Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 7
 [ 102 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Kesheshe's Exploring KTP In October '13
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:10 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Hello Everyone

That time of year has nearly arrived for our annual pilgrimage to KTP. 33 days and counting.

2013/10/04 Urikaruus
2013/10/05 Gharagab
2013/10/06 Gharagab
2013/10/07 Nossob
2013/10/08 Grootkolk
2013/10/09 Grootkolk
2013/10/10 Grootkolk
2013/10/11 Grootkolk
2013/10/12 Nossob
2013/10/13 Nossob
2013/10/14 Kieliekrankie
2013/10/15 Kieliekrankie
2013/10/16 Kieliekrankie
2013/10/17 TR
2013/10/18 Urikaruus
2013/10/19 Urikaruus
2013/10/20 Urikaruus
2013/10/21 Mata Mata
2013/10/22 Mata Mata
2013/10/23 Mata Mata
2013/10/24 Mata Mata
2013/10/25 Urikaruus
2013/10/26 Urikaruus

I am looking for some advise. We want to upgrade our spotlight to use at the wilderness camps. As we are there for several nights we need something that can be charged in the van and has enough power for the night.

I was thinking of the Lightforce Walkabout Handheld Spotlight Pack - has anyone got any experience using this?

thanks

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exporing KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:20 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Thanks Tobieo for the information.

I did look at there products which are very nice. My only issue was that I wanted to get the TM26 but at R5450 and the concern I had over the battery duration made me go for the Lightforce Walkabout Handheld Spotlight Pack which is designed with a complete battery pack for longer use.

My decision ended up on the fact that when at places like Gharagab with no power for more than 1 night it is unlikely that I would drive long enough to charge anything.

Got it last night so will try it tonight.

20 days to go. Anyone been in the park lately as I would like to know location of any Cape fox dens.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exporing KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:35 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
I have a duel battery system in the van but I agree with you Son godin keeping things charged is a challenge.

lets not forget camera batteries etc. I added some additional power points in the back of the van as not everything can be charged via cig lighter even with multi plug. I am currently investigating adding solar power to the system to allow for longer stays.

I know this will help as the challenge in other African parks like zim park on Zambezi (not to mention name) is nearly impossible for say 7 days.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exporing KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:07 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
I tested the new light last night and it looks perfect. The red filter works very nicely.

Going to the shops to start on the shopping list. Not normally my thing but excited to go just shows you what KTP can do to a person.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exporing KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:35 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Hello Everyone

6 more sleeps and I will be at Urikaruus.

Finishing last of the shopping today and start packing process tomorrow.

Had the van serviced by both Toyota and Safari centre for 4x4 equipment so lets hope for no serious breakdowns.

I did buy the Roberts VII Multimedia iPhone Edition and I must say it is very impressive. A friend bought me a solar panel charging unit for my ipad to ensure I did not run out of power for Roberts so looking forward to testing this new toy.

Going to download and print the latest leopard ID list today (big file) - can always hope!

Also bought and received a 12v camera battery charger yesterday so should be OK and never run out of power for cameras.

I have never captured lightening so I hope to get the opportunity on this trip. Does anyone know where i can get a simple tutorial on what setting to use for this type of photos?

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exporing KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:40 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
All I can say is WOW :dance: :dance: :dance: KTP really delivered once again.

Arrived back about 1 hour ago from our 25 days in the park.

Lionspoon I agree they must have thought we had lost our marbles.

Anyone want information on the latest conditions fire the questions and I will answer as best I came. The reason I am suggesting this is the trip report itself may take awhile and you may need information on something sooner.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:28 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Hi enrico

They had rain before we got to the park I think around the 25th of September. When we were there we had a few drops and I mean a few drops. the clouds were building towards the end of the trip last week and the wind but no rain when we were there. Some of the riverbed is green but in general still quite dry.

Regarding the ground water we had water holes that were broken but not due to lack of water. Not sure about 14th thou.

No fires todate.

Regarding driving or sitting at water holes this trip we mixed and matched this strategy a bit with some success with both. If I was to lean one way I would say the driving delivered better results but I cannot explain why that was.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:35 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Hi kyknetta

Yes I used the light extensively and it worked well. It is better as a spot not a beam and the red filter worked. I used it without red filter for distance but on animal or close to water hole red filter on.

