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InsideOut Adventures: Winter in the Kgalagadi - Part 1

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

After packing up our tent and trailer in Augrabies, we set off to the famous Kgalagadi. We found ourselves filling up and buying KFC at 8am just outside Augrabies, making for happy kids, (and Husband). 4 Hours later we where driving into the entrance of the Kgalagadi, such a joyful moment! There is this feeling, well written and spoken about, that when you enter the Kgalagadi, you leave the worlds worries behind. There is no signal, limited wifi, a place where you must be fully present and in some camps fully self sufficient.

We had 6 hours to get to Nossob typically a 4 1/2 hours drive no stopping for sightings. Ideally you would want to double the drive time to a destination to allow for sightings and stops. We also needed to set up and we did not want to do it in the dark. We arrived to a lively campsite, kids abound playing games, parents relaxing around the fire. What a wonderful atmosphere.

After setting up we started our fire while the kids explored. Food is a big passion of mine, I love to cook. When I plan our menu I consider everyone's favorites, a variety of different foods with a good dose of healthy hidden gems. I do plan a daily menu, one that is versatile and can be re-arranged or substituted. I usually precook and debone many meat dishes that form a base to potjies, stew or pasta dishes. This is a time saving trick, all I then need to do is finish dishes with veg, pasta or rice. I prefer doing the time consuming or messy work at home. On holiday we want easy and quick food that is also really good. Cooked meat/chicken and stock freezes really well. This process also saves space for packing. Snacks include biltong, dried and fresh fruit, nuts, sweets, chips, pretzels and what ever we in the mood for in that season.

Our first night was incredible. The owls and night sounds are wonderful. Nossob has a famous flood lit water hole and hide. Jason and I where there every morning and every night. We photographed the stars that first mostly cloudless night and watched the sunrise everyday with our coffee. We expected and planned for freezing temperatures but were greeted with warm days and nights and slightly chilly mornings, this was wonderful. Our coffee ritual is an essential. In every trip it is a vital component. The coffee maker goes with us everywhere :)

We spent our first day close to camp with little driving, Maries Loop and up to Cubije Quap. This was our rest day, to soak up the atmosphere and unwind even more. It was so warm, our kids had their second swim. We watched the birds, squirrels, mongoose and suricates all around, searched for more owls sleeping in trees. Our neighbours changed every other day but were all lovely people. If you go wanting privacy you can have it, but if you love to chat to neighbours, camping is usually a good place too. Most campers are friendly, helpful and kind. Our Kids made new friends, played games and explored camp. It was a wonderful day, finished off with a wonderful evening at camp.

The nightlife at the Nossob water hole is usually active. We saw owls, black backed jackal, oryx and smaller birds and mammals. Power is from 5am to 10pm when the generators are switched off. We were not affected by loadshedding. The ablutions were well maintained and the shop was well stocked. The credit card machines are often offline, but they do allow you to draw money at the office/petrol station where the card machines were working. You should come as prepared as possible to the Kgalagadi, they have facilities in the main rest camps for you to buy basics, petrol etc. but they do run out sometimes. The water from the taps is salty and not for drinking or cooking, you either bring or buy.

How do we keep our kids busy? Popular question. In he car, a combination of photography, sightings, snacks, device time, home-made and bought work-sheets and activities and card games. It pays to offer a cash reward for first sighting, different price for different animals, they love it. We do try add variability in the days, making sure the kids get to do activities of there choice too, like swimming, card and board games.

In part 2 we go North, to Lijersdraai Picnic site, loops and the spectacular Polentswa waterhole. Enjoy the video!

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