Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.





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  1. #1
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    Default Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    We are booked for kgalagadi and mabua in January. Hopefully we will be able to travel (cross border) by then.

    So I got a new vehicle in December, blank canvas. Having lost a big contract just before Lockdown and then this whole pandemic, my original vehicle kit-out budget has been reset to zero.

    So the question is, what mods do I need to travel alone while towing the conqueror from Nossob to Mabua via Matopi? Plan was to fit a winch. I have recovery gear and a hi-lift jack, spade, straps etc. But without another vehicle recovery straps are useless. The ranger is on 17" AT tyres, std suspension. Think this will be ok, although 16" would have been better. Not too concerned about the suspension height.

    Does anyone have experience with this road? Its our first time, and I dont want to go unprepared.
    I would rather spend money on another water and diesel tank, and 2 more batteries with dc-dc charger. Even thats a lot of cash in these times.

    So please, advise on road conditions and required preperation for recoveries. Thanks.
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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Go search under my name and you will find a description and pictures of this track. Many people tow in both directions on this track and it is well used. Donít go overboard with buying equipment to drive this. You are bound to see other travelers.

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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Hi Landy

    The Bosobogolo trail is a two way trail and there is vehicles traveling between the two parks more than you might think. You dont need a whinch. The road is hard corrugated sand track mostly with a few dunes in between nothing major. If by the chance you get stuck you can manage with the jack by digging and filling the holes.
    The road from Mabua to Tshabong is one you might get stuck on. You dont need to worry. Lower you tyre pressure and you wil be fine.

    Just go and enjoy that special place.

    PS: Hi Vnielsen. Funny that we meet on this thread.
    Last edited by Wildkyker; 2020/06/22 at 07:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    And another thing.
    Nossop to Mabua is the easiest direction.
    I forget but at 18 or so kilos from Nossop is the main dune.
    The left lane is the best (Normally)
    So if you coming back that way and not exiting via Tsabong.
    Stop at the crest of the dune and have a good look at the routes back to Nossop.
    As per the normal warnings, Watch out for on coming traffic.
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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Your biggest challenge will be the climb of of the Nossob river valley and towing capability is going to be your real test not ground clearance. After that it's thick sand and potentially the bottoming out of the towing arm on the middle mannetjie. I don't really think there's much you can do about that other than sandbags to give some lift and provide extra grip. I did not tow but to me it was very easy in a 4.0l Fortuner.

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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    I agree with all the posts above, but I have to emphasize that the corrugation of the road is not for the faint hearted...we sustained damaged to all three vehicles in our group on that route.It
    was a real axle breaker...it is not just a few patches....it was 200km of hell...we personally decided not to travel that route again...much easier to travel back to TR and around via Tsabong...
    but that is just us....

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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by LandyLove View Post
    We are booked for kgalagadi and mabua in January. Hopefully we will be able to travel (cross border) by then.

    So I got a new vehicle in December, blank canvas. Having lost a big contract just before Lockdown and then this whole pandemic, my original vehicle kit-out budget has been reset to zero.

    So the question is, what mods do I need to travel alone while towing the conqueror from Nossob to Mabua via Matopi? Plan was to fit a winch. I have recovery gear and a hi-lift jack, spade, straps etc. But without another vehicle recovery straps are useless. The ranger is on 17" AT tyres, std suspension. Think this will be ok, although 16" would have been better. Not too concerned about the suspension height.

    Does anyone have experience with this road? Its our first time, and I dont want to go unprepared.
    I would rather spend money on another water and diesel tank, and 2 more batteries with dc-dc charger. Even thats a lot of cash in these times.

    So please, advise on road conditions and required preperation for recoveries. Thanks.
    Just give yourself enough time to get from A- B and stick the vehicle in 4x4 High range ..Let the tyres down and enjoy the trip ..No need for recovery gear etc in my experience ..Landy Defender never missed a beat towing the Brakhah Trailer..You should have water tanks on the Conqueror but an additional fuel tank will be mandatory I advise
    Last edited by Peter Betts; 2020/06/23 at 07:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Betts View Post
    Just give yourself enough time to get from A- B and stick the vehicle in 4x4 High range ..Let the tyres down and enjoy the trip ..No need for recovery gear etc in my experience ..Landy Defender never missed a beat towing the Brakhah Trailer..You should have water tanks on the Conqueror but an additional fuel tank will be mandatory I advise
    The vehicle gives me around 7,8km per liter in town. About 600km to a tank. So i will certainly add another 60lt diesel tank. I have 90lt water in the conqueror, another 50lt in the vehicle. But fuel is my concern, towing in sand in remote areas without fuel stops.
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    Default !!Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by LandyLove View Post
    I have 90lt water in the conqueror, another 50lt in the vehicle....
    There is water suitable for showering and washing in Mabua. No need to fill both those water tanks, weight, weight, weight! You only need drinking water.

