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“Amazing park - can nothing be done about the roads?”

Kalagadi Transfrontier Park
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Upington
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Probably my favourite SA National Park, in the lonely and beautiful Kalahari. Game viewing and scenery at the park is spectacular. Game is concentrated for the most part along the two riverbeds along which the main park roads follow. Common sightings include ostrich, jackal, red hartebeest, wildebeest, cheetah, lion, springbok, gemsbok, eland and much more. Rare sightings include Kudu, leopard, honey badger, african wild cat.

The park is a bird-lover's paradise with many species resident in the region, and many large raptors.

The roads in the park are generally quite poor, with teeth-rattling corrugations unavoidable on most roads. I would avoid bringing a regular sedan car into the park, though some people do. It's a real shame that SANP management doesn't have the will or perhaps finance to build proper roads in the park.

Accommodation is camping and chalets, and the experience of individuals varies considerably. In the camps, jackals can be a problem at Nossob, bats at both Nossob and Twee Rivieren. There are numerous options for wilderness camps and regular camps, see separate reviews for Nossob, Twee Rivieren, Mata-Mata, Kalahari Tented Camp, and Kieliekranie, Urikaruus and Gharagab wilderness camps.

You'll need a number of days to do justice to a visit here - and it's worth it. Warning: very hot in the high summer, and aircon only in Twee Rivieren chalets.

1  Thank thepeckster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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264 - 268 of 389 reviews

Reviewed November 7, 2012

This is such a stunning place to visit - but booking is essential. On every trip I have done here I have seen Cheetah, Lion and Leopard as well as huge numbers of other game. This is a huge game park and needs a good few days to get the whole experience.

Accommodation can be in a basic rest camp or in a luxury tented camp overlooking a waterhole in the dunes. Also self catering as there are no restaurants in the camps.

Thank hotshotCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

The KTP is rather a special place, much better known to South Africans than it is internationally, despite its enormous size. We have just completed our second visit, staying at Nossop, Mata Mata and Twee Rivieren. We stayed in self-catering chalets in each location, and were very pleasantly surprised and impressed at the improvements made to these accommodations since our last visit in 2009. Each of the units were modern, clean and air-conditioned. The units were very well provisioned with cutlery, crockery, utensils and equipment to make a self-catering stay very comfortable.

As for the park itself, we saw a wide variety and animals and birds, our particular area of interest. As a photographer I was able to take great photos of lion, cheetah, leopard, giraffe and all of the other more widely seen creatures. A special sighting was of 3 honey badgers. We counted over 70 different bird species, many of which I was able to photograph.

The roads, although all dirt, were in good condition. So overall, a very enjoyable week in a wild and lonely, yet lovely part of southern Africa. As someone said to me, South Africa's best kept secret.

2  Thank BrianRalphs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012

Before leaving I read about bats in the accommodation at Twee Rievieren. We stayed two nights in two different cottages and did not hear or see one bat. Take enough food with you into the park as there is not much choise in the shops at Twee Rivieren and Nossob. Bread is frozen and the're no vegetables available. The road conditions were very bad. The 4x4 roads are better than the main roads. We saw a lot of lions between Twee Rivieren en Nossob.
The wilderness camps are our favourites.

1  Thank zaboris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We love the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park and its malaria free. It’s the best kept secret in South Africa! It now has a luxurious option called Xaus Lodge.

We on the other hand love the unfenced camps. Please be aware that there have been lions every single time we have been at unfenced camp. No harm came to us but when the lions were there as we did not leave the tent. You will know because there will be allot of excitement by other people; you either hear them, see them or you will be warned by the game ranger. Do not feed any animals! Kieliekrankie is also a stunning unfenced camp and to camp in the red dunes is amazing!

This has been our third trip and every time we have loved it. There are a lot of animals and birds.

The best time to go is late September. We saw over 10 sightings of lions, two lion kills, three cheetahs walking next to our car, two cheetahs, which have 3 cubs. We also saw two leopards together which is very rare. We also saw a leopard in cave.

You will not see rhino, buffalo or elephant in this park. There are allot of birds, buck and ground squirrels, jackals, bat eared foxes, mongoose, suricate, honey badger and of course baby springbuck being born. That was awesome. We saw many raptors catching, snakes and rabbits.

Essential tips: You have to take your own drinking water and lots of it especially if you doing the self catering option. The water is treated but I find it very salty. You have to realise that if you not choosing the luxurious option you are going camping so be prepared. We have stayed in the chalets and the accommodation is basic.

You will have to take cash as some of the camps such as Mata Mata and Nossop do not take cards. Nossop is the place to be if you want to see lions although we have seen lions at Bittercamp, Kalahari tented camp and Twee Riveren as well.

The roads in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are not sedan friendly, although the roads are maintained on a monthly basis, sedan vehicles find it difficult to cope with the conditions. Vehicles which will be using any of the 4x4 routes in the park must note that the recommended ground clearance should be 190mm, to make the drive more enjoyable.

You have to take binoculars and a camera with a zoom. Even though we had lions right next to our car and cheetah you want to be able to see animals at a distance as well.You have to take a spotlight so you can shine on the animals at night.

If you want to see animals you have to get up early and be out when the gates open. The cats are the most active then.

We have been there twice in winter and do not recommend camping as we have been in a tent at minus 9 and it’s terrible. The chalets are excellent if you go in winter: the days are warm then and freezing at night. You will see lots of cats in winter and they walk around at lunch time because the temperatures are cool.

You have to book a year in advance.

1  Thank Elvie007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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