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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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Junior Virtual Ranger
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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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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:02 am
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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: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:57 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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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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Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same ...


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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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 Post subject: First Time Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:49 am
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Location: Vaal
Hi all

We travel to KNP every year and decided to try Kgalagadi this year.
So I have a few questions I hope the regulars can help me with, so here goes.

1. Travel from Vereeniging to 2Rivieren. Is it wise to sleep over in Upington and do the final 200km or so the next morning?

2. Is the picnic spots the same as KNP or is it just a spot, and you have to take your own gas braai etc?

3. Should you take your meat, milk etc from home, or is it available in the shops?

4. The 4x4 only roads. Are they all pre booking only or can you drive them whenever. If you need to book, what is the prices for them.

5. Do you have cellphone/internet reception in the camps?

6. Can you recharge your cellphone at your accomodtion.

7. I notice no electricity between certain hours of the night. Does this mean no electricity at all, or will your accommodation still have lights, and power for the fridge etc.

We will be staying in Kalahari Tented Camp, Nossob and 2 Rivieren for 3 nights each, and we are really looking forward to it. We will be going beginning of Dec, so we expect some very hot days.

Anything else that you might think is worth knowing of beforehand will be appreciated.

Thank you in advance

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 Post subject: Re: First Time Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:59 pm 
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Hi Jaco, let me start by saying Kgalagadi rocks :thumbs_up:

I will try to answer some of your question. Tweerivieren, electicity and cell pnone signal 24 hrs, Nossob electicity (generator) early morning until late at night, Kalahari TC no electricity. Both N & KTC gas for fridge / freezer or geyser. Picnic spots very basic no gasbraais as in Kruger. Do have braai to make fire and basic toilet facilities.

I have an inverter for charging batteries phone etc but you would be able to do so in all your camps except KTC. Inverter not expensive and good investment

Shops are basic so take everything although 2R shop better than others, rather approach shops as emergency. Take own drinking water as that in park tastes bad (can buy at shops, pricy)

4x4 route open for everyone ( prebook on the day) is only from Leeudril to 2R Mata Mata road, other you have to have reservation in the bushcamp to use 4x4 access road.

I live in Pretoria and leave early morning (3:00) and will be there at 15:00 some rest in between. Take numerous stop and go into consideration ( might loose quite some time here)

Enjoy your stay, yes it will be warm but a dry heat and worth it!

Kgalagadi rocks (yes I know I have said so) :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: First Time Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:52 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 352
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Hi JakoVenter

Just to answer some of your questions:

1. I am from Bloemfontein, so I cannot really answer your question but we usually drive via Kimberley, Griekwastad and Groblershoop. However, there are also a few stop-and-go on that road.

2. No, the picnic spots are not the same. Much smaller with just toilets and seating facilities (about 5-8 per picnic spot. But like somebody mentioned on a different blog - you may the only one using the facilities at a certain time. There are also the usual SANPARK braai facilities (wood/charcoal type - the same that you will find in any camp). You need to take your own gas braai though.

3. Yes, it is better to take your own stuff but their are small shops in Nossob & Mata Mata but some times they do run out of stock.

4. All the 4x4 roads must be pre-booked with the related stay-over in the wilderness camp (Bitterpan & Garagab). You cannot just use the roads as a day-trip. The only 4x4 road that you can use as a day trip is the Leeudril 4x4. You can book a trip at the reception at Twee Riverien gate (about R185.00).

5. Only at Twee Rivieren and if your are lucky at Kieliekrankie. Just a few kilometers outside Twee Rivieren, you will lose your cellphone signal. Hippie!!!

6. Yes except for Kalahari tented camp -they do use 12v power/electricity for the lights and gas for the water, cooking and fridge. You won't be able to charge anything. However, Mata Mata is just 3km away. I do use my convertor in my Fortuner to charge my laptop and camera batteries. KTC is one of my favorite camps in the park with lots of sightings up to the 13th bore-hole.

7. Yes, in Mata Mata and Nossob you won't have any electricity for a certain period of the night. Please take a torch or three with you. It is quite dark in the middle of the night.

I hope it helps you - after my first visit to Kgalagadi in 2010, I was hooked (visited the park about 10 already after that). I would love to hear your opinion after you've returned form the park.

You can have a look at my trip reports on the Kgalagadi on my blog or elsewhere on this website.

Enjoy!!!

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 Post subject: Re: First Time Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:49 pm 
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You are in for a real treat jakoventer.

Kgalagadi is like Kruger, but not like Kruger - a wild place but more wild. You won't have the crowds and you can see far, so you should have no trouble with 50 car trafffic jams at a cat sighting.

1&3. Upington is about 250 km from Kgalagadi and has the decent city shops you would expect, to be able to stock up.
2. Picnic spots have no facilities, except weekly serviced toilets. If you are very lucky, you could find the 'king' lying under the picnic table when you get there, or the dappled one in the shade of the loo. I still await this thrill. You need to take everything, except there is a tap and basin inside the loo building, which has 'lion-proof' sliding weighted doors that sometimes don't work. Just be alert.
4-7.TO & WK have answered fully.

Take as much water as you can. The local (KTP) water is brackish and tastes gross. You could fill containers in Upington.

Just be careful not to get the Kalahari sand in your shoes, or you will have no power over it. It will draw you back. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: First Time Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:23 pm
Posts: 185
Location: Plettenbergbay
Hi Jakoventer.

