South Africa :: Northern Cape (Kgalagadi)
Category: Protected Areas :: Protected Area
The park straddles the border between South Africa and Botswana and is comprised of two adjoining national parks: Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and Gemsbok National Park in Botswana (last-mentioned includes Mabuasehube Game Reserve).
Approximately three-quarters of the park falls in Botswana. The park is situated in the Kalahari Desert, part of the arid savanna biome. Grasses dominate the dune fields and there are strands of trees, mainly Camel Thorn, Grey Camel Thorn and Swarthaak. The South African side of the park lies between the Auob and the Nossob (both ephemereal rivers), with extensive dune fields in between. The Botswana side stretches into the Kalahari dune fields interspersed with occasional clay pans.
In good rain years the grasses, especially the Kalahari Sour Grass, proliferate and cover the normally red sand dunes. When driving on the 4x4 tracks during this time it is advisable to have a mesh covering your radiator, and to make regular stops to clear dry grass from your vehicle’s exhaust pipes.
At Twee Rivieren/Two Rivers the South African and Botswana authorities share a modern communal administration centre. Visitors to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park book in here with their reservations. Visitors intending to go to the Botswana side will clear customs and immigration and book in on the Botswana side (Two Rivers) for their trip. Visitors from Namibia will clear customs and immigration at Mata Mata.
It is possible to do a combination of both parks. Tourists wishing to enter the park and traverse within the boundaries of the park and exit at the same point of entry are not required to do immigration control. However, if you want to exit at another point as your point of entry a two day stay in the park is compulsory.
On the South African side of the Kgalagadi there are both fenced and unfenced camps with chalets and camping facilities. On the Botswana side there are only basic camping facilities and all camps are unfenced.
There are two main roads in the park. The first leads from Twee Rivieren up the Auob River to Mata Mata. The second leads from Twee Rivieren up the Nossob River to the Nossob Camp to eventually reach a dead-end at the fence bordering Namibia. There’s no border post here. On the Botswana side there’s a track from Nossob to Mabuasehube, and one from Nossob to Kaa Gate track, as well as wilderness trails.
The two dry rivers, the Auob and the Nossob, have totally different characteristics. The Auob River is narrower with high calcrete cliffs and dunes on either side. The Nossob River is shallower and wider. Near the Namibian border it is difficult to discern where the banks of the Nossob riverbed are.
The combination of the dune environment and relatively ample water in the riverbeds makes it possible to sustain fairly large numbers of antelope and predators like lion, leopard, spotted and brown hyena and cheetah. There are no primates or warthogs in the park, but plenty of giraffe.
The park is also well-known for its large population of seasonal and permanent raptors. Owls are often seen. However, there is a variety of smaller animals like jackal, fox, mongoose, meerkat and ground squirrels that makes the Kgalagadi so fascinating.
|Address :||Northern Cape, South Africa|
|Contact :||Kgalagadi Reception|
|Contact 2 :||Tourism Manager: Christa von Elling|
|Tel :||+27(0)54 561 2000|
|Tel2 :||+27(0)21 552 0008|
|Fax :||+27(0)54 561 2005|
|Email :||Click Here|
|Host Website :||Click Here|
|Cellphone Reception :||Intermittent|
|Gate Opening and Closing Times :|
|Fee/s :||Conservation fees SA:ZAR96 per adult;SADC ZAR192 per adult; International ZAR384 per adult.(Sept-2020).|
|Tourist Information :||Yes||Tourist Information Telephone :||+27(0)54 561 2000|
|Petrol :||Yes||Petrol Type :||Premium and unleaded|
|Facilities :||Shops, Lodging, Camping, Restaurant, Airstrip|
|Swimming Pool, Restrooms|
|Game Viewing, Game Drives, 4WD Trails, Picnics, Hiking Trails, Swimming, Bird Watching, Photography|
|Game to View :||Springbok. Blue wildebeest. Gemsbok. Red hartebeest. Eland. Antelope. Leopard. Cheetah.|
|More Activities :||Hides.|
|Notes on Activities :||(Some activities may be offered nearby).|
Access to the Park from South Africa is at the Tweerivieren Gate. Passports are not required for entry, unless departure is planned through a different gate into another country.
The main Reception is at Twee Rivieren and you have to check in here regardless of whether you are staying at the camp or not.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has put a 20 vehicle cap on day visitors. This can be booked with the park directly, up to 11 months in advance. (May-2017).
Day entry permits: contact [email protected] (2019).
Guests travelling to Tweerivieren via Upington/Van Zylsrus must not drive at a high speed as the gravel sections on both routes are badly corrugated. (July-15)
Light aircraft may land on a tarred runway at Twee Rivieren. Prior permission must be obtained from the Park.
When driving from one rest camp to the other be sure to arrive before sunset as no travelling is allowed in the park after dark as gate times in the park are strictly adhered to. Botswana Camping is available at Polentswa, Rooiputs, Two Rivers and in Mabuasehube. A 4x4 vehicle is necessary to access the Botswana side of the Park and all routes within Botswana are to be travelled by no less than two vehicles.
The filling station at the camp sells premium and unleaded petrol and diesel.
The border post at Mata Mata is open between 08:00 and 16:30 (no afterhours travel allowed) and operates independently of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park rest camp gates and park entry gates which are shown as follows:
January / February: 06:00 -19:30
June / July: 07:30-18:00
November / December: 05:30-19:30
This is not a malaria area, so no malaria medication is required. But you are advised to make sure before you travel there.
All firearms must be declared upon arrival in the park.
There are no restrictions on bringing meat and fruit into the park. The Botswana authorities, however, do restrict the amount of meat and related products that can be brought into the country, as per their normal customs regulations. There should not be any problems for visitors bringing in personal supplies.
The roads in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are often a source of frustration for visitors. Firstly, although the roads are predominantly sand, corrugation builds up rapidly after they have been graded. These corrugations, although made of soft sand, are enough to shake and rattle every vehicle and its occupants for kilometres on end.
Secondly, after years and years of grading, sections of the road have been lowered from the surrounding terrain and there are ridges of sand which have built up next to the road. This means that visitors travelling in sedan cars cannot see over these ridges for kilometres on end. For this reason, Sanparks don’t recommend sedan vehicles for visiting this park. To really enjoy all there is to see it is recommended that visitors use a vehicle with a high ground clearance such as a SUV or a 4x2 pick-up. Travelling on the Botswana side is not possible without a 4WD.
The speed limit inside the park is 50 km/h and the recommended tyre pressures are: Vehicles - 1.6 bar; Trailers - 1.2 bar; and, Caravans - 2 bar.
Estimated travel time from Twee Rivieren to:
Nossob: ± 4.5 hours. Mata Mata: ± 3.5 hours. Upington: ± 2.5 hours (250km tar)
Mata Mata Rest Camp: +27(0)54 561 0907.
Twee Rivieren Border Post - South Africa: +27 (0)54 561 0914 (strictly 07:30 - 16:00).
Two Rivers Border Post - Botswana: +267 653 0228 (strictly 07:30 - 16:00).
Twee Rivieren reception: +27(0)54 5612000.
Mata Mata Border - Namibia: +264(0)63 25 2055.
Polka 24-hr towing services are based in Okahandja, they service Namibia: +264(0)81 129 7490
Towing services for Kgalagadi Park are available from Upington. Enquire at Mata Rest Camp reception for details: +27(0)54 561 0907.
Day entry permits: [email protected]
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