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The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP)


Panthera Pardus

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penolva

Thank you so much for this. We are planning a trip including KTR for 2014 and your information is just great. If you were driving on up to Etosha, Caprivi through Moremi/ Chobe etc what do you think would be the best month? We can't stand it too hot but don't mind the cold, although freezing is a bit much. Would appreciate your thoughts. (stunning photographs) :) Pen

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Doing a search on this site I could find only two trip reports on the KTP so thought this would be a good place to start with a trip report. Nestled between Botswana and Namibia in the North Western c

@@cheetah80, we will miss each other - have a super trip.   So we come to the end of this trip. We have not had much luck at Munro, Houmoed and Samevloeiing waterholes although others have had some

One of my favourite raptors is the Balck Shouldered Kite, those enchanting ruby red eyes so I will start with that one       Tawny Eagle   Black Chested Snake Eagle   Bateleur Eagle

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Panthera Pardus

@@penolva - Hi Pen, we did the Okavango, Caprivi, Chobe, Victoria Falls route (self drive) 4 years ago in September. The weather was fine. Not unbearably hot and not freezing cold either. I think August will also be good. We have not done Etosha yet but I am told August/September are good months for Etosha too.

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Panthera Pardus

When staying at Grootkolk, it is best to get up 30 minutes before sunrise, get the kettle boiling, and just enjoy the sunrise, as you wait for animals to come to the waterhole. Mind you, you may not have got much sleep anyway as lions, leopards and brown hyena are regular visitors to the waterhole. A honey badger usually visits at daybreak

 

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The leopard at the waterhole is Rosa in very poor light so not the best photo

 

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We have most of the leopards and cheetah in the KTP identified and named. The person who finds a new leopard, gets to name it and Rosa was named by us. Our neighbour at Grootkolk on one trip was named Rosa and thery were saying they had not seen much and were going to follow us. On that morning we found Rosa at Geinab (refer map I posted)

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Rosa's territory is from Geinab right down to Kannaguass waterhole, so you could find her on an early morning drive.

 

Here she is near Kannagauss on another occasion

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The other leopards in the area are a female Safran, her range is from Kannagauss to Lijersdraai waterhole. Here she is near Kannagauss

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The male is called N!xau, (named after the San Actor in the movie the Gods must be Crazy).This is him between Kannagauss and Lijersdraai

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Lijersdraai: luier = baby nappy and draai = bend in Afrikaans and the bend in the Nossob river looks like a baby nappy here

Kannagauss means Camel Thorn Tree pothole

 

 

 

 

 

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twaffle

N!xau is a most handsome leopard, wonderful rosette markings.

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kittykat23uk

Looks amazing! Maybe we should have a gtg there?

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Game Warden

@@kittykat23uk I like that idea very much: what do the South African Safaritalkers say? @?

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Panthera Pardus

@@twaffle - he is a stunning leopard twaffle and last December we had the good fortune of having him for 45 minutes all to ourselves while he went about marking his territory.

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Panthera Pardus


@@Game Warden - Will have to start making bookings, Wildernerss camps get taken up cery quickly.

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pault

This is great. Thanks for taking the time to do it and hope it carries on. I'm sold!

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Panthera Pardus

@@pault - it is a wonderful National Park pault and it will carry on as time allows

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Panthera Pardus

The KTP is reknown for its majestic black maned lions and lions visit the Grootkolk waterhole regularly. We had this family visit one morning while having our first cuppa for the day

 

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Playing tag with dad

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who had other things to attend to

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Lions are also regularly see on a drive from Grootkolk. Hard to beat a sighting like this in the golden morning light when you come round a corner - seen north of Geinab

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or like this seen near Kannagauss

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and he walked past within touching distance of us

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or this mating pair also near Kannagauss

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A little video we put together of the mating pair to some music

 

Brown Hyena at Grootkolk waterhole

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Mom and cub looking at Brown hyena

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All safe, brown hyena going away

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Mom still looking at brown hyena

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Honey badger is a regular visitor

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Kudu approaching waterhole

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while lions check out prospect for a meal

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Some friends witnessed lions killing a wildebeest between the cabins and the waterhole.

 

Martial Eagles, Tawny Eagle, Lanner Falcons and Secretray Birds are also regular visitors at the waterhole. We once saw a Lanner take out a Namqua Dove but we were not ready with camera to get the photo.

 

We drive north to Unions End next.