Two more things that I have found useful over the years.

A spare roll of loo paper in the car.
The toilets at the picnic sites are only serviced once a week as per BB.

I take a small gas braai along not a skottel,it has a round cast iron plate that is flat on one side and ribbed on the other.
Works a treat for bacon&eggs at the picnic sites.
Also great for a quick steak for the time when you only get back to camp as the gate closes and you are too tired and hungry to wait for the wood to burn to coals.

That said,take lots of wood.
Nothing beats the Kalahari starry nights,a wood fire,good company and a glass or two of your favourite beverage.
Enjoy your trip. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: First Time Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:49 am
Posts: 92
Location: Vaal
Hi

Thanks guys and Gals

We are really excited to visit Kgalagadi.

I am sure all the advise will put us in good for the trip.

Just one more thing, the diesel available, is it 50ppm or only 500.

Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: First Time Kgalagadi
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Hi Jako,

We are about 2 hours east from you and most of the time do the trip in one go leaving very early at 3-4 am and still get to the park by 4 - 5 pm.

Our route takes us through Potchefstroom, Klerksdorp, Delareyville, Vryburg, Kuruman, Olifantshoek, Upington etc.

I thought about trying the road pass Sasolburg to Parys and then Potchefstroom, but haven't done it yet. This will most likely be the best route to follow for you unless you know of a better route to Potch e.g. the R54.

The time of the year you go will also influence your decision to stop over at Askham or Upington. Summer time the gates close much later and it is even be possible to reach camps beyond Twee rivieren, but we normally stop at Twee rivieren and do not add an extra distance to other camps in our travel.

Diesel is only available in 500 ppm. :thumbs_up:

When do you plan to go on your first trip to KTP?


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:02 am
Posts: 47
wooo....thanks everyone for the advice. :D :D

Really appreciate all the feedback. I don't look at the responses for 3 days and bham loads more replies. Much appreciated.

So going in Nov, is it best that I just buy one of those big 50-60litre tanks and put it in the car filled with water ?

How does one book the night drives and the morning walks ? Do you do this well in advance or you can only do it when you get there ?

Also, I am new to South Africa so more precise details on exact route to take from Jo'burg would be really appreciated. I have read that you can go the tar road to Upington from Kuruman or the dirt road. I think I am going to swing by Upington. However, which is the best way from Jo'burg to Upington? I have google mapped but would appreciate advice from the experts here.

I only booked last week and I can't stop thinking about this trip or stop talking about it.

The closest I came to Kgalagadi was reading in National Georgraphic and watching the TV channel and I always said one day I am going to go there. Little did I know that I would be living in South Africa when I used to dream of this place when I used to live in Japan and HK.

Please keep the advice coming!

cheers :thumbs_up: :tongue:


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:58 am 
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Location: Hout Bay
Morning katanga - I can see we are going to have another KTP fanatic on our hands here :thumbs_up:

Living in Cape Town I cant let you know about the roads from Joburg but I know you will get lots of great advice.

You can book both the drives and the walks at the recetion of the different camps when you arrive - they need a minimum of 2 people to go out but the drives in summer are quite popular so that shouldnt be a problem. A better idea is to send Kgalagadi Guru a PM or drop him an email and he will book your activities for you so they are all sorted before you arrive .... Try and do both a sunset and a night drive if you possibly can - they are both great in summer. The sunset leaves an hour before the gates close which is at 19.30 in Nov so you leave camp at 18.30 and have a good hour to an hour and a half of light still so its the best of both worlds :D

Nov is going to be HOT so take extra water with you as you will need more than you think .. we found a 20 l to be better than those huge containers that can be hard to handle ... one of the bottled water brands ( cant think which one right now sorry) comes in a cardboard 5 l box with a tap - these are fantastic - easy to use and no messing and they pack better in the car because of their shape - but whatever works for you is fine ...You can also take out the inner silver bag from the box and stick it in your fridge or freezer to keep it really cold ... You will be surprised at how much cold stuf you need to drink :D

You will obviously have a cooler box with you so take some 500ml - 750ml water bottles ( the PUMP ones are nice as they have a nice top) and freeze them overnight in the freezer in your chalet - ice water fro the next day and it will keep any other drinks in your coolerbox nice and cold :thumbs_up:

Also, when you are at Twee Rivieren - do yourselves a huge favour and try the Takeaways - just to the right of the Resturant ( which is also amazing now by the way ) and behind the shop to the left ... Fantastic burgers and vetkoek at crazy prices .. If you are hungry the vetkoek are a must - its basically a bread dough made into a big thick patty and fried and filled with a mild curry mince or they do an incredible Kalahari Vetkoek which has a burger patty, fried egg, cheese .. you name it in .. sounds weird but its amazing so you have to try it !! Their toasted sandwiches are great too .. Open between 10 and 5 pm every day ..

If theres ANYTHING you want to know just ask ok - we are here to help and try and make your trip as special as possible :D

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We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same ...


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi First timer...need lots of advice.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:02 am
Posts: 47
Thanks Jo....will avoid Kimberley then. Probably will take the N14 unless anyone suggests otherwise ?

Looking at Google maps going from Sandton means I will take:

-M1 south,
-then N1 south,
-N12 joining..
-N14 to Kuruman

Anyone have other suggestions ?


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