Kgalagadi Aug 2015

Tell us about your recent trip. Please add some photographs.
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pietpetoors
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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:11 pm

We left Langebaan on a cold, misty morning on 7 Aug.
Elmi had a 30 year school reunion in Upington and we decided to make a long trip of the occasion.

On Friday we only went as far as Upington and stayed in a guest house.
Finally on Sunday morning we set out for the long anticipated trip to the Kgalagadi. It was a first for both of us, even for Elmi who grew up in Upington. I have been to the area before but nether into the park.

Although we booked in April, we could hardly find space and had to take whatever we could get.
Lesson one for going to Kgalagadi is "Book well in advance"
Taking whatever camps we could get resulted in us having to drive long distances inside the park each day.

We reached Twee Rivieren as our first camp and pitched our tent.
kgalagadi-01.jpg
2 rivieren
Early the next morning we left for Mata Mata. We left early so we can take pictures during the good time of the day.
The game is very very tame. The Springbok walk in the road and you literly have to push your way through them like you do with a heard of sheep.

Most of animals will stand a couple of meters from the vehicle and just look at you, they don't even run away.
kgalagadi (1).jpg
Springbok
kgalagadi (2).jpg
Gemsbok
Most of the road to Mata Mata is next to the dry river. There were plenty of Springbok, Oryx and Wildbeest.

One disadvantage of this road is that the road is busy and because it is in the river the dust takes very long to settle. Thus the whole area permanently have a dust cloud hanging over it which makes taking clear pictures a challenge.

We reached Mata Mata and found a nice camping spot right in front of the water hole. OK, the water hole must have been dry because we never saw any animals there the whole time we were at Mata Mata, but it was still a nice site.
kgalagadi (3).jpg
Mata Mata
The next day we had a very long way to go. The SA side of the park was full so when we booked we had the option of either leaving the park after day 2 or to go to the Botswana side. We knew it was very far but decided to start early, which is what we did. We had to drive to Nossob and then from there to Matopi and Bosbogolo.

On our way to Nossop we came down a long hil and saw these fresh Lion tracks.
Just around the corner was a picnic spot where we could stop to make breakfast. The picnic spot was full of people, all unaware of the fresh Lion tracks we saw about 200 metres from the spot.
kgalagadi (4).jpg
Leeu spore
kgalagadi (5).jpg
Uitspan
We reached Nossob at 12h30. I wanted to fill up for the next leg of the trip, but the petrol pump was leaking and somebody was busy fixing it, so they could not fill up the Hilux. We had to wait.
Finally just after 14h00 the pump were fixed and we could fill up.

Now we were on the exiting part of the road.

The road surface is extremely bad, if you think bad corrugated road, multiply it by 4 and you get this road.
Road surface is bad but the road and scenery is absolutely beautiful. The road twist and turn all the time so you will be very lucky to do 50 km/h on it, most of the times you are stuck between 20 and 30 km/h which makes the corrugation worst. It was midday with no animals to see so I wanted to drive 50 to make up lost time, but there was no way the road allowed it.
pad.jpg
Road to Matopi
kgalagadi (6).jpg
Road to Matopi
It is 195km of this road to travel between Nossob and Bosobogolo
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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:15 pm

Nice Pieter!
Sent from my iPhone
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pietpetoors
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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:19 pm

road-to-matopi.jpg
Road to Matopi
oryx.jpg
Gemsbokke
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1999 Hilux 2.7i 4x4 Raider DC. Rear diff-lock, Red Peppor Bull Bar and rock sliders, 31" Cooper ST, Snorkel, Alu-Canopy, VHF Kirisun radio, West Coast Rust, Mikem Rear Suspension, Ball Joint Spacers in front, 25watt LED Spots

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pietpetoors
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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:21 pm

We found this burned out Prado close to Matopi, does anybody know the story?
prado.jpg
Burned out Prado
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1999 Hilux 2.7i 4x4 Raider DC. Rear diff-lock, Red Peppor Bull Bar and rock sliders, 31" Cooper ST, Snorkel, Alu-Canopy, VHF Kirisun radio, West Coast Rust, Mikem Rear Suspension, Ball Joint Spacers in front, 25watt LED Spots

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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:26 pm

We reached Matopi only at about 17h30. Matopi is about halfway of the road we had to travel.

There were nobody at Matopi so we decided to camp there for the night and not drive any further.
I was gatvol

In this part of the park a camp is only a tree, maybe a longdrop and a sign which says it is a camping site. No fences, no staff, no nothing, is only you and mother nature.

A retired couple in another 2.7 Hilux with camper arrived, they also left too late and also decided to stay at Matopi. So at least now the Lions had more to eat.