    I would rather squeeze in another jerry can or 2 in place of all that water.

    Your standard suspension and 17 inch AT tyres are fine. We have done 4 trips to Mabua with exactly that type of set-up.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/06/24 at 08:08 AM.
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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Personally, I would not recommend towing. Too many vehicles canít make it along the official track, so they create a myriad of tracks to try get over the dunes...
    spaghetti junction is now less of an eyesore than the mabua road...
    and all for the bragging rights to say I could tow my caravan to mabua... whilst conveniently forgetting that the very reason they going there is because of the unspoilt nature which they are buggering up in the process of seeing....

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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terorris View Post
    Personally, I would not recommend towing. Too many vehicles canít make it along the official track, so they create a myriad of tracks to try get over the dunes...
    spaghetti junction is now less of an eyesore than the mabua road...
    and all for the bragging rights to say I could tow my caravan to mabua... whilst conveniently forgetting that the very reason they going there is because of the unspoilt nature which they are buggering up in the process of seeing....
    I respectfully disagree. My camping setup includes an off-road trailer that has been to Mabua a few times. No bragging rights in getting it there and back. Camping with an off-road trailer has never detracted from our enjoyment of nature. Simple rules...donít make new tracks, donít damage the environment and take your rubbish out with you.... my observation the rental 4x4 market with overseas visitors not being properly briefed before they leave Windhoek or Jhb with their rented vehicles.

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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by vnielsen View Post
    I respectfully disagree. My camping setup includes an off-road trailer that has been to Mabua a few times. No bragging rights in getting it there and back. Camping with an off-road trailer has never detracted from our enjoyment of nature. Simple rules...donít make new tracks, donít damage the environment and take your rubbish out with you.... my observation the rental 4x4 market with overseas visitors not being properly briefed before they leave Windhoek or Jhb with their rented vehicles.
    @vnielson, you may be one of the few who respects the places they visit, but when your vehicle is under powered and your trailer overly heavy, the average joe soap would seek path of least resistance...
    having worked years in the nature conservation field, I sadly have been witness to countless guys taking short-cuts...

    Robin
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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    The easiest scapegoat to blame are probably overseas visitors in rented 4x4s. Yet, I've never seen a track, or even a whole park/reserve, where overseas visitors with rented vehicles would not be allowed in. On the other hand, there are quite a few of them in southern Africa, where towing is strictly prohibited.

    Probably with a good reason...
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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post
    The easiest scapegoat to blame are probably overseas visitors in rented 4x4s. Yet, I've never seen a track, or even a whole park/reserve, where overseas visitors with rented vehicles would not be allowed in. On the other hand, there are quite a few of them in southern Africa, where towing is strictly prohibited.

    Probably with a good reason...
    We overland fairly extensively and places like Namibia, specifically kaokoland, caprivi, Zambia and most of Botswana is full of overseas rentals. First hand experience...they have no bush etiquette, donít move out of the way for vehicles towing, drive off the tracks and wash their dishes in the ablution facilities, to name but a few....

    On the Mabua track, we nearly had a head on collision with an idiot speeding thru the bush. He eventually moved to the side of the track only to discover that his tyres were pumped to 4 bar!

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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by vnielsen View Post
    We overland fairly extensively and places like Namibia, specifically kaokoland, caprivi, Zambia and most of Botswana is full of overseas rentals. First hand experience...they have no bush etiquette, donít move out of the way for vehicles towing, drive off the tracks and wash their dishes in the ablution facilities, to name but a few....

