Cape Town to Kgalagadi road trip. Exploring the Kalahari

Kalahari road trip
Scenery on the way from Cape Town to Kgalagadi.

Driving through the Kalahari region was a very interesting experience, this route offers a big bio and landscape diversity as well as some interesting culture and historical heritage sites. On this road trip we had a great chance to explore most of the Arid parks with their unique environment and wild life and camped at some amazing places under incredible Northern Cape sky. The whole trip took us 12 days if you have more or less time you can easily adjust it for your trip spending more time in some places or visiting less sites. We hope you’ll find our itinerary helpful for planning a trip through the Kalahari.

Cape Town Kgalagadi road trip map

Cape Town Kgalagadi route; Cape Town – Ceres – Tankwa Karoo National park – Sutherland – Augrabies Falls National park –  Upington – Meerkat Sanctuary – Twee Rivieren campsite (Kgalagadi Transfrontier park) – Nossob campsite (Kgalagadi park) – Mata Mata campsite (Kgalagadi park) – Upington – Witsand Nature reserve – Kimberley – Ritchie – Mokala National park – Hopetown – Orania town – Kambro campsite – Briston – Three Sisters (mountains) – Molteno pass – Beaufort West – Karoo National park – Cape Town.

Total distance: 3509km

On this trip we visited and camped at 5 SANparks, all the campsites are fantastic; located in the nature, with amazing scenery, good facilities and well-priced (especially if you’re 6 people camping). The staff is always very friendly and professional ready to explain, to recommend and to help. We love SANparks and on our future trips going to explore all of them! SANparks website is have very good and helpful you can check availability and book campsite through it.

The Old Town at the Big Hole museum, Kimberley
The Old Town at the Big Hole museum, Kimberley

Budget for 12 days/two people 

  • Petrol (as usually on a road trip the main expense) – R4500.
  • Accommodation (10 nights camping, 1 night hostel) – R3273. Your accommodation budget will be almost the same for up to 6 people because in most campsites you pay per site not per person.
  • Entrance fees (for SA and residents, for foreigners multiply by 3) – R636 (if you don’t have Wild Card).
  • Food (shopping, eating out, coffee) – R3400. Mostly buying food and cooking, a couple of breakfasts on the way and coffee stops.

Total: R11 809 or R492 per person/day.

Need to know before the trip 

  • If you’re planning to camp in SANparks or any other national parks keep in mind all the power outlets are opt for caravans if you don’t have one, you’ll need an adapter to be able to charge your devices. You can buy it in shops in most parks.
  • On this route you drive a lot on gravel roads take a spare tire or two.
  • Distances between towns in the Northern Cape are quite big always make sure you have enough petrol.
Caravan type outlets
Caravan type outlets are standard in all National parks

Cape Town to Kgalagadi complete road trip itinerary

Day 1. Cape Town – Tankwa Karoo National park 

Cape Town – Ceres – Tankwa Karoo National park (Perdekloof campsite), 315km, 4h30min

The drive on the first day of our road trip wasn’t too long though the last 80km to the park office you drive on ok gravel road. On the way to Ceres you’ll drive through Michell’s pass, it’s very beautiful. Note! There is no shop or restaurant in the park bring food and water with you as well as fill your car with petrol (last petrol stop is in Ceres, 180km from Tankwa), in the park only diesel available.

Tankwa Karoo National park

The park is located on the border between Western and Northern Cape in Succulent Karoo Biome, a unique entire arid spot. We stayed here only for one night but there are many different routes to drive and a lot to explore so it can be a nice weekend/holiday getaway place. In a clear night this place is an excellent star gazing spot. All roads in the park are gravel but if you don’t go to 4×4 trails you will be able to drive it with a sedan.

Not to miss in the park the scenic drive through Gannaga Pass, the scenery and view from the viewpoint are breath-taking! Watch around for klipspringers jumping over the rocks you have a good chance to take some nice photos.

Gannaga pass, Tankwa Karoo National park.
Gannaga pass, Tankwa Karoo National park.

What animals can you see in Tankwa?

Aardvark, mountain zebra, gemsbok, springbok, bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, klipspringer, bowsprit tortoise and cape cobra. Out of these we saw springboks, klipspringers, gemsboks and many birds.

Tankwa Karoo park entrance fee

  • SA and residents – R40, children – R20
  • SADC countries – R80, children – R40
  • Foreigners – R145, children – R80
  • Camping – R318 per site, up to 6 people.