This was our camp site for the night, probably the biggest Witgatboom I ever saw.
matopi1.jpg
Matopi
matopi1-2.jpg
Matopi
matopi.jpg
Matopi
This part of the park is very dry. There were not much animal life. At least we heard some Lions roar about 5 km away early the next morning, besides for that it was very quiet.
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1999 Hilux 2.7i 4x4 Raider DC. Rear diff-lock, Red Peppor Bull Bar and rock sliders, 31" Cooper ST, Snorkel, Alu-Canopy, VHF Kirisun radio, West Coast Rust, Mikem Rear Suspension, Ball Joint Spacers in front, 25watt LED Spots

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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:29 pm

We were greated by the most spectacular sunrise the next morning, well, that is those who were up early.
Sunrise-Matopi.jpg
Sunrise Matopi
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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:37 pm

The next morning we only had something like 90Km to go, so we decided to take it easy. Only left Matopi at 8h00.

The area is beatiful, but you only see a Gemsbok and Springbok every now and then, there is really not much in this part of the park.

We reached Bosobogolo just after 12h00

Matopi had a tree and longdrop, Bosobogolo had no longdrop but a A frame shelter, so it seems like at each camp you can choose either one of the two.
bosobogolo-camp.jpg
Bosobogolo
bosobogolo.jpg
Bosobogolo
The camp overlooks the Bosobogolo pan.

Here I could see some Gemsbok on the pan with the farlookers and in the camp a Black Backed Jackal and Brown Hyaena visited us. The Hyaena was the night visitor, at about 4 AM sniffing around the camp.

At Bosobogolo I discovered a new meaning for the word "Quiet"
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1999 Hilux 2.7i 4x4 Raider DC. Rear diff-lock, Red Peppor Bull Bar and rock sliders, 31" Cooper ST, Snorkel, Alu-Canopy, VHF Kirisun radio, West Coast Rust, Mikem Rear Suspension, Ball Joint Spacers in front, 25watt LED Spots

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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:51 pm

We now had a little dilemma. We used just more than half a tank of fuel on the 195km from Nossob to Bosobogolo. I contribute that to the slow speed driving in 4H.

The roads were much harder around the pan and I decided to save fuel we will drive in 2H as far as possible. You only realise how much fuel this saves you once you have a fuel problem.

I only had to jerry cans of extra fuel.

We were supposed to stay at Bosbogolo two evenings, but we stayed at Matopi one evening which means we only stayed at Bosbogolo one evening. We wre supposed to go to Lesholoago next. But with the fuel guage below half I started to doubt whether the fuel will take us to Lesholoago and then all the way back to Nossob.

We decided not to take a chance. The next morning we decided to drive around to the Mabuasehube pan for sight seeing. This is a very nice part of the park. There are plenty of animal life. Next time I will skip the SA side of the park and enter the park on the Botswana side and only visit this northern part.

We found a large group of people at the eastern camp. We saw some people looking at a bush while other were washing up. When we got closer the one guy asked if we wanted to see Lion, we confirmed and he told us to drive into the camp and look at the bushes at the end of the camp. If he did not show them to us there is no way you will see them.

See if you can spot them, 3x males
spot-the-lion.jpg
Spot the Lions
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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:53 pm

The third was behind the bush, the other indicated by arrows
spot-lion2.jpg
Spot them
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Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:58 pm

Managed to get some nice spot of No 3 before he moved to the bushes where the other 2 were.

This Lion was ultra lazy and hardly took notice of Groenie standing about 20 meters from it while I took the pictures.

The guys in the camp said they were so fedup with these Lions because they were there since the previous day.
So they have to keep watching them.

The camper goes on doing their thing while they always have somebody on guard.

These Lions were less than 100 meters from the camp.
lion3.jpg
Lion
lion2.jpg
Lion
lion.jpg
Lion
I am of the opinion that Lions do not like human meat. If they did you will read of Lions killing humans every month.

My mother in law tells us how they as children had to go to the veld with her father when she was small. They slept outside and in the mornings they saw the Lion tracks around them where they were sleeping.

I think it is only when a Lion is very hungry or if you threaten it or cheeze it off that it will chow you. I am a bit careful to put my theory to test.
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1999 Hilux 2.7i 4x4 Raider DC. Rear diff-lock, Red Peppor Bull Bar and rock sliders, 31" Cooper ST, Snorkel, Alu-Canopy, VHF Kirisun radio, West Coast Rust, Mikem Rear Suspension, Ball Joint Spacers in front, 25watt LED Spots

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Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:15 pm

Because of our fuel shortage and bad bookings we decided to make another plan.
We might run out of fuel if we go to Lesholoago and besides that, to travel from Lesholoago to Tweerivieren on the second last day, in one day, we now learned will be close to impossible, unless you are a rally driver.

