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 Post subject: Re: Should I make the change?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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From Nossob, you have a choice to go either north or south on your day drives. Also the is Maries, which often delivers. At KTC you are restricted to one road only. I would stay at nossob for the night and give that area a chance. It is all about being at the right place at the right time.

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Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:32 am
Posts: 18
Perhaps I'm being a bit too spontaneous, but last night I booked a flight from San Francisco to JNB with the goal of exploring KTP. Arriving JNB the morning of Feb. 13 and departing the evening of Feb. 26. I've surveyed availability over this time and its a bit hit and miss. I don't mind camping, which might be needed at some camps on some dates. and it would save a bit of money. But hauling the gear from California would be a hassle. I'd like to get to some of the wilderness camps, but with one exception (Kalahari) only "4x4" camps are available during this time.

Here are my preliminary questions related to planning.

1. Are there reasonable "off-airport" 4x4 rentals near JNB? The rental agencies place a significant premium on these rentals. I'd like the flexibility and expanded opportunities that a 4x4 would provide, but not at the high costs that I've found so far.

2. Is there a reputable location to rent camping gear?

3. Any comments on the following very tentative itinerary? It is largely dictated by availability rather than the most rational route. If I have a sedan rather than 4x4, I'll have to substitute another camp for Bitterpan, but availability is slim

Feb. 13 Uppington
Feb. 14 Twee Rivieren
Feb. 15 Nossob
Feb. 16 Nossob
Feb. 17 Nossob
Feb. 18 Kalahari
Feb. 19 Kalahari
Feb. 20 Bitterpan (if 4x4)
Feb. 21 Bitterpan (if 4x4)
Feb. 22 Mata Mata
Feb. 23 Mata Mata
Feb. 24 Mata Mata
Feb. 25 Uppington (or closer to JNB)

Thanks in advance.

Marc


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 Post subject: First trip to Kgalagadi - Help please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:38 pm
Posts: 19
Hi,

We are planning our first trip to Kgalagadi for December 2013. We have traveled extensively around southern Africa but haven't managed to get to Kgalagadi yet! It will be just myself and my husband. We prefer wilderness camps.

We have 7 nights available in KTP. We will be spending a night in Upington and can start from Upington early in the morning. We were thinking about -

2 nights - Kieliekrankie
2 nights - Grootkolk or Gharagab
2 nights - Nossob
1 night - TR

We thought not to rush to KTC on this trip and possibly try to visit that area while staying at Kieliekrankie.

Any thoughts on this itinerary?
Any suggestions on whether to go for Grootkolk or Gharagab? What are the pluses and minuses of both?
Any suggestions on specific units at these camps? How can I request specific units?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: First trip to Kgalagadi - Help please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:30 am 
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Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:18 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: Twee Rivieren, KTP
@kavita,

Firstly welcome to the forum and hope you will have a great time here.

Regarding your questions you posted:

1. Obviously 7 days are a bit short to experience all the Kgalagadi has to offer, but if that was the only available accommodation it must do. Your itinerary is 100% I wouldn’t change it except maybe see if you could get an extra 2 nights at Tented camp to be able to see the Aoub river side of the park as well.

2. Grootkolk or Gharagab.....there is think the mites could assist as people had different experiences in both the camps.

3. Unfortunately we cannot pre book units due to logistical reasons.

Hope you have a great time

KG

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 Post subject: Re: First trip to Kgalagadi - Help please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:38 pm
Posts: 19
Thanks for your reply.

I just spoke to the reservations. They said they have been advised not to take a booking to Grootkolk or Gharagab straight after KK due to long drive and bad roads.
So we are thinking of -
2 nights KK
1 night Nossob
2 nights grrotkolk
1 night Nossob

Any thoughts on this? We were thinking of driving to KTC from KK, so that we don't change accommodation everyday. We will return for another trip, I am sure :)


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 Post subject: Re: First trip to Kgalagadi - Help please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
Posts: 889
Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
2 nights - Kieliekrankie
2 nights - Grootkolk or Gharagab
2 nights - Nossob
1 night - TR

Hi kavita
your itinerary is :thumbs_up:

KK is very central in that you get to travel the Auob River north and south. Both sides are productive for game. The waterholes on the dune road are also very good for predators and you will be the first at the waterholes if you leave camp early in the morning. So you could get to see the some animals that are too nervous to hang around.
The lanscape of KK ia also simply awesome especially the sunsets and sunrises.All the cabins overlook the waterhole so it doesn't matter which cabin you get.

