Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park  

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Cortesy SA Tourism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kgalagadi was the first Transfrontier Park in Africa. 'Kgalagadi' is derived from the SAN Language and means 'Place of Thirst'.

The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa was proclaimed in 1931 mainly to protect migratory game, especially the gemsbok.

Together with the adjacent Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, this park comprises an area of over 3,6 million hectares one of very few conservation areas of this magnitude left in the world.

Red sand dunes, sparse vegetation and the dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob show antelope and predator species off at a premium and provide excellent photographic opportunities. Kgalagadi could be considered a haven for birders especially when interested in birds of prey.

 

How to get there

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is situated approximately 250 km from Upington in the far northern Cape and 904 km from Johannesburg. Visitors driving from Johannesburg have a choice of two routes, either via Upington (with the last stretch of 60-km gravel road) or via Kuruman, Hotazel and Vanzylsrus (±340 km gravel). Upington airport is the nearest airport to the Park and has car-hiring facilities.

  • Roads in the park have gravel surfaces.
  • Light aircraft may land on a tarred runway at Twee Rivieren. Prior permission must be obtained from the Park.
  • Hired cars may be collected at Twee Rivieren provided that a booking is made in advance with a car rental company.
  • The travelling time from the entrance gate at Twee Rivieren to Nossob rest camp is 3,5 hours and to Mata Mata 2,5 hours. When driving from one rest camp to the other, travellers should depart with travelling times in mind to ensure arrival before sunset as no travelling is allowed in the park after dark.

 

Gate hours

January and February 06:00 - 19:30
March 06:30 - 19:00
April 07:00 - 18:30
May 07:00 - 18:00
June and July 07:30 - 18:00
August 07:00 - 18:30
September 06:30 - 18:30
October 06:00 - 19:00
November and December 05:30 - 19:30

 

Traveling distances and times within the park

  • Twee Rivieren Nossob:   3½ hrs
  • Twee Rivieren Mata-Mata:   2½ hrs
  • Twee Rivieren Kalahari Tent Camp:   2½ hrs
  • Twee Rivieren Grootkolk:   6 hrs
  • Nossob Union's End:   3 hrs
  • Nossob Mata-Mata (over Kamqua dune road):   3½ hrs
  • Nossob Bitterpan:   2½ hrs
  • Bitterpan Mata-Mata:   2 hrs
  • Nossob Grootkolk:   2½ hrs
  • Mata-Mata Kalahari Tent Camp:   4 km

 


Accommodation

Twee Rivieren

Twee Rivieren is the park's largest rest camp and administrative headquarters. It is situated on the banks of the Dry Nossob Riverbed. Activities and facilities are diverse, as are the animals and plants found both within the camp and in the surrounding areas. Twee Rivieren has a reception, shop, fuel, restaurant, information centre and swimming pool. This is the only camp with 24 hrs electricity and cell phone reception.

Accommodation:

  • Six-bed family chalet, two bedrooms, bathroom (shower), living room, airconditioner and fully equipped kitchen.
  • Three- and four-bed family cottages, one bedroom (with two single beds), bathroom (shower), living room, airconditioner and fully equipped kitchen. (A single unit has been prepared for mobility impaired visitors)
  • Cottages with two single beds and a double sleeper couch (suitable for children under 12 only), bathroom (shower), airconditioner and fully equipped kitchen.
  • Camping sites with barbecue facilities. Communal ablution. 6 Sites are without power supply and 24 sites with power.

Mata-Mata Rest Camp

The camp is situated on the banks of the Auob River on the western boundary of the Park. The camp borders Namibia and is surrounded by thorny Kalahari dune bushveld. Giraffe, typically adapted to these arid conditions are a favourite sight around Mata-Mata. The camp has a reception, shop and fuel facilities. Electricity is provided by a generator 18 hrs per day. Phone lines are provided from Namibia. Mata-Mata is 2½ hours drive from Twee Rivieren.

Accommodation:

  • 2 six-bed family chalets: 2 x two bed bedrooms, two beds in lounge, ceiling fans, bathroom (shower), fully equipped kitchen, braai and patio
  • 3 two-bed chalets: ceiling fan, bathroom, fully equipped kitchen, braai and patio
  • 3 park homes/chalavans (two with three beds and one with five beds)
  • Camping sites with barbecue facilities. Communal ablution. Sites are without power supply.

Nossob Rest Camp

Nossob rest camp is situated within the dry riverbed of the Nossob. The camp is surrounded by tree savannah and is famous for spectacular predator sightings. The camp has a reception, predator information centre, shop and fuel facilities. Electricity is provided by a generator 18 hrs per day. No phone reception is available at the camp which ad to the tranquillity and peaceful atmosphere at Nossob. Nossob is 3½ hours drive from Twee Rivieren.

