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Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
nancybsimmons
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Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by nancybsimmons » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:09 pm

How does one go about getting water and firewood to take into the wilderness camps? Is it available at the main rest camps? Do you have to pay for water (to fill up carriers)?
Nancy

August 2016
Kruger: Berg-en-Dal, Lower Sabie, Bushmans Wilderness Trail, Satara, Olifants, Punda Maria
Kgalagadi: Urikaruus, Kalahari Tented Camp, Nossob, Bitterpan
Also Mapungubwe, Marakele, Augrabies Falls, Mokala, and Golden Gate NPs

Hippotragus
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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by Hippotragus » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:53 pm

We take all our water and firewood from home - 3 x 20 liter Jerry cans and bags of firewood and charcoal on roof. You can buy bottles of water and firewood at the shops, but you will pay for it. Do not under-estimate the amount of water you will need. In some of the Wilderness Camps (especially Gharagab) you cannot even brush your teeth with the tap water - you must take for cooking, boiling and drinking.
Mokala 11-15 May 2017

Letaba 15-17 Oct 2017
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Punda Maria 20-14 Oct 2017

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Son godin
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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by Son godin » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:54 pm

nancybsimmons,

The only water you need to buy is drinking water, while there will be water to wash with at the camps. KTC is very close to Mata-Mata that has a nice shop where you can buy wood.

In case of Bitterpan get wood at Twee Rivieren or Nossob. Mineral water is also available at the large camps like Nossob, Mata-Mata and TR. Remember to buy some Blitz too to start the fire.

I assume you have a 4x4 for Bitterpan. Just read about a few people getting stuck on the way to the camp and had to walk back to Nossob for help. If you know a bit about 4x4 driving you should not have a problem. Before you are too deep in sand just reverse and start again.

In case the worst happens stay at you car and make sure you have some warm clothing and enough water to drink. Just check if there is not another party leaving and the two of you can drive together. You will get help by night time. :thumbs_up:
Next trip: Kgalagadi in July 2017

Last trip: Tsitsikamma NP, Addo Elephant NP and Mountain Zebra NP

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Son godin
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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by Son godin » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:56 pm

Good point about water for brushing your teeth. Amazing how far you can get with one cup. :D
Next trip: Kgalagadi in July 2017

Last trip: Tsitsikamma NP, Addo Elephant NP and Mountain Zebra NP

nancybsimmons
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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by nancybsimmons » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:53 pm

We are coming from the USA so we cannot bring water and firewood from home! :)

I expect that we will buy several jerry cans for water before arriving in Kgalagadi. If I am understanding correctly, we should be able to fill these at Nossob and then carry them with us to Bitterpan..... then refill them again at Mata Mata after we arrive at Kalahari Tented Camp. Is it allowed to fill water containers in a rest camp where you are not staying?

As for 4x4, yes we will be renting one for our trip. We are experienced in driving on sand in a 4x4 but of course anything can happen.... fingers crossed!
Nancy

August 2016
Kruger: Berg-en-Dal, Lower Sabie, Bushmans Wilderness Trail, Satara, Olifants, Punda Maria
Kgalagadi: Urikaruus, Kalahari Tented Camp, Nossob, Bitterpan
Also Mapungubwe, Marakele, Augrabies Falls, Mokala, and Golden Gate NPs

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arks
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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by arks » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:02 pm

Nancy, you can easily buy plenty of water in quite large bottles at the Pick 'n Pay in Upington, you certainly don't need to go to the extra expense of buying jerry cans. :roll: You can also buy wood there. Both the water and the wood will be considerably less expensive at PnP than buying it in the park shops. I'd assume that you will be doing grocery shopping in Upington? The PnP there is excellent and will have everything that you need. You can use the park shops to replenish if you run out, but there's always the chance that they will be out of stock in just what you need -- which seems to always happen to me when I need more ice! :wall: :wink:
RSA 2016
4,5 April Melville
6-19 April KNP: Croc Bridge, Olifants, Shingwedzi, Pafuri Border
20-24 April Mapungubwe: Leokwe
25 April-28 May Darling
29 May-19 June Cape Town
* * *
21 September-21 November Darling

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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by Timbits » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:57 am

Welcome to the forums Nancy.

As arks pointed out, you can buy water at Pick 'n Pay, or any other supermarket or bottle store. We get 5 litre jugs which I think are about 15 Rand each (ie) very affordable. As a foreigner with a sensitive stomach, personally, I would reconsider getting water from the camps. Some can handle it, I don't want to take a chance.

