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Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

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Jumbo

Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:33 am

Taken from our June 2005 trip report
Gharagab:
The two-track road to Gharagab is only accessible by a 4x4 vehicle. Although most of the road can be done by a 2x4 with high ground clearance, there is especially one dune that does require at least 4x4. If you have a 4x4 and are not too fussy about getting one or two scratches, this road is an experience on its own. Travelling on it you truly get the feeling that you are the only person on earth.
Game is not in such abundance as in the Grootkolk area. But because of the isolation and quietness in the area you can expect to have more rare sightings.
The units are elevated on wooden stilts and also overlook a watering hole. It comprises a long tent with the kitchen in front, bedroom in the middle section and en-suite bathroom at the back. Outside you have a wooden deck with your braai. From your deck you also have a stunning view.
The fittings, layout and appearance of the units are well thought out and of a high standard.
There is not a lot of traffic at the waterhole because the water at Gharagab is very salty - a shower is more like being prepared to become biltong.
If you are looking for peace and quiet, Gharagab is the place. We stayed 3 nights, and were alone in the camp on our third night. Are still reliving the absolute tranquillity and silence we enjoyed.

High: The silence and seeing eland, porcupine and meerkat on the 4x4 road.
Low: Leaving and the creaking of the wooden floorboards when the people in the unit on the other side of the camp walk around - but this can also be contributed to the silence.
Last edited by Jumbo on Mon May 01, 2006 9:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:00 pm

The 4x4 access route to Gharagab

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Last edited by Jumbo on Mon May 01, 2006 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:19 am

For those who are interested, here are a few more photos of the camp

As I mentioned, the unit is a long tent with everything inside. The flaps on the sides of the kitchen part can also be rolled up - in summer this will be handy to get a breeze and will also give you a kitchen with a stunning view.

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The water hole is visible from your deck area.

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On top of the water pumps they built a lookout tower. From here you can get a birds eye view of the surrounding - great for sundowners.

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Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Mon May 01, 2006 12:24 pm

More Gharagab photos

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Unread postby Nannie » Thu May 04, 2006 8:57 pm

Gharagab in green mode

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Last edited by Nannie on Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gharagab Info. Please

Unread postby AFRICAT » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:07 pm

I haven't seen much info. on Gharagab and we will be spending 5 weeks in the Kalahari in Sept.-Oct., with 5 days at Gharagab. We will have a Nissan X-Trail, which has gotten less than stellar reviews. Will this be able to make the dunes to the camp? Also, doesn't seem to be so many animals there, but the tranquility will be delightful, I'm sure. CAN'T WAIT!!!

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Unread postby j-ms » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:31 pm

We were at Gharaghab in September last year. The road in to the camp is very easy (no 4x4 needed) while the road out has a number of dunes but only one of them reasonably serious (which I screwed up on the first attempt by going up too slowly and running out of momentum - the price to pay for trying to be gentle). The XTrail might be a bit short on ground clearance where the track has been dug out, particularly at the approaches to the dunes but with sensible driving you shouldn't have any problems.

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Gharagab camp

Unread postby kevinst » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:04 am

Hi there all
I am planning a trip up to Gharagab as well as TweeRivieren and Nossob in december. I only have 2 x 4. the question is can i get to Gharagab with diff lock?

thanks

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Peter Betts
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Re: Gharagab camp

Unread postby Peter Betts » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:45 pm

Physically if you have a capable large vehicle but please dont do it in a 2x4 as you will contribute immensily to the destruction of that pristine and delicate environment by creating a bow wave with your front wheels and causing eventual massive corrugations and erosion ditches. All people should in fact drive in 4x4 there yes even on the normal roads..then those corrugations wont be so bad. However I realise that is impossible unless you drive a Defender with permanent 4 wheel drive like I used to have but the delicate duneveld is being ruined by hero drivers in HUGE Prados etc one who used to boast to me "Hey Pete I did the whole Bitterpan Route from Nossob To Kalahari Tented Camp in Record time and in 2 wheel drive!!"...Its ignoramuses like him who have ruined that road for our children and ourselves alike and sadly that route has been permanently scarred...Concerned Kalahari Die hards are trying to discourage the Brandy and Coke brigade in their cowboy fitted out F250 2x4's from going to KTP but rather go to Warmbaths or Badplaas. Rather go to Grootkolk ...its got much better sightings at the moment and you still have that wilderness feel as there is no passing traffic like Nossob etc Have you also thought about going to camp at the best camp in KTP ...Polentswa 10 kms in from Grootbrak windmill and you can go ina highrise Bakkie 2x4 as the road is flat and hard with a grass middlemannetjie. You have to book at Gabs though but the experience will knock the socks off anything Ghargab can offer and you will be on your own without the ever present guard on the South African side of the Park
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Unread postby Jumbo » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:32 am

@ j-ms.
Now I feel much better about my two attempts.
In November, the Tourist Attendant from Gharagab were standing in for Gert at Grootkolk and we had a few chats. He says Gharagab is now getting its water from another place and thus the water in the waterholes (and the showers ) are not that salty anymore. Due to this, they now have a lot of game around the camp and he says the lions are frequent visitors inside the camp.

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Unread postby Batsman » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:46 am

Thanks for the info, Jumbo.

We will visit Gharagab next year. It's the only camp on the South African side where i haven't been to.

Peter have you ever been to Mabuasehube? I think that beats Polentswa by a mile But we'll see next year, too.

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Unread postby Peter Betts » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:35 am

Batsman you are completely correct Mabua is the best...I was just prompting Kevin not to consider going to Gharagab ina 2x4 because of environmental damage particularly on the way out and Polentswa is great for a 2x4 wheras Mabua is Cruiser Bakkie/Defender country mainly.
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Unread postby Batsman » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:18 pm

Yep, i believe too that Polentswa is the best unfenced campsite that you can reach with a 2x4. I've been there for a day visit but haven't slept there.

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Gharagab camp

Unread postby bigal » Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:27 pm

Hi All

Our trip just gets better and better. Decided to book into Gharagab for 2 nights and was just wondering if anyone had any info or photos of this camp as it is the first time we will be staying there because Grootkolk is full . Also what is the game viewing like there and is the loop that the camp is on a one way or not?

Bigal

Only 54 more sleeps till KTP!!!!!!

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Re: Gharagab camp

Unread postby Pikasso » Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:37 pm

Yep Bigal, it's a one way loop, unfortunately!
I have no pix here, but the camp is vey beautiful and isolated, with a little tower from where you can observe around. The water hole is in front of you, downhill, about 30 meters away. The area is very beautiful, greener than the other parts when it is so dry everywhere.
We stayed only 3 nights there, 2 in may and 1 in october, so I can't tell a lot about animal viewing, but we heard lions in october at night, and Sakkie, the tourist assistant, told us that one of the lionnesses in the area is pregnant.
The only thing is the one way trail, so that when you stay two nights, you must do the whole loop to come back, or spend the day in the camp...
Last edited by Pikasso on Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gone... Our pics here: http://www.wildlions.eu


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