Kgalagadi means “land of thirst” but this hauntingly beautiful region of rolling red sand dunes, solitary trees and scattered grasses has a special appeal all of its own. The 38,000-km² park represents a vast ecosystem relatively free of human influence and facilitates the seasonal migration of wildlife in search of water and the movement of free-roaming predators. The park provides superb opportunities for observation and photography and is also one of the finest areas in South Africa for viewing birds of prey. In the heat of the day, black-maned Kalahari lions shelter beneath shady bushes and leopards take refuge in the branches of camelthorn trees.
Twee Rivieren Restcamp
In such a setting, where striking red sand dunes are offset by sparse, hardy vegetation and resilient desert wildlife, Twee Rivieren Restcamp is a welcome place to come home to after a day of rewarding game-viewing. Twee Rivieren is the largest rest camp in the the huge Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (and also the administrative base).
Occupying an impressive position on the dry Nossob river bed, the camp is particularly well noted for its seasonal migrations of desert herbivores, such as blue wildebeest and red hartebeest, as well as the ever-trailing predators, yielding exciting hunts and game viewing from the camp.
All South African restcamps are simple low-key affairs and Twee Rivieren is no different. There’s a choice of accommodation from simple cottages with two single beds and a sleeper couch (for children under 12 years) and en suite bathroom (with shower); to larger three and four-bed family cottages with one bedroom, living area and shower room; to some six-bed family cottages with two bedrooms, living room and one shared shower room. All have air-conditioning and fully equipped kitchens.
Other facilities at Twee Rivieren Restcamp include a swimming pool (partially shaded), restaurant, information centre and shop.
Other notable camps in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park:
Mata Mata Restcamp lies on the border of Namibia and the road leading to it follows the dry Auob river where most of the game can be found. There are six-bed cottages and three-bed chalets in this fantastic, desert environment. You can expect to see mile upon mile of rolling rust-red sand dunes, solitary trees and scattered grasses. Nossob Restcamp is a similar simple restcamp at the end of the other main road in the park to the north-east.
Situated high on a red sand dune, overlooking a waterhole in the dry bed of the ancient Auob River, the Kalahari Tented Camp has 15 desert tents, each elegantly decorated with rustic finishes using wood, sand and canvas exteriors all in the natural colours of the park. There is one luxury honeymoon tent with double bed; 4 family tents with two beds and a bunk bed (max 4 people) and 10 two bed tents. Each tent has a bedroom with ceiling fan, bathroom and small equipped kitchen. There is gas for hot water and cooking and solar power for lighting. There’s also a small swimming pool to cool off during the hot Kalahari days. The tented camp is only 3 km from the Mata Mata Restcamp where you can refuel and get basic supplies at the shop. The camp is designed in such a way that guests feel they have only themselves and the desert for company.
Note: Neither Nossob, Mata Mata or Kalahari Tented Camp have a restaurant, so you would need to buy and take food with you from either Upington or Twee Rivieren restcamp.