This is the final installment for this series. As I am finishing writing about this winter trip we are soon embarking on our very first Summer Kgalagadi experience. In full planning and day dreaming phase.
For our last 2 nights at the Kgalagadi, we always try finish at Twee Rivieren as it is then a do-able 10 hours home. Diving closer to this main rest camp our phones start beeping and vibrating as it tis the only camp in the Kgalagadi with some limited signal. I harsh reminder of life outside. We were not too fussy with what site we got as in winter we not desperate for shade. It is a busy but great base from which to explore. Unlike the other camps, we get to choose which route to take as it is close to the confluence of the two river beds ("Twee Rivieren"), the Auob and the Nossob. Both are incredible with different views and scenery. All the vlogs rate it highly for sightings but less so for camping. We found the camp site to be perfectly lovely. Perhaps our view will change in Summer! The ablutions where clean and maintained with a laundry and kitchen. There are powered and unpowered sites, each with a tap, light and braai. The ground is gravel and care must always be taken for nature around and beneath.
Having done the Nossob river bed for the entire trip to date we decided to spend the day going up the Auob river bed, beautiful. There are wonderful camelthorn trees close to camp which are full of life. If you planning a visit I do recommend Kgalagadi Self Drive written by Phillip and Ingrid Van den berg, it highlights all the trees, routes, ratings with detailed descriptions, gps co-ordinates for common dens and sightings. I have the Kruger and Kgalagadi books and find then very useful in planning our trips. That as well as old Go and other magazines, tips and routes.
We planned a picnic at the lovely Auchterlonie site for jaffels. It's a favorite. Weather its plain cheese or old food / elaborate ones, we love it. Auchterlonie is a lovely stop. It has a museum in the old buildings showing the visitor what is was like to live there. There is historical information teaching you how the park developed and information on the people that originally lived there, the bushmen, and the story of the boreholes, colonisation, war and the formation of the park.
We continued our travel up the Auob towards Mata Mata, mostly enjoying the smaller animals and birds. We had a lovely time with the swallow tailed bee-eaters, black shouldered kite and lanner falcon. We drone back via short dune road and bid one last goodbye to the southern end of the Nossob.
Visiting a park like the Kgalagadi is not just about the predators, even though those are the pictures it is famous for, I think its greatest benefit is the peace and silence. The smaller animals and bird life is extraordinary. The predator sightings can be exceptional as it is open and sightings can be more easily captured. The park is for visitors seeking a wild experience while in a less crowded and harsh environment, therefor peace and reflection. Kruger in also amazing, we have been there for many years and all seasons and will continue to visit, but this seems to have been the year of Kgalagadi for us. We needed the quiet and peaceful nature of it, it helped that it is closer and fulfilled our need for the bush.
We are incredibly excited for the Summer Kgalagadi adventure. It will be our 4th trip to the park but our first in Summer. We are nervous and planning for heat but hoping to see a different version of the park, one with snakes, scorpions, and the summer migration of birds.
I do hope you will feel more adventurous and by reading this feel more knowledgeable and comfortable with traveling in the desert bush. I should be part of everyone's bucket list visits.
We look forward to sharing our next adventure with you soon!