We decided that the more sane thing to do is to start heading back to Tweerivieren and only travel up to Matopi and camp there again.

So we spent another evening under the big Witgatboom.

The next morning we headed back to Nossob at a lekker slow pace, because we now have 4 more hours available to reach our destination. We also traveled in 2 WD most of the way to save fuel. Again I saw how slow the needle falls in 2WD compared to 4WD.

We stopped at Nossob to refuel, have coffee and buy water.
In the end we did make it with 15 liter to spare.

We reached Tweerivieren at 18h25 and the gates close by 18h30.
So if we did not decided to rather sleep at Matopi than Lesholoago we would not have made it back to 2rivieren in time.

We pitched the tent and light the fire and I realised how noisy the camp site was. The past three nights were only us and nature, now it was noisy children, noisy people and the next morning, noisy diesel vehicles which have to idle for 30 minutes before they leave.
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Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:16 pm

The rest of the report I will finish on Sunday. Have to go to JHB early tomorrow, wanna get some sleep.
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Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:11 pm

Baie nice. :thumbup:
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Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:41 am

Thanks for sharing Pieter... lyk soos 'n lekker trippie
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Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:16 am

Very well written report as usual, Pieter. Thank you!


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Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:24 am

Thanx for sharing Pieter. Seems as though you had a good time but got no sleep what-so-ever...
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Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:33 am

Thanks Pieter, nice report.

Would you advise this trip for a first trip for a greenie?
Aint it ironic that "Common Sense" aint so common after all...

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Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:40 am

Baie nice TR :thumbup: :thumbup:

Daai leeus is awesome, pragtige foto's en baie mooi geskryf.
Dankie vir die deel :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:54 am

Thanks for sharing Pieter. Nice pics in an awesome part of the world. Also good to see that you guys had a nice break! :thumbup:
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Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:08 am

Very nice....

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Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:26 pm

LEKKER !!!!


jy maak man nou LUS vir die lang pad ....

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Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:34 pm

most diesel owners will let them run for a few minutes(5) check for leaks etc but they are usually allot liter in the thick sand on fuel.In the late 80's game scouts ran Toyota Stouts only 2 wheel drive in the Kalahari and got to where they need to be.

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Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:05 pm

Thanks Pieter, nice report.

Would you advise this trip for a first trip for a greenie?
Yes, 4 sure but I will do some things different next time.

1. Make sure you book in time.
2. It is not fun driving from one camp to the next each day. Book two or more days at one camp so that you can drive out early and sit at a water hole. The distance between camps are long and the speed slow. If you sleep one night per camp you don't rest.
3. Between Tweerivieren and Mata Mata you see plenty of game, sommer baie, but like I said, the dust takes long to settle so taking clear pictures is a challenge, it is still nice to sit around watching them.
4. Next time I will go straight to Nossob and stay there or if I want to do the Botswana side I will probably enter the park from the Botswana side. Worse case I will go to Nossob, drive to the Botswana side and exit on the Botswana side so that I do not have to drive that road twice. The northern part of the Botswana side has much more animal life.
5. Take enough fresh water, at least 5 litre per person per day. The water in the park is Brak. You can buy Oasis water at the shops at a price. The water at the picnic spot Grootbaardskolk is worse than sea water.
Take enough fuel, it is not nice cutting your trip shorter than you wanted because you are worried about fuel. I had 2x jerry cans extra which in the end was just enough, but it would have been nice to know that I will easily make it back.
6. If you do not want to sleep at Tweerivieren the first or last night also look at Kgalagadi Lodge about 1 km from the park or Molopo Lodge about 55 km from the park. Not sure what their rate are but both look like nice places to stay.
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Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:22 pm

Pieter dit is n baie mooi report en ja mens is sommer dadelik lus en vat die pad!!! Moet se ek kan ook se dat n Hilux in 4H en 2H het n groot brandstof verbruik verskil. Veral oor lang afstande. Gelukkig met die regte banddruk en besstuurstegniek kan mens sonder moeite maklik by baie plekke uitkom.
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Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:43 am

Dis mooi daar ne??

Pieter, we just went through the SA side when we came back from the Koes Rally, and I must say the Kgalagadi is getting a very very busy place on the SA side.

I think from now on we'll just do the BW side. And I wouldnt even bother going through Nossob, because you can hardly ever get a campsite there. From BW side it is just much easier.

I still want to explore Kaa gate, Swartpan and that part of the park.
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Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:27 pm

pietpetoors wrote:The rest of the report I will finish on Sunday. Have to go to JHB early tomorrow, wanna get some sleep.
:siffler: :subscribed:
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