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Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld

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WWalker
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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:08 pm

BDM CAPE TOWN wrote:Hi All, and a gr8 New Year to you!

We have friends heading to Gharagab next week, what are the track grass levels like this time of year?
Is a seed net a good idea?
Any other recent update on the track and camp would also be good.

Many thanks
B


I have just got back from Gharagab. The grass in the "middel-mannetjie" is very low. It should not be a problem at all.

William

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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:52 am

We have just got back home after a lovely week at Gharagab (three nights), Grootkolk (one night) and Gharagab (two more nights).

The main reason for going to Gharagab was because I grew up on a farm that was in the Kalahari, so I wanted to go “home” for a while. Any animals we saw would be a bonus.
I got the impression (rightly or wrongly) on this forum that Gharagab was/is not considered to be one of the places to go in KTP – particularly in terms of game-viewing, so I was not expecting too much. I also understand that everything changes with the seasons and the rainfall – what applies today might not apply next week. The luck of the draw is always a factor, as we were to find out at Grootkolk.

The drive in from Union’s End is really lovely, and the time of day and time of year will affect this too. It is true that this part of the drive could easily be undertaken in any two-wheel drive vehicle with 200mm plus ground clearance – as long as you don’t mind risking one or two scratches. However, I agree with Jumbo’s first post on this thread – the road out of Gharagab is a little more daunting.

Image_IGP3082 by William Walker500, on Flickr
Last edited by WWalker on Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:59 am

The point of Gharagab, I think, is to treat it like a twenty-four hour hide. Forget about all your previous “Game Reserve Habits” and stay put! The quiet and isolation are worth the price alone and the views from the “tower” at the back of the camp can offer spectacular views.

Image_IGP3096 by William Walker500, on Flickr
Last edited by WWalker on Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:00 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:08 am

We quickly settled into a routine that went something like this; up at sunrise and stay on the deck until it became too hot – around nine o’ clock. The views from the deck can also be pretty good – even without animals.

Image_IGP3108-2 by William Walker500, on Flickr

We would then have breakfast, followed by a shower and a snooze with occasional checks to see if anything was happening at the waterhole.
Last edited by WWalker on Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:22 am

At about two ‘o clock the shade starts to appear on the deck again and it gradually becomes more pleasant until about five ‘o clock, when it becomes fantastic. (Before I left, I asked the forum if it was necessary to take a beach-umbrella and was told not to worry – not good advice, I’m afraid - there is no shelter.)

Next time I go I will make some arrangement to have shade on the deck to extend the midday viewing hours. Also, the chairs provided are not that great - so good deck chairs will also be packed next time!

Black-backed Jackal were constant visitors - there must have been at least five different animals that came and went through the day.


Image_IGP3131 by William Walker500, on Flickr

But, there are all kinds of things to keep one interested!

Image_IGP3196 by William Walker500, on Flickr
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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:35 am

One of our "occasional checks", at 11:30 in the hot morning, provided us with this view...

Image_IGP3205 by William Walker500, on Flickr
He/She then came down to the water for a drink.

Image_IGP3210 by William Walker500, on Flickr
Last edited by WWalker on Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:06 am

At 04:50 the entire camp shook with the unforgettable sound of a lion roaring. This sound was immediately followed by the sound of eight pairs of feet hitting four different creaking floors! We were all onto our decks in a flash. This fellow came down for a drink.

Image_IGP3152 by William Walker500, on Flickr
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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:08 am

And was soon joined by this magnificent specimen...

Image_IGP3167 by William Walker500, on Flickr
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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:33 am

Where else can you sit on your deck and have a view like this?

The landscape is why I went, the lion in the foreground is the bonus.
Image_IGP3179 by William Walker500, on Flickr
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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:38 am

The following day we had some repeat visits.

Firstly from him/her...

Image_IGP3381 by William Walker500, on Flickr

and then,

the two males from the previous day, plus a female and three young large cubs.

Image_IGP3373 by William Walker500, on Flickr
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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:40 am

A nice portrait!

Image_IGP3376 by William Walker500, on Flickr
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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:27 am

For the rest of the time there were very few occasions when there was nothing going on. Some of the birds we saw there were:

the Sociable Weavers

Image_IGP3231 by William Walker500, on Flickr

Crimson Breasted Shrike

Image_IGP3545 by William Walker500, on Flickr
Last edited by WWalker on Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby WWalker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:49 pm

Gharagab is a great place to go as long as you are happy to stay in one place and wait to see what happens.

My tips would be, Take:
1) a comfortable deck-chair.
2) Two beach umbrellas. You could rig them onto the uprights of the deck with cable-ties. When the breeze blows it will be comfortable in the heat of the day.
3) Sun Screen.
4) The most powerful hand-held spotlight you can get. The floodlight is nice, but there is plenty of territory that it does not cover.
5)good quality binoculars for the night-time.
6) a small LED lamp in case the lights are not working.

I took loads of books to read and never opened one. I found it far more rewarding just looking and listening.

We had one night in Grootkolk and saw very little. Mary and I both thought the view and outlook at Gharagab was ten times better that Grootkolk.

It just goes to show - the luck of the draw is everthing.

We had a wonderful time at Gharagab and I would be happy to recommend it without reservation.

There were one or two negatives:

The seems to be a problem with the solar-panels - on the second day we were there, the generator ran the whole day. Not great when you have travelled a thousand-plus kilometres for some peace and quiet!

The creaking floorboards. Everyone has spoken about them.

Noisy, inconsiderate fellow visitors, especially when there were two or more couples.

Not enough to put me off though!!

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anne catherine
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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby anne catherine » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:38 pm

Thanks Walker for reporting :D
The landscape around Gharagab seems beautiful with very nice colors at the moment;love the scenaries pics :clap:
I see you were lucky there and had a lot of visitors, small and big ,nice to have these lions drinking at the waterhole.
I am flying off for KTP next week and hope to spend a night there if i can change with a night at Nossob so it was nice to share your feed-back about this place :D


___________________________________

KTP,14th january-3rd february.
2N TR
2N Mata-mata
2N Urikaruus
2N Kieliekrankie
2N Nossob
2N Grootkolk
3N Nossob
1N Kieliekrankie
2N Urikaruus
2N TR

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Re: Kgalagadi: Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Unread postby anne-marie » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:14 pm

thank you WWalker... and for me the bonus is the Cheetah :clap:
nice description, great visitors and superb scenaries :gflower:
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye
Le Petit Prince

planing KTP janv/fev.2016


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