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Kgalagadi Transfrontier NP

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Trying to wake up a few fodorites who have done this in the past from slumber and help :)
Did go thru old posts ( '08 ).In need of latest info and advise.

Have driven in Namibia ( May 15) and a few other african countries.So driving long hrs no issue.

Q1. When : Tentatively end of March'16, begining of April'16

Q2. How long : 2 weeks (8 days only Kgalagadi TF NP )

Q3. Where : Arriving Jo'burg. Transportation to Upington ? Then hire a 4x4 for the park.

Q4. Self-drive with a 4x4 rented in Upington self organised using Sanparks or opt for a guided ,driven
safari, with a mix of camping and lodging.

More to follow. Thx in advance

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    What are your questions?

    So far, your plan looks fine. Whether to use a guide is personal choice and budget. You don't need a fully kitted out camping 4x4 if you use rest camp bungalows and wilderness camps, just a regular 4x4. All drinking water, food (limited choices in the park) and firewood/charcoal must be brought with you.

    Check for availability - there is nothing in May/June in many camps, though I keep checking, making logistics more difficult. I imagine the same for March/April. Start there.

  • Report Abuse

    Would request you to weigh the 'Pros and Cons'.

    Wondering if end of March- begining of April is 'good' season. Weather-wise.Visitor 'traffic-wise'.Wildlife sighting-wise and so on.

    Secondly, a couple of operators have offered a combination of camping ( either in rest camp or absolute wilderness 'in remote secret locations' only known to them !) and wilderness camps.All we do is sit back and enjoy when everything is taken care.

    On the other hand,though tempting,self-drive with camp-gear and rations need elaborate planning.In tight schedules like ours,losing time in case of any eventuality would spell disaster.

    What are 'Long Drop Toilets'. Are they squatty potty?

    Jo'burg to Upington seems a whole day journey by road.Still unsure of the mode of transport.Would renting a car to drive all the way an only option.

    Any good tour operators fodorites can recommend in that region (Upington).

    Thx

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    It's a bit more than a day's drive. You can fly JNB to UPT, rent truck, buy all food/water, etc. KTP is never crowded - not enough accommodations for crowds. Everything about KTP is extreme - hot, cold, dry, rain...

    There is no "off road" so secret locations? No. Just probably remote on the Botswana side. The Botswana side is very remote, tough to drive - if you are interested in the Botswana side, definitely get a guide or tour.

    8 days is a long time in KTP (hard to keep fresh food fresh that long) so Augrabies NP is a good combo at the front end. Very close and entirely different.

    Long drop toilets are porta-potties. Just a deep hole - no running water. No ensuite. :)

    No need to camp on self drive. There are many fully equipped rest camps and wilderness camps. Just bring food, firewood and water. Availability is tough and some months sell out 11 months in advance. In a pinch you can get most provisions in rest camps, just not a lot of choice.

    Have you done a self drive in S Africa? If not, why not just start in spectacular Kruger to get your feet wet before trying to do the much more remote and logistically difficult KTP? There are also private concessions on both the S Africa side and Botswana side. Expensive, but easy. And no camping or drop toilets required. KTP is famous for predators but no rhino, elephants, buffalo, wild dog, few giraffe. If you have not visited S Africa, I wouldn't start with KTP.

    Try Bushlore for vehicles and tours.

  • Report Abuse

    Thanks Christabir for the info.Been to SA a couple of times before and each time to Kruger of course, it has never disappointed me.Never felt the necessity to drive in South Africa in the past, as each time it was a short visit and is well connected by air.

    Kgalagadi TF np is on my bucket list.North Cape has always intrigued me, so this is the reason to make it up there.Particularly interested in the unique flora and fauna the region has to offer.

    Now that you have told me that camps get booked up in advance, I better move fast.You have provided a great deal of valuable info and options will research into it thoroughly. I've also taken note about the duration in KTP,can look at 6 days with a day or two break at any of the camps.


