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Kgalagadi: Bitterpan driving conditions

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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Kgalagadi: Bitterpan driving conditions

Unread post by Kristoffer » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:22 am


I plan to go to KTP in September next year :D and I want to visit the Bitterpan Camp. I read a lot about the road conditions and found everything from very challenging to very easy" just put in 2nd gear an roll up and down the dunes".

I drive the Toyota Hillux 4x4, so the car should not be the problem. I would like to know how difficult/dangerous it is to drive to Bitterpan for someone who has done very little 4x4 driving in sandy conditions? Is there anything I need to take care about?

And what happens if I get permanently stucked or the car breaks down, which should not happen as the car is just 2y old?


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Re: Kgalagadi: Bitterpan driving conditions

Unread post by barryels » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:20 pm

Dear Kristoffer,

My personal experience of somebody who never drove in 4x4 and visited Gharagab in February 2015 with a Hilux is that you don't have to worry about driving to Bitterpan with your Hilux. I did the Gharagab route without any problem and did not even use low range on the entire route.

Here is a Link to discussions by 'mites who did the Bitterpan route that might be of help.

What makes Kgalagadi so special is the fact that you receive a permit before you leave camp on a daily basis and the personnel knows where you are suppose to be, especially on the Bitterpan route. If you leave early you will also be on the same road as fellow visitors and they will always be willing to help. If not, park management will search for you when you don't arrive in camp :thumbs_up: .

Enjoy the trip :thumbs_up: .
Always be humble and understanding

Off to Kruger:
17-19/10/2016 Letaba
20-22/10/2016 Punda
23-25/10/2016 Shingwedzi
26-28/10/2016 Mopani

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Re: Kgalagadi: Bitterpan driving conditions

Unread post by Hippotragus » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:03 am

There is one "technical" dune on the way to Bitterpan - about 5 km from Nossob, if I remember correctly. I managed it OK in my Ford Ranger (very similar to the Hilux), but I have heard of people having problems.

The trick is to keep going at a steady speed, high 4x4, 2nd gear. Don't hesitate halfway up, or you will have to go back to the bottom and try again!

Have a fabulous trip - you will be back for more!
Malelane 12th October 2016
Skukuza 16th October 2016
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Re: Kgalagadi: Bitterpan driving conditions

Unread post by Kristoffer » Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:55 pm


thanks for your replies. I just books the Bitterpan accommodation :D and looking very much forward to the trip.


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Re: Kgalagadi: Bitterpan driving conditions

Unread post by katanga » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:06 am


I did this trip 2 years ago also with very limited 4x4 experience.

As others have told you, the SANParks guys know you are doing the route to Bitterpan and worst come, they know they will have to come find you. Just make sure you have enough fuel and water when you leave Nossob.

Having said that, we did find a few challenges on some of the dunes. The trick is not to force your way up. If you lose momentum, just roll back and reverse such that you can build up enough momentum to go over the dune.

I did get stuck pretty bad on one of the dunes and all I did was lower the tyre pressure to 1.1bars and the car just managed to come out.

One word of caution: make sure you wrap all your glass bottles, jars etc. We had a few broken items going over a couple of the dunes.

Don't worry, you will be fine and will enjoy it.


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