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 Post subject: Re: Nossob, 8th/9th July 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:43 pm 
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2fast4Roadrunner wrote:
We will arrive in Windhoek on July 7th. We will do a stopover somewhere and wanted to enter KTP on July 8th.

However, today we were lucky :D
We checked the availability and a camp site was available in Mata Mata on July 9th (it is not Nossob but better than nothing). :dance:
So perhaps we are lucky again and will find an available camp site for July 8th.

We thought about staying outside the reserve but in this case we would be at the gate during the best time for photography. And this is a pity.

In the meantime Botswana answered by mail!!!! Unfortunately they are fully booked.

Best regards,
Christine and Mathias


Hi Christine and Mathias,

You are visiting the park during the school holidays, therefore the difficulties to get place. We could only get campsites at TR from 1 - 9 July nearly 8 months back. I am also on the lookout for alternative camps, but most likely have to wait until end May when the full deposit must be paid in. If you still unlucky I am sure we can get a spot for you at our site at TR and then share with you on the 9th at Mata-Mata.

Contact me closer at the time if still need the campsite.

Visiting the Fish River Canyon is a great idea and what about Sesriem? See you at Mata-Mata then if not earlier. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:20 am 
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mve100 wrote:
Hi

Just wanted some advice from people that have been to Rooiputs. We are going in April to Mabua and Rooiputs. My question is with the stories of frequent lion visits in the camps will it be ok to go in a nylon ground tent? Also considering we have one year old twins going with

Thanks


Hi mve, welcome to the forum!
I just wanted to understand if you already know how the Botswana camps are. We were there in December and we loved them, but I can't imagine being there with two small kids...
If you already know them and your concern is with lions, in Mabua area we saw many lions, one of them at midday under the A shelter of Khiding camp... When we slept in Rooiputs, early in the morning we found 4 of them at the waterhole, some 700 meters from the camp.
But in the campsites we didn't have problems, the only animals coming close were a pair of jackals, but they go if you shout.


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Yes we know what to expect in terms of the camps and we will take precautions in terms of the kids in tent early etc. We will be three vehicles so we will also use shade cloth to make sort of laer at the kampsites.

My main question is if a canvas tent is a better option than a normal nylon tent? We currently have a nylon one so the option would be to rent or buy a canvas tent.


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Hi mve100,

I am not sure if it really matter what type of material your tent is made of but I would imagine the reaction of the people inside the tent when they hear lions will make a difference. Lions might approach a tent when they hear a child crying inside and try to find what is inside. I would imagine canvas will just as easily been riped open by lions as nylon.

Last year I went on the 4x4 Eco trail and luckily did not see any lions. On the trip a 1 year child came along, but this little guy grew up in KTP and was very quiet at night. Most of us slept in either nylon or canvas ground tent. We also had a field guide with a rifle accompany us which at least gave me the assurance that he would be able to help out in case lions approached the camp and became aggressive.

IMO I would not feel safe with a child I must protect in case of lions walking through the camp. Also the lack of having a rifle will put me off taking my child to an unfenced camp. Even at the wilderness camp the policy is no children under 12 year allowed. A camp attendant is also available at these camps, but it was still decided not to allow children. Botswana's policies are different and you are allowed to take children.
I would still only visit these camps in a rooftop tent or alternatively a 4x4 motorhome.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:48 pm 
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mistral wrote:
This has been posted on the web by the tourist in the tent:

"About 1:30 am I awoke to the sounds of Hyenas in the distance, although clearly it was not this sound that had woken me. Very quickly I hear the distinct sound of the male lions "cough", very close to my tent. My 2 mates who had joined me had also woken and had called to me that there were lions outside to which I whispered to them to keep silent. One of the guys , my mates cousin was on his first trip to a game park and was his first night. He had never even pitched a tent before...