    On the Mabua track, we nearly had a head on collision with an idiot speeding thru the bush. He eventually moved to the side of the track only to discover that his tyres were pumped to 4 bar!
    We also overland quite extensively for the last 10 years, all over southern and eastern Africa, and as an overseas visitor (in rented vehicle), I can assure you that I've met approximately the same proportion of idiots, that you are mentioning, both among South Africans or overseas nations. Stupidity is not bound to nations, it is evenly and very righteously spread all over the planet.

    As for the bush etiquette, I could (should?) pay quite some lectures from that field to many of your fellow citizens, as I could to many from other countries. But that doesn't event remotely brings me to the field of generalization and pointing fingers to whole nations or even continents.
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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Guys.... It is not the vehicle or caravan or trailer that causes the damage. It is the nut holding the steering wheel.

    Always.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/06/27 at 07:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terorris View Post
    @vnielson, you may be one of the few who respects the places they visit, but when your vehicle is under powered and your trailer overly heavy, the average joe soap would seek path of least resistance...
    having worked years in the nature conservation field, I sadly have been witness to countless guys taking short-cuts...
    Luckily I am not Joe Soap, do not own an underpowered rust bucket, or tow an over heavy trailer. Off-road trailers are designed for the purpose and we buy them to enjoy our stay in the bush, not to brag to the neighbours. We go to the bush to enjoy nature, the trailer doesnt somehow detract from it....
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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by LandyLove View Post
    Luckily I am not Joe Soap, do not own an underpowered rust bucket, or tow an over heavy trailer. Off-road trailers are designed for the purpose and we buy them to enjoy our stay in the bush, not to brag to the neighbours. We go to the bush to enjoy nature, the trailer doesnt somehow detract from it....
    @Landyluv
    i think the point is being missed here, or is it being downplayed by guilty parties...
    terrain and environmental specific conditions impact upon the passage of a vehicle through a specific area.
    hot dry sand during a drought is not compact, nor favourable to drive on. Having a previous driver rut out the road thus lowering the traction of your vehicle and making the dead weight it pulls is also not favourable. The list can go on... some routes and associated road conditions align themselves to towing a trailer, others, like a grade 5 route, do not. Either the road or the vehicle/trailer will get damaged.
    my point is simple... drivers on the Mabua road, have through a variety of circumstances not kept to the tracks. Thus many detours around the steep dunes have been created. Yes, many maybe through under powered over weight vehicles, but also by towing caravans. Newbie 4x4 and caravan owners facing a steep dune may lack the knowledge of cresting it, thus seek an alternative easier route. So too an experienced driver who has to traverse an ďaxle twisterĒ left behind by an inexperienced driver.
    the point is simple, some roads lend themselves to all forms of trailers, like the N1. Some roads donít. Yes, an experienced driver knows his caravan. But sadly most overlanders only take their caravan to such localities maybe once a year for a few weeks. They become rusty (from lack of experience) for the other 48-49 weeks of the year...
    bottom line, if you are not able to tow in such remote environments, donít go and try tow there. You are buggering up a pristine wilderness area with your errant road building attempts...

    Robin
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    Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they did not stop to enjoy it....

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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    What's with the people loading the whole weight on two
    axles instead of spreading the weight over three axles.

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    Default Re: Kgalagadi to Mabua road prep.

    Quote Originally Posted by LandyLove View Post
    We are booked for kgalagadi and mabua in January. Hopefully we will be able to travel (cross border) by then.

    So I got a new vehicle in December, blank canvas. Having lost a big contract just before Lockdown and then this whole pandemic, my original vehicle kit-out budget has been reset to zero.

    So the question is, what mods do I need to travel alone while towing the conqueror from Nossob to Mabua via Matopi? Plan was to fit a winch. I have recovery gear and a hi-lift jack, spade, straps etc. But without another vehicle recovery straps are useless. The ranger is on 17" AT tyres, std suspension. Think this will be ok, although 16" would have been better. Not too concerned about the suspension height.

    Does anyone have experience with this road? Its our first time, and I dont want to go unprepared.
    I would rather spend money on another water and diesel tank, and 2 more batteries with dc-dc charger. Even thats a lot of cash in these times.

    So please, advise on road conditions and required preperation for recoveries. Thanks.
    I have bought all the equipment a couple of times upgrading. The more I overland the more I realise I use a spade and snatch strap almost exclusively. The strap to pull out other vehicles and the spade for all sorts of things incl digging out other vehicles. My most important equipment that I would never go without for off roading is a compressor.

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