The Kgalagadi is an arid area dominated by the classic red Kalahari dunes....
Gharagab Wilderness Camp: Our full report
Gharagab Wilderness Camp is a small and exceedingly remote, self-catering camp that lies in the extreme north of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – quite close to Union's End. It's perched on a dune, above a floodlit waterhole, in what feels like the middle of nowhere.
Gharagab stands close to a 'own-way' (one lane!) track in the sand, which they jovially refer to as their 'access road'; you enter the camp from the north, by turning south at Union's End, and you leave the camp by heading south and then east.
Both the entry and exit tracks are long, winding and quite challenging to drive, with some sharp bends and steep sandy inclines. You'll need a good 4WD. Visitors coming here should check in at Nossob Rest Camp, where you should also fill up with petrol and supplies, including drinking water and firewood. Water at the camp is salinated, so cannot be used for drinking. There are no shops or fuel available beyond Nossob, and it is not possible to drive from Twee Rivieren Rest Camp to Gharagab in one day.
Gharagab Wilderness Camp has just four simple cabins, each constructed of wood and canvas and raised on a wooden deck overlooking camelthorn veld and a floodlit waterhole. Inside, two single beds are flanked by small cupboards for hanging clothes. A wooden door leads to the back, where the toilet and washbasin are separated by a canvas 'wall' from the shower. Towels are provided.
Each cabin at Gharagab also has a small, fully equipped kitchen with twin gas burners and a gas fridge/freezer. A wooden sliding door leads from the kitchen onto a private deck with BBQ facilities. This deck area is fenced off and a little gate affords extra security. Although electricity is provided by solar power (and hot water from a gas heater), on our visit in May 2011 we found the units quite dark – and the floors very creaky!
Our viewGharagab Wilderness Camp is a haven of peace and quiet where you can sit back and watch the game come and go from the waterhole. That said, its long access road, combined with the relatively lack of waterholes in its vicinity, means that whilst it may be a destination in its own right, to sit and relax; it doesn't make a convenient base from which to explore of the park.
Ideal length of stay: To fully appreciate Gharagab, and given the distance involved in getting there, 2–3 nights are recommended.
Accessible by: Self-drive
Owner: South African National Parks
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Room Only
Food quality: Self-catering facilities only
Attitude towards children: No children under the age of 12 years are allowed.
Generally recommended for children: As the camp is unfenced, it is unsuitable for families with children, and certainly no younger then 12 years old.
Power supply: Solar Power
Communications: There are no telephones or cell phone reception.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: The closest hospital to Gharagab is in Upington, some 240km away.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: An armed ranger lives on site.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: No laundry facilities are available.
Money: No safes or currency exchange are available.
Accepted payment on location: There are no payment facilities available.