Botswana :: Kgalagadi
Category: Places :: Travel Region
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Its name means place of thirst but that’s no reason to stay away! Best known for its Transfrontier Park, the Kgalagadi region is found in Botswana’s south-western corner, with South Africa to the south and Namibia to the west. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) makes up the majority of this region however the area north of the park, towards Hukuntsi, also affords the adventurous and self-sufficient overlander some quiet roaming space.
The KTP is a destination best discovered at a leisurely pace so give yourself a few days to uncover its charms. It has become a popular destination for South Africans and this, together with its limited accommodation venues, requires that you make your bookings months in advance, especially for the wilderness camps.
A circular route through the camps is a good idea. Plan your days with long stops at the waterholes and limit your travel (which will be slow) to the early morning and late afternoon. Mabuasehube, a section of the park on the Botswana side, offers up a sparse country: expanses of open savanna, and very basic, unfenced campsites overlooking pans. Kalahari black-maned lions are regular visitors here so keep a lookout.
In recent years reports surfaced that the Botswana government had sold the rights to prospect for shale gas in sizable portions of its side of KTP. Early in 2016, the Botswana Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism dismissed these reports as untrue saying that the government had no intention to issue approvals for fracking in KTP or any other national park.
There are a few interesting sites in the Kgalagadi to visit, like the grave of Hans Schwabe, a German geologist who died in 1958 when he wanted to prospect illegally for diamonds in the Nossob River Valley. Another is the Auchterlonie Museum, on the South African side of the park, which depicts the way farmers used to live in this region before it was proclaimed a National Park. Another attraction of this region are the camels used by the police for patrolling the Tsabong area.
It should be noted that high visitor numbers on the South African side of the park have led to a daily vehicle cap for day visitors - at the time of writing it was 20 vehicles per day. Happily, day visitor entry can be booked with the park directly, up to 11 months in advance.
|Address :||Northern Cape, South Africa|
|Postal :||South African National Parks, P.O. Box 787, Pretoria, 0001, Gauteng, South Africa|
|Contact :||Nico van der Walt|
|Tel :||+27(0)54 561 2000|
|Cell :||+27(0)82 233 9111|
|Fax :||+27(0)54 561 2005|
|Email :||Click Here|
|Host Website :||Click Here|
Upington to Twee Rivieren: 265 km; Mata Mata to Keetmanshoop: 2.
|Best Time to Visit :||March - early May|
|Gate Opening and Closing Times :||View Gate Hours (under Official Hours on: http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kgalagadi/tourism/general.ph|
|Reception Opening and Closing Times :||07:00-Sundown|
|Payment Methods Accepted :||Credit Card|
|Nearest ATM :||Mabuasehube gate to Tsabong: 115 km; Upington to Twee Rivieren: 265 km|
|Nearest Bank :||Mabuasehube gate to Tsabong: 115 km; Upington to Twee Rivieren: 265 km|
|Accommodation, Camping, Public Telephone, Fuel Station, Restaurant, Swimming Pool|
|Game Viewing, Game Drives, Night Drives, Quad Bikes, 4WD Trails, Tours and Excursions, Picnics, Hiking Trails, Guided Walks, Mountain Biking, Horse Trails, Tractor Rides, Donkey Cart Drives, Camel Rides, Swimming, Bird Watching, Stargazing, Photography|
|Game to View:||Gemsbok. Springbok. Eland. Blue Wildebeest. Red Hartebeest. Giraffe. Grey Duiker. Steenbok. Kudu.|
|Closest Town :||Mabuasehube East Gate (Main Gate)|
“Kgalagadi Transfrontier was originally the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (in South Africa) and the Gemsbok National Park (in Botswana), but now it's one 36 000 square kilometre, cross-border reserve. It is known for the gemsbok herds and black-maned lions. Kgalagadi means "place of thirst" which is fairly appropriate as there is annual rainfall of only 200mm. This also causes the animals there move around much larger areas than in other reserves due to the scarcity of food.” - Chris Smit, 2009/12/09
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