Soon I felt tugging and pulling on my tent. I was uncertain of what was going on and then realised that it was probably cubs that were being nosey. but then they got a little too nosey and were chewing on the ropes of my tent, severing it and causing it to collapse a good section of the tent, then they were tugging on the air mattress as the bulge was sticking through the tent.. a very frightening thought so early in the morning and in pitch darkness. I remember my heart was racing and my mouth was dry and I could barely breathe.
after a while I noticed the cubs were chewing on the zips and heard one of them give way, this being the cover of the tent, as well they were having a right good time with other apparel that we had at camp... I had a small tear in the fabric of the fly screen, maybe 10cm vertically, and when I could see that the cubs were finding some interesting to have a look at through the rip I was scared they would rip it further so I kept flashing my flashlight at them though this gap.. this seemed to scare them off and they disappeared. However I think the disturbance got the interest of the large male and he came to have a look, pushing at least half of his head into the tent through the rip making it now over half a meter. I took my flashlight and was going to shine it on and off in his eye to try and blind him a bit, but at the time actually hit him on the face just above the eye. after that he left me to some small amount of peace.

About 10 minutes or so passed and I called to my mate in the tent next to me to see if they had all left and he said that there was still a male laying not far from my tent. Not having heard anything in 5 minutes I asked again, to which he said the same thing. Thinking he may be having a laugh with me I had a look out the tent and the coast looked clear. I climbed out and shone the torch around, not realising that in fact his tent faced the opposite direction to mine, and true as bob there about 2m from where I was standing was the male lion having a sit down just staring at me. I did not even think and just made a dash for the vehicle which was parked just off the other side of camp. I then started the engine and drove around to the tents where the male was, he got up and walked off. I then took a quick drive around Rooiputs with the spotlight and saw a group of cubs about the size of a border collie and a group of females and another male, about 12 or so in total based on the number of eye reflections at the time.

After that I got my mates and we drove to have a look but only the one male was still about and one of the cubs in the long grass.

The next day we checked out of Rooiputs in fear of another 2 nights that we had booked. However our fear slowly left us a few days later and we spent our last 2 nights of the Kgalagadi back at Rooiputs, although I did sleep in the car as I felt that having a half meter rip in the door of my tent was just not a grand idea for Rooiputs.

The first morning of our stay back we actually saw the pride on the horizon at sunrise and managed to get some magical photographs and also had the big male that I believe visited me sitting just a few meters from us in the long grass just half a kilometre for camp.

Hope you enjoyed my story, if sounds like a lot of fun, but I can tell you I would never wish to go through this again. But in a way glad I did."

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:50 pm 
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After reading 270+ replies here and most of the things in the KTP roads thread I am still left with some unanswered questions.
It seems there are two roads running on both sides of the Nossob river, one corrugated on the SA side and one sandy on the BW side. 
Can you just cross over from one side to the other at any point or only at specific crossings? If so where are these crossing points? The maps I have found do not indicate separate roads for SA and BW.
During our stay in KTP we need to cross over several times and it would be helpful to know where and how to cross.

Our trip:

CTN -> Augrabies -> Rooiputs -> Polentswa -> Nossob walking safari -> Rooiputs -> ??? -> Cederberg -> CTN...

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Hello forty two and welcome.

There are 2 roads running from TR towards Nossob at the moment.

The main TR-Nossob road is still under construction and has been closed for months.

A section of it was opened a few months ago as far as Leeudril waterhole.

This was then extended a bit further towards Rooiputs.

The Botswana authorities have allowed SA tourists to use the previously private road to Rooiputs camp in order to get to Melkvlei and so onto the Nossob road.

Quote:
Can you just cross over from one side to the other at any point or only at specific crossings?

You may only cross over where it is marked "to Rooiputs" and nowhere else.

I'm sure others will also add to this as well and KG should comment tomorrow :thumbs_up:
Enjoy your trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:08 pm 
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Thank you p@m,

Wow, that is a quick reply...

So for my understanding, at TR traffic splits in two, one driving on the SA side and the other on the BW side. Between Rooiputs and Melkvlei the SA road is being worked on and all traffic shifts over to the BW side, then at Melkvei the SA traffic moves back again to the other side of the river.

The maps show the watering holes to be mostly on the SA side of the river, does this mean that there is less opportunity for game viewing on the other side or does this make no difference? 

Grtz 42

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:11 am 
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Hi there forty two,

Firstly welcome to the forum, hope you will have a great time here.