The Roberts was easy to use once we got used to it. Did not use it for making a bird list thou. We bought a solar power system for the IPad which worked very nicely to ensure we always made the Roberts available.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:50 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Welcome on board hilda, billyf and barryels.

Here are some possible locations for you to look out for if you are going to the park shortly :

Roughly 1km from TR entrance gate look out for tree with large weaver nest you will find Giant Eagle owl with little one.

Driving north on Auob riverbed about 150 - 200 metres before entry road to 13th waterhole on the right hand side about 3 metres from the road is a cape fox den with mum and 3 pups. We did not see them out during the day but early morning and late evening yes. (S25 58 731, E20 17 004)

Around 1km from Urikaruus view point there is another cape fox den did not see pups. This den is on the right hand side going north.

African Wildcat around 3km from Urikaruus viewpoint heading north in tree every day we passed. (S25 59 255, E20 17 867)

Another cape fox den mother and 2 pups 4.2km north from 14th loop junction as it joins the main road.
(S25 57 782, E20 15 087)

4 Cheetah mother and 3 sub adults very active killing almost everyday on the Auob side from Hoemoed to Auchterlonie. Before leaving the park they had moved across to Nossob side around Samevloeing.

Auchterlonie female and Warona active from Auchterlonie north to Batulama to a few km's before.

2 other leopards active at Batulama unsure of id's.

Leopard spotted Hoemoed and Craig Lockhart and Urikaruus.

2 x one Cheetah and one pair active from Auchterlonie to Sitzas.

Lions and Cheetah spotted at Mata Mata camp waterhole.

Lion all the way up and down Nossob riverbed.

Very limited sightings of caracal (only one spotted between dalkeith and 14th, also another killed at Urikaruus)

Brown Hyena and bat eared fox sightings limited. Most sightings surprisingly on the Nossob side.

No honey badgers except glimpse of one on marie se draai.

Suricate sightings limited best opportunity between TR and Rooiputs

Various owls spotted north of Urikaruus but need to drive slowly and look at trees closely.

No eland spotted at all.

Very large herd of springbok with little ones moving between Kamqua and Munro.

Charlie and pup still at Urikaruus and active.

Barn owl still resident at Unit 2 Kieliekrankie

Various snakes were more active last week then previous weeks.

Tawny Eagles and vultures dominate Auob river whereas Nossob dominated by PCG and Bateleur.

Bees a serious problem Nossob and anywhere north (Grootkolk big issue)

Middle of riverbed green due to some early rain which provides opportunity for some nice photos.

Windy season still in force with some days worse than others.

Day time temperatures starting to get hot but still slight chill in the evening and early morning.

A fair number of Red Hartebeest and Giraffe are in the park. Giraffe predominately well north of Auob riverbed.

Majority of wildebeest on the Nossob side north of Nossob.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:57 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
This trip report was going to be photos only but after meeting gatita it was made clear to me that I should not do that but actually write a trip report. I said it was a lot of work so she recommended I write it when I am in the park. I did that but not sure I would do it that way again.

To avoid any confusion myself and my wife use Kesheshe jointly. I do the writing and some photos plus the post processing of the photos and she takes about 95% of the photos.

We got up nice and early at 5am to complete the packing of the van for a planned departure from Pretoria at 9am to avoid peak hour traffic but to also ensure we got to our overnight stop in Kuruman mid-afternoon.

This trip has been a long time in the planning over a year actually. The biggest challenge was how to pack the van with enough provisions for 25 days. We managed to achieve this through many years of doing similar trips but it was not easy.