    On the other hand, toying with the idea of starting off from Windhoek renting a 4x4, travel south towards Hardap region( last May it was northern Namibia route I did ).An over night at Kamelruhe at Gochas.

    http://www.kamelruheguesthousenamibia.com/
    or
    http://www.reddunecamp.com/
    and the Kalahari Farmstall with is just 14km to Mata Mata

    Enter SA at Mata Mata border post.Its probably a 6 hr drive from Windhoek.Could also look at the Mata Mata camp and drive around KTP. Just a thought.
    Keeping options open.

    Pardon me, not trying compicating. Bouncing off ideas ,

  • Report Abuse

    Sorry - didn't know about your past trip. KTP is a rough first go. Check out the Bushlore trips - some look great, and being taken care of is great. At wilderness camps cooking out without a fence - I don't know, with all those predators!! I believe someone here did a tour with Mason tours. It wasn't that long ago - try another search. He also did Mashatu on that trip, I seem to remember.

    The flora is best in N Cape when the fynbos bloom - generally sometime between end of August to maybe early October. With climate change and drought it is unpredictable.

    Check on customs requirements from Mata Mata. They might require a two night stay in the park, but I'm not sure about the MM side. Entering through Twee Rivereen requires two nights to exit to Botswana or Namibia. I would try to do more than just MM - it's one small corner of the park.

    Don't be surprised if there is almost zero availability. It's a huge park with few accommodations and very popular. I don't plan early enough. I'm a last minute type, usually if I find a great flight deal!

  • Report Abuse

    Read the trip reports in the SanParks Kgalagadi forum. That's all I did to prepare for a 10 day self drive in KTP in 2013. We flew from JNB to Upington and rented a small SUV, not a 4x4, as we stayed in the South African side restcamps. I'm planning a return in 2017 that will involve the Botswana side campsites and then we'll need a 4x4. Like others have said many of the restcamps sell out 11 months in advance, but even if you can only get Twee Rivieren and Mata Mata or Kalahari Tented Camp it's worth going.

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    Been pouring through TRs and each time something better and more interesting seem to arise. Botsawana side seems interesting.Trying to organise a driver/guide to take us through this all-out camping safari.We'll probably hire 2 4x4s. We have 2 experienced drivers with us,quite adept at tough terrain.

    As we arrive on Jo'burg,contemplating starting of from Kuruman. An overnight stay there and set off to Mabuasehube Game Reserve via Tshabong roughly 250 kms. Camp for 2 nights.The following day drive to the Mabasehube gate and Hakuntsi,set up camp at Kaa.The next 2 days will be the Kaa trail.

    This stretch is getting me a little worried.No facilities available.From the Kaa camp drive towards Swartpan overnight and game drives.The next day, another 100km would take us to Thupapedi Pan.game drives ,camp overnight.

    The following morning drive towards Polenstwa.More game drive if required, or simply enjoy the camp. I hear is on the Nossob river-bed.

    Almost the end of a great adventure, drive towards Twee Riverien of straight to Askham.End of tour.

    This is a loosely planned itinerary.Subject to a lot of tinkering.Discussing logistics with a few experienced folks in Northern Cape.Will keep you posted with the progress. In the meanwhile, any form of valuable info is welcome.

  • Report Abuse

    Well,here is what has happened in the past 6 weeks. Most of the 'tour specialists' threw up their arms. Either they are busy or the camps are fully booked ( as expected ).I'm now left with 2 of them who have kept the little fire burning & my hopes alive.Most of the time they have been on tour ( they personally accompany) so communication is been at snail's pace.

    The biggest problem has been the dates and its still not finalized.Now I'm working around 'availibility' and looks like it would be April'16.

    I phoned today, primarily to save communication time and was told that there were no place in the campsites ( Mabuasehube ) and would have to pitch tents with absolutely no facilities!! Not even drop toilets !! This has got me nervous. Very,very nervous.

