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 Post subject: Kgalagadi: Bitterpan Wilderness Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:43 pm 
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Doug Taylor wrote:
When choosing a camp in which to stay from a map there was no way of knowing what we were letting ourselves in for. Our next stop was Bitterpan, a camp right in the middle of the dunes between the Nossob and Auob Rivers. We were advised that four-wheel drive was required, but nowhere did it explain that we would be dune surfing!

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THE ROAD THROUGH THE DUNES - Doug Taylor

Doug Taylor wrote:
Bitterpan is an amazing camp. Four double bedrooms with their own bathrooms across a narrow walkway and a large communal kitchen, dining room, braai area. The camp overlooks an enormous arena of what one presumes is sand and where a pan must once have been. In front of the pan is a waterhole, easily monitored from the rooms and communal area.


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THE CAMP AT BITTERPAN WITH OBSERVATION TOWER - Doug Taylor

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BITTERPAN ITSELF FROM THE OBSERVATION TOWER - Doug Taylor


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:31 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Bitterpan is a must with a decent 4x4 that does not need to be raced up and surfed down dunes. We are so sad as at the moment we are Landyless so Grootkolk is as wild as it gets at the moment but we have had someamazing trips out of the back of Nossob Camp to Bitterpan. I found some old slides which I scanned next door to add to the experience of those who still want to do it.

Sometimes we went through long grass middelmannetjies so the 3 men took it in turns to get under the vehicle to get the grass out

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One time the wind got up and this guy travelled with us for awhile
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The trusty Landy approaching Bitterpan on one of our trips

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Sitting aound the campfire in mid winter you can watch the chilly sun disappear

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then you turn around and watch the moon rising behind the camp...excuse my lousy scans!

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Summer time produces lovely "marmalade skies"

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Bitterpan is a great place to go and is best booked out by your whole group...remember as my Dad taught us to drive those dunes....Always stay in 4x4 in 3rd high and toggle to low in the real thick stuff and always use soft touch driving skills to preserve the dunes....the Brandy & Coke brigade will hopefully remain at Swakopmund.


Last edited by Dotty on Sat May 19, 2012 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pix resized


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:44 am 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Ja BB going to Bitterpan you dont need to go with another vehicle like Bots and in this case we were the only family in camp so the light was nice and we asked the Camp guy who knows us well if we could go and get pics from the Mata Mata side ...so yes we were out the car then (naughty) but we werent chasing any animals or spoiling anybody's experience and we are bush wise and it was quite safe to get out there just like getting out to take the grass out or mark the territory!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:26 pm 
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Please tell me more about Bitterpan - and also Kalahari tented camp - (no will rather post there). I was on the Kieliekrankie topic and many kind forumites convinced me to change to Bitterpan. Saw some pics, looks great!
Will be there in March/April 2008 - cannot wait!


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 Post subject: Road from Nossop to Bitterpan
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:30 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
This is a road not to be taken lightly! You need a 4 x 4 with low range. We went in October 2005 where a brand new car was totally burnt out. It was either a Kia Sportage or a Honda CRV. It was brand new and the family had a small baby. People forget to look for grass around the exhaust which eventually causes fire. This happens particularly in the vehicles with little ground clearance. My parents were in a Nissan Hardbody 2.4 and it battles up the dunes. We were in a trusty Land Rover Defender that just crawled at a leisurely pace all the way there.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:38 am 
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Hi moldoy, i hope my tips will help:
The waterhole in Bitterpan is very close to the camp. I would estimate 20 metres. It's directly in front of the communal kitchen area and you can easily walk there. But bear in mind that this is strictly forbidden.
Sometimes there are lions in the camp when they roam between the Nossob and Auob riverbeds and vice versa.
The road to Bitterpan is very scenic and we saw kudu and a glimpse of honey badger on the way to Mata-Mata.
There is a little loop you can drive at Bitterpan.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:49 am 
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Hi Thanks Batsman, the last thing we will attempt is to walk to the waterhole. We used to be Honorary Rangers, so were always telling other people not to do those type of things.
But is sound great as you can sit and do your own game watching from the luxury of the kitchen area. I can just see myself with a cup of coffee or sundowner, hmm
Looking forward to this trip...only in March 2008....thanks for the info.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:33 am 
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In fact, we saw on our last day breakfast a brown hyena came to have a drink. Then the hyena was chased away by some oryx and hid behind some trees. When the oryx finished their drinking it came back to have another nip. It was a brilliant breakfast


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:27 pm 
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Any more pictures?


