Kgalagadi to Karoo 13 days / 12 nights

Malaria free area

Accommodation options: chalets/guesthouse

This tour covers 4 National Parks and 7 Reserves/conservation areas

Shortened program:

  • DAY 1 Kgalagadi
  • DAY 2 Kgalagadi
  • DAY 3 Kgalagadi
  • DAY 4 Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve
  • DAY 5 Augrabies
  • DAY 6 Pofadder
  • DAY 7 Pofadder – Niewoudtville
  • DAY 8 Niewoudtville – Tankwa Karoo National Park
  • DAY 9 Tankwa Karoo – Sutherland
  • DAY 10 Sutherland – Karoo National Park
  • DAY 11 Karoo National Park
  • DAY 12 Karoo National Park – Carnavon
  • DAY 13 Carnavon – Upington
    • Detailed program:

      DAY 1 – Upington-Kgalagadi

      Depart 830 to Twee Rivieren. Game drives until the gates close.

      Optional night drive/morning walk with rangers.

      Overnight: Twee Rivieren chalet

      Meals: L,D

      DAY 2 Kgalagadi-Nossob

      Game drive 160km to Nossob. Afternoon arrival. Visit the game hide. Optional night drive.

      Overnight: Nossob chalet

      Meals: B,L,D

      DAY 3 Kgalagadi-Mata Mata

      Game drive 150km to Mata Mata.

      Overnight: Mata Mata chalet / Kalahari Tented camp

      Meals: B,L,D

      DAY 4 – Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve

      Game drive 130km to Twee Rivieren, check out and drive 30km to our next stop for the evening.

      Overnight: Kalahari Trails guesthouse

      Meals: B,L,D

      DAY 5 – Kalahari Trails – Augrabies Falls National Park

      After an informative morning walk we depart via Upington to visit the 6th highest Falls in the world – Augrabies. En route we stop at the Khomani Bushmen, Goera Salt Pan, Bezalel Wine Farm and Road stall.

      Overnight: Augrabies chalet

      Meals: B,L,D

      DAY 6 – Augrabies – Pofadder

      After a morning hike on the Dassie Nature Trail, as well as a last visit to the Falls, we proceed to Pofadder. This gravel road goes through the vast plains of the northern Bushmanland with views to the north of the Orange River Valley and the barren mountainous Southern Namibia.

      Overnight: Pofadder Hotel

      Meals: B L D

      DAY 7 – Pofadder – Niewoudtville

      Today we experience the scenic dirt roads through the western Bushmanland to Loeriesfontein, including the longest straight road in South Africa measuring more than 80km. This road takes one past remote sheep farms through one of the most sparsely populated areas in South Africa. At Loeriesfontein we visit the Windpump Museum.

      Depart to Niewoudtville (situated on the Bokveld escarpment) On route we visit the largest Quiver Tree Forest in South Africa and the 110m high Niewoudtville Water Fall on the Doring River. Niewoudtville is known for its unique vegetation, with the biggest variety of bulbous plants in the world. This small town with its warm sandstone buildings is situated in a flat landscape covered by wheat, heather and proteas due to higher rainfall close to the edge of the escarpment. During spring the area changes into a colourful carpet of spring flowers. 8 Km from town is a majestic view from the top of Van Rhyns Pass over the Knersvlakte.

      Attractions: Wild Flower Reserve on Glen Lyon with displays of over 500 000 endemic Bulbinella, Glacial Rock Striations from Permian era 280 million years ago, Khoisan Rock Paintings on Papkuilsfontein and the impressive NG Church built from sandstone.

      Overnight: Guest House

      Meals: B L D

      DAY 8 – Niewoudtville – Tankwa Karoo National Park

      Drive to Calvinia. Stop for a cup of tea at the historical Hantam House. Other interesting sites are South Africa’s largest Post Box and the well maintained Calvinia Museum and “Makadas’, the last steam locomotive on the one way railway line to Calvinia, which has closed down.

      Continue on dirt road via the Bloukrans Pass to Tankwa Karoo National Park. The Park is situated on the southern boundary of the Northern Cape with the Roggeveld Escarpment in the East, Cederberg in the West, and Klein Roggeveld Mountains in the South. This unique national park covers 111,000 ha and is situated within the Succulent Karoo Biome where you’ll find rare and endangered plant species, rich endemic birdlife, and landscapes that will take your breath away – from the sheer cliffs of the Roggeveld Escarpment to the moonscapes of the Tankwa Desert.

      The park is home to small numbers of Red hartebeest, gemsbok, springbok and steenbok and predators such as leopard, caracal, African wildcat and black backed jackal, sightings are rare. Tankwa Karoo National Park is the ideal destination for those seeking the brightest stars in Africa.

