Questions for a March 2017 trip to Kgalagadi

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Question Questions for a March 2017 trip to Kgalagadi

    I'm planning at trip to Kgalagadi March 18-25, 2017 and I need some advice. I am a camping and 4x4 novice. I will drive a stock 2012 LR Discovery 4 and tow a rented Echo 4 trailer. I'll be traveling with my wife and 2 kids age 12 and 17, plus another family with the same number of kids.

    This is my planned route:

    3/18 - Depart Pretoria, drive half-way.
    3/19 - drive to Augrabies and stay the night.
    3/20 - Twee Rivieren
    3/21 - Drive to Mabua via Bokspits border post, cross to Botswana and then take the tar road to Tshabong and then north. Sleep at the Mabua Pan.
    3/22 - Lesholoago
    3/23 - Lesholoago
    3/24 - Drive 1/2 back via the cutline to Kokotsha
    3/25 - Finish the drive back to Pretoria.

    Part of the reason for this crazy route is because I could only get bookings in Mabua and Twee Rivieren. My questions are:

    1. Are Augrabies Falls and Twee Rivieren worth the extra time?
    2. I'm looking to drive around the park via Bokspits and Tshabong because a) I'm not experienced and the road from Twee Rivieren via Bokspits to Tshabong looks like it's tarred, b) we're not hardened bush campers and a stay at Motopi does not sound fun, and c) according to Tracks4Africa and google maps it would be faster at about 5h30m. Our other alternative is to drive from Twee Rivieren to Motopi (I can get a booking there) and then on to Mabua. This would take 2 days and we'd have to cut out Augrabies Falls. Is the route around the park advisable?
    3. Is there anything interesting to see or do on the route back to Pretoria via Sekoma, Jwaneng etc...?

    I know it's a short trip but like I said this may be our only time to go to the Kgalagadi.

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: Questions for a March 2017 trip to Kgalagadi

    The route outside the park is definitely worth it if you are in a hurry or restricted with time.

    However the last part of the route from Tsabong to Mabua is seriously thick sand. You need your wits about you and some sand driving experience especially while towing. In that respect I would say that the route in the park via Motopi is slightly easier in terms of thick sand, but there are one or two dunes you need to get over plus it tends to be quite corrugated. TR to Motopi can also be a long day.

    Nothing much to see on route back via Sekoma except maybe Mokolodi near Gabs. Never been, but having a stay over there now end of December.

    Your trip is very short. You are going to drive yourself to death either way. I would write off Mabua for this trip. Driving that road for 2 or 3 nights, eish, not sure.

    I would rather see if you can get more nights in TR, Botswana or SA side. Spend a couple of days there or camp just outside the gate at Kalahari lodge. And then spend a few days in Augrabies and return home, maybe via Mokala. In fact with just a week, like you seem to have, I would only do a combination of two of these, no more.

    Edit, online availability still shows plenty of camping available at TR for that period.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2016/12/14 at 10:30 AM.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Questions for a March 2017 trip to Kgalagadi

    There is a private lodge just outside Mata Mata as well,
    They seem to have camping facility as well.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: Questions for a March 2017 trip to Kgalagadi

    That's a lot of driving for very little reward in my book.

    To be honest I would spend my time either in the western side of the Kgalagadi or in Mabua and not try both given the amount of time you have.

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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Default Re: Questions for a March 2017 trip to Kgalagadi

    Personally I don't like Twee Rivieren camp site at all - I would definately not bother to go there for a day and incur all the other driving to get to Mabua. Just go straight to Mabua and try to get an extra day or 2 there rather. On the SA side I will only stay in the Nossob camp site.

    Nothing wrong with Motopi camp site either - in terms of facilities it has got the same as what you are going to get at Mabua, so you can easily stay there. We did the road from Mabua to Nossob towing my Echo 4 trailer (sleeping over at Mptopi 1), and it can be a bit difficult, especially if you are not familiar with towing in the dunes. The problem is that often you struggle to build enough momentum to get you over the crest of the dune because halfway up the dune many have got a sharp turn where you can't go fast. So you need some sand towing skill. Also there is the possibility of vehicles coming from the other side on essentially a blind rise, so you can't just go flat out over the dune.

    Considering your situation, I would go to Mabua only and spend the maximum time there - it is a magic place!


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  8. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Somerset West
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    Default Re: Questions for a March 2017 trip to Kgalagadi

    Hi jdhale,

    I would choose one of the two areas. Being new to camping and 4x4,you would need some time to adjust to the
    daily routine and demands to care for your group. Avoid the pressure of driving all over the place, and pitching camp
    in 4 different sites in such a short time.You will need 2 days just to sort out your rental. Stick to Tweerivieren, or one
    site in Mabua. Then rather sit back and absorb the experience.

    Plan well en have a ball

    2010 Discovery 4 TDV6 SE
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