The basic setup was as follows:
• All 3 camera bags, laptop, ipad etc. on the back seat.
• Container for snacks, tea, coffee etc. on the floor behind the front seats.
• Key vehicle spares in ammo box on the roof.
• Chairs, wood, 2 gas bottles, table on roof rack
• Roof top tent already packed with sleeping bags
• Drawer system in back of van for food, cooking stuff, lights etc.
• Fridge on top of drawers run via Duel battery system
• Cloths bags and medical box on top of drawers
• 75 litre water container in canopy
• 250 litre diesel tank
• Double spare wheel carrier

The camera setup was:
• Sony A77 – with either 70-200 f2.8g or sigma 10-20mm
• Sony A700 – with sigma 50-500mm
• Sony A900 – with Sony 70-400g
• Many SD cards and batteries
• 2 external hard drives for photo backups
• Flashes and macro lenses
• Tripod
• 2 bean bags

My next post will be on some lessons we learn on how to make an extended trip like this a success.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Last edited by kesheshe on Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:10 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Lessons learn part 1:

• NEVER change lenses on a body no matter how careful you are dust will get in. We did this on the A77 between the 70-200 f2.8g and sigma 10-20mm as we wanted to alternate it between close up and landscape.
• To find out if you have a dust problem on the cameras point to blue sky take a shot a check the entire photo carefully.
• If dust is maybe one spot decide if you want to spend the time doing spot removal on post processing or to put the body in the bag for the remainder of the trip.
• People for Kruger may not understand this as well but make sure the sun is to your advantage otherwise photos will be a challenge. Pro’s can utilise direct sun to their advantage but us amateurs will struggle. Moving your vehicle a few metres may make all the difference.
• Look for good eye contact with the animal where possible.
• The glare in the midday sun is hectic so consider a Circular filter.
• Play with ISO and F stop.
• We used the camera in manual mode a lot to ensure we kept the shutter speed above 2000. Things happen so quickly that you can deal with some light issues post processing but blur photos are in the trash. The higher the shutter you can get the better. You can achieve this is various ways.
• Try some photos using bulb function it was fun.
• Have all cameras easily available at all times but well covered.
• Park on the side of the road next to the sighting.
• Try and sometimes anticipate the animal’s movements to position for head on shots.
• Utilise the natural surrounding’s to enhance your photos like trees and the flowers.
• You will see a large number of people in the park with serious camera equipment which you can admire and dream of but the best thing you can do is learn your own equipment and focus on getting the best out of what you are using.
• Always use bean bags or what you prefer to support your camera.
• Ensure if you are doing many days at wilderness camps in a row that you have enough memory capacity either cards or hard drives.
• Ensure you have enough camera batteries or a car charger to recharge on the move.
• Drive slowly sorry very slowly and you will be amazed what you will find when you think there is nothing to see.
• Try a slow shutter speed on animals with movement to give a different aspect - should be fun.
• Play around with EV especially when shooting birds in the sky.
• Shooting the stars and star trails was a good activity to do at night but was not quite as easy as I thought.
• We never used a flash unit during the trip not even for side light.
• Sometimes look past the animals to the landscape as it creates good opportunity for nice shoots.
• Sometimes patience will give you fantastic reward but also be ready for the unexpected. cheetah flying past you from behind.

Just remember the above is based on our experience and more experienced photographers could know doubt provide better advice.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:16 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
part 2:

• Always car spare set of car and remote keys and check the batteries before you leave home.
• Drive with lower tyre pressure than recommended as it will provide a more comfortable ride.
• Extra fuel if you can if you do an extended trip up north for a few days.
• Good tyre repair kit and compressor if you can fit one.
• No need for sand mats.
• Carry some key vehicle spares with tools.
• Good tyre pressure gauge
• Duct tape, cable ties
• Ratchet straps
• Pack sleeping bags, pillows in roof top tent and leave them there it will safe space
• Take own braai grid and bread pot
• Gas bottles very useful as they will be much quicker to boil water for flask in the morning than the gas stove provided at the wilderness camps especially if there is a breeze.
• You will find it difficult to buy 5 litre waters a lot of the time. You will then need 1.5l bottles which take up more space. 25l water cans would be good we had 70l container.
• Ensure you have a good and quite extensive medical kit.
• Extension cable with blue plug connector
• Wet wipes for dust
• A few good torches even if in units as some power is of from 10pm to 5am.
• An ammo box to store food stuff in wilderness camps as mice will eat through any type of bag.
• Solar monkey or something similar for powering I products
• Q20 to clear dust from locks
• GPS to mark locations of sightings you may want to revisit
• Good flask
• Nice spotlight for waterholes at wilderness camps with red filter
• Book on animal tracks as it will help find sightings in the morning
• Keep bags closed even in the units due to scorpions
• Watch carefully for snakes around picnic sites
• Sightings boards at camp you should look at but only as a guide. Not as accurate or up-to-date as Kruger’s.
• Use candles at night for light it provides better atmosphere
• Take something like a china bag for dirt washing for easy storage between washes
• Make sure someone close to you has numbers for all the camps etc as if something happens at home you want them to get in contact with you. Also give them accommodation schedule.
• Make sure you carry your insurance and medical aid information
• Various wilderness camps have limited sms connectivity (if you really need it)
• You can use phone as alarm but on silent as you may get some sms’s in the middle of the night even thou you think you have no reception.
• When you go out for your drives make sure you have enough snacks and fluid in the vehicle as the action may get hot and you do not want to leave to go to a picnic site.
• Make sure you carry your own toilet paper in the vehicle
• We took our own chairs and table. Glad we did this as even thou the chairs provided are good not to comfy for long nights. Some wilderness camps the tables are not very stable so take your own
• Use 500ml water bottles as ice blocks in mini cooler bag
• Plan your drives based on the position of the sun
• Small pillows at base of front seats for back support as driving that duration for 25 days will take its toll
• Learn some animal sounds and the meanings as it will help you identify if a predator is in the area
• Check important nuts and bolts say every 10 days as things do come lose on KTP roads•

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:39 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Part 3:

• Use something like cremora for tea, coffee as you cannot carry enough milk. Use milk for breakfast cereals etc. as yoghurt will not last.
• Premade sauces before you leave and pack in zip lock bags in the freezer – peppercorn, tomato, chilly, mushroom
• Good penne pasta and pesto’s. Easy to carry and last yet quick for lunch.
• Salad stuff only lasts about 5 days max.
• Keep potatoes, onions, butternut and eggs in a cooler box and in a dark place in the van and move into unit on arrival. They lasted the entire trip.
• The salad stuff in the boxes we bought was not great.
• Judy’s things like pickled onions, gherkins in the packets flexible for packing into small spaces worked out great.
• Tins of tuna and salmon versatile and quick when it was hot.
• Mixed veg tins and tomato mix worked well.
• When you think you have enough water buy some more.
• The shops only carry basic supplies.
• Sort and pack the bread mixes individually before the trip.
• The frozen stuff like spring rolls are good for some veg late on in the trip.
• Make space to carry some treats like ice cream and peaches, mixed fruit.
• Ideal milk went down well.
• Pre plan the meals. We did not stick to the plan exactly but it helped with the packing and shopping.
• During 25 days you will want variety after all you are on holiday so plan carefully.
• The peanut butter, apricot jam and syrup went great with the fresh bread we made.
• The new spicy mayo from C&B was nice.
• When thinking of snacks be careful not to take things that will melt like jelly babies.
• Take some jelly packs as all you need to do is add water and when it gets hot jelly is a good alternative.
• Peanuts were easy as an early evening snack and also when stuck for a long period in the van.
• Always carry ice in the vehicle freezer. Also take scubs to make your own in emergency.
• Zip lock bags worked well.
• Tins of sweet corn worked as part of a salad type meal to accompany braai.
• Meat wise we managed to pack enough for evening meals and some brunches but it was tight in the freezer. We put a few days at the beginning of the trip in the fridge but used quickly.
• Also vacuum pack as much of the meat as you can and break up any bulk buy meat into smaller packets before you start the trip.
• Carry spare wood on the roof at all times.
• The precooked mixed rice packets were tasty and cooked in about 5 minutes
• Don’t take biltong or dry wors unless you plan to eat this early on in the trip as it will become like concrete or the mice will eat it.
• Unless you are camping there will be no need for you to carry your own pots as units have pots available.
• If making chips they do not have a chip spoon so take your own
• Always cook with your water never use theirs its safer.
• We went thru roughly 1 x 500g block of butter every week. We packed this in the fridge
• Long Life cream will easily last
• Mince is a versatile product to carry.
• Take as many seasoning products as you can.
• Whatever you have forgotten to take don’t let it worry you as if you have provision correctly you can always make a plan.
• As a last resort you could take packets of Pasta & Sauce mix and things like boloroni which can be cooked in a relatively short time frame.