 

 

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Panthera Pardus

We driving north from Grootkolk towards Unions End - the point where South Africa, Namibia and Botswana meet. The drive fron Grootkolk to Unions End is one of the best in terms of vast open wilderness, and quietness. You are really communing with nature and many of the sightings you have will be by yourself; Along the way you are likely to see many of birds and animals the KTP has to offer
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You can enter your little message in a book at Unions End. Sharifa and I at the spot
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Along the way is Unions End Waterhole, a good place to park off and see the Namaqua Sandgrouse and Namaqua Doves
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This bird can fly upto 50km in search of water. The male has special sponge like chest feathers which can carry water back to its nest. He can fly at 60km per hour but if he has to fly more than 30 km back to the nest he will likely lose his load.

female sandgrouse
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With a little patience and some luck you may see a Lanner Falcon catch a sandgrouse or dove.
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Lions are regularly seen at the Unions End Picnic Site. The turn to Gharagab is 5km south of Unions End. You now driving in the dunes and need a 4x4 to get to Garagab. There will be deep sand in places so best deflate your tyres to 1.5 bar.
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In contrast this is what the road in the Auob and Nossob Riverbeds look like
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My quintessential image of the Kalahari - red sands and a gemsbok (oryx)
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It is not extreme 4x4 but on the return back there is a monster dune to negotiate. It is a one way to Gharagab ( and so Garagab is a place just to chill and be one at nature. There is only one little drive of 4km. If you want a longer drive you have to do the whole circular route to the riverbed, back up north towards Unions End and then to Gharagab from the north - no entry from the south. We usually spend 2/3 days here. Lions and cheetah visit the waterhole as well as the usual game. The units are well spaced out - again only 4 units and 2 people per unit


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and it has a lovely viewing tower - my son on the tower
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The wild Kalahari at is glorious best, peaceful, sense of place, wonderful sunrises
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The waterhole presents a great opportunity for reflection photography
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These springboks kept us busy for two days on one trip - little ones pronking was a joy to watch. YouTube warns that video is blocked in some countries.




beautiful sunset at Gharagab
IMG_2227.jpg Edited by Game Warden
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penolva

Hi again, I have been looking at how to book. Is it true that the wilderness camps are booked out within hours? We don't really want the rest camps. Do you know an agent that can book for us like MacKenzie in Maun have done for Botswana this year? Or any other info? Thanks Pen

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Panthera Pardus

Hi @@penolva, yes correct bookings for the Wilderness Camps are snapped up within hours for peak periods. There are several methods to book. I recommend you book directly with SANParks - it is easy. Bookings open 11 months in advance except on line bookings which open 9 months in adavnce.

 

 

You can book using:

  • phone: +27 (0)12 428 9111 Monday to Friday: 07:30 - 17:00 ZA time.
  • fax : +27 (0)12 343 0905
  • email: reservations@sanparks.org
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penolva

Hi PP so being from UK and having to use online, is it likely that by the time I can book all the availability will be taken by those who can phone from SA? Pen

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Panthera Pardus

@@penolva - online bookings open 9 months in adavance whereas the other booking options are 11 months in advance. Wheteher the units are taken up or not also depends on the season you are looking at. From the UK, if you do not want to phone on the day bookings open, send an email the evening before requesting the units you want.

 

With online bookings you have to pay the full amount immediately. The reason is to prevent people hoarding bookings and then let it go before they forfeit the deposit. With other booking methods you pay a 50% deposit within 30 days from making the booking and the other 50% within 60 days of arrival.

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Panthera Pardus

Hi again Pen, November is reagarded a "quiet" month. See links below. There is still a unit available on some days in Grootkolk

 

http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kgalagadi/tourism/availability_months.php?resort=55&month=11&year=2013

 

and in Kieliekrankie

 

http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kgalagadi/tourism/availability_months.php?resort=164&month=11&year=2013

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penolva

Thanks PP I will have to try to get someone to ring for me. November will not be good for Botswana or Namibia which we would do after KTP. Probably mid August to mid September 2014 which will put us in peak period. Thanks for your help and looking forward to the rest of your report. Pen

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Panthera Pardus

Also wondering why you cannot call from the UK Pen. If you want a booking for August, just call on the 01 Setember (11 months in advance) and it should be fine. You should be able to get what you want.

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Panthera Pardus

Thank you JohnR

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Panthera Pardus

You can only leave Gharagab by one route which will first bring you to Dankbaar waterhole, about 4km from Gharagab. Lions are at the waterhole occasionally. You will join the Nossob Riverbed near Lijerdraai picnic site. Lijersdraai waterhole is always worth a vist. Safran the leopard is in the area at present. Brown hyena are seen here too and their is a coalition of four male cheetah in the area at present. We saw them last December.

 

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They were wooing this female :)

 

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The dominant male

 

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We saw them again the next morning

 

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penolva

Penolva- why can't you ring yourself from the UK?

It's very expensive and if you are left on hold it's stressful cause you can see all your money dripping down that telephone wire! Pen

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Panthera Pardus

 

Penolva- why can't you ring yourself from the UK?

It's very expensive and if you are left on hold it's stressful cause you can see all your money dripping down that telephone wire! Pen

 

Yep Pen, you can be on hold for about 15 minutes. For August, you should still be OK to get what you want if you send email the evening before.

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