    The plan now is to hire a fully fitted out 4x4 in Jo'burg and drive straight to Kuruman. Will be met by the guide with another vehicle and set off.

    This is the planned itinerary as given to me.


    DAY 01: Arrival – McCarthy’s Rest
    Guide meet clients at noon at the parking area of the Eye of Kuruman. Depart to McCarthy’s Rest Border Post via Hotazel and Black Rock. Accommodation is on the South African side of the border.
    Overnight: Chalet at Cullinan Holiday Farm
    Meals: B & D
    Distance: 190 km from Kuruman
    Travel time: 03 hrs from Kuruman

    DAY 02: McCarthy’s Rest - Mabuasehube
    Enter Botswana. Proceed to Tshabong. Refuel. Continue on gravel and sand trail to Mabuasehube in the far eastern part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Mabuasehube has more annual rainfall and the landscape is bushier than the western side. The campsites are far apart and very private. Mabuasehube campsites are situated on the edge of big pans, some overlooking waterholes. Afternoon game drive.
    Overnight: One of the camps camping (basic facilities)
    Meals: B, L & D
    Distance: 170 km
    Travel time: 5 hrs

    DAY 03: Mabuasehube
    Game drives in Mabuasehube.
    Overnight: One of the camps camping (basic facilities)
    Meals: B & D
    Distance: 60 km
    Travel time: 6 hrs

    DAY 04: Mabuasehube – Kaa Concession
    Game drive to Mabuasehube gate. Depart north to the small town Hukuntsi. Refuel and replenish supplies. Proceed via Zutshwa, where a small San community lives, to Name Pan in the Kaa Kalahari Concession Area. The Kaa Kalahari Concession lies in the southwest of Botswana and borders on the north of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and is one of the last great unfenced wilderness areas in Southern Africa covering 1,3 million ha. Roughly 800 people live in a few small villages. There are two major ethnic groups; the Bakgalagadi and Basarwa or San. The latter lives here for 3 000 years.

    Vast herds of game can still be seen in typical Kalahari veld with rolling grass plains and Acacia woodland. The area is dotted with pans (dry lakes) which fill up with water after good rains in summer and attract large herds of eland, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest, some predators and many birds. Over 50 species of raptors have been recorded here. Kaa Concession is of ecological importance as it is the migratory corridor between the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
    Overnight: Name Pan camping (No facilities)
    Meals: B & D
    Distance: 270 km
    Travel time: 7 hrs

    DAY 05: Kaa Kalahari Concession – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
    The trail takes us through the Kaa Kalahari Concession Area with beautiful stretches of savannah woodland. Proceed to Kaa Gate on the northern border of the Botswana part of the Park.

    Depart to the Nossob River Valley. Eland are seen very often on this route. Game drive south in the Nossob Valley to Polentswa Camp on the Botswana side in this 37 000 square km park, which is one of the largest conservation areas in the world and one of the last truly unspoilt ecosystems. Endemic game such as gemsbok, springbok, eland, giraffe, blue wildebeest and red hartebeest roam the sparsely vegetated red sand dunes and the dry river valleys of the Nossob and Auob where a variety of acacia species thrive.

    The Park is well known for good sightings of lion, leopard and cheetah and spotted - and brown hyena are common residents. Because of an abundance of prey in the form of mice, whistling rats, birds and insects, smaller predators thrive in the park. The park is home to caracal, honey badger, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African wildcat, mongoose and the ever-popular suricate (meerkat).

    Kgalagadi is a bird watcher’s paradise with more than 300 species recorded including at least 20 larger raptor species. The world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori bustard and the stately secretary bird patrol the riverbeds while the noisy northern black korhaan rule in the dunes.