Your wish is my command... :D
Image

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We loved Bitterpan: we stayed there two times.
The 1st time it was very windy & cold, but we were lucky to see a leopard at the waterhole in front of the cabins.
Just after sunset, she returned and showed up approx. 10 meters behind me, when I was sitting at the braai place... :roll:

By the way: if you drive from Bitterpan to Mata-Mata on the dune-road, you might find a wheel-bolt.
That's mine: one of my wheel bolts broke off and the wheel almost collapsed. Thanx to the car rental company for (NOT) checking the wheel bolts of our car... :evil:
It took us about two hours to lift the car high enough to mount the wheel again.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:58 pm 
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Marelm
Sorry for only responding now. The pictures are great. We have now booked at Bitterpan for our group for 31 March and 1 April - cannot wait!

Darwin, if you say not walking in between the units after sunset ... how are we going to go and sleep after our supper and 'kuier' around the communal campfire? If you say the units are quite close - are we talking about 3 meters or 15 meters? Just need to know if the resident leopard may see us as an opportunistic meal?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:23 pm 
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Thanks Batsman! I posted some questions about Bitterpan under Kieliekrankie - the topic drifted there unnoticed. But I will rather repeat my question here.

Darwin said that walking in between the units after sunset is a serious no-no (accepted as the camp is not fenced) But how are we going to get to the other tents to go and sleep after our supper and 'kuier' around the communal campfire? We have children with us as well. If they say the units are quite close - are we talking about 3 meters or 15 meters? Just need to know if the resident leopard may see us as an opportunistic meal?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:24 pm 
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I think things got a little mixed up...

Kieliekrankie has four individual cabins, each with its own kitchen, bathroom and braai.
The cabins are not joined, so I don't know if it's a good idea to walk between them after sunset.

Bitterpan has also four cabins, each with its own bathroom, but with a communal kitchen.
All units (cabins, bathrooms, kitchen) are joined by a walkway.
In front of the kitchen is a braai-place, with a fantastic view on the pan.
On top of the kitchen is a watch-tower.
You have to climb a pretty steep ladder to get to the top of the tower, but the views are amazing...

Gosh - I wish I was back in KTP again.....

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:34 pm 
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The units at Bitterpan are very close together...not even 3 meters. You literally stepped out of one and take a step or two in to the next one. The units are all on stilts, Basically there are 2 units then the communal kitchen and then the other two units. Each unit is about one step away from it's bathroom. One has to go through a gate and down a few steps to the braai area. This I suppose is quite safe if you have a fire lit and there are a few poeple with you. I would not recommend that you let the children play in this area unattended( depending on their age)

We have just got back from KTP...you may want to check the link to read my report....we spent spent one awesome evening in Bitterpan
viewtopic.php?t=14383&start=105

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:56 pm 
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Ah, that makes more sense, so the walkway at Bitterpan will provide some 'safety' if you need to walk from point A to B. That makes me feel better, we will just avoid going to the vehicles after sunset, that's easier to manage.

Thank you for the info!

Although I suffer from a fear of heights, I will certainly brave the ladder. Hopefully we can arrange a strong man that will carry the coolerbox up with him for the sundowners. (If I could manage the Canapy touring at Tsitsikamma, I am sure I will manage the ladder)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:01 pm 
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Thanks Michele
That really helpls! Kids are 12 and older, so it should be fine. I will certainly go look at your report and pictures.


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