TRIP REPORT: KALAHARI
Travel date 18/05 04/06/2006
Start/end of trip: Capetown
No. of vehicles : 1 Landrover Defender Td5
Drivers: Max Stocker (a lot) and Eliane Tschanz (a little)
Total distance traveled: 3992 km
Fuel consumption: 462 l Diesel, Best average: 10,8 km per liter, Worst average: 7,6 km per liter
Capetown Vanrhynsdorp Port Nolloth
The booked Toyota Hilux double cab a few months ago thru Bushlore
was apparently in no condition to go on the road after a bad journey in the high grass
in the CKGR by other clients. Instead we get a green 2004 Defender Td5. Its the vehicle
the gay couple drove during the episode in
The Landrover comes fully equipped with all the camping and recovery gear we had asked for. R.1500 worth of groceries, meat, drinks, fruits and veggies are already packed as ordered by e-mail in advance. I dont believe my eyes, every single item asked for is there!
First two days we drive in pouring rain. On day one on the N7 from
Capetown to Vanrhynsdorp, stopover at the Namaqua Lodge Hotel R.350 per room + BF, for
dinner we must eat the 500grs T-bone Steak advertised by Amanda, the cook. Freezing cold
at night. Next day Vanrhynsdorp to Port Nolloth, all day rain. Instead of pushing it to
the camping at
Port Nolloth Almost Richtersveld•
After a lazy start we head for
It takes us all day to drive to Abiqua river camp. The gravel roads are all in a poor condition, this was a serious rain. We stock up firewood at Steinkopf. The sun is shining, the river camp is very tidy and worth R.100 per site. Hot showers and all. Very few other campers, quiet night.
We decide to drive a detour to the Main Look Out Point at the
Grünau Twee Rivieren
Beautiful morning drive in the warm light up north towards the turnoff
to Aroab and Rietfontein border. Plenty of Kokerboom in flower. We reach the border at
, fill up diesel
in Aroab, its cheaper in
Twee Rivieren Polentswa
Horrible road up to Nossob and Polentswa, 200km of ear-braking noise. It takes us all day. Such a pity, it spoils the experience of a quiet serene game viewing drive. Hot shower and fill up diesel at Nossob. Polentswa campsite no. 1 is located right at the edge of the pan, the view, the stillness and the total privacy is overwhelming. Only one other of the seven campsites is occupied. The people come over to warn us about 3 playful female lions who have been stealing their kettle, chewing on chairs and their ground tent during the past three nights. Pack everything into your car when you go to sleep•. We are in anticipation of action, but we have a quiet night, the lionesses are elsewhere tonight.
55kms backtracking to Nossob after a nice breakfast and from there
we take the access road to Mabuasehube. No more corrugated roads, but a sandy track, easy
going at around 30km/h, up and down the dunes for the first 30km then flat. Almost no game
at all except for a few gemsbok. Melons and cucumbers and flowers everywhere. Lots of birds.
We see a
Between the two campsites Motopi 1 and 2 there is a small pan, we see bat eared foxes and springbok and gemsbok and a few ostriches, plus the occasional black backed jackal. At we get to Bosobogolo Pan and make a nice pic nic stop with a view. Circle the pan and get to Mabuasehube early. Today we have met not one single car. We heat up water and open the hair salon. Ground squirrel and hornbills abound. At around a full grown blackmaned male lion, a young male and two female lions walk towards the pan but lay down for a nap about 200m away from our campsite. They stay there for the rest of the day. We get the fire going and wonder if we should braai or not. We do. We make a circle of light and have a quiet dinner, no sounds from the lions. We pack everything away and climb into the roof top tent. 10 minutes later the male is calling out into the night from what seems on the other side of the canvas walls. The young male replies from further away. This calling forth and back goes on the whole night every 30 or 40 minutes. Every time I fall asleep the ground shaking thunder noise wakes me up again. Sleep depravation by lions! In the morning the tracks are plenty all over the camp. As I climb out of the tent the male walks by about 50 meters away, he couldnt care less.
We add a few loops to other pans and get back to the access road that
leads to the
Motopi Nossob Bitterpan Kalahari Tented camp
The next four days we spend very leisurely between rest camps and wilderness camps and enjoy them all very much. We see more lions and also cheetahs. With one young lioness we stay for some time while she tries to ambush a springbok. The camp attendant at Bitterpan shows us how to find Kalahari truffles and we prepare them with butter and salt on the braai, they are delicious. Cottage at Nossob R.380, Bitterpan R. 575, Kalahari Tented Camp R.660 per night.
Mata Mata Upington
A good leg with time for game viewing and a pic nic stop at Twee Rivieren. The Auab riverbed is more appealing to me than the Nossob, there is also much more game here. It is nice to have sometimes the choice between driving on the left or the right side of the riverbed, for photographers this is great. Road maintenance guys are scraping the road by pulling 3 truck tires tied together behind a tractor, to my surprise it does the job, at least for a few days. The Kalahari streches on right to the doorsteps of Upington and beyond. We have no accommodation booked and find a nice B&B in Upington called Chateau and rent a self catering unit for R.260 it has a view on the Orange River, a private terrace with braai and a garden with swimming pool and safe parking we reach it just as the sun sets.
Upington Calvinia - Cederberg
The drive south to Calvinia is very scenic and the desert seems endless,
only some vineyards along the
At first we were tempted to go to
Yet another beautiful drive to Somerset West and then a shocking drive to Capetown: 15km long shanty town along the N2. How many people must be living there? We return the vehicle and spend the rest of this sunny Saturday afternoon visiting the sights on foot and do some shopping at the Waterfront.
A great trip, and taking it real easy on the way back was a very good
idea, instead of a long drive we had another three very different days which added to this
fantastic trip. We still have the Richtersveld on our list of must sees, and we also have
new friends in
info about this trip @ email@example.com
view fotos from this trip http://public.fotki.com/gauchos/kalahari_2006/kalahari/