    (The facilities at Polentswa are very basic. Each campsite has an A-frame shade structure, pit toilet and a shelter for shower bag.)
    Overnight: Polentswa on the Botswana side (basic facilities)
    Meals: B & D
    Distance: 170 km
    Travel time: 7 hrs

    DAY 06: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
    Game drive to Nossob Rest Camp. Afternoon game drive.
    Overnight: Chalet at Nossob
    Meals: B & D
    Distance: 120 km
    Travel time: 5 hrs

    DAY 07: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
    Game drive south via the Nossob River valley to Twee Rivieren. Afternoon game drive
    Overnight: Chalet at Twee Rivieren
    Meals: B & D
    Distance: 140 km
    Travel time: 5 hrs

    DAY 08: Kgalagadi – Kuruman
    Depart to Kuruman vis Vanzylsrus.. En route we stop at the last indigenous San tribe in South Africa, the Khomani. Today these earliest residents of the Kalahari, living here for 40 000 years, consist of only 400 people and are resident in an area between 40 and 70 km south of Twee Rivieren.Continue to Kuruman.
    Overnight:Chalet at Red Sands Country Lodge
    Meals:At own cost
    Distance:410 km
    Travel time:6 hrs

    INCLUDED:
    Guide & assistant, guide vehicle incl. fuel
    Local guide where applicable
    Accommodation as per itinerary including camping equipment if needed
    All entrance fees to National Parks and Nature Reserves
    4x4 trail fees for clients’ vehicles & guide vehicle
    Trans border fees where applicable for guide & clients’ vehicles
    Meals as per itinerary
    Activities as per itinerary
    Coffee, tea and cool box with ice in the guide vehicle
    Guidebooks about flora, fauna, geology, area etc. & maps in guide vehicle
    Recovery equipment & basic tool kit
    Satellite phone for emergency calls
    Maximum 5 x two-way radios (Portacom & Zartek)
    Satellite phone for emergency calls only
    14% VAT

    EXCLUDED:
    Client’s vehicles & fuel for these vehicles
    Camping equipment, sleeping bags & pillows, eating utensils for self drive clients.

    If i'd manage to do this & survive,I promise to write a detailed TR :)

  • Report Abuse

    You are way braver than me!! I'd love to do the Botswana side of KTP for the amazing wildlife, but I don't think it's in the cards for me. That all sounds like an excellent plan - I love that you will have two vehicles, otherwise I would have suggested it might not be your best option. But with two - go for it!

    I'm pretty sure you can get a toilet included with the fully kitted out 4x4. I hope you plan to sleep on top of or in the vehicle. Much safer.

    Really, have the time of your life. It sounds perfect. Stupendous!! A TR will absolutely be required - if you survive it, of course. I am bright green with envy.

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    Christabir,your gentle nudge has been inspiring.It translates into to' move or you'll not make it '.A great feeling to have someone urging you to get on and find a solution. Fodorites are a breed apart.

    Till now its only been 'hot air ' from my end. Praying hard it does not fail.I don't give up easily.It's paid off in the past.

    I'm all too familiar with the situation.Thrown myself into the unknown and made it out.Hope and wish this time with luck and good wishes I shall succeed.

    A lot of positives in the last couple of days.Constructive dialogues,deliberations afoot.I see the African sun rising over the red dunes,the Meerkats scampering,a distant roar of the Blacked-Maned lion.Am I dreaming......?

  • Report Abuse

    Inquest
    If it were me, I would do this trip without a guide or driver - the areas you are considering are pretty tame.

    For bookings on the Bots side, contact Tara at Botswana Footprints - if anyone can get you bookings in the Mabua area of Kgalagadi at this late stage, it is Tara. www.botswanafootprints.com or Tara@ngami.net

    For the SA side of the park, you are able to see what is available online on the SAN Parks website:
    https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kgalagadi/
    Go to the drop down menu under "travel" and click on "availability." Click on a camp and then "view a monthly calendar" and you can see what is available for each month.

    If it were me, I would fly from JNB to Upington and see if you are able to rent one of Avis' new safari vehicles - they have an outlet at the Upington airport.
    http://www.avisvanrental.co.za/avis-safari-rental.aspx

    A great source of info regarding the Bots side of Kgalagadi is the Botswana 4x4 Community Forum - see here:
    http://www.4x4community.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=169
    You will find many more trip reports for the Mabua area on the 4x4 forum than you will here - not as many self-drivers on this forum.

