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Karoo: Afsaal Cottage

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Lesego
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Karoo: Afsaal Cottage

Unread post by Lesego » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:52 pm

Bookings have opened for Karoo National Park’s latest accommodation offering – the very rustic Afsaal Cottage, situated in the park’s game viewing area.

The little stone building was once a shepherd’s hut on a farm which has since been incorporated into the park, and which has undergone renovations and upgrades over the past few months. Situated approximately 33 kilometres from the main rest camp, the cottage is in the southern section of the park along the Nuweveld 4x4 route, and is accessible with a normal vehicle – but preferably with a 2x4 vehicle.

The unit can accommodate up to two adults and two children only. It is equipped with two single beds and mattresses, with bedding and towels. Two stretchers are provided for children. The unit is not serviced daily, but cleaned upon departure and before arrival.

Afsaal is equipped with solar power for the lights and a gas burner for food preparation, as well as an outside braai area, for which guests need to provide their own firewood. A small solar fridge/freezer is provided inside the unit and a shower with a gas geyser ensures that there is hot water available at all times.

As for a view - a waterhole in front of the unit allows for some game viewing from the porch, while the vast stretches of the Karoo landscape provides a scenic backdrop. A spotlight is in place to illuminate the waterhole at night.

Staying over at the Afsaal Cottage gives visitors an early start to the game viewing area and the possibility of seeing some of the more elusive game species. Normal gate hours are applicable and Park Management depends on the honesty and integrity of its clients to abide by the park rules.

Prospective visitors should note that there is no cell phone reception at the cottage due to its location in the park.

The base rate tariff of one to two people is R690 per night. Additional children will cost an additional R100 per child. Bookings can only be made through the Park’s Reception, on (023) 415 2828.

View pictures of the cottage
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MxM
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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by MxM » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:45 pm

WOW, this is definitely on my to do list!!!
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Re: Afsaal Cottage Online booking

Unread post by MATTHYS » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:32 pm

pedreh wrote:Can anyone please shed some light on why the Afsaal Cottage are not included in the Online Booking System?


Hi Pedre,

You have to book through the Park's reception. Please see here :

Staying over at Afsaal Cottage will give visitors an early start to the game viewing area and the possibility to see the elusive game species. Normal gate hours are applicable to the Afsaal Cottage and park management depends on the honesty and integrity of visitors to abide by the gate and park rules. Visitors should also note that there is no Cell phone reception at the Cottage. The base rate tariff of one to two people is R690 per night. Additional children will cost an additional R100 per child. Bookings can only be made through the Park's Reception, on (023) 415 2828.
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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by Jonkers » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:51 am

what about the roads condition ??

according to Lesego's post: and is accessible with a normal vehicle – but preferably with a 2x4 vehicle.

I have read one trip rapport (not on sanparks forum) and comment was:
overnight stay at the Afsaal shepherds cottage, which we reached after negotiating a long, challenging, extremely bumpy but exhilarating 4X4 route (the cottage is much more accesible now)

Any one been there lately?

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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by Sharifa » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:08 am

It does look stunning MM :D We were there in December 2013 but could not get booking for the cottage. We drove past the cottage.

Jonkers, the road is bumpy and it is on the 4x4 route. I am not sure about sedans because on the map we were given it says the Afsaal Loop is 4x4 only. It does not have to be a long drive, there are a number of interconnecting loops, all one way, so you could end up there after a long drive or take the direct route, which is abot 7km.

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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by enrico » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:02 pm

@Jonkers.
There is a write up in the latest Wild magazine.Pg 6.

Please give us your impressions after your stay.
Particularly interested in the view of the waterhole,any sightings there and whether a 4X2 would make it to the cottage.

Cheers :thumbs_up:
Enrico.

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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by Jonkers » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:03 pm

I'll be there in July before going to KTP and Augrabies
We are really looking forward to the rustic of this accommodation, too many chalets in different parks are equipped these days with tv, noisy airco's etc Now the bonus no cell phone reception at Afsaal !!!

I'm sure it will be cold, as cold as experienced in Grootkolk / KTP in July ? Let s say we are prepared
When we are back I for sure will drop my thoughts about Afsaal

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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by 4O4-5O4 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:51 pm

WendyA and myself took a drive down the 4x4 track today and found Afsaal Cottage. The cottage looks amazing, very very secluded, its about a 25 to 30km drive from the main camp, of which, 8km or so is on 4x4 track, so, it really is isolated.
It looks really rustic, seems to have an upstairs deck overlooking a small waterhole, and the waterhole appears to be lit at night via a small solar panel powered light.
Getting there is via a 4x4 track. It is rough in places. Weve had some rain in the park lately so for two days all 4x4 trails have been closed. It could be reached in 4x2 with diff lock, but again, this may differ in the wetter time of the year and it is recommended that one checks this with Sanparks. The track is not suitable for normal sedan vehicles. All in all, if total isolation is required, look no further than Afsaal Cottage.

