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Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by EddieL » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:58 am

Can anyone give me some feedback on the Bitterpan 4x4 - will you recommend it? What did you see en route to Bitterpan? Does the route require a kidney belt?

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Re: Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by Leonmvr » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:59 pm

I would go back any day, it is a slow 2nd gear low range drive, so the comfort is up to your driving. we did not see lots of animals as there is not a lot of water on route, but stunning views.

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Re: Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by barryels » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:25 pm

EddieL, This is an interesting topic to read through. It will give you an idea of what to expect on the 4x4 routes in KTP. Here is the link.

Here is a short video of Jenb on the Bitterpan route to give you an idea of the terrain Bitterpan route
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KNP 1-6 March 2017
KTP 21-28 Nov 2017

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Re: Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by creight » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:21 pm

Hi all, have just returned from Kgalagadi (May 2014) which included the Bitterpan trail and 2 nights stopover at Bitterpan camp.
We had some advice from Brent Whittington the section ranger at Nossob which helped us enormously.
When you approach a dune slow down and get into 1st gear and take it slowly. As a result it was very comfortable and we managed the trail easily in our 1997 Prado.
The camp is very attractive and overlooks a dry pan. It was pretty cold at night though. Some lone gemsbok and a small herd of 7 visited the pan and a group of 3 hyena drank at the waterhole one night. A resident jackal also visited the huts of an evening.
We found the second part of the trail from Bitterpan to Craig Lockhart to be more challenging but also more beautiful. Regarding animals we saw single and small herd of gemsbok regularly on the trail as well as ostriches. Also a family of bat eared foxes headed off over the dunesas we approached. We saw a herd of hartebees at the first waterhole but the second waterhole was closed.
The trail and camp is highly recommended and you should have no difficulty.
Denis and Pam

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Re: Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by Peterkb » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:40 am

One of my party going in September has a Nissan X-Trail which is 4x4 but does not have low range. Will it be OK on the dunes?
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Re: Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by expat » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:00 pm

We have travelled to Bitterpan twice in a Nissan X-Trail 4x4 and had no problems at all. Being female, I am not sure if it had low range or not! But we had a wonderful time there and saw two honey badgers, a rarity indeed! We also experienced a sand-storm one evening and the sky turned bright orange! Go, if you possibly can - it's a great experience.

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Re: Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by john222333 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:37 am

Did it last October. Didn't need low range. Just kept going. Sand was soft but ok for Hilux. You reach a junction as you near Bitterpan. Turn right, I didn't, as straight on is to escape route and is very soft sand.
Don't really understand advice about low range.

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Re: Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by hollydog » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:24 pm

John, keep telling people about that junction and you have to turn right!! That was the best advice I think we received, from you in regards to KTP. You get to that junction, and it's really not signed that well. We slowed down a little to read the sign (which was not helpful!! LOL), felt the Hilux sinking just a tad, gave her some gas, and I said to my wife, "we're going right cause John said to". She had her doubts, but a few minutes later, camp came into view.

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Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by MarcSF » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:33 pm

One's approach to the dunes depends on several factors and it is misleading to generalize. I did the trail in February 2013 in a rental Hi-Lux with a 2L petrol engine. Sand was soft and the engine lacked the torque of a larger diesel. Low range was absolutely necessary and a couple of dunes were more challenging than others. I'm going back next month with a diesel Hi-Lux and expect an easier trip.

Engine power, softness of the sand, temperature, load, tire inflation, and driver skill all matter and effect the ease of crossing the dunes.

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Re: Bitterpan 4x4 Trail

Unread post by john222333 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:54 pm

I have been properly corrected. I did think n my ignorance that all Hilux were diesel which in our case coped much better than I anticipated. As I have said before the Only prob was when we stopped for pics and started sinking

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