Accommodation:

  • Guesthouse: Two units (with inter leading door) that can be booked separately or together for either eight or two groups of four people. One guesthouse has 2 x two bed bedrooms with ceiling fan, bathroom with shower and basin, separate toilet, kitchen and patio with braai. The other has 1 x two bed bedroom with ceiling fan, stack bed in lounge, bathroom with shower and hand basin, separate toilet, kitchen and patio with braai.
  • 2 x Family Cottages: 2 x two bed bedrooms, two beds in lounge, ceiling fans, shower, toilet, kitchen and patio with braai.
  • 3 x three bed Cottages: Bedroom, ceiling fan, bathroom ( shower), kitchen and patio with braai.
  • 7 x two bed Cottages: Bedroom, ceiling fan, bathroom (shower), kitchen and patio with braai.
  • 4 x four bed Cottages: Bedroom with 2 beds, Stack bed on veranda, ceiling fan, bathroom (shower), kitchen and patio with braai.
  • Camping sites with barbecue facilities. Communal ablution. Sites are without power supply.

Wilderness Camps

NB: All Wilderness Camps are unfenced. Guests must provide their own drinking water and firewood.

Bitterpan
NB: A Tourism Assistant is on duty at all times.

Elevated above the red sands of the Kalahari and suspended in time is Bitterpan an exclusive, stilted camp overlooking a waterhole. Bitterpan is situated in the centre of the wilderness opening up a new 4x4 route through the Kalahari dunes from Nossob to Mata-Mata and the Kalahari Tent Camp.

It is on a ONE-WAY route starting from Nossob. It is approximately a 2½-hour drive from Nossob to Bitterpan, while from Bitterpan to Craig Lockhart in the Auob tourist road takes another 2½ hours, and thereafter 15 minutes to Mata Mata, or a 2-hour drive to Twee Rivieren. It is strictly a 4x4 route, but BIG 4x4's such as Unimogs (heavy vehicle 4x4) are not allowed. No trailers (even 4x4 trailers) will be permitted.

Guests should consider staying at Nossob before their departure for Bitterpan.

Visitors should be aware that there is limited driving opportunity once at the camp. Only a one-way 15 km game drive, however visitors staying longer than one night may use the escape route to Moravet to go onto the tourist routes and back.

The camp has the following:

  • 4 x 2 bed units each with a loose standing bathroom, with a shower, washbasin and toilet. The accessible unit with appropriate ablution facilities are available for visitors with mobility impairment.
  • Communal kitchen and barbecue area.
  • Bedding, towels and cooking and eating utensils are provided
  • There is GAS for hot water and cooking and SOLAR for lighting.
  • The walls of each unit are made of reeds and canvas, whereas the roof is a corrugated iron sheet, covered with reeds.
  • The camp is built on stilts with a wooden walkway adjoining the units.
  • A six-metre lookout tower allows exceptional views over the pan, waterhole and across the dunes.

The camp can accommodate either groups or single reservations with ease.


Grootkolk
NB: A Tourism Assistant is on duty at all times
.

The perfect retreat for special occasions, or simply just to get away from it all. The camp is tucked away in the dunes, overlooking a waterhole, 20 km from Union's End where the three countries South Africa, Botswana and Namibia meet. It is a wilderness camp nestled amidst red sand dunes with only the stars and silence for company. Grootkolk is 6 hours drive from Twee Rivieren and 2½ hours from Nossob.

The camp has the following:

  • There are 4 x 2 bed chalets with bedroom, ceiling fan, bathroom and kitchen on veranda. (One unit is accessible for visitors with mobility impairment)
  • Each chalet is equipped with cutlery, crockery, linen, fridge and braai
  • Communal kitchen and barbecue areas available.
  • The chalets are made from sand bags and canvas
  • There is GAS for hot water and cooking and SOLAR for lighting
  • Waterhole

The camp can accommodate either groups or single reservations with ease.


Kalahari Tent Camp
NB: A Tourism Supervisor is on duty at all times.

Situated high up on a red sand dune, overlooking a waterhole in the dry bed of the ancient Auob River, the Kalahari tent camp welcomes you to capture the spirit of the land of thirst.

This exclusive getaway for the discerning visitor, boasts 15 desert tents each elegantly decorated with rustic finishes using wood, sand and canvas exteriors all in the resonant colours of the park.

The tent camp is 3 km from the Mata Mata Rest Camp where Kalahari Tent Camp residents can refuel and get basic supplies at the shop. The camp is designed in such a way that residents feel they have only themselves and the desert for company.

The camp has the following:

  • 1 luxury honeymoon desert tent
  • 4 family desert tents (two beds and a stack bed)
  • 10 two-bed desert tents (Two of the units have been made accessible to visitors with mobility impairment)
  • Tents consist of a bedroom with ceiling fan, bathroom and kitchen
  • Each tent is equipped with cutlery, crockery, linen, fridge and braai
  • There is GAS for hot water and cooking and SOLAR for lighting
  • A swimming pool is available
  • Waterhole

The camp can accommodate either groups or single reservations with ease.


Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp
NB: A Tourism Assistant is on duty at all times.

  • 50 km (1.5 hours) from Twee Rivieren (check in here; closest shop and fuel)
  • Accessible by passenger vehicles
  • The camp has 3 Dune Cabins and 1 Dune Cabin adapted for use by the mobility impared. Each unit has 2 single beds, bathroom (shower), an equipped kitchen with gas fridge/freezer, solar power for lights, gas for hot water and braai facilities on a deck.

Urikaruus Wilderness Camp
NB: A Tourism Assistant is on duty at all times.

  • 72 km (2 hours) from Twee Rivieren (check in here; closest shop and fuel)
  • Accessible by passenger vehicles
  • The camp has 4 Riverside Cabins built on stilts, overlooking the dry Auob River. Each unit has 2 single beds, a bathroom (shower), an equipped kitchen with gas fridge/freezer, solar power for lights, gas for hot water and braai facilities on a deck.

Gharagab Wilderness Camp
NB: A Tourism Assistant is on duty at all times.

  • 164 km (4 hours) north of Nossob (check in here; closest shop and fuel)
  • Accessible only by 4x4 vehicles
  • The camp has 4 Log Cabins, each has 2 single beds, a bathroom (shower), an equipped kitchen with gas fridge/freezer, solar power for lights, gas for hot water and braai facilities on a deck.

Activities

  • Swimming pool in Twee Rivieren, Kalahari Tent Camp, Mata-Mata and Nossob.
  • Lectures, slide shows and holiday programs are organized from the information centre at Twee Rivieren.
  • Night drives at Nossob and Twee Rivieren.
  • Day walks at Nossob, Mata-Mata and Twee Rivieren.
  • Nossob 4x4 Eco Trail - contact Reception at Twee Rivieren
  • Leeuwdril 4x4 loop - contact Reception at Twee Rivieren

4x4 Routes

  • Nossob 4x4 eco trail:   214 km
  • Bitterpan trail:   120 km
  • Mabuasehube Wilderness Trail:   155 km
  • Wilderness Trail (starting at Polentswa):   257 km
  • Direct Route Nossob Riverbed to Mabuasehube:   170 km
  • Direct Route Kannaguass to Kaa:   85 km

Facilities

  • Laundry tubs and ironing facilities (no iron) in camping area of Twee Rivieren, Nossob and Mata-Mata.
  • Twee Rivieren, has a swimming pool, restaurant (breakfast and dinner), information centre, and shop and public telephone and cell phone reception.
  • Predator centre at Nossob.
  • Hides at water hole at Nossob and Mata Mata.
  • The camps have limited freezing facilities and cannot provide a freezing service to tourists. Shops in Twee Rivieren, Mata-Mata and Nossob sell commodities that you would find in your local supermarket, including fresh meat, milk, cheese, eggs, bread, wine and beer.
  • Petrol (premium and unleaded) and diesel at Twee Rivieren, Mata-Mata and Nossob.
  • Five picnic sites throughout the Park with barbeque facilities and communal ablution (no water available)

Botswana

NB: All routes within Botswana are to be travelled by no less than two vehicles.

4x4 Routes

Prior bookings are essential for these routes and can only be contemplated in a single direction as a whole.

  • Mabuasehube Wilderness Trail (starting at Mabuasehube) - 155 km
  • Wilderness Trail (starting at Polentswa) - 257 km

Direct Route

These routes allows access to within Botswana but can only be driven with a 4x4.

  • Direct Route - Nossob Riverbed to Mabuasehude - 170 km
  • Direct Route - Kannaguass to Kaa - 85 km

Camping

Camping is available at the following places (most unfenced):
Two Rivers (fenced), Rooiputs, Polentswa, Kaa, Mabuasehube section: Mabuasehube, Khiding, Entrance Gate, Mpaathutlwa, Bosobogolo, Monamodi.

All bookings for the Botswana side still has to be done through their office at:

Tel: +267 318 0774
Fax: +267 318 0775
E-mail: dwnp@gov.bw

Post:
Parks and Reserve's Reservation Office:
Dept. of Wildlife and National Parks - Botswana
P.O. Box 131
Gabarone
Botswana


Climate

The Kalahari is an arid region with an annual rainfall of 200 mm, mainly between January and April. In summer day temperatures may exceed 40°C. Winter days are sunny with night temperatures often below zero.

 

 

NATIONAL PARKS

Addo Elephant
Augrabies
Bontebok
Golden Gate
Karoo
Kgalagadi
Knysna & Wilderness
Kruger National
Mapungubwe
Marakele
Mountain Zebra
Richtersveld
Table Mountain
Tsitsikamma
Vaalbos
West Coast

 

Kgalagadi National PARK

How to get there
Gate Hours
Travelling Distances

Accommodation
Wilderness Camps
Activities
4x4 Routes Facilities
Botswana
Climate


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