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Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

25°42’58.8"S 20°24’12.0"E

Bitterpan Wilderness Camp: Our full report

Within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Bitterpan Wilderness Camp is great stop in a superb location, breaking ...

... up the journey between the Kalahari Tented Camp and Grootkolk Wilderness Camp.

Recently built, the new wilderness camps offer slightly more substance than the restcamps within the park. They are however, not safari lodges and as such the luxuries are limited, offering instead a very good self-catering option.

The 4 'reed chalets' at Bitterpan are each made from reeds and canvas, with the roof made from corrugated iron sheet covered with reeds. Built in a very traditional African style, using similar materials and techniques to those used by the local people, they are a great option, being fun and cosy.

There is no restaurant here so self-catering is the standard. However, communal kitchens come well stocked with all your standard cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. There are also barbeque areas available for shared use. The chalets come with bedding and towels. It would be prudent however, to bring some of your own linen, especially for younger children. It is also recommended that you bring water and firewood, although there is a shop for essentials at Twee Rivieren, as you enter the park.

Bitterpan Wilderness Camp has a waterhole which is regularly visited by a variety of animals. It also has a 6m-high look-out tower with panoramic views over the pan, waterhole and across the dunes.

With the camp so near to the waterhole, and being completely open to the wilderness, animals do come into the camp. There is a 'tourism assistant' on duty at the camp at all times – but often no other staff – so it is important to remember your surroundings.

Bitterpan Wilderness Camp is located fairly centrally within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park; see our Map of the Kgalagadi.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park can offer some really excellent game-viewing opportunities, and Bitterpan Camp is in a good location in the middle of the dune belt.

Not only does the park offer one of Africa's best opportunities to see cheetah, but is probably the world's number one area to view of the infamous meerkats. With an abundance of many types of game, there is opportunity to see gemsbok, wildebeest and springbok as well as predators, from black-maned lion to leopard.

( Originally the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was two separate parks on either side of the border: the Gemsbok National Park was a large isolated section of Kalahari scrub in Botswana, while the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park was a South African National Park. Combining the two has not only opened up the park to more people, but has helped in the conservation with a unified park authority).


Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa
Ideal length of stay
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park needs at least a 4 night stay to be fully appreciated. However, we recommend 5-7 nights, incorporating a variety of the camps, such as Bitterpan Camp, Kalahari Tented Camp and Grootkolk, or perhaps even one of the restcamps: Mata Mata, Nossob or
Twee Rivieren.
Accessible by

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Room Only


Attitude towards children
Children are very welcome; just bear in mind their safety as the wildlife roams through camp without hindrance.
Generally recommended for children

Health & safety

Dangerous animals
High Risk
Fire safety


Disabled access

Other lodges in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Alternative places to stay in this same area.

Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

Twee Rivieren

The Kgalagadi's largest restcamp, Twee Rivieren is the centre for the park's administration, and an obvious stop for food and fuel for self-driving visitors.

80% (37 reviews)
Kalahari Tented Camp

Kalahari Tented Camp

Kalahari Tented Camp, with self-catering accommodation, is an unusual and well positioned base for exploration of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

93% (32 reviews)
Ta Shebube Rooiputs

Ta Shebube Rooiputs

One of just three private lodges in the Kgalagadi, Ta Shebube Rooiputs offers a well-appointed base from where you can explore this delightful National Park.

88% (15 reviews)
Mata Mata Rest Camp

Mata Mata Rest Camp

On the western border of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Mata Mata Restcamp offers camping and simple self-catering chalets, great for adventurous travellers on self-drive explorations of this park.

83% (15 reviews)
Nossob Rest Camp

Nossob Rest Camp

A basic but very well positioned rest camp within the heart of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Simple self-catering accommodation is available as well as camping options

81% (15 reviews)
Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Gharagab Camp

Gharagab Wilderness Camp is located in a remote corner of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which is wonderful if you like wilderness areas. However, access takes time - so it's not the best base for exploring the park.

89% (14 reviews)
Grootkolk Wilderness Camp

Grootkolk Camp

Grootkolk Wilderness Camp has quirky sand-bag self-catering accommodation and simple amenities, offering a comfortable place to stay while exploring the north western Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

91% (11 reviews)
!Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge mixes guided wildlife safaris with very good community interactions, suiting those who prefer not to drive and cater for themselves.

98% (11 reviews)
Ta Shebube Polentswa

Ta Shebube Polentswa

Although accessed via South Africa, Ta Shebube Polentswa is situated just across the border, in a private concession on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

94% (10 reviews)
Urikaruus Wilderness Camp

Urikaruus Camp

Urikaruus is one of the most popular wilderness camps in the Kgalagadi National Park with lovely riverside cabins set high up on stilts overlooking the Auob riverbed.

96% (10 reviews)
Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp

Kielie Krankie Camp

Perched high atop a huge red sand dune, the small Kielie Krankie wilderness camp it is well positioned for accessing both east and west sides of the Kgalagadi National Park.

91% (9 reviews)
Molopo Kalahari Lodge

Molopo Lodge

Less than an hours' drive from the Kgalagadi, this makes a good base near to the park if you're arriving late in the afternoon.

60% (3 reviews)
The Motse at Tswalu

The Motse at Tswalu

Tswalu Motse is a smart lodge located in the Tswalu Game Reserve, the largest private reserve in South Africa.

100% (2 reviews)

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