Regarding your question on the roads P@M has given you the in’s and out’s but just to clear up some uncertainty.

The Nossob road is closed just north of Leeuwdril, at the closing point there is a marked road turning right onto the Botswana two track road (These roads are not marked on the maps). The two track road leads to Kij Kij waterhole where it joins the main road on the S.A. side again.

The two roads run parallel with each other about 50/80m. You will still be able to see the waterholes (depending on how tall the grass is at the time). From the Two track road on the Botswana side you will be able to enter Rooiputs camp site.

Hope it helps, if there is anything else you would like to know please let us know.

KG

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:12 pm 
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Thank you Jan,

I am already having so much fun reading all the stories on this forum. I have taken it upon me to plan this trip to Augrabies-Kgalagadi-Cederberg and if the anticipation is anything to go by this is going to be one fantastic trip.

The picture of the BW road along Nossob river is getting clearer. What is the situation like north of Kij Kij? Is there a road on the BW side all the way up to Polentswa, or is this only along certain parts of the route?

What would be the travel time from Polentswa to Nossob driving at a leisurely pace?

We will be entering and exiting the park at the SA side (2R) but do spend half the time on the BW side as I understand it this way there is no need to bother with customs each time we go from one side to the other. Have I understood this correctly?

Jan, I guess we will see each when you're fending off the lions on the !Xerry trail.

Sorry about the many questions, we're all a bunch of lighties but somehow the others look at me for answers.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Hello forty two -- me again :lol:

First of all -- the KTP is a transfrontier park -- which means you can go into and out of Bots as many times as you like :D You only need to clear customs/immigration if you are entering from one country and exiting into another.

Quote:
What is the situation like north of Kij Kij?

You use the main road to Nossob -- the SA one :lol:

Download the map from here : http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kgalagadi/tourism/map.php in pdf format -- it makes things a lot clearer.

Quote:
What would be the travel time from Polentswa to Nossob driving at a leisurely pace?


Depending on sightings, of course, it is about 65 km which, for me anyway, is about 2 hours or more :whistle: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:48 am 
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@fourty two,

To get to Polentswa you will be driving on the S.A.side the main road towards Nossob, the only Bots detour is the one in mention at Rooiputs.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:29 am 
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Dear p@m, KG,

The map as provided by SanParks was where my confusion started as this shows only one road all the way through the Nossob valley. I did a virtual exploration of the route via Google Maps (I do like my maps) and now have a pretty good idea what the layout of the roads in the park looks like. Thank you for you help.

Now I will only have to worry about convincing my fellow travelers that lions in camp are not something to dread but to look forward to.

Considering the unfenced camps do the A-frame and a fire give you some protection or do you look for your tent as soon as it gets dark ? (i.e. is there something that can be considered a 'safe'/'unsafe' bedtime ?)

On a side note: from those aerial photographs it is pretty clear some people have a lot of trouble driving ON the road, looks like a 10 lane highway at some points.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: Botswana section
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Quote:
some people have a lot of trouble driving ON the road, looks like a 10 lane highway at some points.


And that is a HUGE problem :evil: It is such a sensitive area and damage like that takes a long time to heal :(

Regarding the map --- there is actually only one road from TR to Nossob :lol: The main one shown on the map.
Botswana have their own 2-track from Two Rivers to Rooiputs. So, if you are in Bots, enter the park at Two Rivers and go to Rooiputs, that is the one you would use.
Everyone else uses the main Twee Rivieren - Nossob road. Then they decided to re-do the road from Twee Rivieren to Nossob because of its frequent flooding, etc.

And that is where the trouble started :lol: Everyone then used the Twee Rivieren to Auchterlonie and then the lower dune road, or Twee Rivieren to Kamqua and then the upper dune road, to get to the Nossob side.
Folk staying at Rooiputs got a permit from the Bots authorities and used the 2-track.

Once the Nossob road was opened in sections, KG negotiated with the Bots authorities to allow SA tourists to use their road without a permit to get to both Rooiputs and Kij Kij. So that is why there was some confusion over which road to use.

Do hope it is clearer now :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Camp sites
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:04 pm 
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How do i book at Rooiputs,Witgat,Swartbas and Polentswa?


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