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Thread: Kgalagadi

  1. #181
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    Twee Rivieren is the only camp with 24 hrs electricity and cell phone reception.

    Some of the camping stands at 2R, Mata and Nossob have power. You can ask for these when booking.

    There is no camping at the Kalahari tented camp. The camp is gas and solar powered.

    Fuel is usually not a problem but occasionally a delivery is missed! Would not harm to take a jerry can.

    There is fuel at 2R, Mata Mata and Nossob

    Some of the roads are very badly corrugated, but you should normally not have major tyre problems. But I can't comment on trailers.

  2. #182
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    WOW, stunning thread.

    We want to do the "Northern SANParks in December/January (28/12 till 20/1) - do one need to book ahead of time, lets say after the first week of January ?

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodman View Post
    Hi all. Been lurking here for a while. We are planning a trip in November. I have 2 young daughters (5 & 3) and I would like to ask whether it would be better to take an Echo 4x4 trailer or to stay in the bungalow's/chalet's? We plan on staying at Twee Riverien, Mata-Mata, Nossob and at the Tented Camp. Can someone let me know whether there are power points at all of these camps for my trailer. I have read that the power cuts out at 22h00 in the bungalow's, would that be the same for the power points if there are any?
    Also do people generally take extra fuel along in jerrycans, if so how much would you recommend?
    Is one spare tyre for the car/trailer sufficient?
    Thanks in advance for any reply's
    Please check on the Tented Camp, my understanding is that they do not allow kids under 12 in any unfenced camps so you are restricted to TR, Mata Mata and Nossob.

  4. #184
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    Thanks for reply's - looking forward to our trip

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post
    WOW, stunning thread.
    We want to do the "Northern SANParks in December/January (28/12 till 20/1) - do one need to book ahead of time, lets say after the first week of January ?
    Chris, book as early as possible to ensure you get a spot for the time you want to be there.

    Great place!

  6. #186
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    I just finished reading the whole thread. THANKS for the wealth of information.


    Fanatic I will have to sit down and work out a schedule ... but then again I hate having a schedule for a holiday. I am hoping to book venues from 28/12 to about 5/1, there after to take my chance that there will be camping spots available without prior booking .... Is this "do able", or just a plain bad idea ?

  7. #187

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    Bodman, I have a child and a trailer and has been to KTP twice so maybe I can shed some light for you:

    1. If you are planning this year November, you must get your bookings sorted quickly
    2. Don't bother with the chalets if you have a trailer, the chalets are much more expensive and somewhat basic. I prefer my own trailer, cups, plates, sheets and beds.
    3. Your kids will love the camping and playing in the sand, but VERY important if the sun sets they have to put on shoes and they stay at your campsite, there are lots of scorpions.
    4. They must not be allowed to play in your tent day or night. Keep the tent zipped closed even if somebody just goes in for 2 seconds to fetch something. I am meticulous about this rule, but we still had a hairy worm on my husband pillow.
    5. TR has 24 hour electricity, MM and Nossob the electricity goes of at 22hoo until 5 ( I think, we never use electricity). Have your fridge run from electricity during the day and your batteries should see you through the
    night.
    6. You can take a jerrycan if it will give you peace of mind, otherwise fill up everytime you pass the pumps. We did that on our first trip and were fine.
    7. One spare for vehicle and trailer is fine, take a good tyre repair kit and at TR and Nossob there are some staff that can fix a tyre pretty good. Take your vehicle and trailer's tyres down to at least 1,5 bar, even when laden.
    8. Take your own drinking water, the parks water is undrinkable and the water in the shops is very expensive.
    9. Kalahari Tented camp does allow kids under 12 ( the only wilderness camp that does) but do either that or MM, they are about 5 mins apart.
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT
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  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post
    I just finished reading the whole thread. THANKS for the wealth of information.
    Fanatic I will have to sit down and work out a schedule ... but then again I hate having a schedule for a holiday. I am hoping to book venues from 28/12 to about 5/1, there after to take my chance that there will be camping spots available without prior booking .... Is this "do able", or just a plain bad idea ?
    Rather book Chris. Just to be safe.

