In assocciation with Kalahari Wildlife Tours
Tour 60: 4 Day+ Kalahari Raptor Tour
This tour covers the Trans Frontier Park
MALARIA FREE AREA!
DAY 02 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Nossob
DAY 03 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Mata Mata
DAY 04 Departure – Upington
On this tour the emphasis is on finding the magnificent raptors of the Kalahari. Because of the sheer size of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park it is advised to extend the tour with a day or two, if possible. This will enable us to get to very special birding areas in more remote areas of the park and by extending the tour it brings down the pace of travelling, which result in better observation and better quality sightings.
NB! Due to the popularity of most of the Overnight Camps on this tour, it is suggested to make reservations as long as possible in advance, even a year in advance, which improve the chances to secure accommodation reservations as per itinerary
DAY 01 Upington – Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Time of departure will depend on clients’ travel schedule to Upington. Flight schedule to be finalised. (Flight not included)
Depart from Upington on a 03-hour drive through the Kalahari duneveld (“veld” means natural vegetation), passing various pans (dry lakes), to 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.
Kgalagadi is a bird watcher’s paradise with more than 300 species recorded including at least 20 larger raptor species. Marshall -, Tawny -, Short-tailed (Bateleur)- and Booted Eagles, Black-chested- and Brown Snake Eagles, Southern Pale Chanting – and Gabar Goshawks, Black-shouldered Kites, Rock – and Greater Kestrells and Lanner, Red-necked – and Pygmy Falcons are common residents. Jackal – and Steppe Buzzards, Black – and Yellow-billed Kites are common summer visitors. There are sporadic sightings in Kgalagadi of Gymnogene, Western Red-footed Falcon, Black – and Montagu’s Harrier and Peregrine Falcon. The open landscape along the dry river valleys dotted with Acacia trees is the perfect habitat for good sightings of these raptor species.
Lappet-faced and White-backed Vultures as well as Giant (Verraux’s) – and Spotted Eagle Owls, Barn Owls, White-faced Scops-owls and Pearl-spotted Owlets are regular sightings in the Park.
Other larger bird species include the world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori bustard and the stately secretary bird patrolling the riverbeds while the noisy northern black korhaan rule in the dunes.
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).
Travelling through the Kalahari to the park, many species of raptors are encountered perching on the telegraph poles along the road.
Check in at accommodation at Twee Rivieren. Depart on an afternoon game drive. The Twee Rivieren area is known for lion, leopard, cheetah and meerkat sightings.
Optional 03 hr sunset drive and 02 hr night drive on open vehicle with Sanparks guide at own cost at all camps
Overnight: Twee Rivieren
Meals: B, L & D (Full Board on all days)
DAY 02 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Game & birding drive north along the Nossob River Valley to Nossob Camp.
Quibitjie Quap waterhole 10 km north of Nossob is visited regularly at noon by raptors, especially bateleur (short-tailed eagles). Kwang Waterhole 25 km north of Nossob is a good spot for white-backed and lappet-faced vultures and Polentswa Waterhole 60 km north of Nossob is one of the best spots in the park to watch various raptors, including lanner falcons, booted eagles, tawny eagles and short-tailed eagles (bateleur).
Nossob Camp is home to resident white-faced scops owl and pearl-spotted owlets.
Afternoon drive in the Nossob area.
Overnight Nossob (Riverfront Chalets or Standard Chalets. See Rates)
Meals: B, L & D
To have time to visit Polentswa Waterhole over noon it is suggested to stay an extra night at Nossob.
DAY 03 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Game & birding drive via the Nossob River Valley, Upper Dune Road and the Auob River Valley to Mata Mata.
Greater Kestrell and pale chanting goshawk are common along the Dune Road. Varreux’s eagle-owl, spotted eagle owl and white-faced scops-owl are seen often in the acacia trees along the Auob River Valley. There are a few small vulture breeding colonies along this route.
Mata Mata Camp is home to resident white-faced scops owl and pearl-spotted owlets.
Afternoon drive along the Auob River Valley.
Overnight Mata Mata (Riverfront Chalets or Standard Chalets. See Rates)
Meals: B, L & D
DAY 04 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park – Upington
Game & birding drive to Twee Rivieren until noon. Resident tawny eagles and martial eagles may be seen along this route and this is the best area to see pygmy falcon.
Duration of game drive will depend on clients’ travel schedule from Upington.
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)
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.