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 Post subject: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Location: Hillcrest, Durban
Hello everybody,
I am planning my first trip to the Kgalagadi Game reserve and would like to spend about a week there.
I have a lot of questions and hope that you guys can help.
1. I will be in a Hyundai Tucson (not 4x4, no dif lock etc), can I do it without getting stuck?
2. I do not want to get stuck on wet roads so when is the best time for no rain?
3. Which camps should I try for, I think 3 camps over 6 nights should be sufficient, but which are good ones? My thoughts are:
a. Twee rivieren on our first night
b. Then 2 nights are Urikaruus or Kalahari Tented camp
c. Then 2 or 3 nights at Nossob
d. Last night at KielieK / Twee rivieren again
4. Is petrol available at all the camps?
5. Can I buy wood/charcoal and water in the camps if I run out?
6. I have seen a few people mention punctures, and someone even mentioned bringing extra spare tyres;-) How do I not get punctures;-)
7. If I get stuck, what is the best thing to do?
I am not sure if this is off topic but I will be driving from Natal, staying over in Kimberley, (to see the Big Hole) and then I would also like to spend a night at Augrabies (either before or after Kgalagadi). Are there any other places that would warrant a visit in the area? (If yes, please PM me)

Thank you.

Jo


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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Hi josey, nice to see you are one of many going to 'the promised land' for the first time (of many).

1. Yes. You haven't said when, but I have seen sedans manage in the rainy season mud.
2. Late April to October is the dry season, but it could rain any time.
3. Looks fine to me.
4. Only at 2R, MM & Nossob.
5. There is a large recepticle full of wood packs at 2R, and MM & Nossob also sell it.
6. I have never had a puncture there in 8 visits. Make sure your tyres are in good nick and take your puncture repair kit. I also carry one of those aerosol jobbies. You will be deflating your tyres on the roads anyway.
7. Sit tight. Take enough food & drink for 3 days in the car. (that should guarantee that you don't get stuck) Every time you exit camp, you take your permit at the gate and write in a book your route. The theory is that they will come looking for you if you don't arrive. (Note to self - remember next time to tell KG that I volunteer to look for those lost with him). I have actually seen the guys at Nossob leaving camp on the way to help somebody who was stuck.

Stay at Augrabies. The night rides there have been cooking recently. :thumbs_up:

Hope this helps. Anything else, just ask.

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:18 pm 
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Hi josey

Welcome!

BB has pretty much covered everything. Just wanted to add something regarding your concerns about the Tucson. A couple of years ago my husband and I went up in a Tucson 4x2...in Feb. The day before we were to drive from Urikaruus to Grootkolk, we get told they have had thunderstorms of note north of Nossob and the roads are flooded. Now we were quite worried we wouldn't make it, get stuck etc. Anyway next morning we left Urikaruus bright and early to give ourselves ample travel time incase we got stuck. There were some sticky patches but the Tucson coped very well, and we pulled into Grootkolk with plenty of time to spare. The camp attendant mentioned our neighbouts were also due to arrive that day, but hadn't checked in yet...a little later we heard a car pull up...our neighbours must be here...wonder what 4x4/SUV they have...took a peek...parked next to our Tucson was a....Atos! It made it up with no problems, said the french lady that climbed out, together with her 80 year old mother!! The Atos won my respect that day...and so did french ladies!


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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:03 am 
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Location: Hillcrest, Durban
Thank you BB and Jo.
I am just a little nervous of sandy roads, I would rather stare down an ellie then a dodgy road :big_eyes: Jo, thanks for your reassuring travel tale.

BB, lets hope you are in the park when I am there, you sound very keen to come to the rescue :clap:
I am thinking May and June should be good months to avoid wet roads.

Thanks for the advise and I will definitely be asking more questions.

regards
Jo

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:27 am 
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Deflating you tyres to about 1.4 helps a lot.

The roads are not bad, in fact some are good, it is just when they are corrugated and need grading.