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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by Oubaas1 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:57 am

Stayed at Afsaal beginng of May and travel with our Renalt Clio ! Was super, no problems with the road just take it slowly on the 4x4 section. Took us about 2 hours from Reception via Klipspriner pass to Afsaal. :dance: :dance:

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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by enrico » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:44 pm

Hi Oubaas1.
How far is the waterhole from the cottage?
Is it working?
Any sightings both at the waterhole and in the vicinity of the cottage?

Lots of questions but definitely on my bucket list.
Thanks for the info on the road and the travelling time to the cottage. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by 4O4-5O4 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:39 pm

You could probably throw a stone from the porch into the waterhole. Its right there

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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by Oubaas1 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:55 pm

Enrico
The waterhole is about 30m from the cottage with a spotlite.
Only problem was the frige/freezer - during daytime the temp increase to 11 and 4 degrees.
We report this problem to Reception.
Plenty of game on the Potlekkertjie loop and the lions roaring the morning when we left!!

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Re: Karoo National Park opens new rustic accommodation

Unread post by Jonkers » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:04 pm

thank you! for the info, specially on the road, 2 hours don't seem that bad
a few more weeks and we will be there

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Afsaal (Karoo Nat Park) report and info - mid-July 2014

Unread post by bosch dassie » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:58 pm

This must have been our 10th (or even more) visit to Karoo National Park, but first time to Afsaal. After a quick stop at the shop and with a nonchalant “oh ja daar is leeus in die park, so pas maar op” (oh there are lions in the park, so take care….) from the lady at reception off we went to Afsaal. A lot of antelopes on our way to there. In fact, don’t think we’ve ever seen so many different species from the gate to reception (kudu, eland, red hartebeest, springbok, zebras etc).

The 4x4 road from Potlekkertjie to Afsaal is indeed doable with a normal sedan if you take it slow (we had a ‘soft’4x4 – outlander). However, if it has rained I think it can be quite rough and you’ll easily miss the pointy stones or get stuck in the wet patches. With a good 4x4 it should be a breeze. It took us about 2 hours from reception to Afsaal without any long game-viewing stops.

Given that not a lot has been said about Afsaal on the forum (or is available on the sanparks website) some facts about the cottage:
- A big stoep in front (partially covered so you would be protected against rain or find shade against the sun)
- Lovely viewing deck/balcony with a great view which you can reach with an easy-to-climb ladder
- There is a nice braai, and a lovely spot to hang your potjie (there isn’t one in the cottage, so bring your own)
- Cutterly/crockery etc is all packed in cupboards outside – the usual sanparks stuff, no need to bring anything
- There is one sink next to the cottage (on the stoep) which you’ll have to use for dishes, washing up and to brush your teeth etc
- The shower is also next to stoep. Its surrounded by walls, but its ceiling is the floor of the viewing deck above, so if it rains you would probably get wet (but you’re in a shower anyway so not sure if it matters… ) Water was nice and hot
- There is a switch to turn on/off the light on the waterhole which is really close by
- Inside there are two beds, a cupboard stuffed with blankets and a camper cooler/freezer combination (those you can put in the back of your car), two tables and four chairs. There was a camping bed for kids as well.

This is all very nice and indeed rustic (as described on the sanparks website). Its definitely worth it to go for two nights and spend the day at the camp

However, here comes the kicker… the toilet is in a little outhouse at the back of the house. We are regular Kgalagadi wilderness camp visitors and have no problems with lions/hyenas/etc roaming the cottages/tents, but this outside toilet honestly gave me mixed feelings. On the hand you always try to be as quiet as possible as you never know when a lion may pay a visit to the waterhole which you don’t want to startle, but on the other hand I really don’t want to walk into one when I need to go to the bathroom. Given that is dark for at least 12 hours (in winter) it is not as if you can just wait until morning… One night a hartebeest nearly ran us over when he heard us pass by. Granted, there some light you can switch one but there still is a pitch black corner and I don’t even want to know what kind of creepy crawlies or slithering snakes you might miss when you go out in summer. On the positive side, I have never had a loo with such a good view (during the day 
All in all, it didn’t deter from our experience. But if you have porto-pottie and small kids or a very weak bladder, definitely bring it along.

Especially because we heard lions roaring during the entire day and both nights. If the sightings book in the cottage is anything to go by, the lions often visit the waterhole. In fact, to quote the sightings book “die toilet is darem maar ver as daar leeus by die watergat le van 4:30vm tot 6:30nm” (the toilet is far if there are lions at the waterhole from 4:30am to 6:30pm).

We didn’t see lions. But small herds of hartebeest, zebras and kudus came by during the day/night.
Even though the temperature dropped at night and the wind started howling outside, the cottage inside stayed nice and warm. If you tend to get cold very easily you can bring your own gasheater, but it might get stuffy.

Might post some pictures later as I’m still on my way to Kgalagadi and Augrabies! :)

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Re: Karoo: Afsaal Cottage

Unread post by Melda30 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:31 pm

Yet another place on my bucket list and this thread has pushed it up near the the top of the list. I can't wait. This and the Mokala tree house are appealing to me greatly.


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