      Overnight: Elandsberg Cottage

      Meals: B L D

      DAY 9 – Tankwa Karoo – Sutherland

      Game drive through the park to exit gate. Depart on back roads to Sutherland crossing the Ouberg Pass, from where one has a panoramic view of the lower-lying Karoo and the Ceres Karoo Mountains about 200km away.

      Sutherland, the coldest place in South Africa, is situated on the Roggeveld Plateau 1450m above sea level and is known for its clear night skies and cold, biting winters. With weather conditions like this Sutherland is home to the world-renowned South African Astronomical Observatory. The site houses ten telescopes, one being SALT (Southern Africa Largest Telescope). SALT is the largest single, optical telescope in the southern hemisphere, with a hexagonal mirror, 11 metres across. SALT is housed in a dome seven storeys high. Qualified observers conduct tours of the observatory. Experience a night tour where one can view interesting objects in the sky through two visitor telescopes, a 16” Meade and 14” Celestron Telescope.

      Other attractions we visit:the NG Church, which was occupied by British troops during the Anglo-Boere War and the Louw Museum, which is the birthplace of two famous Afrikaans poet writers, NP van Wyk Louw and W.E.G Louw.

      Overnight: Kambro Kind B&B

      Meals: B L D

      DAY 10 – Sutherland – Karoo National Park

      We do an optional guided tour of the observatory including a visit to Salt. Depart to Fraserburg. This area is known for important fossil discoveries of which some is exhibited in the old parsonage museum. Visit the Gansfontein Paleo Surface where there is a distinct trace fossil of a gastropod of which a similar trace was recently discovered in Antarctica. Other visits can include the unique six-sided structure the Pepperpot and the old power station where the seven Lister Blackstone engines may still be seen and well maintained colonial style houses.

      Drive on to Karoo National Park. The Great Karoo is a vast and unforgiving landscape of which the Karoo National Park is but a small portion. Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the Karoo is home to a fascinating diversity of life, all having adapted to survive in these harsh conditions. Karoo National Park is dominated by the lofty Nuweveld Mountains and rolling plains, where many species that originally occurred here now occupy their former ranges.

      The Karoo National Park has a wide variety of endemic wildlife. Many species have been relocated to their former ranges – such as Black rhino and Cape buffalo, as well as Cape mountain zebra. The park is also home to Red Hartebeest, Black Wildebeest, Eland, Burchell’s Zebra, Kudu, Springbok and Klipspringer.

      Over 20 breeding pairs of black eagle find sanctuary within the park and large numbers of lesser kestrels are summer visitors. Karoo Korhaan, Ludwig’s Bustard and Namaqua Sandgrouse are common residents. There is also a wide diversity of succulent plants and small reptiles.

      Overnight: Chalet at Karoo National Park

      Meals: B L D

      DAY 11 – Karoo National Park

      We do game drives on game drive routes and 4×4 trails.

      Overnight: Chalet at Karoo National Park

      Meals: B L D

      DAY 12 – Karoo National Park – Carnavon

      Early morning game drive, then we depart to Loxton, a small town of which two thirds have washed away in flash floods in 1961. The road goes via Rosesberg and Molteno Passes.

      Continue to Carnavon. This area is known for the corbelled houses, a unique style of building, used by the Trekboers. These small domed houses were completely built of flat stones, because of the lack of wood for trusses. Cement was a mixture of chaff and soil and the floors were of earth coloured a rich red by a mixture of fat and oxblood polished with a flat stone. Visit the Museum & Corbelled House and Appie van Heerden Nature Reserve with a variety of wildlife. End off the day with a drink in the “Blikkiesbar”, a bar with a large collection of beer cans and whiskies at the Carnavon Hotel.

      Overnight:Carnavon Hotel

      Meals: B L D

      DAY 13 – Carnavon – Upington

      We proceed to Van Wyksvlei, a small town lying close to the first state funded dam with a unique earthen wall, built in 1882. Continue to Verneuk Pan (Deception Pan), a vast dry pan where the track can still be seen on which Sir Donald Campbell tried to set a new land-speed record in 1929 in Bluebird 1. Continue via Kenhardt to Keimoes. Kenhardt is the ‘Dorper capital’. The Dorper sheep was bred in South Africa from the Dorset Horn from the UK and the Persian sheep from Somalia. The Dorper is able to produce good quality mutton in very dry areas. Our next stop is at the largest inhabited inland island in South Africa, Kanoneiland, where virtually every inch of soil is under irrigation. Arrive in Upington during the afternoon. End of the tour.

      Meals: B,L

      Included: driver/guide, vehicle, fuel, meals, accommodation, water.

      Excluded: conservation fees, optional activities.

      • Conservation fee of R300 per person per day payable Kgalagadi cash or credit card
      • Bottled water / soft – and alcoholic drinks / snaks in between meals (shops available at every camp)

      Accommodation may vary slightly from the itinerary depending on availability and weather conditions.

      ALTERATIONS TOURS: Accommodation may vary due to weather conditions and availability.

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