    Lastly, do not be put off by all the nervous nellies who will tell you how difficult the roads are and how dangerous the unfenced camping is. My DH and I - two Canadians who are both 60+ - have self-driven and camped our way through SA, Bots, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, and we have never been in any serious difficulty. If we are able to do it (self-drive and camp), you (who sound younger) certainly will be fine.

    Have a look here for a little inspiration and confidence:

    https://bert-and-bin.smugmug.com/Tanzania-and-Kenya-2014/n-5GvtK/

  • Report Abuse

    Inquest

    Further to my post above and regarding the link to the Kenya/Tanzania trip report and photos that I provided at the bottom, be certain to read what I have written with photos 73, 74 and 75 on page 2 - just so you will appreciate both sides of self-driving and camping. :-)

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    Canadian_robin,your photo-narrative is truly awe-inspiring.Fantastic photos.Especially the lion incident,gave me goose bumps reading it.You both look 'at home'in the wild.What a way to travel!!kinda stuff my dream is made of.
    Well,this isn't a nudge,its a push !! :)I like it!!

    Many thanks.

    You are absolutely right.Monomaniacal focus on a single goal is perhaps should be the ultimate stratagem.Will follow up on your leads immediately. The only hitch is,I believe they do not allow a single vehicle into the Botswana side of KTF np.That was the info I got and was one of the reason for looking at a guide vehicle.The other being a knowledgeable person could show you the wilderness in a different perspective.Will certainly find a way around it.
    Keep you posted.

  • Report Abuse

    My husband and I are booked to camp (on our own) in the Bots side of Kgalagadi in Dec/Jan this year. It is possible to visit in a single vehicle, but you are restricted to certain areas.

    For the Mabua area, all campsites are available to single vehicles - the only restriction is that you must only travel back and forth to Nossob on the Matopi Road - you may not use the Mosamane Road or the Mosamane campsite on that road.

    The Kaa/northern area of the Bots side has more restrictions - I believe you must have two vehicles for all roads in that area. However, you may stay at, and travel as far as, the Polentswa campsite on the Bots side - we are booked to stay there.

    See this map: https://www.sanparks.org/images/parks/kgalagadi/maps/full_parkmap08.jpg

    You will find much info about camping on the Bots side on the Botswana 4x4 website - you'll get reliable answers to your questions there and great trip reports.
    http://www.4x4community.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=169

    You may have difficulty getting bookings at this late stage - that will be your biggest challenge. Contact Tara at Botswana Footprints for the Bots side, and watch the SAN Parks website for cancellations on the SA side - they do happen.

    For out trip in Dec/Jan, we have booked a combination of camping on the Bots side (with an Avis safari vehicle) and staying at the wilderness camps on the SA side.

    Happy you enjoyed the photos and report. Yes, that lion gave us quite the scare. :-)

    Happy planning!

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    Its falling into place. Everything is booked and I'm excited.we arrive in Jo'burg on the 17th April'16,collect the vehicle,Toyota Hilux 4x4. Here I'm coordinating with Bushlore (thanks Christbir).Clyde seem to be very professional and has offered an unreal deal for the vehicle.Though their travel coordinator wasn't able to help with park bookings nor the tour.

    Overnight.

    This is as communicated to me.

    Day 1 Kuruman, South Africa
    Depart early from Johannesburg/Pretoria to Kuruman, also known as “Oasis of Kalahari” (570km)
    Check into one of the guesthouses, for the evening. If the excitement will allow you,rest well before the great adventure
    starts in the heart of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

    Day 2 + 3 + 4 Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana
    After a hearty breakfast depart to Mabauasehube, where we will cross McCarty’s Rest border post into Botswana. (430km)
    Mabuashebube means red earth and is named after the red Kalahari sand. You will experience wildlife first-hand around the rustic, basic and unfenced campsite. Allthe major predators can be seen at
    Mabuasehube.

