Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 4:44 pm
Location: Cape Town
Re. the trailer issue - it seems that the real problem is the two roads that "connect" Mbuasehube & Nossob. "Officialy" they say no trailers but lots of people do it with trailers. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing. We've done the Nossob Ecotrail and that is a definite no for trailers. ( ... and we don't have one anyway ...)
There are two roads between Muabuasuhube and Nossob. One is a 'public' road and allows traffic both directions. No booking required and depending on the time of year (rain etc) may be OK for trailers. The northern road is a one-way towards Nossob, must be booked in advance with certain restrictions on types and number of vehicles and because it is an eco trail no trailers are allowed.
2x4 vehilces and tyre pressure at 1 to 1.2 bar will do most sandy roads with enough momentum (note - not speed!). 4x4 high range does well in sand, again with enough momentum. High road clearance helps a lot as the 'middelmannetjie' can be high.
There are different type of trailers. Those without shock absorbers are problematic on any dirt road, as it helps to create currugations. (same as cars with worn out shocks and/or hard tyres.) Quality off-road trailers do have shock absorbers. Towing trailers over dunes remain a problem as the towing vehicle may mess up the roads when the tyres dig in deeper as it loses traction. Remember that it is like driving whilst dragging an anchor.
This forum had many discussions about the roads in the Kgalagadi, 4x4 for and against, trailers or not. The problem is that it is mostly inexperienced drivers that causes road conditions to deteriorate. Water does the rest.
Before you venture out there, make sure that you have tested your vehicles in near similar conditions. In Cape Town we have the soft dunes and tracks around Atlantis to test vehicles and driver skills. When the local authorities lay down rules for tyre pressure, 4x4 requirement, trailer access, please adhere to it. They take into consideration the local conditions and the capabilities of the average to worst drivers. There are not many travelers on some of these roads and if you land yourself into a difficult position the park management have to come to the rescue.
On this note I would like to thank the Nossob park rangers who rescued my german neigbours who had a breakdown with their car when the diesel pipe to the pump broke. They removed, welded and assembled the broken pipe during the night to have their car ready to continue their journey the next day. (This breakdown occurred on the main road to Nossob - not even on one of tre trails)
Can someone tell me about whether you really need a convoy of 2 cars in the Botswana side? I went to the Mabua side some years ago in one car only, and would like to do the same in March. Seems like you aren't allowed to do that from the SA side??
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:06 am
My understanding is that convoys of 2 or more vehicles are only required on certain of the wilderness trails. According to the Kgalagadi SANPARKS Official Information Guide, the only restriction on using the access road between Nossob and Mabua is that no trailers are allowed. However, if I remember correctly, there is a signpost at the start of the trail from the Nossob side restricting the trail to 4x4 vehicles only.
Having travelled the road last year, I would not recommend doing it in a standard car, the least you would need is a vehicle with fairly high ground clearance, preferably with diff-lock, and a good dose of sand driving experience. The start of the trail from Nossob has quite a few steepish but small sand dunes to climb with fairly thick sand going over the crests so even with a 4x4 you still need a bit of momentum to get over the dunes.
I will be doing the trail again, this time from the Botswana side, on Friday 14th March so maybe will see you along the road. Enjoy your trip.
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:06 am
Hi Johann We were at Rooiputs in May 2007 and it had still not been fixed then. We will be going to KTP in March and will pop in to have a look see. Will let you know, if no one else has already responded by then.
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:34 am
Location: Hannover, Germany
i just came back from Kgalagadi including some days Mabuasehube.
There are two roads to the botswana side (Mabuasehube area). The southern one is a two way track (access route) what can be driven with one car. The northern one (The Mabuasehube wilderness trail) is to book in advance in Botswana. It is only allowed to drive it with two cars.
Both routes are similar in terms of length and challenges.
In case of trouble it recommended to take the access route while driving with a single vehicle. There is "more" traffic.
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