In assocciation with Kalahari Wildlife Tours

Tour 14: 9 Day Kgalagadi – Mabuasehube – Kaa Concession Area 4×4 Tour

This tour covers 1 Trans Frontier Park & 1 conservation area

Terrain: Tar & dirt roads, sand trails
Total Distance: 1555 km
Trailers accepted!

Maximum vehicles on tour: 8
Average travel time per day: 5,5 hrs

MALARIA FREE AREA!

10 Days
9 Nights

DAY 01 Upington – McCarthy’s Rest
DAY 02 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Mabuasehube
DAY 03 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Mabuasehube
DAY 04 Kaa Kalahari Concession / Peach Pan
DAY 05 Kaa Kalahari Concession / Name Pan
DAY 06 Kaa Kalahari Concession / Name Pan
DAY 07 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Polentswa
DAY 08 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Polentswa
DAY 09 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Rooiputs
DAY 10 Upington – Departure

DETAILED ITINERARY

This 4x4 tour covers the most remote parts of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the neighbouring Kaa Kalahari Concession combining some loose sand tracks with good wildlife and wild camping in real wilderness areas. Kaa Concession is a real wilderness area with no water and no camping facilities. Some campsites in the park have very basic facilities. Tourist density is low due to limited number of campsites. Campsites are visited regularly by predators at night

DAY 01 Arrival – McCarthy’s Rest (South Africa)
Depart at 10:00 from Upington or meet at 13:00 at Kuruman. Depart to McCarthy’s Rest via the manganese mine towns Hotazel and Black Rock. Accommodation is on the South African side, 20km from the Botswana border
Overnight: Cullinan Holiday Farm camping
Meals: B, L & D
Distance: 430 km
Travel time: 06 hrs (190 km and 03 hrs from Kuruman)

DAY 02 McCarthy’s Rest – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Mabuasehube Section (Botswana)
Depart to McCarthy’s Rest Border Post. Exit South Africa and enter Botswana. Proceed to Tshabong. Refuel.

Continue on a 03-hour drive on gravel and sand trail through the Kalahari to the Mabuasehube Section in the far eastern part of the Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park.

The word Kalahari derives from the word Makgadigadi, meaning salt pans (salt lakes) in the language spoken by the Kgalagadi people living in the Kgalagadi Region in south-western Botswana. The word Kgalagadi means salt pans too in their language. More than 1 000 pans are scattered throughout the park. The Kalahari is the largest area of sand in the world, covering 2.5 million square kilometres from the Orange River in South Africa in the south to slightly north of the equator. The area referred to as the arid Kalahari covers some 900 000 square kilometres in the south and covers parts of South Africa and Namibia and most of Botswana. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is situated in the southern part of the arid Kalahari in South Africa and Botswana and is jointly managed by South Africa National Parks (Sanparks) and Botswana Wildlife.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park covers 37 000 square km, which is one of the largest conservation areas in the world and one of the last truly unspoilt ecosystems.

Endemic game such as gemsbok, springbok, eland, giraffe, blue wildebeest and red hartebeest roam the sparsely vegetated red sand dunes and the dry river valleys of the Nossob and Auob where a variety of acacia species thrive. All species except giraffe are found in Mabuasehube.

The Park is well known for good sightings of lion, leopard and cheetah and spotted – and brown hyena are common residents. Because of an abundance of prey in the form of mice, whistling rats, birds and insects, smaller predators thrive in the park. The park is home to caracal, honey badger, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African wildcat, mongoose and the ever-popular suricate (meerkat).

Kgalagadi is a bird watcher’s paradise with more than 300 species recorded including at least 20 larger raptor species. The world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori bustard and the stately secretary bird patrol the riverbeds while the noisy northern black korhaan rule in the dunes.

Mabuasehube has higher annual rainfall and the landscape is bushier than the western side. The campsites are far apart and very private. Mabuasehube campsites are situated on the edge of big pans, some overlooking waterholes. Afternoon game drive if time allows.
Overnight: One of the camps camping (No protective fencing; basic facilities)
Meals: B, L & D
Distance: 170 km
Travel time: 05 hrs

DAY 03 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Mabuasehube Section
Morning and afternoon game drives in Mabuasehube.
Overnight: One of the camps camping (No protective fencing; basic facilities)
Meals: B, L & D
Distance: 60 km variable
Travel time: 06 hrs variable

DAY 04 Mabuasehube – Kaa Kalahari Concession (Kaa Wilderness 4x4 Trail)
Game drive to Mabuasehube Gate. Exit the park and follow the cutline road on the park boundary to the Kaa Wilderness 4x4 Trail in the Kaa Kalahari Concession Area. The Kaa Kalahari Concession lies in the southwest of Botswana and borders on the north of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and is one of the last great unfenced wilderness areas in Southern Africa covering 1,3 million ha. Roughly 800 people live in a few small villages. There are two major ethnic groups; the Bakgalagadi and Basarwa or San. The latter lives here for 3 000 years.