  9. #189
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    Just back from 12 days in the Kgalagadi with SWAMBO light. 2 nights at 2R, 2 nights Kieliekrankie, 2 nights Kalahari Tented , 2 nights Nossob and then Eco trail back for one last night at 2R.

    Roads varied from really smooth light sand to teeth rattling corrugated stretches. Travel slowly, watch out for the smaller guys in the park and they're really not so bad.

    Road from 2R to Nossob still under repair. Detour a bit bumpy in places but generally drivable. We did a U turn half down and pushed 40KPH to get back to a lion sighting on second last day.

    KK if you want to spoil yourself and really get lost in the immenseness of the dunes is a really stunning place to visit. Only 4 chalets plus the assistant so it’s like having the whole of the Kgalagadi to you.

    Water hole attracts night visitors including Lion; saw the foot prints all around the chalets in the morning.

    Car ports are too low so if you're carrying cans or RTT you'll have to park in the sun.

    Occasional cell phone reception drifts in and out if you really can’t live with talking to the rest of the world for a couple of days.

    KTK was a bit of a let-down after the solitude of KK. Also felt the positioning of the tents was wrong. Should have had the long side running along the ridge looking down into the river bed, not the short sides as they have them.

    Officials very strict on where you walk. Wanted some sunset shots with plant sin foreground so ventured past the tent lines but was told very quickly voetsak

    Had a look at Mata Mata, would probably stay there in one of the chalets down at the bottom , number 8 I think was a large unit, two bed rooms and a braai area right up against the fence which is waist height at that point so doesn’t intrude. Fake wild camping while you braai

    Nossob was surprisingly quite given its size. Hide is well worth a visit after dark. Flood light attracts plenty large moths that are intent on committing suicide by fly into them. They get stunned , drop to ground flap around and get pounced on by any number of jackals.

    ECO trail travelled Nossob to 2R. Told at start, it’s an eco-trail not a test of your 4x4 capabilities. Oh yeah. 1st day all 5 vehicles (Disco 2, Disco3, Toyota SRT x2 and Hard body) failed miserably to make it up dunes at 1st attempt.

    Sand very soft in places, speed and low tire pressures needed. 3 overnight camp sites very basic no water, has long drops with a view, bush showers and concrete fire base. Lion, Leopard, Jackal and many scorpions visited.

    Ground tent not the best option as I found out especially when the wind blew.

    Big Bertha, the largest of the dunes you face can be a challenge. Not Atlantic dunes challenging but it still caused the Hardbody driven by an AD player to take the escape route The car was heavily loaded though

    2R Nossob direction probably slightly harder as many of the dunes have steeper south facing slopes. Great way to get a taste of what an overland trip in convoy will be like.

    2 x Toyota’s picked up punctures on the trail. My Disco 2 running on Pirelli scorpion AT’s ran without problem, even got complements on low pressure profile

    Talk to the other visitors in the park, we were told of a Hyena den on the 2R Mata Mata road, sat for a couple of hours but unfortunately no Hyena. Plenty of skin and bones so clearly an active den.

    Also Barn Owls in a social weaver nest and a cape fox den all on same road. You will miss them if you don’t know about them.

    Night sky is another jewel in the desert. Living in the city you forget just how many stars there are up there. If you got an iPad or iPhone get the pocket universe app adds to the enjoyment.

    Have to go back in rainy season to catch the thunder storms. Special place great memories. Enjoy it !!

    Oh yes take plenty water , as stated in other posts what they offer in the camps as water is great for washing but has an awful taste. If you have nothing else to drink it won't kill you but .....
    Last edited by Keith Newnham; 2011/10/27 at 10:08 PM.
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    2019 Going back to Kgalagadi but this time without air suspension

  10. #190
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    Keith - You seem to have had an exciting trip!

    Did you have lions sniffing around your ground tent?

    I was interested to see you prefer Mata to KTC?

    How many predators did you spot during your trip (excluding Eco Trail).

    Was game viewing good? Better in the Mata area than Nossob?

  11. #191
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    Now I know why my Kgalagadi/Namakwa question is not receiving any attention, Northern Cape questions should not be posted under regional sections, but rather here under general...
    2011 Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4x4
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  12. #192
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    Keith you lucky man!

