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Arid Parks itinerary - advice needed please

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
xmarksthespot
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Arid Parks itinerary - advice needed please

Unread postby xmarksthespot » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:27 pm

Although we are regular visitors to South Africa from the UK we haven't been to the Northern Cape before. We are renting a camping-equipped 4WD ex Upington from 7-19 Feb and plan to make the loop Upington-Augrabies Falls-Springbok-Port Nolloth-Richtersveld NP-Ais Ais-Fish River Canyon-Keetmanshoop-Kgalagadi (in at Mata Mata out at Twee Rivieren)-Upington. We like to take our time and not rush or drive massive distances each day if at all possible.

The itinerary we are considering is as follows (SANparks shown in bold) :
Augrabies Falls NP (2 nights)
Goegap (1 night)
Port Nolloth or further up the coast (1 night)
Richtersveld NP (3 nights)
**enter Namibia on pontoon at Sendelingsdrif **
Canyon Roadhouse campsite (1 night)
Mesosaurus fossil camp (1 night)
Kalahari Tented camp (2 nights) - confirmed
Kielie Krankie (1 night) - confirmed

The Kgalagadi part is confirmed but the rest is not booked as yet and while the overall duration of the trip is fixed we can be (and want to be) fairly flexible with stops en route - shortening/extending our stay here and there by a day or two depending on what we find/like.

I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts/suggestions on the itinerary and alternatives?

We are planning to enter RNP at sendelingsdrif, and stay at De Hoop. Again, any suggestions for where to enter the park (is the coastal approach worth it for example?) and how best to spend 3-4 days in RNP would be really welcome. Also, some indication of travel times within the park would be very helpful.

Many thanks in advance. Feel free to ask me more questions if you need to.

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barryels
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Re: Arid Parks itinerary - advice needed please

Unread postby barryels » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:56 am

Dear xmarksthespot,

Although your current itinerary looks fine, my suggestion would be the read through the interesting topics with facts, questions and answers in the Arid Parks index Here which might raise specific issues that need more clarity :thumbs_up: .
Always be humble and understanding

xmarksthespot
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:30 pm
Location: UK

Re: Arid Parks itinerary - advice needed please

Unread postby xmarksthespot » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:53 pm

Thank you barrelys for your reply.

Before posting I had looked at the link but couldn't find anything on travelling times in RNP for example which would help me construct/validate an itinerary. Perhaps I missed it, and I'm happy to be pointed to anything specific if it exists.

There appear to be great sources of info on the forums but things change due to seasons, drought, construction etc etc so ) I think it's always useful to get a current view of the workability of an itinerary given current conditions and/or those known/anticipated at time of travel.

Thanks again.

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Son godin
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Re: Arid Parks itinerary - advice needed please

Unread postby Son godin » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:12 pm

xmarksthespot wrote:Although we are regular visitors to South Africa from the UK we haven't been to the Northern Cape before. We are renting a camping-equipped 4WD ex Upington from 7-19 Feb and plan to make the loop Upington-Augrabies Falls-Springbok-Port Nolloth-Richtersveld NP-Ais Ais-Fish River Canyon-Keetmanshoop-Kgalagadi (in at Mata Mata out at Twee Rivieren)-Upington. We like to take our time and not rush or drive massive distances each day if at all possible.

The itinerary we are considering is as follows (SANparks shown in bold) :
Augrabies Falls NP (2 nights)
Goegap (1 night) rather skip and either drive until Sendelingsdrift or stay at Port Nolloth.
Port Nolloth or further up the coast (1 night) - decision is yours to stay, but you will have plenty of time to drive through the town and get to Richtersveld late afternoon

Richtersveld NP (3 nights)
add 1 or two night and stay at Sendelingsdrift on arrival, 1/2 nights Tatasberg, 1 night Kokerboomkloof
**enter Namibia on pontoon at Sendelingsdrif **
Canyon Roadhouse campsite (1 night) alternative is Hobas that is very close to the lookout point for early morning or late afternoon shots
Mesosaurus fossil camp (1 night)
Kalahari Tented camp (2 nights) - confirmed
Kielie Krankie (1 night) - confirmed

The Kgalagadi part is confirmed but the rest is not booked as yet and while the overall duration of the trip is fixed we can be (and want to be) fairly flexible with stops en route - shortening/extending our stay here and there by a day or two depending on what we find/like.

I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts/suggestions on the itinerary and alternatives?

We are planning to enter RNP at sendelingsdrif, and stay at De Hoop. Again, any suggestions for where to enter the park (is the coastal approach worth it for example?) and how best to spend 3-4 days in RNP would be really welcome. Also, some indication of travel times within the park would be very helpful.

Many thanks in advance. Feel free to ask me more questions if you need to.


Hi Xmarksthespot,

It is possible to travel in one day to Richtersveld in one day so that you can add a few days at other parks. The best time to visit Goegap is in the flower season (Aug - Sept) and maybe not worthwhile the stop over. We did the same trip in March/April and can add some suggestion to your itinerary above.

When visiting Richterveld take along plenty of water. Its only open to 4x4 and best to have a GPS with you. As you have noted plenty of space available means very few people you will encounter in the park. In actual fact no bookings so far so you will be the only people there unless some-else book in Jan / Feb. Without a map you can easily get lost. The temperature will be extremely high and recommend staying near the river, e.g. Tatasberg, but Kokerboomkloof is a must if you have camping equipment.

Fuel is only available until 4 pm so plan arrival time before that and take extra jerry cans. Traveling time in the park is between 10 - 20 km/h, which means you need to leave early if you want to travel from inside the park to Fish River canyon. I've made lots of comments in my TT so you will get more tips there to prepare you for the trip and photos.

Link to my trip report : viewtopic.php?f=27&t=85403
Trip Reports - Painted, spotted and striped animals of the Koppies, TT of Three Arid Parks near Namibia in April 2015

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barryels
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Re: Arid Parks itinerary - advice needed please

Unread postby barryels » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:29 pm

Dear xmarksthespot,

To add to the info of Son godin, here is a link to Dinkybird's trip report DinkyBird's Last Frontier. |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld, Oct. '13 that also includes a map with distances between camps in Richersveld that you can see Here :thumbs_up: .
Always be humble and understanding

xmarksthespot
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:30 pm
Location: UK

Re: Arid Parks itinerary - advice needed please

Unread postby xmarksthespot » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:50 pm

Son godin,
Thank you for taking the time to make suggestions based on your experience. Very very helpful - and a useful trip report too! Hadn't realised it would be such slow going in RNP even with a 4WD, so this is especially good to know. We don't like driving for long times or long distances (which would probably be seen as mere hops by South African standards!) hence why we looked to break the journey from Augrabies to RNP twice. But we will rethink, perhaps pushing on to Port Nolloth from Augrabies and leaving in good time next day so that we allow sufficient time not only to get to RNP but to get to a campsite beyond Sendelingsdrif.

We will also have a look at the other camps you suggest to redeploy the day saved (although it will of course now takes us longer to get out of the park than we first thought!) The camps you mention are further east. I notice a gate at Aussenkehr. Do you know if it's possible to enter or exit at that gate? - as I don't recall reading any mention of this anywhere. If it was it might open up some possibilities rather than entering at - or doubling back to Sendelingsdrif. I'm also reading that the availability of the pontoon at Sendelingsdrif can be variable.

By the way, we looked at Canyon Roadhouse as we were put off by reports of baboons at Hobas (but I imagine few places are immune from them!)


Barryels,
Thanks for the link including the map with distances. Much appreciated.


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