In assocciation with Kalahari Wildlife Tours

Tour 62: 10 Day Kalahari Meerkat (Suricate) 4×4 Tour

This tour covers 01 Trans Frontier Park & 01 Reserve/Conservation Area

MALARIA FREE AREA!

10 Days
9 Nights

DAY 01 McCarthy’s Rest (South Africa)
DAY 02 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Mabuasehube (Botswana)
DAY 03 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Mabuasehube
DAY 04 Kaa Kalahari Concession / Name Pan
DAY 05 Kaa Kalahari Concession / Kaa Pan
DAY 06 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Polentswa
DAY 07 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Twee Rivieren (South Africa)
DAY 08 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Twee Rivieren
DAY 09 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Twee Rivieren
DAY 10 Departure – Upington (South Africa)

DETAILED ITINERARY

On this tour the emphasis is on finding meerkat (suricate) in their natural habitat in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Kalahari. The Auob and Nossob River Valleys near Twee Rivieren are wide and open and home to many meerkat families. These meerkat are more used to vehicles and one can get at times very close to them. In other areas, especially on the pans in the wilderness areas in Botswana, the meerkat are a bit more skittish, but due to the open pans one gets a good view of them.

This tour offers clients the opportunity to see meerkat in wilderness areas in Botswana and in the Twee Rivieren area. The Botswana side has only basic camping facilities. Please note that no sightings can be guaranteed!
Optional upgrading to chalet/lodge accommodation is available on some night at additional cost.

DAY 01 Arrival – McCarthy’s Rest
Clients flying in on Day 01 have to book on the morning flights to Upington to allow for travel time to McCarthy’s Rest. (Flight not included)

Depart from Upington to McCarthy’s Rest Border Post via Hotazel and Black Rock. Overnight on the South African side of the border.
Overnight: Camping at Cullinan Holiday Farm (Chalet at extra cost)
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 02 McCarthy’s Rest – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Mabuasehube – Botswana)
Continue to the Border Post. Enter Botswana. Proceed to Tshabong. Continue on gravel and 4x4 sand trail to Mabuasehube in the far eastern part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Mabuasehube has more 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. Most pans have resident meerkat families. Afternoon drive to various pans, with the emphasis on finding meerkat. Monamodi, Mpyathlutwa, and Lesholoago Pans have resident meerkat families which are seen quite often.
Overnight: Camping at one of the Camps (basic facilities)
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 03 Mabuasehube Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Mabuasehube)
Game drives to various pans in Mabuasehube, with the emphasis on finding meerkat.
Overnight: Camping at one of the Camps (basic facilities)
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 04 Mabuasehube – Kaa Kalahari Concession
Early departure to Mabuasehube Gate. Depart north to the small town Hukuntsi. Refuel and replenish supplies.

Proceed via Zutshwa, where a small community lives, to Name Pan 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.

A resident meerkat family on Name Pan are seen very often.
Overnight: Camping at Name Pan (No facilities. Toilet and shower pitched by guide)
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 05 Kaa Kalahari Concession
Early morning drive. Look for the meerkat family and enjoy the remoteness of Name Pan.

Continue on 4x4 track to Kaa Pan 15 km north-east of Kaa Entrance Gate to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Kaa Pan is a big white clay pan, often visited by antelope species to get mineral supplements from holes dug by them in the pan floor. Predators are encountered quite often.

Do an afternoon circular game drive around Kaa Pan in search of meerkat.

The campsites overlook the pan from a dune on the southern side of the pan
Overnight: Camping at Kaa Pan (No facilities. Toilet and shower pitched by guide)
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 06 Kaa Kalahari Concession – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Depart to Kaa Gate on the northern border of the Botswana part of the Park. The trail takes us through the Kaa Kalahari Concession Area with beautiful stretches of savannah woodland and crosses three pans where it is possible to see meerkat. Lions are seen or heard very often in the Kaa Gate area.

Re-enter the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Continue to the Nossob Valley. Eland are seen very often on this route. Meerkat can be encountered on this route, but they are normally skittish. Game drive south along the Nossob River 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 (basic facilities)
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 07 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (South Africa)
Early departure on a game drive south along the Nossob River Valley to Twee Rivieren. The chances are good to see meerkat in the southern part of the Park near Twee Rivieren.

Afternoon game drive in the Twee Rivieren area.

Optional 3 hr sunset drive and 3 hr morning guided walk with Sanparks guide at own cost
Overnight: Camping at Twee Rivieren (Chalet at extra cost)
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 08 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Morning and afternoon game drives in the Auob River Valley and Nossob River Valleys in southern part of the park where meerkat families are seen often
Overnight: Camping at Twee Rivieren (Chalet at extra cost)
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 09 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Morning and afternoon game drives in the Auob River Valley and Nossob River Valleys in southern part of the park where meerkat families are seen often
Overnight: Camping at Twee Rivieren (Chalet at extra cost)
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 10 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park – Upington
Game drive until noon. 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)
Meals: L

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’ on the MENU BAR

Enquire for Self-catering option, if applicable

CLIENTS HAVE THE FOLLOWING 02 OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM WHEN BOOKING A TOUR

A) Guided 4x4 Tour: Clients travel with a driver/guide in a 4x4 vehicle.
The guide vehicle has space for 02-04 persons, depending on type of vehicle used. If more clients need a driver/guide, the following rates will apply on top of the quoted rates above and the additional rented vehicle costs (if applicable).
DRIVER/GUIDE: R 1 600 per day
INCLUDED: Guide fees, guide accommodation, entrance fees & meals
ADDITIONAL TRAIL FEES: None
FUEL: R 400/day if applicable

B) Guided Self-Drive 4x4 Tour: Clients drive their own/rented 4x4 in a convoy lead by a guide vehicle.

Rented Vehicles: Kalahari Tours and Travel is a rental agent for Europcar. Double Cab 4x4 vehicles for Guided Self-drive Tours can be rented at very competitive rates. Contact us for Rates, Terms & Conditions and Ancillary Charges.

Fully equipped 4x4 campers have to be rented directly by clients from rental companies at point of departure. Contact Kalahari Tours and Travel for contact details.

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

contact us

KALAHARI TOURS & TRAVEL
Upington 8801

TEL/FAX: + 27 (0) 54 3380375
CELL: + 27 (0) 82 4935041