We do all of our shopping in Upington. Most times we have to hit Checkers, Pick 'n' Pay and Spar to get everything. All of them sell wood, charcoal, ice and water. Checkers and Spar are in the Kalahari Mall. http://www.kalaharimall.co.za/kalahari- ... &x=32&y=18. If you wait to get items in the camp shops, you may be disappointed. The prices will be higher and they may not have what you want.

We bring 2 soft-sided coolers from home and buy 2 or 3 bags of ice. We try to find a quiet corner of the parking lot and pack the meat and other perishables in the coolers. It's a 2 1/2 hour drive from Upington to Twee Rivieren. We also purchase the 2 coldest Cokes that we can find and drink them on the way to KTP. Then I rinse them out, fill them with drinking water and freeze them and the meat that I have portioned out into single meal packages. I also save the small water bottles that they give out on the plane and fill/freeze them. Then we go for our first game drive. :dance:

I continue to make ice with empty soft drink bottles, as they become available. Whenever we go out for a game drive, I pack a few bottles of ice and some munchies. The ice melts and we have cold drinking water. (Never go out without water!). As the trip progresses and the drinking water supply runs low, I fill some of the bottles with water from the camps. For those bottles, I remove the labels, so no label means it's not drinking water.

The fridge at Twee Rivieren usually freezes everything solid. The fridges in the wilderness camps run on gas and I have often found that they aren't quite as cold - especially if it's really hot. Also, the power in Nossob and Mata Mata goes off between 10 pm and 5 am.

Just a few tips to hopefully set your mind at ease. :)

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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:08 am

Great replies Son Godin, Arks and Timbits!

I realise we are so lucky living in RSA and being able to do all our shopping and packing at home. We have 2 car fridges - one set on freezing and one on cold, plus a steel-belted cool box. For people flying in from overseas it must be a potentially huge problem to get organised. Thank you for your advice for people coming from afar!!

Happy travels to all!
Mokala 11-15 May 2017

Letaba 15-17 Oct 2017
Shingwedzi 17-20 Oct 2017
Punda Maria 20-14 Oct 2017

nancybsimmons
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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by nancybsimmons » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:03 pm

Actually we will be coming from Van Zylsrus on the way in, so will not get to shop at Upington. Any decent places to shop along that route to Khalagadi?

We will be spending a lot of time on the road (and self-catering in parks) before we get to Khalagadi, so I expect that we will purchase coolers for packing and carrying food long before we reach there. I like the idea of freezing drinking water in bottles to use as ice packs along the way -- brilliant!
Nancy

August 2016
Kruger: Berg-en-Dal, Lower Sabie, Bushmans Wilderness Trail, Satara, Olifants, Punda Maria
Kgalagadi: Urikaruus, Kalahari Tented Camp, Nossob, Bitterpan
Also Mapungubwe, Marakele, Augrabies Falls, Mokala, and Golden Gate NPs

Hippotragus
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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:52 pm

We love van Zylsrus, but there is nothing there - other than the hotel!! There are no shops between van Zylsrus and Twee Rivieren - it is just a dirt road to Askham, past a few farms. There is a small cafe at Askham, but nothing else. You might be able to find a shop in Kuruman - not sure - we have never had to try.
Mokala 11-15 May 2017

Letaba 15-17 Oct 2017
Shingwedzi 17-20 Oct 2017
Punda Maria 20-14 Oct 2017

HawkI007
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Re: Getting water and firewood for wilderness camps in Kgalagadi

Unread post by HawkI007 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:15 am

We have just spent a week in the Kgalagadi - it was amazing.

My personal opinion:

The price difference for bottled water in the park vs supermarkets in upington or wherever is negligible, probably less then $1 price diff for 5 litres - so buy it in the park as and when you need it.

No need for big jerry cans, we had a 25 litre container can and 3 x 5 litre bottles and all we ended up doing is lugging the Jerry can around. less stress on the back carrying the smaller bottles.

Some camps the tap water was acceptable to brush teeth - not ideal but acceptable. Garagab was not !

I know nancy is not going via Upington but for others - we found the spar in upington to be very helpful, the butcher froze our meat for us in time for pickup before going in to the park.

The fridge/freezer in the camps (KTC, Urikaruus and garagab) were in excellent condition and kept everything cold.

Firewood available and cheap - at all the main camps
2017 Kruger trip
22 - 24 April Biyamiti
25 - 26 April Talamati
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