The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, straddling the border between South Africa and Botswana, is a semi-desert of crimson dunes and star-crammed skies the place African animals run wild and guests get a wilderness ‘repair’ that’s Prozac for the soul.
As soon as Kalahari sand will get into your sneakers, legend says, you’ll be drawn again repeatedly.
I’ve visited the park 30 instances and even written a ebook about it. However I misplaced my coronary heart on my very first go to.
For many who have but to go there for the primary time, right here’s some helpful info to assist with planning a Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park safari.
Attending to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Take the R360 for 250km from Upington within the Northern Cape, South Africa, through Askham to Twee Rivieren on the South Africa/Botswana border (complete distance from Johannesburg 960km; from Cape City 1100km). If time is brief and your pockets deep, fly from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Upington and rent a automobile there.
Getting across the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
I like to recommend driving a automobile with excessive clearance (a minimum of 190mm) or 4×4, particularly when the roads are badly corrugated, or muddy within the wet season (December/January to April). I’ve seen Sedans make it right here within the dry season (Might to November), however who is aware of at what price to their suspension!
A 4×Four is important for the guided and self-drive 4×Four trails on the South African facet, and in every single place on the Botswana/jap facet of the park. Deflate your tyres for a softer trip (and see tip Eight under).
Greatest time to go to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Any time is sweet, relying on what you get pleasure from. September–November, the tip of the dry season, brings animals to the waterholes and plenty of migrant birds. January/February provides a number of motion, good raptor sightings and a few electrical storms, if you happen to don’t thoughts temperatures of 45–50ºC. If rains have been good, March might present a greener facet to the park and it’s good for birding. Keep away from June/July, if you happen to hate being chilly; night-time temperatures can plummet to zero or -10ºC, though days are sunny.
What to search for throughout a Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park safari
You’ll virtually definitely spot black-maned Kalahari lions and possibly even a leopard, however depart your ‘Huge 5’ notions at residence as there aren’t any elephant, rhino or buffalo right here. Fairly, benefit from birds of prey, cheetah, hyena, honey badger, bat-eared fox, meerkat and small creatures like whistling rats and barking geckos.
The place to remain the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
SAN Parks’ vacationer camps (Twee Rivieren, Nossob, Mata Mata) supply self-catering chalets and tenting, whereas their six higher-priced and extra unique wilderness camps (Gharagab and Bitterpan for 4x4s solely) are unfenced for a close-to-nature really feel.
The private Xaus Lodge on land returned to the Mier and Khomani San is a fully-catered luxurious possibility.
Kgalagadi Lodge exterior the park, 5km south of Twee Rivieren, has self-catering chalets, tenting with non-public services,, and an excellent little restaurant.
Botswana Division of Wildlife and Nationwide Parks (DWNP) gives unfenced bush tenting with long-drop loos at Rooiputs and Polentswa, and on a spread of multi-night trails throughout the dunes. You need to have a 4×4, deliver all your individual water and be completely self-sufficient.
On the different finish of the size are the brand new full-board non-public lodges at Rooiputs and Polentswa.
Insider suggestions for visiting the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
1. Purchase the official data information to the park at Twee Rivieren for background on the park’s animals, crops and neighbouring San communities.
2. Take heat gear if you happen to go to in winter; use sunscreen and preserve hydrated in summer time.
3. Rain falls primarily between January and April, although we have been as soon as caught in a hail storm in September. The dry season is Might to November/December.
4. The protection of the water is suspect. Convey ingesting water from residence or purchase 5-litre jugs of mineral water exterior the park the place it’s cheaper.
5. You should buy gasoline solely at Twee Rivieren, Nossob and Mata Mata.
6. Solely Twee Rivieren, Nossob and Mata Mata have retailers promoting bottled water, fundamental meals/toiletries and firewood.
7. Funds for a minimum of one guided early morning stroll (R313 an individual, no youngsters underneath 16) or sundown/evening drive (R181 an individual, youngsters half value) throughout your go to.
8. If you happen to enterprise out on a 4×Four path, take a grass web to guard your radiator and deflate your tyres to 1.6 bars or much less so that you don’t get caught in thick sand. For security, journey with a minimum of two automobiles.
9. It is a transfrontier park, however if you wish to depart the park someplace aside from the place you enter, you shouldfull immigration formalities at Twee Rivieren/Two Rivers, and keep a minimal of two nights within the park.
10. Kgalagadi isn’t a high-risk malaria space, however use repellents and canopy up at daybreak/nightfall in summer time.