Vast herds of game can still be seen in typical Kalahari veld with rolling grass plains and Acacia woodland. The area is dotted with pans (dry lakes) which fill up with water after good rains in summer and attract large herds of eland, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest, some predators and many birds. Over 50 species of raptors have been recorded here. Kaa Concession is of ecological importance as it is the migratory corridor between the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

Continue on the Wilderness 4x4 Trail to Peach Pan.
Overnight: Camping at Peach Pan (No protective fencing; No facilities; crew pitch shower; toilet chair provided)
Meals: B, L & D
Distance: 180 km
Travel time: 05 hrs

DAY 05 Kaa Kalahari Concession
Continue on the Kaa Wilderness 4x4 Trail, passing various pans. Continue to Name Pan. Good wildlife sightings are possible at the pans.
Overnight: Name Pan camping (No protective fencing; No facilities; crew pitch shower; toilet chair provided)
Meals: B, L & D
Distance: 70 km
Travel time: 04 hrs

DAY 06 Kaa Kalahari Concession
Today is a rest day. Short drives and enjoy the remoteness of Name Pan. Guide travel 20 km to Pay Point at Zutshwa for payment for Kaa Concession Fees. Optional trip to Hukuntsi 60 km dirt road from Zutshwa to replenish fuel and supplies.
Overnight: Name Pan camping (no facilities)
Meals: B, L & D
Distance: Variable
Travel time: Variable

DAY 07 Kaa Kalahari Concession – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The trail takes us through the Kaa Kalahari Concession Area with beautiful stretches of savannah woodland. Proceed to Kaa Gate on the northern border of the Botswana part of the Park.

Depart to the Nossob River Valley. Eland are seen very often on this route. Game drive south in the Nossob Valley to Polentswa Camp on the Botswana side in this 37 000 square km park, which is one of the largest conservation areas in the world and one of the last truly unspoilt ecosystems. Endemic game such as gemsbok, springbok, eland, giraffe, blue wildebeest and red hartebeest roam the sparsely vegetated red sand dunes and the dry river valleys of the Nossob and Auob where a variety of acacia species thrive.

The Park is well known for good sightings of lion, leopard and cheetah and spotted – and brown hyena are common residents. Because of an abundance of prey in the form of mice, whistling rats, birds and insects, smaller predators thrive in the park. The park is home to caracal, honey badger, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African wildcat, mongoose and the ever-popular suricate (meerkat).

Kgalagadi is a bird watcher’s paradise with more than 300 species recorded including at least 20 larger raptor species. The world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori bustard and the stately secretary bird patrol the riverbeds while the noisy northern black korhaan rule in the dunes.

The remote Polentswa Campsites overlook the vegetated Polentswa Pan and is known for beautiful sunsets. Lions, hyenas and brown hyenas are regular visitors to Polentswa at night. Afternoon game drive to Polentswa Waterhole. Predators are regular visitors early morning and late afternoon to Polentswa Waterhole and various raptor species visit the waterhole at noon.

(The facilities at Polentswa are very basic. Each campsite has an A-frame shade structure, pit toilet and a shelter for shower bag.)
Overnight: Polentswa on the Botswana side (No protective fencing; basic facilities)
Meals: B, L & D
Distance: 170 km (excluding afternoon game drive)
Travel time: 07 hrs (excluding afternoon game drive)

DAY 08 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Morning and afternoon game drives.
Overnight: Polentswa on the Botswana side (basic facilities)
Meals: B, L & D
Distance: 120 km variable
Travel time: 05 hrs variable

DAY 09 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Game drive south via the Nossob River Valley and Nossob Camp to Rooiputs Camp Ground on the Botswana side of the Park.

Do an afternoon game drive. The Rooiputs area is known for lion, cheetah, spotted & brown hyena and meerkat sightings. Lions are regular visitors to Rooiputs at night.

(The facilities at Rooiputs are very basic. Each campsite has an A-frame shade structure, pit toilet and a shelter for shower bag.)
Overnight: Rooiputs Camp on the Botswana side (No protective fencing; basic facilities)
Meals: B. L & D
Distance: 140 km (excluding afternoon game drive)
Travel time: 05 hrs (excluding afternoon game drive)

DAY 10 Kgalagadi – Upington
Game drive to Two Rivers/Twee Rivieren Border Post. Exit Botswana and enter South Africa.

Depart to Upington. En route stop at the last indigenous San tribe in South Africa, the Khomani. Today these earliest residents of the Kalahari, living here for 40 000 years, consist of only 400 people and are resident in an area between 40 and 70 km south of Twee Rivieren. Clients will have the opportunity to view and purchase their handcraft at one of the roadside stalls. The presence of the San at the roadside stalls can’t be guaranteed.

Continue to Upington to be in time for departing flight. Flight schedule to be finalised. (Flight not included)
Meals: L
Distance: 275 km
Travel time: 4 hrs

It is expected from clients on camping tours to assist with pitching and packing up camp and with general camping duties on request. Accommodation can vary from the itinerary depending on availability.

Rates on request:
E-mail: dantes@kalahari-tours.co.za or click on CONTACT US.

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