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Kgalagadi: trailers, caravans & motorhomes

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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Re: KTP and trailers

Unread post by afri-explore » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:47 pm

The car is not a problem (driving a sportage myself and towing an off-road trailer). Trailers comes in all makes and shapes and even Venter makes an off-road trailer. Let us then rather talk about smooth roads (even on gravel) and bumpy off-road.

Road trailers are not as heavy as off-road trailers, mainly because of the lighter construction and will be easier to tow.

Check out whether the suspension is attached to a firm frame or spot-welded directly onto the body of the trailer, even if it is reinforced at the connection. You may end up with metal fatique on corrugated roads and in the worst case lose the whole axle. Just visit places like Angola to see all the discarded trailers. The lighter make of trailers usually have no shocks and cannot handle corrugations well - even aggravates existing corrugations. These trailers also have less protection against chipping by the stones, kicked back from the towing vehicle. Do not be fooled by black paint only - it will look like sand-blast cleaned metal after the trip (again my own personal experience). It must be a tough durable stone protection material.

Off-road trailers have a more sturdy built with a separate metal frame chassis to handle the conditions. Some are not equiped with shocks and will bounce more on corrugated roads.

Whatever you use, keep in mind the limitations of the trailer - reduce tyre pressure on the trailer as well (same as car) and reduce speed to suit the trailer and the road conditions.

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First Trip to KTP

Unread post by Andrewgwizz » Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:52 am

Hi there guys, at long last it seems that a dream to visit the KTP will be coming true. This will be the first trip for the 4 of us, we are planning on the last weeks of July and we would appreciate any advice that could be given. we planned to travel with two vehicles towing caravans, not the off road type but just ordinary vans that have had bodies raised over the axles a few inches to improve clearance. We planned to travel from Jhb via Kuruman and then head north vi Van Zysrus with a couple of stop overs before arriving at the park. We think from the posts in the forum that the best camp for us would be Nossob and would like advice on the conditions of the roads along our route to and in the park, We can only spend 5 nights in the park so don't want to move around too much and would prefer to be in just one camp so can any one give estimates on how long it would take to tow from the entrance gate to Nossob and if there is any where close by the park (+- 150kms) that we can over night and then still get to Nossob the next day or should we spend a night in Twee Riveren first.

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Unread post by wanderw » Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:04 am

Hi Andrewgwizz! Welcome to the forum.

You are brave - towing a normal caravan to Nossob! If you really have to go to Nossob, stay at TR the night before. You might need the whole day to get to N, and in July gates open late and close early , so travelling time in the park is reduced. Roads to N can be very bad as well. In all our visits to KTP, I don't think we have ever seen a normal caravan at N! My suggestion - stay at TR(good sightings from there as well) or Mata Mata, or leave your caravan at TR when you want to visit N.

If you really have to take the van to N - Go Slow, Deflate tire pressures and make sure your vehicles and van are not overloaded.
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Unread post by C. O'Dee » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:47 pm

Hi Andrewgwizz and welcome to the forum!
I second Wanderw's suggestion of not taking your caravan up to Nossob. We have just returned from the park, and at times the road on the Nossob side was quite corrugated! More so than the MM side! Although we did not find the roads as "bad" as some people have suggested in the other threads! You will find that at a certain speed your car goes really well over the corrugations - sometimes a little faster and sometimes slower!! Just depending on what you are driving. We were in my little Daihatsu Terrios - which purred like a kitten most of the time - some times though it was as if the kitten was on top of the washing machine that has just gone on to spin!!! BUT this is KTP one cannot expect smooth sailing like in Kruger - KTP is the wild side of Africa Don't be put off too much by the roads... its the luck of the draw as to when they were graded and also how many people have actually NOT deflated their tyres etc. etc.
One thing - DONT FORGET YOUR YELLOW RIBBON!! I hope you guys will have an awesome trip - KTP rocks!!

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Unread post by lirritma » Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:02 pm

Sorry Andrew to be putting a bit of a damper on your planing, but the advice is very true - you came to the right place to ensure you are well planned.

I've been caravaning for many years and there is just no way that I will ever go there with one. I know there are people who do, but I just wouldn't. We have always camped in KTP and a tent, or off-road trailers/caravan, remains the best option.

I would agree with Wanda that the best routes would be Twee Rivieren to Mata Mata and that should work for you if you are planning to carry on to Namibia. Will not recommend the Nossob route at all for a caravaan - the corrugations is one thing, but you do not want to loose axles on that high middleman and then ruin you first trip to KTP - and any trip there is a winner.

Be well prepared and ensure you have a good tool box with you. Make sure that you equipment inside the caravaan is extremely well secured. Take the road very slowly and you should have the best chance.

