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Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

Newcastle, United...
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Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

Fellow travellers,

I would be grateful if anyone has any advice or comments on a first trip to the Kgalagadi. I'm planning on being there by the start of March 2014 and plan to stay in the park for 6 nights as follows:

Arrive at Upington by air, collect 4x4, shop and get to Twee Rivieren for the first night.

2 nights in Gharagab

2 nights in Urikaruus

1 night in Kielie krankie - leave

Augrabies for 2 nights to finish.

I will be in Zambia before this and Addo after but will to add a day or two to Kgalagadi if worth the extra nights. I'm interested to know if staying at Gharagab limits your time to visit waterholes because of 1, the long drive North and 2, it's location and accessibility once there?

Many thanks for any advice you can provide - it looks amazing and a long overdue trip!

Cheers Ands

Hermanus, South...
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1. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

Hi,

To reach Gharagab from Twee Rivieren is all of 7 hours driving given max park speed limit and the conditions of the road. Not really doable since you must allow for game viewing stops and other stops.Effectively to get to Gharagab you have to travel to Unions End to pick up the track which is one way to the camp. Personally I have not stayed at this camp because we normally base at Nossob which allows you to travel for game viewing north or south and visit the many waterholes. Gharagab is a lovely wilderness camp, but for your first visit I would suggest you limit the distances. So I would suggest after your fors night at Twee Rivieren you stay at Nossob for three nights then go to Urikaruus for two and then leave from there to Augrabies. Alternatively you could stay two nights at Nossob then take the 4x4 track to Bitterpan as this will give you the tented camp experience

W

Newcastle, United...
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2. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

Much appreciated Willem, that's really useful. Best Ands

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

Hi Bokafrica

Gharagab and Bitterpan are the only camps I havent stayed in. bitterpan I will visit later in the year.

First thing is to sort out your booking plan for 1 April 2013 which is when the March 2014 bookings start. You have to understand that the popular camps will go within hours if not minuites of the off. Popular, rightly are Grootkolk, Urikaruus, Kieliekrankie. The others you may have a bit of breathing space.

In March if its like last year the Nossob valley will be very green and the roads are heavily graded making viewing difficult even for 4x4s. Its better on Aoub valley. We saw very little north of Nossob camp.

The rule for accomodation is simple. Main camps poor, wilderness camps brilliant.

Avoid Twee Rivieren unless your idea of fun is sharing your room with bats, go straight to KKrankie where you can access the valley at the crack of dawn before anyone gets there. Amazing

Given your length of time and provided you can book them I would go for an itinerary based on KKrankie, Urikaruus and Kalahari Tented Camp.

By the way if you like predators you will love it.

Newcastle, United...
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4. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

Hi John, that's really useful, thanks very much. I think we are going to add another 2 nights to the trip and stay overnight in Upington so we can get an early start into the camp. I might give the Nossob route a couple of days and see and just enjoy the scenery if nothing raises its head. I do love predators, particularly the small cats and oddities like aardwolf etc. I can't wait. Cheers. Bok

Manchester, United...
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5. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

Our sightings included African wild cat, caracal!!, lion, cheetah (fantastic) loads of the biggest most aggressive hyena (forget the 'cowardly bit here) so many raptors. I simply cannot overemphasise the importance of 1April Find a reliable agent who is registered with Sanparks. There is clearly blockbooking taking place as they are released.

Any more info please ask. Nossob camp has a very good hide. Grootkolk is amazing with a great reputation however nothing there when we went. Dont rely on the shops, stock up in Upington. We found bacon was a great standby. Light your fire , pour glass of wine then secretly fry a bacon butty. For vitamin C get a tray of Natjes.

Pretoria, South...
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6. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

"Natjes" are naartjies I take it? Sort of clementines/tangerines? Rough pronunciation: "narchees".

Edited: 1:13 am, January 11, 2013
Manchester, United...
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7. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

Yes sorry spelling never my strongpoint. They were delicious and lasted 2weeks. We were amazed.Cant say the same for themeat we bought though.

Alsoshould have added bat eared fox to the spot list.

Newcastle, United...
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8. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

Hi John, quick question if you don't mind? Did you hire a 4x4 and if so, where from? Cheers B

Hermanus, South...
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9. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

4x4 only necessary if you venture onto the dedicated 4x4 tracks like going to Bitterpan as I mentioned previously. For the rest ordinary vehicles can go on all the ordinary park roads. HOWEVER, the roads do become corrugated - sometimes extremely - and it is recommended you at least hire a vehicle with ground clearance and more robust underpinnings like a double cab 4x2. This will give nice ride height for better game viewing as well and cost wise should be cheaper. There are several car hire companies at Upington airport like Europecar, Avis, Driveafrica and Africanautos (a division of Driveafrica I think) and so on.

WK

Manchester, United...
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10. Re: Advice on itinerary for Kgalagadi TP

We got a Terios from Europcar. in Upington. The Terios was great, Europcar less so. The Terios has 4x4 and height so would do really well for all normal roads. Its short length also helped when a quick turnaround needed. Next time we are getting a Hilux as we are going to Bitterpan. Also hiring a fridge for all that bacon and the white wine!