    Day 5 + 6 + 7 KAA Concession KAA & Swartpan, Botswana
    It is time to stock up on fuel, water and food. Visit a small village, Hukuntsi, where you will findbasic shops just for
    the necessities for the coming 5 days: butcheries, take away restaurants and a clinic. Thereafter,we will head directly to KAA
    concession to camp for the night.(150km).

    Day 8 Nossob Rest Camp, Botswana
    Today we are heading to the heart of Kgalagadi (3,6 million hectares) to Nossob Rest Camp (200km). The red sand dunes and
    dry riverbeds of the Nossob will show off abundant variety of
    antelope and predators; excellent photographic opportunities will come your way.

    Day 9 Rooiputs/Twee Rivieren
    We will head south and just before we exit the Park we will turn off to Rooiputs/Twee Rivieren Camping area where we will stay
    for the last night in the Park.(210km)

    Day 10 Kuruman, South Africa
    After breakfast we will depart and slowly return to civilization.Overnight before heading back to Gauteng.

    Canadian _robin,is there anything particular I should know about camping details,dos and donts etc,that you feel,from your first hand experience.

  • Report Abuse

    Hi inquest!
    So, just to be clear, you are traveling on your own and therefore cooking for yourselves? If so, then you need to plan out your meals and put together a complete grocery list - from toilet paper to cream for coffee.

    When we are preparing for a visit to Kgalagadi, we make a day to day food list per meal - breakfast, lunch, dinner and even tea - and then a non-food list of things like paper towel and wood. We then combine it into one long list. You will be a long way from a store, so you need to ensure that you will not forget anything.

    Personally, I would skip the shopping at Hukuntsi and plan on purchasing everything in JNB. With long-life milk and a freezer for your meat (I believe all Bushlore vehicles have them), there should be no need to shop twice. The shop in Nossob does have good meat from a butchery in Upington, so you will have the opportunity to re-stock meat.

    Do you know what campsites at Mabua, KAA and Swartpan you are staying at? I would want to know that ahead of time so that I could plan out my route and know how many km (and therefore how many hours) I am traveling in a day.

    On day 9, are you at Twee Rivieren or Rooiputs? They are 20km apart! If you have a choice, ask for Rooiputs - much more wild.

    You might enjoy this trip report (link below) - the couple did a very similar trip to what you are doing - starting in JNB and renting from Bushlore, staying at many of the same campsites. You'll note that they do all of their shopping in JNB. There are also great photos.

    http://www.alisonbuttigieg.com/self-drive-kgalagadi-mabuasehube-julyaugust-2013-south-africa-botswana/

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    It sound absolutely wonderful. I thought Bushlore would be more helpful with arrangements, but probably only for a tour with them. I found them when I was planning my Kgalagadi trip (didn't go, bummer) and they also sell their used vehicles, which we are considering when we move to KZN. The Hilux is a great bakkie. Aren't there four of you? Two vehicles? Or did you decide on a double cab Hilux and rent just one?

    As cr says, figure out every meal, every snack, every drink (and sundowner) and stock up. Use the list from Bushlore of what is included in the rental and buy everything not included. I would need lots of fresh produce for the beginning and frozen veggies for the end. Use the PicknPay website for available seasonal food - they have online shopping so you can see everything they have. Don't forget Peri Peri sauce. It's good on everything. I use too much tin foil when I braai, make sure you'll have enough to cook all of your sides. Bring foods you love that you can't find with you - I drink almond milk (in long life packaging) and use low carb wraps in place of bread so I have to bring those. Of course, follow the import/customs rules. Generally, no fresh food. Must be packaged/canned. Bring the soap and moisturizer and sunscreen you use at home - your skin will have enough problems.

