Ckgr warning.





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  1. #1
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    Default Ckgr warning.

    From the Botswana Government Page.

    WARNING-ENTRY INTO KALAHARI GAME RESERVE

    The public is advised that weather conditions in the Kalahari Game Reserve are very bad due to heavy rains.
    Driving in the park is not advisable at the time, therefore those who choose to drive in the park are advised to use no less than two vehicles.
    The public is further advised that incase they get stuck in the park, they should remain in their vehicles and not try to walk to any nearest places as there are dangerous animals, especially elephants and lions that may prey on them
    Moreover everyone going into the park should make sure they are equipped with adequate supply of food and water or any other thing which they may need in case they get stranded.
    Other tourists are encouraged to help those who may need assistance. It will be better to cancel all planned self-drives until the weather conditions improve.
    For any enquiries call +267 6530084 /+267 71400304


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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    It covers the whole Ghanzi District...

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Thanks for sharing

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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Hectic.

    But just imagine the beauty after all this rain. Pity I am bound by school holidays, I reckon middle March will be perfect.
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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    I reckon middle March will be perfect.
    Yip, want to place a bet as to my movements in approx 6 weeks?

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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Quote Originally Posted by RraBots View Post
    Yip, want to place a bet as to my movements in approx 6 weeks?
    NO!
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    Default Ckgr warning.

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Hectic.

    But just imagine the beauty after all this rain. Pity I am bound by school holidays, I reckon middle March will be perfect.
    We Will be there end of April and beginning of May I bet stil green CKGR.....
    Last edited by Rik; 2017/02/07 at 06:33 PM.

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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Interesting situation.

    What would happen to the bookings already paid for if the sites are not accessible.

    That's a whole new situation for one of the driest places in Botswana, but I guess, nature will appreciate.
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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Coming from overseas, and already booked and paid for CKGR 26.02.-02.03.
    Driving a Ford Ranger 4x4 with 50mm lift.
    Just the 2 of us; no 2nd vehicle.
    Good, but not very good 4x4 skills.

    Pls. advice:
    Proper and credible info about conditions at gate possible?
    Certain areas definitely to avoid?
    Ref. to your experience: how long does it normaly take when the rain stops, that the conditions become better?

    Many thanks!
    regards Gina

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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Hectic.

    But just imagine the beauty after all this rain. Pity I am bound by school holidays, I reckon middle March will be perfect.

    +1 on that Lekhubu!
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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Gina, do phone the gate. Their info is accurate, I phoned them before we went in during the wet spell in April 2015.

    Problem areas, the worst was the entrance to Deception valley. And from Deception on the track to Piper. That year some had trouble around Motopi waterhole as well.

    Some of the mudholes at the entrance to Deception had serious deep ruts hidden. I would not really recommend walking the mud hole but sometimes there is no choice. I did walk part of that stretch, but it was a risk as I was far from the vehicle at some stage.

    Biggest tip I can give: always, always stay on the track. Never drive onto the pan even if it looks dry. If you get severely stuck, stay put and phone the gate for help. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE.

    Taking a Satphone is an absolute must. Does your rental come with one?
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2017/02/08 at 06:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Hi all
    We will be there from 13th till 22nd of March so any updates and useful advice are very welcome, please keep it coming
    Thanks and regards
    Henk

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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Gina, do phone the gate. Their info is accurate, I phoned them before we went in during the wet spell in April 2015.

    Problem areas, the worst was the entrance to Deception valley. And from Deception on the track to Piper. That year some had trouble around Motopi waterhole as well.

    Some of the mudholes at the entrance to Deception had serious deep ruts hidden. I would not really recommend walking the mud hole but sometimes there is no choice. I did walk part of that stretch, but it was a risk as I was far from the vehicle at some stage.

    Biggest tip I can give: always, always stay on the track. Never drive onto the pan even if it looks dry. If you get severely stuck, stay put and phone the gate for help. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE.

    Taking a Satphone is an absolute must. Does your rental come with one?
    Many thanks for your infos!
    Yes, we will have a Satphone with us.
    Ref. to the phone no. in the first post: 1. is the Matswere gate; to whom belongs the 2nd?
    regards Gina

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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Quote Originally Posted by botswanakurt View Post

    For any enquiries call +267 6530084 /+267 71400304


    Gina, the first number is a landline, second one a cell phone number.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2017/02/08 at 08:15 AM.
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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Hi Gina
    We were in CKGR mid january - and yes, very, very wet and muddy. I drive a land cruiser and did not get stuck. Always drove in 4x4 high range. Used low range often, 2nd or 3rd gear. Rear diff lock in some situations, and full diff lock a few times. Always keep revs up with the momentum. Stay in the track/ruts; better to "bottom-out" a few times, than get bogged down in mud on side of track. Once through a wet patch, find a drier road section and "wiggle car" to try and remove excess mud build-up on tyres otherwise steering might be difficult.

    MOST IMPORTANT reduce pressure in tyres to 2 bar, or less, depending on the weight of the vehicle and the load it is carrying.

    5 days extra drinking water, 20L fuel spare and food essential. I always take a thermos flask with boiling water in the car so can have a cup of tea / coffee, spare torch, and a sense of sensability!! If the water hazard makes your "gut" really feel uncomfortable, don't be a cowboy, back off, and return to camp. Same true if you out on a drive and you see a storm approaching - head for home as flooded roads difficult to see the "track".

