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Advice for a first timer

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

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Redkitewatcher
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Advice for a first timer

Unread postby Redkitewatcher » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:40 am

We have been visiting Kruger for the last 5 years and love it. We have been recommended to try and visit KTF but as first timers our mind is whirring around with all the suggestions. We would be looking at travelling in March next year, and have about 7-10 days to visit. We wouldn't want to camp , if we are able to book chalets what would people suggest. We would fly to Joberg and stay with friends for a couple of nights and then catch an early flight to Upington. So questions:
1 Do we need a 4x4 ? We would not feel confident about going off the main routes.
2. Which camps/ wilderness camps would you recommend and in what order.
3. If there is no power overnight will food keep overnight in fridge if we buy it from Upington?
4. How far realistically can you look at travelling in a day.
5. Can you hire a suitable car/ 4x4 from the airport or do people recommend hiring from someone Independant.
Any other top tips or recommendations for a newbie?

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arks
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Re: Advice for a first timer

Unread postby arks » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:14 am

Hi Redkitewatcher and Welcome!

I will try to answer a few of your questions as best I can, altho I am not a KTP "regular" as many are :wink: That said,
1. IMO you do not need a 4x4 unless you are planning to stay at Bitterpan or Gharagab. I have always visited in a sedan (VW Polo, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Corolla) and in many ways I prefer it, as I like being on 'eye level' with lions and other animals. However, other visitors prefer to be higher and look down. As well, some of the verges along parts of some of the roads are a bit high, but to be honest, I've never felt that I was missing anything.
2. With 7-10 days, I would suggest no more than 3-4 camps, so that you can spend 2-3 nights at each and not waste too much time with packing up and moving camp. There is more availability in the main camps, but I would try to book at least one of the wilderness camps if possible. A good itinerary might be Twee Rivieren, Nossob, Urikaruus (or Kieliekrankie or Kalahari Tented Camp), Twee Rivieren.
3. Food keeps just fine overnight when the power is turned off, just try not to open the fridge when the power is off. Also you can get your meat both vacuum packed and frozen and then you only defrost what you will eat each night. I also always keep lots of ice on hand.
4. You can travel between TR and Nossob, Nossob and Mata Mata, and Mata Mata and TR each easily in a day. How far you can comfortably travel will depend both on sightings and on how much driving (and how fast) you are comfortable with. When you are staying at Nossob and at Urikaruus, you have a choice of going either north or south for your drives, and from Twee Rivieren you have the choice of either the Nossob or Auob roads (a good loop drive from TR is to take one of the river roads and then cross over the lower dune road and return on the other river road). Other camp locations are slightly more limiting, but there are always interesting drives, wherever you stay, even tho there are so few roads -- just the two riverbed roads and the two dunes roads that connect them.
5. I've always hired my car from the Upington airport. I now use Avis, but I have also used AutoEurope, a consolidator, in the past and been happy with both.

Other things to note: There is no cell phone signal except at TR and I would recommend purchasing an inverter so that you can charge camera batteries and other electronics in your car. Also remember that the KTP water is brackish so you need to bring all your drinking and cooking water with you and it is far less expensive to purchase that in Upington.

I'm sure others will have further recommendations. Have a great trip!
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town

Redkitewatcher
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Re: Advice for a first timer

Unread postby Redkitewatcher » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:30 am

Many thanks that was a great help. Will start looking at the maps. Maybe
Being a bit dim what is an inverter? Is it something you plug in the cigarette
Lighter ? I guess I can buy in the Uk

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arks
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Re: Advice for a first timer

Unread postby arks » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:23 am

Yes the inverter is plugged into the cigarette outlet. Try googling for it

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=car+inverter

I got mine from Amazon.com and it's made by Bestek, but it's for US plugs. But I'm sure there's a UK version ...... Fount it! This looks like the UK version of what I have

http://www.amazon.co.uk/BESTEK%C2%AE-in ... B00INW611Y

Good luck!
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town

NotSoMuchACityBoy
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Re: Advice for a first timer

Unread postby NotSoMuchACityBoy » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:45 am

Thanks for the advice Arks...you answered all my questions. ;)
If Traveling was FREE, you'd NEVER see me again...

Hippotragus
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Re: Advice for a first timer

Unread postby Hippotragus » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:10 pm

Hi redkitewatcher.

I think the first thing you must do is look at the availability of accommodation in KTP for the dates you want. The park is very popular and a lot of the accommodation (particularly the Wilderness Camps, with only 4 2-bedded units in each) get fully-booked within minutes of the bookings opening.

Having said that, cancellations do occur and I would advise you check the availability daily and book what you can.

There are very few roads in KTP, compared to Kruger Park. Basically there is a road up the Aoub River and a road up the Nossob River and then two roads which link those roads - the Lower Dune Road and the Upper Dune Road. There are also two camps, Bitterpan and Gharagab, which are only reached by 4x4 tracks.

Good luck with the planning.

Any questions - come here (the Forum) for answers.
KTP May 2015

Redkitewatcher
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Re: Advice for a first timer

Unread postby Redkitewatcher » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:56 pm

Thanks I have been advised how quickly they book up. I have the date that bookings Open on my calendar and I will phone as soon as the office opens, so fingers crossed

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Unread postby Hippotragus » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:04 pm

I don't quite follow your comment "when the bookings open" - as far as I know they open 11 months in advance - i.e. March 2016 opened 1st April 2015. Looking at the availability, some camps (e.g. Urikaruus) are already fully-booked. Some still have some spaces.

Have a look at the availability and get on the phone, sooner rather than later.

I have physically been at the booking office at 5.30 a.m. on the first day of the month 11 months before I want a booking, to get in the queue. Even then, when the office opens at 7.30 a.m., in the first 10 minutes some camps fill up.

Good luck.
KTP May 2015

Redkitewatcher
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Re: Advice for a first timer

Unread postby Redkitewatcher » Mon May 04, 2015 8:49 pm

Hi,Hippotragus, What I meant is that as I wanted to book for April 2016 I would be on the phone at 7.30am on the 1st May. Which I was only to be told that as it was a bank holiday booking for April would not open until today. Tried again this morning , only to find that a technical problem had caused all the phones and online bookings to crash!! Beginning to think I was doomed.
However when I did get through managed to get into all but 1 camp we wanted to go to, we were lucky we could be flexible about dates through the whole of April.
Didn't get into Urikaruus which was our favourite, which as you stated was already fully booked, However will keep checking the booking and if there are any cancelleations will try and swap
Very happy though :D Can't wait!

Hippotragus
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Re: Advice for a first timer

Unread postby Hippotragus » Mon May 04, 2015 8:55 pm

So glad you managed to get a booking, Redkitewatcher!

Keep an eye on cancellations for Urikaruus - though I have been doing that for the last 11 months and nothing has come up for the time we will be in KTP.

You will have a fantastic trip - enjoy!
KTP May 2015


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