    I prefer charcoal, but wood might work out better. I have no idea. I'd probably stock up on both and donate everything you don't use at the end. Make sure the vehicle has extra water tanks and big petrol tanks, I'm sure it does.

    I'm so jealous. Have the time of your life - and tell us all about it when you get home!

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    Thank you both for some great tips.We will also be carrying some packed pre-processed food which has a long ( 4+ months) shelf life.All that needs to be done is cut open and re-heat or cook/shallow fry on open fire.These will be accompanied by a variety of sauces(thai and continental),pickles and preserves.
    These would also include,rice,noodles,semolina based pre-cooked,vacuum packed meals made by a friend of ours.

    All this is besides what our guide has planned for us.So every meal would most likely be a feast, time permitting, and of course accompanied by a chilled Savannah Dry ,some great South African wine and probably a single malt by the fire at night.

    We are going to be 6 of us and are travelling in a convoy of 2 vehicles, one driven by our guide and the second will be driven by each of us,by turns.

    The guide has organised to pick up all rations,food,water et al.The check list is elaborate and he's in charge of it and its part of the deal, which includes helping us cook meals and set up camp.So a major burden of planning and shopping is being taken care of before the tour begins.What's left to be done is to stock up the vehicle which is to be hired from Bushlore.

    The stop at Hukuntsi is to re-stock(will be primarily water) and re-fuel for the next 4 days.

    Canadian_robin, this is what we are going to be doing :

    Kuruman to East Gate entrance Mabausehube 350kms 6 1/2hrs drive. Camp in Manomodi (50kms) 3 Nights

    Manomodi to KAA Concession ( Name Pan) 220 Kms 6 hrs drive.One night

    Kaa to Swartpan Campsite.1 or 2, one night

    Back to Kaa one more night.

    Kaa to Nossob 180 Kms 7 1/2 hrs drive.Over night

    Twee Rivieren 170kms 4hrs drive ( Rooiputs not available )

    Back to Kuruman.

    This is a fair indication of driving distances between Camps and time,provided to us.This excludes game drives on dedicated routes.Guess I will be able to provide more accurate info after the trip.Will keep you posted.

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    I would be really concerned about getting those meals through customs. Also unnecessary - your guide will have enough and I actually enjoy S African meats and veggies more than at home - it tastes more like real food (did you know an American chicken goes from egg to plate in six weeks?). And on a braai - Ack! I'm checking flight prices as soon as I finish this. I prefer a vodka tonic, but S African wine is GOOOOD!! Bring plenty. Pick up Peri Peri sauce.

    Did you gain 2 people? I thought it was four. Fun. Seven of you camping out in the bush sounds like tons of fun. I tried to hire a ranger a few years ago for KTP. Shortly after we asked him to arrange it, he quit the whole biz. His girlfriend hated him being away.

    I can't wait for your trip report. It's going to be a fun read.

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    Christabir, what we are taking is processed hot filled,fully
    /partially cooked and sterilized food, filled in laminated multi-layered aluminium pouches, they have a long shelf life.These are ready-to-eat 'dishes' which can be stored at room temperature.I've done this before, though not for 10 days almost out of touch with civilisation in one stretch.It works very well.Getting these through customs in SA(taken then into Namibia,last May) before has never been an issue as its sealed.

    Of course, we have a choice of South African meats and other fresh food which will be available to us, will be stuffed into the 2x60l fridge,which would certainly be bursting in the seams.Guess it's an over-kill.Wont hurt either,will be spoilt for choice.

    Sauces and marinades are high on the list.Sure Peri Peri, Tabasco,Mustard, Mayo,Tandoor masala (Indian Kebab seasoning),
    assorted herbs,BBQ sauce (Thick & Spicy or American Garden).

    No stone left unturned.A Porta-Bar to quench thirst.The heat of the mid-day sun would certainly be suppressed with either a Belvedere or Grey Goose or a chilled Savannah Dry Premium Cider.

    The tales around the campfire,every evening, warrants a whisky, a single malt at that.