The choice between Grootkolk or Gharagab :hmz:
My choice would be Grootkolk since you have the option to drive to Union's End or south to Lijersdraai or Polentswa waterholes. Both drives are very productive as far as animals and birds are concerned. Here too you have a good view of the waterhole from all the cabins. Or you could just stay at camp and watch animals come to the waterhole. We have seen honey badgers, brown hyenas, leopards and lions come drink early in the morning.

Gharagab is in the dunes and is stunning landscape. We have not seen much game come to the waterhole and there is only one short drive to Dankbaar waterhole. So Gharagab is great to chill and unwind if you don't want to drive around much.

All the cabins have a good view of the waterhole at all the Wilderness Camps. It really doesn't matter which cabin you get.

Nossob is amazing for game on both sides as well, north and south. Lots of lions around Nossob :)

Hope this helps :thumbs_up:

Oops, just saw your change in booking :)

That looks good too


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:32 am
Posts: 18
I'm hoping to get some comments on my draft itinerary. It isn't ideal as I will need to traverse the park several times as I chase availability. Here's the latest:

Feb. 13 Uppington
Feb. 14 Twee Rivieren
Feb. 15 Nossob
Feb. 16 Nossob
Feb. 17 Bitterpan
Feb. 18 Mata Mata
Feb. 19 Kalahari
Feb. 20 Kalahari
Feb. 21 Nossob
Feb. 22 Gharagab
Feb. 23 Nossob
Feb. 24 ???
Feb. 25 Uppington (or closer to JNB)

If I could get a chalet at Nossob on the 24th, I might consider changing the 23rd to a wilderness camp. But things are pretty tight.

I understand that getting in and out of Bitterpan can be the most challenging. How about Gharagab and Grootkolk? Serious 4x4, sedan, or something in between?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:12 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:36 pm
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Location: Lausanne (Switzerland)
I think you saw Gharagab and Bitterpan are "one way" and only 4x4 :wink:
so you will have to drive almost each time a lot of km/hours
km are nothing... without interesting sightings :wink:
and Nossob to Upington seems (to me) enough for the day :?

but looks like a nice itinerary :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:49 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain
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There is nothing wrong with traversing the park Marc - the more you drive, the more you are likely to see. Timing is everything.

Take your last night at 2R if you can for an early getaway.

As you are coming in Feb, you should need minimal warm clothing, but it will probably rain. You could be treated to glorious thunderstorms.

Familiarize yourself with the major birds found in KTP, especially the raptors, which are plentiful. The world's heaviest flying bird, the Kori bustard is found without much trouble.

You don't need 4x4 for Grootkolk, and I would select it over Garaghab if I could, although I have never been to 'Ghab.

2R area has been 'cooking' for a long time now, and 2 consecutive nights there could be very productive.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:15 pm
Posts: 60
Location: France ... far away from Nossob
Quote:
I understand that getting in and out of Bitterpan can be the most challenging. How about Gharagab and Grootkolk?

Hello Marc,
For me the way to Gharagab, and Gharagab to Mata is most challenging than Bitterpan track (but beautiful, unique landscapes ! ... and so quiet !).
For Bitterpan only the first 10 km (... may be a little bit more) are very sandy and difficult.
As Bush Baptist says, there is no problem to drive to Grootkolk.
Those 3 places are ... just magic !
yvo


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 Post subject: Re: First trip to Kgalagadi - Help please!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:38 pm
Posts: 19
Thanks guys for your quick replies. Has reassured me a lot :)
Now that I know your expertise, I will be back soon with many more questions!!


