-July, so much of excitement :)

We will be in the park for 8 nights. How much water should we take for that time?
Is the local water too brackish for cooking too, or just for drinking plain? Ie do we
need water for drinking and cooking or just drinking?
I generally drink water only (and cold ones, and maybe whiskey for the cold on this trip) and SO is quite partial to colddrinks.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:52 pm 
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You can buy water at a price in the shops Josh, but in winter I would take 2 litres per day, if you are drinking other liquids.
We cook with water we bring.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:03 pm 
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Thanks BB.
Would 50l be about right or too much?
Also, would it make sense to try get water in Upington, or should I just bring it from Jo'burg? Extra 50kg isn't that much to drive with

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Another (potentially silly) Q, SO (and I, too a degree) are a little concerned about finding predators at picnic spots and toilets. Is there a way to check before entering the building if there's anything inside? Will there be enough people around during the school holidays that this won't be a problem?

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:23 pm 
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In winter 50L should be more than enough. We fill most of our containers in Upington.

Predators at picnic spots are part of the charm of Kgalagadi, although I have yet to experience it. :wall:

The doors have been lion proofed - weighted sliding doors, but the best is just to be vigilant as you drive up and enter the buildings. Even in school holidays you could be the only ones there. If there is something lying under the picnic table, you should spot it, or lying in the shade of the ablution block.

Just shoo it away, :twisted: although there is a jackal that often sits in the shade at Dikbaardskolk and minds his own business.

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