We’ve just spent 6 nights in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. What a pity it couldn’t have been a bit longer – it’s like nothing either of us have ever seen before. Well actually I have seen it before, but I was 6 at the time, so the memories are a bit blurry.
Kerryn grew up in the Kruger, and we’ve both spent a lot of time there over the last few years, so being in the bush is something we’re pretty used to. But everything about Kgalagadi is different. The camps are much smaller and there are no tarred roads, so straight away it feels a whole lot wilder. But it’s the stark, harsh landscapes and the unique wildlife – the stuff you don’t see much of in Kruger, if at all – that made the biggest impression. Although we saw plenty of lion, it was the bat-eared and cape foxes, the ground squirrels and meerkats, the springbok, the gemsbok, the secretary birds, kori bustards and crimson-breasted shrikes that we’ll remember most.
And then there were the cheetah. All those trips to Kruger over the last few years and we hadn’t seen a flipping cheetah. Not one. But in a single day at Kgalagadi, we saw 5. It was a good day. That evening, while drinking our tea at the hide in front of Nossob Camp, the biggest lioness either of us had ever seen came down to drink at the floodlit waterhole. She then casually sauntered towards us, walking right under our feet in the direction of the camp. It was actually a little nerve-wracking as she disappeared into the blackness, considering we too had to walk back towards the camp, down a walkway lined with rather flimsy looking sticks. Truth be told, we didn’t walk, we ran. But it was certainly an experience we’ll never forget.
If you get the chance to go to Kgalagadi, go! It’s one of the most magical places we’ve ever visited, and we’ll definitely be back. We spent a night at Twee Rivieren on the way in, 2 nights at Mata Mata, another 2 at Nossob, and a night back at Twee Rivieren on our way out. Each camp had its own unique charm, but we probably enjoyed Nossob the most, mainly because of the density of predators in the area. It feels like we only scratched the surface though – there’s still the entire Botswana side of the park, which is supposedly incredible. Although we’ll probably save that for a trip when we have at least one more car.
Whilst staying at Nossob, we bumped into some extended family of mine – Christopher and Janet Colebank. In fact quite coincidentally we pitched our tent right next door to theirs. Although it was so early in the trip, it was really nice to see some familiar faces. They were also kind enough to give us a bottle of Rickety Bridge Pinotage as a farewell gift. Thanks so much, Chris and Janet! It didn’t last as long as we’d hoped, but it went down very nicely indeed.