So wear a sports bra and make sure your false teeth are in tight.

The water there is brackish, so most people take their own to drink & cook.

The park is 'open', meaning you can see far, so there is no bush to obstruct sightings.

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:52 am 
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Oh BB, you make me laugh. The sports bra is a good tip and I have my own teeth :lol:

When you say I must have a "puncture repair kit" what exactly is that? :redface:

regards
Jo


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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:38 am 
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Being male, I have no sportsbra experience, I am going on hearsay. :roll:

Before we did a long trip to Bots & Nam, my wife and I had a slow puncture on each of our cars. We bought the puncture kit, pulled out the nail, slotted in the plug and pumped it up, on our own cars.

Confident that we can do it if we have to, we haven't had to do it since!

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:24 am 
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I've considered a puncture repair kit, but I don't know how to use one, so not sure how much use it would be? (I have watched other people doing it though). How necessary do you think it is?

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:11 am 
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Location: Bellville, Western Cape
Josh & Josey,


a Puncture repair kit you can purchase at any motor parts shop (Midas etc) and consist of:

1 x Tool with a handle to ream the puncture hole in the tyre a bit bigger
1 x Tool with a handle and a hole through the tip (similar to a large needle) to push the repair plug through the hole
1 x tube of solution
a few plugs (also called "snot" plugs)

What you do is the following:

Locate the puncture on the tyre - can only be used for punctures / holes on the tread of the tyre and not for sidewall cuts etc

Pull out whatever caused the puncture with a pair of pliers

Use the 1st tool mentioned above to ream out the hole in the rubber - push it in through the puncture hole and twist it clockwise/anti clockwise a couple of times until it moves in and out freely

Take one of the plugs, pull it through the hole in the tip of the 2nd tool mentioned above so that you have equal lengths on either side

Put a bit of solution on the plug as well as a bit in the hole

Push the plug through the hole to the inside of the tyre so that the 2 ends of the plug is still visible on the outside

Then give the tool a twist and pull it out fast - the tool normally has a sharp edge that will cut the plug so that you do not pull the plug out again.

Pump the tyre to the desired pressure - I would suggest first pump it to around 2.5 bar to get the plug to settle nicely and then wait 5 minutes and then deflate to the desired pressure - normally around 1.2 bar for the Kgalagadi roads.

Good luck.

Blackie

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:11 am 
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Thanks Blackie, I'll try pick one up.
I think I can organise a compressor too

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:36 am 
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Pleasure Josh.

Just one last aspect - I know we are off topic here - but if you do buy a compressor, do yourself a favour and buy a decent one at least 160 L/min. You will find them also at Midas / Autozone for around R800.

The duty cycle of the smaller ones are just not sufficient to inflate a tyre from scratch and you will burn it out before the tyre is inflated.

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:38 am 
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Well said Blackie. :thumbs_up:

It is a while since I did it.

The fact that you CAN do it, means you probably won't have to. :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:10 am 
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You guys are great!
I have seen those plug things! (similar to getting a corkscrew into a bottle of wine :tongue: )

BB I like your logic. Of course you won't get a puncture if you are well prepared and ready with your repair kit :tongue:

Again, thank you for your valued advice everyone!!

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:54 am 
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
I got a puncture repair kit yesterday. Let's hope that we don't need to use it.
Tip for future reference, don't buy all your stuff at Outdoor Warehouse, Makro and PlasticLand (and others) have the same things for a lot less...

Out of interest, has anyone tried filtering the water in KTP to get rid of the taste? I've got a small filter that I use for hiking. Planning to take it with, see if it makes a difference to the taste.

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 Post subject: Re: Lots of questions for first time Kgalagadier
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Hi josey. Most of your questions have been comprehensively answered however perhaps you should consider a visit to Mokala NP during your stop over in Kimberley - about 45 km south of Kimberly. We stopped there on the way back from KTP earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

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