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 Post subject: 4x4 mandatory in Kgalagadi?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:43 pm 
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Hi everyone!

I've been reading thoroughly the forum and I know 2x4 vs 4x4 is a very common topic, but my question is a little bit different than the ones I've found so far.
Just a little premise: this august will be my first time in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. I arranged a long trip with a week stay in the Kgalagadi, and then some more weeks in Namibia (going through MataMata) before come back so SA and the Kruger Park... (that's my honeymoon
A couple of months ago I booked Gharagab, expecting to get a 4x4 in Johannesburg Airport and drop it off in Windhoek airport. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find one car rental who allowed me to do so... so I've been forced to switch to a Nissan X-Trail 2x4.
I asked therefore to Sanpark (reservations@sanparks.org) to cancel my booking in Gharagab, explaining that I won't drive a 4x4 and asking them to change my booking that day to a more "conventional" camp like Nossob.
This is their answer:

Sir/Madam

The whole Kgalagadi Transfrontier park need 4x4 vehicle. You can not
drive/use any vehicle in the park. For any cancellations, you will
forfeit the whole money you paid for that night(s). We never cancel as
yet, because it have to cancel the whole booking/find 4x4 vehicle for
this trip, the roads in the park are bad.Thank you.



So what? they won't allow me to enter the park AT ALL?
That would be a real catastrophe for me and my wife... we really can't wait to be in the Kgalagadi, so that would a tremendous blow for our honeymoon...
Off course, since my english is not so good, maybe I'm just missing something.

Please help... Thank you!

Lorenzo


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:34 pm 
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Hi Lorenzo

Something sounds not right here. Hold on a while, lets try and get some info...

We are sure that a 4x2 will be sufficient for most areas in the park, but as you found, there are some areas where a 4x4 is mandatory.

In the meanwhile I suggest that you again try and move that one night to another "conventional" main camp. It might just work this time!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:43 pm 
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Just a question. How many nights did you book at Gharagab? Did they tell you that there were no other space available in the entire park for that date / dates?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:06 pm 
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Thanks Imberbe!

Actually my mail looked more like this:

"Since I'm not able to obtain a 4x4 and I know it is mandatory to Gharagab, I booked in Nossob the same day, please cancell my old booking (or switch to the new one if there is a chance) for Gharagab".

In fact I had ALREADY booked Nossob in the very moment I understood I couldn't have a 4x4 (as you surely have understood when I didn't get a 4x4 with such a short notice I panicked... and I was ready to book everything still avalaible).

Sorry I haven't been more specific from the start.
Anyway I suppose is just a mistake from the office since no matter how hard I try, I can't find any news about a 2x4 ban on the park.
Hope so...


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:12 pm 
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Hi Lornioiz and Welcome!

Do not panic! A 2x4 is fine for KTP, the only camps that require a 4x4 are Gharagab and Bitterpan. I traveled the full length and breadth of the park last September in a VW Polo, no worries. You'll do just fine in a 2x4 X-Trail. Have a great trip and a great honeymoon!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:08 pm 
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I used a Toyota Tazz in KTP September 07 and had no problems with the 2 main roads.

Friends of ours are going Sept 08 and are also worried about the roads - the SANParks booking confirmation has a bold print at the bottom, something like "park is not suitable for sedan vehicles". In my opinion it should rather read "we recommend 4x4 / high clearance vehicle".

We found the last stretch to TR (from Upington) to be worse than the 2 river roads inside the park - as long as you don't rush it. Having said that it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. I think most people who have car troubles on that road simply try to drive it too fast.

My question to add (on behalf of my friends): what is the road linking Dikbaardskolk to Urikaruus like? They'll have a 2x4 bakkie with normal (not "bush") trailer. The bottom link road (from Kij Kij to Auchterlonie) we tried when there last year (from the west side) and had to turn around due to the bad corrugations and our limited time on that specific day.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:20 pm 
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absolutely no problems !! X-trail 2X4 will be very comfortable. Even a sedan can do it.. I don't know who gave you that answer , but he must have been very tired at that time. No worries. it will be easy !!!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:44 am 
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I drive a 4x2 X Trail. Went to the park in May 2007 and May 2008.
I had absolutely no problems getting around the park - except that you cannot go to the 2 camps mentioned in the previous post. Travelled the dune road between Urikaruus and Dikbaardskolk without any problems.

Enjoy your trip


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:24 am 
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besides , is an X-trail 4X4 enough to do the small Leeuwdril trail , or do we have to get anythig "heavier"?X


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:38 am 
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Quote:
Friends of ours are going Sept 08 and are also worried about the roads - the SANParks booking confirmation has a bold print at the bottom, something like "park is not suitable for sedan vehicles".


We've booked for December but there is no such warning on our booking confirmation. Only
Quote:
Access Road Askham to Twee Rivieren badly
damaged


and

Quote:
Guests traveling to Twee Rivieren via Upington/Van Zylsrus must
not drive at high speeds as the gravel sections on both routes are badly corrugated.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:28 pm 
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pucelou wrote:
besides , is an X-trail 4X4 enough to do the small Leeuwdril trail , or do we have to get anythig "heavier"?X


hey, I've done the Leeudril a couple of times with my Terios, and no problems whatsoever ... so unless the X-trail 4x4 is a LOT worse than a teeny little Terios, with a 1300cc engine, you shouldn't have any problems ....


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:41 pm 
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wilmaw wrote:
We found the last stretch to TR (from Upington) to be worse than the 2 river roads inside the park - as long as you don't rush it. Having said that it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. I think most people who have car troubles on that road simply try to drive it too fast.



Agreed. Did the entry road to TR and the last bit (think 16 km) is very good. Just obey the signs for a sharp turns.
Rest is all tarmac.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:06 pm 
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The following statement now appears on the homepage of Kagalagadi Transfrontier Park

Quote:
Kindly note that the roads in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are not sedan friendly, although the roads are maintained on a monthly basis, sedan vehicles find it difficult to cope with the conditions. Should sedan users wish to use their vehicles, they are welcome to do so, as park management endeavors to maintain the roads as effectively as conditions allow, in order to make your stay a memorable one!


Obviuosly this statement has been added to the homepage because there has been a lot of complaints about the road conditions ( especially from sedan drivers). This does not mean that sedans cannot use the roads ....just be warned that it is going to be a bumpy ride.

The following also appears on my latest booking form

Quote:
Twee Rivieren is the only camp with a restaurant and public phones (card and coin). Guests traveling to Twee Rivieren via Upington/Van Zylsrus must
not drive at high speeds as the gravel sections on both routes are badly corrugated. INTERNAL ROADS ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR SEDAN
VEHICLES.


It seems now that if visitors go in Sedans they can no longer complain about the roads because they have been warned that the roads are not suitable !!!!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:28 pm 
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Michelle I was just going to comment about that but I see you beat me to it. At least they now make people aware of the possibility of bad internal roads.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:18 pm 
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It took a long time for SANP to admit that the roads in KTP can at times be 'challenging' for sedans. A big applause to SANP for now making potential visitors aware of these sometimes challenging roads


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