In the following parts I will do accommodation, roads, waterholes, general suggestion, complaints. I promise after that we will start with day 1.

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:42 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Summary of accommodation that we have utilised:

Opinion on Twee Rivieren Chalets:-
• The inside of the unit was quite spacy and adequately furnished
• No view from the majority of the units
• Air-conditioning provided
• Internal kitchen and outside braai area both adequate. Braai area far from unit which is not ideal
• Power 24/7
• Outside table too small for requirements
• Restaurant very nice with surprisingly good selection of courses and the food was good and would recommend a visit
• Take away was a pleasant surprise and a good option of burgers/toasted sandwiches and vetkoek and chips. Limited cool drinks available. Price is fair and quality acceptable
• Current shop situation due to renovations is a bit of a shambles
• Cannot comment on swimming pool but it is available and we did not utilise this
• Check in appears to be strictly adhered to at 2pm which for some could be a problem so please be aware of this
• Night drives are offered from this camp but again we cannot comment as we did not utilise this service or the walk.
• Sightings board is not utilised therefore do not assume you can use this like you would in Kruger
• Look out for the giant eagle owl nest 1 km from camp on top of the weavers nest
• Drives on either riverbed will be productive
• The new road on the Nossob side in my opinion detracts from the game viewing experience as no animal footprints or traffic can be identified
• No hide available at this camp.
• Campsite appears nice but much smaller space allocations than Mata Mata and Nossob.
• Fuel available
• 3G limited but cell phone fine
• We would suggest some kind of hard plastic container to protect food stuffs as the mice will endeavour to access your food content
• There is no vehicle shade so we would recommend that all sensitive equipment is taken inside the unit.

Opinion on Klielie Krankie Units:-
• The distance from your vehicle parking to your unit is not far but is uphill so be prepared for that
• We would suggest some kind of hard plastic container to protect food stuffs as the mice will endeavour to access your food content
• There is no vehicle shade so we would recommend that all sensitive equipment is taken inside the unit
• If your vehicle has a roof rack with anything on it you will not fit in the allocated parking.
• Unit 1 has good sun
• Unit 2 has a resident barn owls
• Unit 3 has a good view towards Auchterlonie and so does unit 4
• All units have a fair view of the waterhole
• Photography here is a challenge as the waterhole is a distance away and significantly below the units.
• The view the dune landscape is outstanding
• The view of the stars is outstanding
• The unit itself is well configured probably the best of the wilderness camps
• The finishing’s inside the unit were more than adequate and well maintained
• The power is on 24/7 but due to current constraints power seems to go off every morning around 5.15am (not sure when this would be rectified)
• Due to position these unit get a fair amount of wind
• Fuel is about 44km away
• Cell phone reception for those that are interested is limited but at the tower it should improve. Signal strength may mean only sms possible and you may struggle

Opinion on KTC Units:-
• Vehicle parking is provided with shade
• Nice swimming pool
• Various unit types available
• Sleeping and kitchen separate structures.
• Braai nice and well positioned
• Not sure about stones on the ground
• Some units do not have a view of the waterhole and some obstructed view
• Photography here is a challenge as the waterhole is a distance away and significantly below the units.
• The view of the riverbed is nice
• The unit itself is well configured
• The finishing’s inside the unit were adequate
• This camp is in my opinion a hybrid between wilderness camp and main camps
• Camp has no atmosphere
• Due to position these unit get a fair amount of wind
• Only 3km from Mata Mata so fuel easy to get
• We would suggest some kind of hard plastic container to protect food stuffs as the mice will endeavour to access your food content