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Unread post by Stoffel » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:37 pm

You can go to KTP in a conventional motorhome. I passed an elderly couple in their motorhome on the last part of the notorious road to Twee Rivieren last year in May. I was doing about 80 kph (with my D/C pickup) and they were surely not travelling faster than 30 kph.

If you are prepared to travel very slowly on the bad pieces of road, you can do it. But my advice will be to ensure that everything (especially the breakables) are thoroughly packed. Watch out for the hinges of your fridge and cupboards. And ensure that your fridge is empty when travelling - rather put your stuff in a cooler box.

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Re: Kgalagadi - suitable for young kids?

Unread post by ruud » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:41 pm

simonh wrote:Hi there - we plan to travel to namibia in october with a 4y old and rent a motorhome. Would kgalagadi be OK for a motorhome (not 4x4) - I see a lot of discussion on bad roads! And are there many accessible roads other than the main one from mata mata to twee rivieren. Any experience with young kids there? We haev both done etosho in our child free years and looking for somewhere a litte different. Thanks

Hi Simon,

we are just back from Kgalagadi. We have also been many times travelling with a motorhome in several parks in southern Africa. But I would't go to Kgalagadi with a camper. The roads (there are 2 roads, 1 to Mata Mata and 1 to Nossob and Grootkolk). You can go to 2Rivieren but travelling in the park is not easy with a camper. The road to Nossob is on several places very bad. The road to Mata Mata is better and should be possible but very very slowly. But the roads are sometimes so bad that everything is shaking and for a camoer it's not good.
When you are lucky, sometimes the grader has graded the road, but than you have a lot of luck.

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Unread post by Glen-Peter » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:10 pm

Please can some one let me know if i can take a 4x2 izuzu 280 and caravan sprite super cross the border from mata mata Kgalagadi to Namibia then onto the Richersveld this coming december starting on the 24 for 3 days then 2 days namibia then 3 days richers velt glen-peter
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Re: caravan

Unread post by Dave Moore » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:53 pm

You will get your Sprite to the gate of the Richtersveld park, but I would not take it any further than that. You can camp at the gate and do day trips into the park itself from there. If you come in from the Rosh Pinah side you can cross on the pont and camp in the Sendelingsdrift campsite. From Mata Mata it`s 680km to the Orange river via the B4 and C13 through Aus. I do not know if this route is suitable for your vehicle and caravan.

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Re: caravan

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:31 pm

I would only take a normal caravan to Twee Rivieren in Kgalagadi. You will shake it up badly trying to take it to Mata Mata and especially Nossob.
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Re: caravan

Unread post by Tony T » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:12 pm

Hi, As BB says its you'd shake up your van on Mata Mata road. I was on the road between Mata Mata and K'hoop in May. It's gravel but very good. Road to Luderitz from K'hoop tarred all the way. So too the road between Aus and Rosh Pinah recently tarred too. That's as far as I know but would'nt take a van further to pont and Richtersveld

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KTP - Off-road trailers

Unread post by Hippotragus » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:21 am

Is one permitted to tow an off-road trailer on the 4x4 roads to the Wilderness Camps?

I worked out that hiring an off-road trailer would be a lot cheaper than hiring a second 4x4 vehicle. Four of us might just get all our clobber in my vehicle (Toyota double cab 4x4) but a trailer would just make things a bit easier.
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Re: KTP - Off-road trailers

Unread post by Dreamer » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:18 pm

Hello Hippotragus
We have only ever been to Urikaruus, Grootkolk, KK and KTC Wilderness Camps all of which are accessible with 2x4 vehicles. We have seen 4x4 trailers parked in these camps. However, I don't know about the Wilderness Camps that you require a 4X4 vehicle, i.e. Gharagab and Bitterpan. I think not.... something in the back of my mind says 4x4 trailers are not allowed on these roads, but I'm not certain of this. I'm sure someone who has been there will answer your question shortly!
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Re: KTP - Off-road trailers

Unread post by Hippotragus » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:34 pm

Thanks Dreamer.

I also think I've seen something somewhere about off-road trailers not being allowed on some roads.

If so, we'll have to be economical with our packing!
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Re: KTP - Off-road trailers

Unread post by PNF » Fri May 01, 2009 6:55 pm

Hi Hippotragus
You may not take a trailer to Gharagab and Bitterpan tented camps however, Nossob has a facility where you leave your trailer while visiting these camps(we received this info from TR but you may want to double check this)We will be doing this next month but as there are only two of us it is relatively easy to transfer the essentials to the back of our vehicle.
On the subject of off road trailers, we would like to appeal to all users to be considerate towards fellow road users.
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