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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Thank you both!
    We will act prudently!
    Rain forecast looks not that bad.
    Last unanswered question, if this is to be answered:
    How long does it normally take after havy rains, to turn the driving conditions back to more or less normal?
    regards Gina

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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    We love CKGR in the green season. However the earliest we have ventured there was late March. This is because all of our trips have been solo. We have however had a good taste of CKGR and driving it in wet conditions in late rains. If I could persuade 1 or 2 other well-equipped vehicles to join us I would love to visit in February. The Kalahari in its green season guise is truly beautiful and the volume of animals concentrated on the pans and valleys grazing on the fresh grass, is quite an experience. Of course the predators follow them there are are easily spotted. The birds are likewise fantastic.

    The phone numbers given by Kurt in the first post work well and I think a sat phone is essential at that time of year. We have called for help before and the Botswana Defense Force sent a well equipped Land Cruiser pickup with plenty of personnel to our aid. In the wet season they expect these calls and can be very busy. I gather that at times even the tractor at the gate is used to pull visitors out of the mud. Surprisingly enough there were usually a fair volume of visitors present despite the conditions. I would however make sure that even when just on a game drive one, carry enough food and water for a good few days and not leave most of it behind in camp. In fact make sure that all your recovery kit is also loaded even for a game drive. I once was stuck with the spade left behind in camp.

    The advice given to stick to the main tracks is solid as the verges around even flooded roads are often worse. However when you see a well-used diversion it is there for a reason and I would suggest getting out of your vehicle to have a good look at whatever hazard in the road lies ahead, prompting others to divert. The worst mud is often on the road from Matswere Gate for the last 10 or less km before Deception Valley is reached. Many of the roads are sandy, especially for instance from Deception Valley to Sunday Pan and one can safely drive through quite deep water in the road where it gathers in the depressions. There are also sections of very sticky mud on the Passarge and Letlihau Valley main road. Around the lesser pans at Piper there is some dreadful mud and if wet I would only do game drives on the main routes in case of getting stuck. It might be many days before anyone finds you if stuck on a minor route. I think trooper's advice to turn around if uncertain is very wise. I visit during the wet times for the rewards and not as a test of our survival skills or to prove any points about recovery skills and thrills.

    The president of Botswana Ian Khama was rained in for a good few days when camped near Deception Pan in March/April 2015. Not even the army trucks could get him out for a few days. Thus I feel that CKGR in significantly wet conditions is not for the uninitiated, should not be tackled solo or without a sat phone and the emergency numbers and I would not tackle it when towing. However the rewards are exceptional as many forum members can attest!
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  26. #18
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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    It is slightly difficult question to answer gina.

    I would say 3 - 7 days depending of the severity of the rain. When we went they had heavy rain and then a dry spell for 2 weeks before we went. The tracks were basically dry. But it started raining heavily the night before we went in. We saw an improvement in the tracks within 3 days in some places.
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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Ref. to recovery gear:
    We think it would be good to have recovery sand tracks with us, but they are not part of the equipment of our rental car.
    So I asked the company if we can rent them, but they want to charge us R 35 per day, which is not a bargain for a 40 days trip!
    Midas in Dec. sold them (a pair of, in plastic) under R 300.
    Does someone know, if they have them on stock usually?
    Thanks!
    Gina

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    Default Re: Ckgr warning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina&Chris View Post
    Thank you both!
    We will act prudently!
    Rain forecast looks not that bad.
    Last unanswered question, if this is to be answered:
    How long does it normally take after havy rains, to turn the driving conditions back to more or less normal?
    regards Gina
    Gina you are visiting CKGR at the very best time for game viewing. You have been already been given excellent advice. If I was coming all the way from overseas there is no way I would consider cancelling under almost any circumstances but do speak to the staff at Matswere Gate in detail before entering. At worst you might have to adjust your schedule within the park a little. See if you can link up with others when driving into the park. I would definitely also carry a satellite phone and I agree that one should never ever leave the vehicle if stuck. Emergency numbers for local help are vital.

    If you come to a section that seems very hazardous simply stop there before you get into trouble and wait for another vehicle. If need be set up camp there and wait either for another vehicle or for some of the water to drain away. Have a good look at the surrounding terrain and the tracks before fording any of the road under water. If it appears sandy you can be more adventurous, if muddy err on the side of caution. There will be other vehicles within a day or two.

    How long it takes for driving conditions to improve varies according to how saturated the ground is and how much recent rain has fallen. Muddy areas drain slower than sand but after the rain has stopped most muddy sections will have improved overnight or at worst after a couple of days. If you are not happy turn back to your previous campsite. If it really pours perhaps just stay there and don't set out if an obvious storm is brewing. If others arrive well and good and they are likely to be happy to share under the circumstances.

    The biggest advantage in a hired vehicle is that the hire company has a vested interest in recovering their vehicle as long as you can get hold of them. Just make sure that they brief you thoroughly on the vehicle and the recovery equipment. Make sure that you know how to safely use a high level jack, it is dangerous but might prove essential. Do some reading at least, for instance U-Tube.

    The rainfall can be unpredictable and some areas of CKGR can be very wet and others relatively spared depending on the vagaries of local rainfall. You might have minimal challenges.
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