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Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

Camberley, United...
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Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

This will be our first time to Kgalagadi and we are looking at driving I wonder if anyone could advise if it would be worth stopping off anywhere on our way?

We are going next April & will probably look to stay for 10-12 nights in the park so any tips on how long to spend where, best camps to stay out would really be appreciated

Cologne, Germany
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1. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

I've done this trip quite a few times - to tell you the truth, stopping somewhere is a MUST, no way you can do this journey in one stretch (unless you choose to drive before sunrise and / or after sunset which more people than just me would recommend you not to do), so it's not a question of "is it worth it"

possible stops are vryburg (about halfway between Jo'burg and KTP) or Upington - the latter might have the advantage of being much closer to KTP, thus being the better choice for stocking up fresh food

we'll be there in April, too - you should make sure to book your accomodation ASAP, otherwise you might up getting none, this park is extremely popular and only has a limited number of beds and campsites

Charlotte, North...
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2. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

Definitely worth the trip. I have made this drive once, and will again in October. Olivernorwell pretty well summed it up. I see no way to make the drive in one day, and really no benefit. If you get as far as Uppington, you will be in the park a few hours later the next day. Driving after dark strikes me as a bad idea.

KTP is a wonderful place, and worth the effort if you have the time. With 10 days you can easily visit all of the main camps in the South African park. Twee Riveren is the largest, but still not that big. The other 2 rest camps, I forget the names at the moment, are much more rustic, but nice. We did not stay at the wilderness camps, but would like to some day. Enjoy your trip.

Charlotte, North...
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3. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

Thinking about this subject brought up my own question about this drive. We will arrive at JNB on Delta in the late afternoon. Does anybody have an opinion whether it would be better to stay near the airport that night, or try to get to the other side of Johannesberg that first night, so not to have morning traffic?

Camberley, United...
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4. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

Thanks so much for the advice, I knew we would need to stop and Upington seems the first choice but just wanted to check there is nothing special to stop and see enroute. Any recommendations on where to stay in Upington or in KTP would be appreciated.

Charlotte we have only arrived in JoBerg early and found the traffic getting out OK if you want to stay at the airport the Intercontinential is amazing the rooms are gorgeous and the beds are one of the best I have splept in I would highly recommend this hotel and its so convienent you just walk across from the terminal and next door are the car hire places.

Thanks again Annette

Camberley, United...
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5. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

Just thinking we arrive around 7am in JoBerg so hope to be on the road before 8am guess it will take 9-10 hours to upington does that sound about right?

Any ideas on where to stop for lunch on the way, are there a reasonable number of service stops? I take it Rand is accepted through out the park?

Charlotte, North...
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6. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

My recollection of the drive is that there are several small to midsize towns along the way, and also some guest houses in rural areas that have restaurants. The catch is that they are not close, so when you get hungry or are getting close, and come across a place that looks good, you probably want to eat there.

When we did this trip about 3 years ago, we left the airport early and stopped about 120 km short of Uppington. There was a detour on the main highway which cost us an hour or more, but we still would have made Uppington at sundown had we kept going.

Cologne, Germany
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7. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

9-10 hours sounds about right, although if you come across road works you sometimes lose half an hour with waiting for your lane to be opened again or for a detour, like jnhdrac mentioned

have your lunch at vryburg, there are quite a few places along the main road

the two other main rest camps in KTP are called Mata Mata (in the North West) and Nossob (in the North East). Mata Mata has the disadvantage that from there you can only use one road to do game drives on (back south, north is Namibia),. On the other hand it's the the Mata Mata area where chances are biggest to see giraffe

I can only repeat my initial advice: book ASAP - I have finalised our bookings on May 1st

and go check out sanparks.org, if it's information you're looking for, that's the place you'll find it

Cologne, Germany
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8. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

no need to worry about gas stations, plenty of them en route and also in the park, all three main camps have them

yes, rand (and only rand) is accepted at gas stations, no credit cards, so make sure you bring some cash to the park (although there in an ATM at Twee Rivieren)

in Upington the best places to sleep over would probably the Protea Hotels (there's two of them, opposite of each other)

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

I have spent 17 days in KTP in March and it is as amazing as everyone says. I would get on the Sanparks website and book the wilderness camps, the are far better than the main camps. I think you should also consider the weather. This year the Kalahari was incredibly green. This made viewing on the Nossob side very difficult due to the heavily graded roads and the high sour grass. The Aoub valley was much better with truly fantastic sightings. The great advantage of the wilderness camps (apart from the fact that they are much better maintained and sited) is that you can get inti the park at opening time in the morning, before anyone else. You than have a magic window, maybe on your own, a rare privilege on safari.

That said the frontier feel of Grootkolk is probably worth the journey.

You will love it.

Camberley, United...
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10. Re: Driving from JoBerg to Kgalagadi

Thanks for all your help we have managed to get the accommodation booked in the park and would like to stay fairly close to the park the night before does anyone know of places closer than Upington to stay that are not too expensive?

Thanks again

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