Opinion on Mata Mata River Front Chalet:-
• Unit number 7 has a view of both waterholes yes both waterholes
• Some days the unit in front has water and some days the one in front of the camping area by the hide
• No light at the waterhole in front of the riverfront units
• Outside braai area nice
• Unit more hotel style
• Power of from 10pm to 5am
• Unit got very hot at night with no power for fan or aircon and not nets on windows, doors so you cannot really open them
• Strange setup in the bedroom as one bed has a bedside unit but the other not due to having no space
• Lights next to the bed controlled by one light switch at the entrance to the bedroom which means you cannot have your light on and the other of
• Having a TV in the unit feels strange
• You cannot really fit to pots on the stove due to space constraint which again is strange
• There is no vehicle shade so we would recommend that all sensitive equipment is taken inside the unit.
• This unit overall was quite disappointing
• Squirrel, mongoose and bird activity good
• Look out for owls
• Cannot comment on swimming pool but it is available and we did not utilise this
• Fuel available
• Shop available
• We would suggest some kind of hard plastic container to protect food stuffs as the mice will endeavour to access your food content

Opinion on Urikaruus:-
• The distance from your vehicle parking to your unit is short
• Vehicle parking is provided with shade cover
• All units have a good view of the waterhole
• Photography here is good but watch out for the sun
• The view of the stars is outstanding
• The unit itself is strange at first but as you get used to it works well
• The finishing’s inside the unit were more than adequate
• The table outside need fixed or replaced
• The power is 24/7
• Look out for Charlie at night and early morning
• Squirrels and birds close to unit and entertaining
• Waterhole has a floodlight
• The units can get hot and also cold
• Nearest fuel 48km
• We would suggest some kind of hard plastic container to protect food stuffs as the mice will endeavour to access your food content

Opinion on Bitterpan:-
• Drive in and out is pleasant and very simple 4 x 4 driving
• View of the pan is nice
• Waterhole not that close
• Units smaller than other wilderness camps
• Centralised fridges
• Bathroom behind unit
• Braai in nice position
• It can get extremely hot and any breeze you get will cool things down but at the same time has the possibility of reducing animal activity at the waterhole
• There is no vehicle shade so we would recommend that all sensitive equipment is taken inside the unit
• We drove the road in and out and 2nd gear high range with tyre pressure of 1.4 in the rear and 1.2 in the front
• We would suggest some kind of hard plastic container to protect food stuffs as the mice will endeavour to access your food content
• There is no vehicle shade so we would recommend that all sensitive equipment is taken inside the unit

Opinion on Nossob Chalet:-
• The unit we had had 2 bedrooms therefore we used one to power all our equipment and lie everything out which was a nice bonus.
• The power is the same as camping 10pm – 5am it is off
• The braai area table and chairs is more than adequate for what is required
• The fridge/freezer and kitchen is well laid out and operates fantastically.
• All essential kitchen utensils were available.
• We would suggest some kind of hard plastic container to protect food stuffs as the mice will endeavour to access your food content
• There is no vehicle shade so we would recommend that all sensitive equipment is taken inside the unit
• Ensure you have extension cable to reach from vehicle to power to electrical supply.
• No view per say from any of these units.
• These units have a ceiling fan
• Unit got very hot at night with no power for fan and not nets on windows, doors so you cannot really open them
• Fuel available
• Shop available
• Look out for owls

Opinion on Nossob camping:-
• The actual sites are spacious and you do not feel as you are parked on top of each other
• Most sites have fairly good shade.
• The campsites on the left of the ablution blocks have no power the ones on the right have power
• Be aware you could have bee problem during spring
• Please don’t forget your blue plug for your power extension cable otherwise you will have to buy one in the shop for about R160
• The swimming pool is close to the campsite and in good condition but we would not recommend you go there an attempt to suntan as the surrounding environment around the pool is not conducive to this
• Power stops at 10pm until 5am which you need to be aware of as you will need to run the fridge freezer dual battery during this time
• The braai area is more than adequate for what is required
• Water taps are many and within easy distance of your campsite
• We would recommend showering around lunch time when it is quieter and the ablutions would have been cleaned mid to late morning
• Watch out for snakes and scorpions
• Squirrel, mongoose and bird activity good
• Look out for owls
• The shop has basic supplies in case you have forgotten something essential
• Fuel available