  13. #193
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    Hi Mistral had very good sighting of Lion and Cheetah, best being on the 2R Nossob road. Was really hoping to see brown or spotted Hyena but they were not playing fair whilst we were there Next time looks like I need to be in Bitterpan

    Followed a female 2 kms down the road just north of Nossob one monring, her mate hung back +/- 100 metres into the bush.Found them again the next day at the same water hole sitting in the shade. On our way to Eco trail so didn't stop for long.

    Last sighting was of two brothers at the top (if travelling from 2R) of the detour on Nossob road. Sat with them for 45 minutes we were the only car, KNP it's not

    No lions around the tent, we laargered up the 5 cars and a couple of the guys had shade netting fences which we ran around the tent just to put same kind of barrier between mother nature an a very vulnerable me.

    Nossob area had less general game than around Mata Mata, also the general area just look drier, not sure if water table is deeper so trees not so green and vegetation seemed spares compared to MM.
    Something that surprised me was the relative absence of raptors given previous reading I had expected to see more than we did.

    A couple of pics from the trail to wet anyone's appetites
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    2004 Facelift Disco 2 - Raine - sold
    2006 Defender 110 csw - Jaeger

    "Land Rovers don't get stuck, people do, so always look before you leap and if you're unsure, don't do it" Chris Horne

    2019 Going back to Kgalagadi but this time without air suspension

  14. #194
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    Thanks Keith!

    Wow that sand looks soft!

  15. #195
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    Fanatic,
    I think I must go via Pretoria in December to get to Kgalagadi so u can help me with the driving. Some thing tells me u need to get to the bush for a while.

  16. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by ztoo View Post
    Fanatic,
    I think I must go via Pretoria in December to get to Kgalagadi so u can help me with the driving. Some thing tells me u need to get to the bush for a while.
    Hehehe...yeah I have a serious yearning to get back there.

    Unfortunately I won't be there for the next year or so...but I will be back!

  17. #197
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    Once the bug bites.. there is no cure

  18. #198
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    Default Kgalaghadi - shop prices

    Be aware that the cost of anything in those little shops in the park - Tweerivieren, Nossob, Mata-Mata - is something like 30% plus more expensive than what you would pay at the Upington P 'n P. A bag containing 8 sticks of wood for a fire will cost you R 24-00. While there is the argument that transport costs cause all of this, the excess pricing is, in my view, beyond being reasonable. All the shops are owned by the same concessionaire who seemingly never needs to be there. I would take as much consumable stuff with me as I can - weight permitting.
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  19. #199
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    On most items the pricing is higher than the local P&P in your neighbourhod but just consider the obstacles this concessionaire has to deal with.

    Firstly they do not buy the bulk of he big boys so their cost is much higher than P&P. The amount of people in the camp is less than an average suburban block and most folks only buy the absolute necessity from them giving them a much lower turn over and the staff have official transport to Upington available for their monthly shopping for their basic needs. Even less feet through the door

    Consider your transport, a round trip to TR is over 500 km, from there you need to get the stuff to Mata Mata and Nossob, each a day's drive over the same corrugated roads you have to negotiate. There are no special consession made for these folks and they are bound by the same gate hours and speed limits as any other visitor. There is no way any delivery can be made from upington to TR, Mata Mata, and Nossob in one day and if the unloading is super fast (difficult in the heat) a two to three day trip is the norm. The folks that drive these vehicles need to be compensated for the extra hours away from home The stress placed on any vehicle travelling the roads on a regular basis puts maintenance bills in the high category and if it was mine I would also nail you a premium for this aspect alone.

    Wood is a scarce commodity in the area and being a desert so is water so these items are quite highly priced, and besides that, the weight of water and the bulk of wood makes it difficult to transport in great quantities.

    In view of these facts I would be grateful to be able to buy the items I forgot at home or the little luxuries I did not have space for when I packed.
    Henk
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  20. #200
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    Henk you make some good points - fuel costs alone must be high.

    Visitors can always stock up in Upington at much lower prices on their way up if they so wish.

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