Twee Rivieren restcamp is at the southern entrance to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp: Our full report
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp stands at the southern entrance to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and doubles as its administration centre; it's often your first and/or last stop within this super park. Twee Rivieren is the largest camp in the park with the best amenities; in contrast to many privately-owned safari lodges, this feels like a small village, complete with a park's office, a fuel station, a shop, a restaurant and plenty of small chalets and bungalows spread around.
In style, Twee Rivieren is like Nossob and Mata Mata, the park's other main rest camps; it differs in scale (it's larger) and has more extensive facilities. It has a small restaurant, the best-stocked shop in the park – with basic supplies, souvenirs and firewood – and a family-sized, horseshoe-shaped pool. These amenities, together with a fuel station, make quite a big difference to the comfort of this otherwise fairly simple camp.
While many visitors come with their own tents to camp at Twee Rivieren, there are four different types of chalet. The size and the number of beds in each vary, but all provide plain, no-frills accommodation. That said, the chalets here are substantially less basic than their counterparts at Nossob
and Mata Mata. Most are constructed of stone and thatch, and have a small patio with tables, chairs and barbecue facilities. Inside, there's a kitchenette with a fridge, two hobs and a good supply of kitchen utensils and cutlery, plus an en-suite bathroom, with toilet and shower; bedding and towels are provided. Air conditioning is standard, ideal for those hot summer evenings, and extra blankets are provided for the winter months.
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has relatively few visitors, due in part to its isolated location. It's been designed with self-drive visitors in mind, and works best for those who will put in lots of time out in the park, either driving and just sitting in the vehicle observing – as the animals are seldom as obvious as they are, say, at waterholes in Etosha. Renowned for its cheetah population, the 38,000km² park is also home to blue wildebeest and the mischievous meerkat. Springbok, gemsbok and red hartebeest thrive here, too – as do lion.
Our viewGiven that the majority of visitors approach the park from Upington, Twee Rivieren Rest Camp is often the first and/or last stop within the park. If your arrival times are uncertain or if you need to guarantee an early departure, then such a stop here is probably a necessity. It is quite large and doesn't feel exclusive – but makes a good springboard for a safari deeper into the park. It's also the only Kgalagadi rest camps which has a restaurant – which is very useful if you don't want the hassle of cooking; just make sure you check the opening time – and book a table ahead if possible. So this isn't our favorite camp in Africa, it usually functions well and is fine for few nights book-ending a deeper exploration of the Kgalagadi.
Ideal length of stay: You are unlikely to really appreciated Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on a short stay, so we recommend at least four nights in the park, and preferably five to seven. Include Twee Rivieren, at least at the start, and then venture to Nossob or Mata Mata, and perhaps one or two of the wilderness camps: Kalahari Tented Camp, Grootkolk, Gharagab, Bitterpan, Urikaruus or Kielie Krankie.
Directions: Twee Rivieren is 250km north of Upington along the R360.
Owner: South African National Parks
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Room Only
Food quality: The small but pleasant restaurant at Twee Rivieren offers a standard menu that is good value for money – but don't expect haute cuisine! Tables need to be reserved in advance at the shop.
When we visited in May 2011, we tried the chicken schnitzel with cheese sauce (R65), which was cooked well. Other main courses, served with two vegetables and chips or jacket potatoes, include steaks (R80), lamb chops (R75) and kudu steaks (R95). Starters are priced at around R25–30; and puddings from R20 to R30.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Drinks included: No drinks are included
Family holidays: While many safaris have age restrictions for children, a self-drive safari trip based at Twee Rivieren Rest Camp, at the entrance to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, works well for families. The accommodation is not elaborate, but the camp offers both self-catering options and a reasonable restaurant. There's also a swimming pool.See more ideas for Family holidays in South Africa
Birdwatching: 264 species of bird can be sighted in the Kgalagadi, some of them migrants; the conditions here can be pretty harsh. Two-thirds of Southern African raptor species can be found in the park along with smaller, more colourful species such as lilac-breasted rollers, crimson-breasted shrikes and the African hoopoe.See more ideas for Birdwatching in South Africa
Photographic: The Kgalagadi offers the opportunity to photograph a good number of animals that wander this fossil desert region including lion, cheetah and the endearing meerkat. There is also the potential for some pretty good landscape photography.See more ideas for Photographic in South Africa
Wildlife safaris: The Kgalagadi gets relatively few visitors, making it perfect for those who want to avoid the masses. Springbok, gemsbok, blue wildebeest, eland and red hartebeest can be found here, whilst meerkats, giraffe, leopards, and black-maned lions are also regularly seen. This is also one of the best parks in Africa for cheetah.See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in South Africa
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is a central phone and fax in the offices at Twee Rivieren, and cellphone reception in camp.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: The nearest doctor's surgery is in Upington.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Fire safety: There is a fire extinguisher in each room.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: There is a launderette where you can do your own washing.
Money: There is an ATM at Twee Rivieren, but no electronic safe to store valuables. No currency exchange is possible.