Opinion on Grootkolk:-
• The bees were hectic but under normal circumstances this should not be an issue and were advised that this happens at the change of season to spring only
• The waterhole is a fair distance but photography is OK
• Animal activity is very good both general game and predators
• A substantial amount of the animals came in from north to south
• Some of the predators departed passed unit 1 and 2
• The general condition of the unit could do with some maintenance.
• The braai area is nicely situated in order for you to view the waterhole
• Fridge/freezer is adequate but do not expect miracles
• Shade is provided for your vehicle which is a nice bonus.
• All essential kitchen utensils are provided
• Space inside is a little limited if and only if you are on an extended stay there.
• From a photography point of view both morning and evening are good for photography as you will have side light from the sun
• Trips both north and south of camp will produce results
• Birds still activity despite removal of bird baths
• Nice close parking with good shade
• Fuel is a long way away
• Cell phone reception for those that are interested is limited but at the tower it should improve. Signal strength may mean only sms possible and you may struggle
• We would suggest some kind of hard plastic container to protect food stuffs as the mice will endeavour to access your food content
• It can get extremely hot

Opinion on Gharagab unit:-
• Drive in and out is pleasant and very simple 4 x 4 driving
• Unit number 3 controls the waterhole light
• Cell phone reception for those that are interested is limited but at the tower it should improve. Signal strength may mean only sms possible and you may struggle
• Camp layout is very nice but close waterhole photography not great
• Units are starting to show significant signs of age and an upgrade or serious maintenance plan is needed.
• Fridge/Freezer is an adequate size but the freezer compartment is struggling
• It can get extremely hot and any breeze you get will cool things down but at the same time has the possibility of reducing animal activity at the waterhole
• We heard lion on both nights we were there so predators are in fact in the area
• Sun rise in the morning creates photographic issues best time late afternoon when sun is behind
• Lots of mice and bird activity to keep you entertained during the day
• We would suggest some kind of hard plastic container to protect food stuffs as the mice will endeavour to access your food content
• There is no vehicle shade so we would recommend that all sensitive equipment is taken inside the unit
• Due to the lack of shade for the vehicle you may find you need to take a short drive in order to power your fridge/freezer if you have one. We did not need to do this and ours managed okay but I would monitor it anyway
• We drove the road in and out and 2nd gear high range with tyre pressure of 1.4 in the rear and 1.2 in the front
• Fuel is a long way away

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:15 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Last summary then we start.

The check in time of 2pm to me is absolute madness in an arid park that is really hot between 12-2pm. This policy means that I will not book any chalets again in the main camps. Imagine being out from 5h30am till 2pm. :naughty: :naughty:

Nossob and Mata Mata have no power at night which as a stated earlier makes the chalets extremely hot and with no nets cannot open doors or windows. This is yet another reason i will not book chalets again.

The permit system works but on many occasions we saw vehicles drive straight out of the camp gates in the morning without getting a permit. This can only mean they never handed them in so what is the point.

The take away at TR is a nice addition and the food at the restaurant had improved.

We found the roads to be in better shape than previous years and saw the grader a lot.

Some waterholes were broken but we saw the maintenance crew fixing them on a regular basis.

In general behaviour of most visitors was good. :clap: :clap:

We saw no road kill on the entire 25 day trip. :clap: :clap:

4X4 route just north of TR is closed.

Shop situation regarding 5l water availability is strange. i hope it has nothing to do with the fact that 2x 1.5L cost R23 while a 5L cost R24.

The situation of the 2 waterholes at Mata Mata camp is shambolic to say the least. :wall: :wall:

The park was looking nice with the little early rain and animal concentration was fairly high with a large number of springbok lambs.

The majority of the staff were very friendly but special mention must be made of the wilderness camp attendants who are absolutely fantastic.

25 days is a long time to be in the park so you must plan carefully to ensure you enjoy and maximise the time.

i hope the current upgrades to the shops do not take to long.

Weather at this time of year was as expected starting to get hot but the wind was still frequent and sometimes very strong.

The power issue at KK you need to be aware of as it goes out every morning around 5h15am.

To KTP as an overall trip. :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:


WARNING

The following trip report could be dangerous to you leave account at work.

Also i really should change the name of this trip report to:

"KITTY'S UNLIMITED"

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 102 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baffers, carolv and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by teddy_rsa at 15:15:06 Submitted by teddy_rsa at 15:17:22 Submitted by teddy_rsa at 15:13:36 Submitted by Anonymous at 12:53:51