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1st trip to Kgalagadi

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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Pjw
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1st trip to Kgalagadi

Unread post by Pjw » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:01 pm

Hi all experienced Kgalagadi folk
My SO and I want to go to Kgalagadi next year and need some advice please
1st off I am aware we probably need our 1st night at Tweerivieren, but do we need more than one night?
Then which camps do we choose and how long in each one? We are retiring this year so time is not critical We would like to spend about 14 days in the park before heading off to Namibia
We have a short wheel base Prado, would this be OK for access to some of the more remote camps
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)

Hippotragus
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Re: 1st trip to Kgalagadi

Unread post by Hippotragus » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:55 pm

You have made a good decision Pjw and, hopefully, this will be the first of many trips to KTP!

The park has become increasingly popular and does not have a lot of accommodation, therefore it gets fully-booked as the bookings open. However, don't despair because there are often cancellations nearer the time. If you are retiring, I assume you will be more flexible on timings.

All the camps are lovely. The Wilderness Camps are great - only 4 (and now some have 5) 2-bed units per camp, plus the camp attendant. We love Gharagab because of its remoteness - 4x4 track in and out, but your Prado should be OK as long as you have low range 4x4. Each Wilderness Camp is different but they all have a waterhole in front of the camp and the animals often visit. These camps are unfenced, so it is not unusual to have lions walking right past your cabin!!

Of the 3 main camps, we have only stayed at Nossob. It is near some great game-viewing areas and has a lovely hide at the camp. It is worth a couple of nights. . I would only stay one or maybe two nights at TR, unless you are battling to find other accommodation. Mata Mata is right up on the Namibian border, in the top left corner of the park, and also has some good game-viewing areas nearby.

There are only two "main" roads in the park - the road up the Auob River to Mata Mata and the road up the Nossob River to Nossob and on to Union's End. Those two roads are linked by the Lower Dune Road and the Upper Dune Road. Each of the roads has water holes and there are a few picnic sites on the two river roads - you have to take your own food, skottle etc. - only toilets and fixed tables and seats at the sites.

It is a good idea to buy and pack all your food for the trip before entering the park. The shops at TR, Nossob and Mata Mata have basics but are not as well-stocked as those in Kruger. You can buy water there - in most of the camps the water is so brackish that you can't even brush your teeth or cook with it!!!

Enjoy the planning and keep the questions rolling in!
Letaba 19 July 2017
Nyarhi Rustic Bush Camp 20-23 July 2017

Letaba 15-17 Oct 2017
Shingwedzi 17-20 Oct 2017
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Pjw
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Re: 1st trip to Kgalagadi

Unread post by Pjw » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:32 pm

Thank you so much for the help It will be very useful for our planning
As you say it is fully booked for May next year, but as we are retiring, we will just go in June or July :lol:
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)

JimS
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Re: 1st trip to Kgalagadi

Unread post by JimS » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:46 pm

Now that you have retired you have chosen a very special place to visit. My wife and I retired 10 years ago and try to spend 2 – 3 weeks each year in the Kgalagadi. We first visited the “Kalahari Gemsbok Park” in 1981 and have been going back ever since. The price list from that time shows a Hut with shower and toilet costing R10,70 per night, and a camp site for up to 5 people at R3,00 per night. How times have changed.

Your Prado is a perfect vehicle for the Kgalagadi, our long wheel based Prado has made many visits in the last 12 years without any problems. Fuel is sometimes a problem in the Park so keep your tank topped up.

Booking a year in advance is essential, and even then the wilderness camps seem to be booked solid seconds after the booking opens. In recent years we have booked accommodation only at TR and Nossob, staying in each camp for at least 8 nights.

We are both obsessive wildlife photographers and now prefer to position ourselves at a waterhole and simply wait and hope.

Our last visit in October 2016 was spent solely at TR, 17 nights in total. Most other visitors we spoke to considered us slightly crazy spending so much time at one camp. For most visitors TR appears to be a one or two night stay before moving on to other camps. As this is your first visit you may prefer to explore the Kgalagdi spending one or two nights at various camps.

During our 17 night stay we only drove the Nossob road, never more than 30kms from TR. Each morning we spent 5 hours at the same waterhole. At the waterhole we photographed lion, leopard, cheetah, brown hyena, jackal, wildcat, honey badger, mongoose, tawny eagle, black breasted snake eagle, lanner and pygmy falcons, lappet faced and white backed vultures. There was also a pair of black headed herons that were very adept at catching Namaqua doves. In the general area we photographed several families of cape fox with cubs, and spotted eagle owl and barn owl, both with chicks. Each morning the sandgrouse came to drink and there was always a pair of lanner falcons waiting for breakfast to arrive.

As far as food goes we always take our own supplies. We have an Engel fridge/freezer fitted in the Prado for frozen food and a couple of cold boxes for salads/veg/milk etc. The huts have double door fridge freezers so there is plenty of room for food.

Whatever you choose to do on your visit we are sure you will have a great time. Take some warm clothes if you plan to visit June or July, the temps can drop below freezing at night.

Jim and Christine

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Pjw
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Re: 1st trip to Kgalagadi

Unread post by Pjw » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:13 pm

Thank you for that interesting information, especially about tweereivieren!
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)

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annaschu
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Re: 1st trip to Kgalagadi

Unread post by annaschu » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:34 pm

We're coming from the U.K. Next March and reading all the forums, Facebook pages etc. I feel that we are lucky to have managed to book all our nights up in the park. I know not strictly a SAN parks topic - but same park so here's hoping - but can anyone give us any info on the Bots side and how to book? We will be fully self sufficient in a camping equipped 4x4 and would sacrifice a couple of nights on the SA side if we could get across the border...
There, behind us, not forty feet away, four immense grey ghosts made their way silently along the dry riverbed, their majesty undeniable under the light of the full moon....
.....surely some kind of magic


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