We went to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park finally! We’d been talking about it and dreaming about it for months. We have a magazine about it which I’d read about 10 times. In early November we decided to take a mini-break and go.
It was an epic road trip. We did just over 3,300 kms in a week. Here’s our map of where we went. We started out where point G is and then on the first day we drove all the way to Vryburg in the North West Province (point B).
We arrived late at Vryburg and stayed at a campsite called die Boereplaas. This literally translates to the farmers farm. It was the epitome of Afrikaanerdom. We had drinks with a boer at the bar and he told us stories of shooting jackals with black powder guns and leopards eating babies. It doesn’t get more Afrikaans than that. There was a tame baby gemsbok there too.
The next day we drove to Augrabies Falls National Park in the Northern Cape (point C). The falls were pretty but the water was pretty low as the rains haven’t come yet this year. We did a game drive in the evening and saw giraffes, elands, springbok and dassies.
The next day we headed up to the Kgalagadi. While travelling one of us would drive while the other one chilled out or napped in our luxurious ‘room’ in the back of the landy.
After stopping for a spot of sand surfing on the dunes, we finally made it to the Kgalagadi National Park (point D).
The first night there we camped at Rooiputs. It was one of two nights in the park where we camped in places where there was no fence between us and the lions.
The next morning beside the footprints we’d made in the sand were large hyaena tracks walking just next to our tent.
We saw heaps of amazing animals in the Kgalagadi including brown hyaena, lions, yellow mongoose, bat-earred fox, honey badger, wildebeests, red hartebeests, springboks, spring hares, wild cat and meerkats.
One of the best things we saw was a black-backed jackal who hunted 5 sand-grouses in a row while we watched him at a waterhole.
The sunsets were incredible every night.
Everything in the desert revolves around water. We had to carry our own supplies with us in the landy and fill up our water bottles daily from landy’s tap.
The animals were desperate for water. If you spilled a bit of water on a table or put a pan on the ground dozens of sociable weavers and grouses would come.
Our final night in the park was on the Botswana side at a very basic campsite called Matopi 1. On our way there we towed out a Toyota which was stuck in the sand. And when we got there we didn’t see another person for 24 hours. The campsite had no fences, no cell phone reception, no toilets, no water, no nothing. It was just us and the bush.
On the long drive back through Botswana we stopped over at Jwaneng (point E) and treated ourselves to a night in a hotel and a Nando’s dinner. We stopped again one last time before making it back to Lajuma in a small village called Baltimore, South Africa (point F). Not quite like the Baltimore I was born in.
It was a fantastic trip but there was only one thing that could have made it better. We kept seeing signs for Namibia since we were right next to the border and we didn’t have enough time to go there. It tore a bit of my travelling soul out. Next time Namibia, you’re mine.