    We are 4, with the (good) possibility of another joining us from Singapore.This does not include the guide.That makes us 6.

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    Sounds as though you have some great campsites - I envy you getting up as far north as Swartpan. I suspect it will seem as though you have the park to yourselves.

    The pre-cooked meals will be very convenient, especially on the day that you drive from Monamodi to Kaa, which will be a long drive/day.

    I see that it is not long until your departure. Have a wonderful time. I will hope to read about your trip when you return home. Go well! CR

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    Kgalagadi TFNP - Fire and Ice

    A beautiful, enriching celebration of this land's tones and topography. A stunning landscape which entices & enchants you with its raw beauty. Grassy dunes, acacia woodland and scrub jungle make up the landscape. Words are not enough to describe this ethereal land. Its harshness stands in sharp contrast with softly changing moods of the vast desert. Unreal !!

    After a few relaxing days in Cape Town, landed in Jo’burg airport. Joined by the rest of the entourage, we were met by Eloff & Anneke of Fresh Tracks. Wonderful people, who be our guides/companions taking us through this experience, I’m about to narrate, four weeks too late.
    First of all let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the help and encouragement. It was truly a trip of a lifetime... scripted to perfection. The mobile camping experience was incredible, made even more memorable by this couple from Fresh Tracks, who looked after us and we eventually became one big family. Will provide more info as I go on.
    We were drive from O R Tambo straight to Rosewell Spa and Guest house in Magaliesburg . The reason I had booked there is to primarily save travel time the following day on our way to Kuruman. A one hr drive with packed lunch on the way arrived at the resort, early evening. In the meanwhile E & A ( Eloff and Anneke ) and got in touch with Clyde of Bushlore and had brought all the necessary paperwork for the Toyota Hilux, which they had to pick and drive it back to the resort the following morning. A relaxing evening. Early to bed, an early rise and we were on our way to Kuruman. While I drove the Toyota with my other 3 companions, E & A were in their Land Cruiser. We journeyed on…..,pl bear with me, this report will be in posted in parts..

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    So glad you had a perfect trip! I thought about you when we got stuck in a dry river bed in KZN - proved I would need a second vehicle for a trip like yours!! Sounds like a wonderful safari.

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    Fortunately did not get stuck anywhere, though some parts of the KTFNP, especially Kaa and Swatpan region had deep sand:)

    It was a long drive to Kuruman. Its a small town,primarily catering to motorists either on their way to and from Northern Cape/Botswana..Stocked up for the onward journey.Water,diesel,vegetables,some fresh/frozen meat,fruits & juice... etal,stuffed into the 2 refrigerators.Stayed over at Red Sands Country Lodge

    The following morning we were in the way to Mabausehube , around 350 kms.Arrived at McCarthy's Rest Border Post,through with the formalities,crossed over to the Bots checkpost.The clearance and paperwork were rather slow.They insisted on checking the vehicle and the contents.Content,they let us go.About an hours drive arrived at Tsabong.Its a another small town at the cross roads.Changed some money into Pulas, some refreshments and we were on the mud track towarde Mabau.The going was good. A few foto ops,the last stretch of about 40kms to the Gate was a deep sand and need the switsh to 4x4.

    As we arrived at the Mabau Gate at around 4pm,we it under lock and key and no one in sight. A little intrigued,we took a side road into the park towards the campsite,soon we had a couple of rangers tailing us. Asked us to return to the office.Obviously furious that we had entered without 'permission'. We informed them that we found the gate locked and had no option but to enter before dark and would sort out the formalities later. Clash of ego,some argument,some convincing,matter settled we proceeded to set up camp.
    Fire lit and meat in the spit, a couple of cans of beers and Savannah,good supper,settled in with the sounds of the desert at night.An overcast sky opened up later into the night.Not heavy,pretty incessant.

    Woke to a brilliant day.Beautiful sunshine.Fresh coffee,eggs for breakfast...started packing up for the game drive.....

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