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 Post subject: First time Kgalagdi
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:28 pm
Posts: 4
Location: uk
We will be making our first visit to Kgalagadi in about a months time starting on 15th Oct., there will be 4 adults, myself & my wife, our daughter and her new husband on part of their honeymoon. After staying in Upington and picking up our 4x4, we will have 9 nights in the park starting with 1 night at TR, 2 at KT, 2 MM, 2 NSB, 1 Bitterpan and finally back to MM for our last night. Reading these forums on a regular basis I am pretty sure we have most things covered, however I do have a few questions to ask. I have seen on here that TR is a good camp to do a morning walk, can we book this when we arrive, or should we/can we pre book? Not having any experience of driving a 4x4, are we likely to have difficulties on some roads, like the access to Bitterpan, and finally is it feasible to drive from our last camp MM back to Upington to arrive mid afternoon. Getting so excited now after nearly a year in planning.
Many thanks.
Martyn & Linda


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 Post subject: Re: First time Kgalagdi
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Hi Matbe,

I'll try and give answers to some of your questions........

1. Morning walks can be booked on morning you arrive there or you could send an email an prebook before arrival.

2. As long as you deflate your tyres enough for the loose dune sand, you should not have problems on the Bitterpan road.

3. It should be no problem driving from MM to Upington (we've done it many times in the past.)

Enjoy every moment and please share your experience with us and write a TR....... :thumbs_up:

_________________
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West


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 Post subject: Re: First time Kgalagdi
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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matbe wrote:
I have seen on here that TR is a good camp to do a morning walk, can we book this when we arrive, or should we/can we pre book?

Yes, yes, but I would pre book it, because KG might not be available at the last minute.
matbe wrote:
Not having any experience of driving a 4x4, are we likely to have difficulties on some roads, like the access to Bitterpan,

I am told there is only one challenging dune on the Bitterpan road, otherwise, let the tyres down to about 1.5 bars, and drive in '4' all the time. It would help to have some experience, or chat to somebody who does beforehand.
matbe wrote:
and finally is it feasible to drive from our last camp MM back to Upington to arrive mid afternoon.

Yes. Leave early and don't have any 'WOW" sightings :twisted:

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Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".


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 Post subject: Re: First time Kgalagdi
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:55 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
You can do morning walks from other camps too. I highly recommend doing one from Nossob, the guide we had (Melissa) is one of the best guides I've ever walked with, and one of the best walks I've done (and fortunately I've done a few).

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 Post subject: Re: First time Kgalagdi
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:28 pm
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Location: uk
Many thanks for the replies, thinking about it a morning walk at Nossob might be a better idea, as by then we will have been in the park 4 or 5 days and be more settled and used to our surroundings. A quick question on Bitterpan, from what I have read on here, it doesn't appear to be a great area for game, lots of comments on the peace and silence, but very few about any sightings.
Ticking off the days. :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: First time Kgalagdi
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 184
Location: Germany
I agree with Josh of the Bushveld.
We did a walk from Nossob on two different trips and Melissa is a great guide.
We learned a lot of interesting things and a walk in the Kgalagadi is something special.
However, from what I read on the forum, at Twee Rivieren the chances are better to see lions on your walk.

Nina


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 Post subject: Re: First time Kgalagdi
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:58 pm
Posts: 244
Location: Stellenbosch
Quote:
be more settled and used to our surroundings
that is a big advantage indeed
we did the walk in 2R in the beginning and it was a super start to a KTP stay
it all depends on your schedule
once in KTP you do not want to rush at all


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 Post subject: Re: First time Kgalagdi
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:32 pm
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Location: Stellenbosch (KTP in my Dreams)
Hi Martyn,

About the 4x4 driving, as correctly stated previously, on unsealed/dirt surfaces it is always better from a safety perspective to drive in 4x4 mode.

In sand your tyre pressure will be dependant on the load you are carrying, but if your load is not extremely heavy, then you can run pressures at 1.2 bar cold. When doing this however you will need to re-inflate before driving faster than 50km/h. The things you will need to be careful of is rapid direction changes when the tyres are deflated to that pressure. Generally the only possible difficulties will be ascending hills, and there you would be best in 3rd gear low-range. You will be able to pull away in that gear, and it will allow you to get sufficient momentum without risking spinning and digging yourself in. In summer, with high temperatures, more flotation will assist, but 1.2 - 1.5 bar should be the tyre pressure range dependant on your load.

In sand it is also advisable, should you get stuck to take a look at where your wheels are pointing before trying to recover as the thick sand sometimes masks the feeling at the wheels.

Another tip is that when riding on the flat, do not brake to stop in thick sand unless it is to avoid hitting something as this builds a wall of sand in front of the tyre which you then have to overcome when pulling away again. Rather just engage the clutch and let the vehicle roll to a stop. The resistance offered by the sand should stop you quite quickly. If the ground is firmer, just use gentle braking.

Needless to say, get the car rental company to explain the process of using the 4x4 system, or find a similar vehicle near your home, and get some instruction before leaving. Different 4x4 vehicles would have different modes or operation.

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

G

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Can't wait to get back in May for a 4th trip.

KTP: 19-26 May 2014


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 Post subject: Re: First time Kgalagdi
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:39 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Hagley,UK
Hi, Like you I am from uk and a novice at 4x4 driving.
We went to Bitterpan a few years ago and the drive was fine. I cant add much to what has been said except that it is wise to engage low ratio well before any sandy inclines and take them steady and not fast,as there can be a change of direction just over the summit,which you may not see if going too fast.
As for the game,you are correct in thinking it can be quieter than the river valleys,but any sighting is likely to be on your own....bliss.
I would advise leaving Nossob early afternoon which will give you plenty of time to get there,then just chill and enjoy the solitude.There are not really any worthwhile drives from the camp so would not suggest going out in the evening.
We are off to KTP next Easter but couldn't get a booking for Bitterpan on the day we wanted it so enjoy for us.


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