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:50 pm
Posts: 40
Location: 52 11 25.38 N 04 26 35.34 E
Hi Marc,

Itinerary in KTP looks OK to me, but I've got serious doubts about arriving by airplane in Jo'burg in the morning of the 13th and driving all the way to Upington the same day. It's almost 800 km (500 mi), and only the first 100 km are big wide interstates. After that, it's only two-lane roads and last time we were there (last year september) there were lots of road works on the way which cost us a lot of time.
It took us almost 11 hours to reach our B&B in Upington...

Don't forget to reserve some time for stocking up on supplies in Upington.

Last year we also booked one night @ Gharagab, but found the drive up from, and back to Nossob a little too much for just that one night... Still, Gharagab is a great place to stay, and the ride up there through the dunes is amazing.

For the return voyage, I would recommend to stay at Twee Rivieren on the 24th and stay in Kuruman or even closer to JNB on the 25th.

I think the Terios should not be a problem, Nossob-Bitterpan is not a big issue. However, with the Daihatsu I wouldn't drive directly from Bitterpan to Mata Mata, but via Moravet & Urikaruus.

Have fun over there, hope you like KTP!! :o

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:32 am
Posts: 18
marelm wrote:
Hi Marc,

Itinerary in KTP looks OK to me, but I've got serious doubts about arriving by airplane in Jo'burg in the morning of the 13th and driving all the way to Upington the same day. It's almost 800 km (500 mi), and only the first 100 km are big wide interstates. After that, it's only two-lane roads and last time we were there (last year september) there were lots of road works on the way which cost us a lot of time.
It took us almost 11 hours to reach our B&B in Upington...

Don't forget to reserve some time for stocking up on supplies in Upington.

Last year we also booked one night @ Gharagab, but found the drive up from, and back to Nossob a little too much for just that one night... Still, Gharagab is a great place to stay, and the ride up there through the dunes is amazing.

For the return voyage, I would recommend to stay at Twee Rivieren on the 24th and stay in Kuruman or even closer to JNB on the 25th.

I think the Terios should not be a problem, Nossob-Bitterpan is not a big issue. However, with the Daihatsu I wouldn't drive directly from Bitterpan to Mata Mata, but via Moravet & Urikaruus.

Have fun over there, hope you like KTP!! :o


Thanks for the helpful comments. Here is my booked itinerary:
Code:
Feb. 14       Twee Rivieren
Feb. 15-16    Nossob
Feb. 17       Bitterpan
Feb. 18       Mata Mata
Feb. 19-20    Kalahari
Feb. 21       Twee Rivieren
Feb. 22       Nossob
Feb. 23       Grootkolk
Feb. 24       Mata Mata


Only camping is available at TR on the 24th. This is a late booking, so I've booked as best I can. I agree that Upington is ambitious on the day of arrival. Kuruman may be a better stopping point in both directions. Provided I get a reasonable start from Kuruman on the morning of the 14th, I don't think it will be too challenging to get to TR by 1600 or 1700 after a good stop in Upington.

If chalet availability opens at TR on the 24th, I'll switch from Mata Mata.

Any recommendations for lodging in Kuruman?

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:26 pm
Posts: 13
Hi All,

I would like to visit KTP soon (early June) as soon as my exams are done.

I am an avid Kruger fan and been there over 100 trips but I've never been to KTP.

I have no idea which accommodation to start looking at. My only criteria are must have own kitchen + utensils and must have own bathroom. My gf will refuse to go with me if she has to walk around the camp to go shower before sunrise :-)

I was thinking (as I would drive from Johannesburg) that I should stay for my first night or 2 in Twee Rivieren as it would provide me with easy access to the park on the afternoon that I arrive and can also provide me with essentials that I may possibly leave behind.

There after I am clueless as to where I should book for (availability permitting).

I would like to stay for 6-7 nights in total and would like a mix of main camps and wilderness camps (possibly 2/2/3 nights configuration).

Thank you for your help in advance. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

David :)


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi: itinerary advice
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:58 pm
Posts: 271
Location: Stellenbosch
First have a look what is still available (if there is any)
To share when you are camping or have a chalet or tent with own bathroom etc... does not matter, as long as you are there
Just go with or without girlfriend, you will make friends anyway


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