Gate opening time

  • October – March from 05.30 to 19.00
  • April – September from 06.30 to 18.00

Office hours

  • Mon – Thu, Sat from 07.30 to 17.30
  • Fri from 07.30 to 21.00
  • Sun/Pub holiday from 09.00 to 17.30
Klipspriger, Tankwa Karoo National park
Klipspriger, Tankwa Karoo National park

Camping in Tankwa

There are two types of campsites in the park; formal and informal. Formal campsites have all the facilities informal or bush camps have basically nothing, but they are cheaper, R124 per site, max 15 people. We decided to stay in a formal one, Perdekloof. There are two formal campsites; Perdekloof (6 sites) and Langkloof (2 sites), both accommodate 6 people per site. Phone for booking +27 27 341 1927

Perdekloof campsite

Each site has its own toilet, shower and kitchenet. We really enjoyed camping here the area is beautiful it gives you a feeling of being in the wild far from bustling cities and noises hidden between the mountains but at the same time having all you need for a comfort stay. Don’t miss sunset at Perdekloof it’s magic!

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – no
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Phone reception – no
  • Accept cards – yes, at the reception
  • Other – kitchenette with a sink.

Things to do

  • Game drive
  • 4×4 routes
  • Birdwatching
  • Drive through Gannaga pass
  • Mountain biking
  • Walking
Perdekloof campsite, Tankwa Karoo National park
Perdekloof campsite, Tankwa Karoo National park

Day 2. Tankwa Karoo National park – Sutherland

Tankwa Karoo National park – Sutherland, 113km, 2 hours (mostly gravel road)

Sutherland is a very nice little town with many guest houses and B&B and a couple of restaurants, SPAR and one petrol station (it’s closed on weekend from 13.00 Saturdays). We can recommend buying meat or biltong at a local butcher’s their chops and boerewors were very good.

Observatory in Sutherland

The Observatory is just 14km from the town. This place is definitely worth of visit if you do a tour you’ll learn a lot about the research work they do here, why Southerland is a good place for stargazing, what kind of telescopes are there. You visit SALT and can get an idea how it works and how many million light years far back scientists can see through it. Tour duration is between an hour and a half. In the reception building there are several rooms with info boards and artifacts that provide some interesting information about the space, galaxies and planets.

There are two daily (no tours on Sundays) day tours at 10.30 and 14.30 since it’s not far to drive from Tankwa you can make it to visit the Observatory the same day. Tour costs R60 per person. Booking is essential it’s easy to do over the phone (023) 571-2436. We booked ours just an hour before. There are star gazing tours at night as well on Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat at 20.00 (in winter start at 18.00). Price R80 pp. During school holiday booked a tour beforehand to get a spot. 

SALT telescope, South African Astronomical Observatory , Sutherland
SALT telescope, South African Astronomical Observatory , Sutherland

Places to stay in Sutherland

We were unlucky in Southerland we couldn’t camp at none of the two campsites we had in mind, the first Verlatenkloof campsite (20km before the town) was closed due to some renovation work, the owner of the second, Sterland wasn’t there. We had to drive quite far out of the town, about 30km and camp at Skurweberg campsite. There are many B&B and guest houses in Sutherland we had breakfast at The Blue Moon guest house, it looked like a very nice place. By the way the owner of Sterland caravan park does a stargazing every night, contact Jurg Wagener for more info 023 571 1481.

Skurweberg campsite. Price R100 per person.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – no
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Phone reception – no
  • Accept cards – no

The other two campsites that were closed have similar facilities except Sterland has cell phone reception, prices are the same R100 pp.

SALT from the inside, Observatory, Sutherland
SALT from the inside, Observatory, Sutherland

Day 3. Sutherland – Augrabies National park

Sutherland – Middelpos – Kakamas – Augrabies Falls National park, 542km, 6 hours

The whole day you basically drive through a lot of nothing so make sure fill your tank every time you see a petrol station. Next place after Sutherland with petrol is Middelpos, 50km away. You can buy food and supplies in Kakamas, 23km before the park.

Augrabies Falls National park

Augrabies Waterfall is a huge canyon made by the Orange river. It looks impressive even in dry season though there is not that much water. Best time to visit the falls in full flow is between February and April. There are wooden walking paths along the canyon you can observe it from different angles.

Augrabies Falls park entrance fee

  • SA and residents – R48, children – R24
  • SADC countries – R96, children – R48
  • Foreigners – R192, children – R96
  • Camping – R235 per site, up to 6 people.

Gate opening hours/office hours

Every day from 7.00 to 18.00

We really enjoyed camping at Augrabies, the parks stuff was amazing, they helped us to plan our visit to Kgalagadi Transfrontier park, phoned them and made a booking for us.

There is a very nice restaurant at the reception building they have good coffee and Dassie breakfast for ZAR30 was a real bargain. In the local shop you can buy snacks, cool drinks, souvenirs and maps. Petrol is available at the gate.

Waterfall, Augrabies Falls National park
Waterfall, Augrabies Falls National park

Camping at Augrabies Falls

Well maintained campsite with good ablutions, clean, safe (except for baboons and monkeys) and spacious. There is a swimming pool close to the reception where you can chill in a hot day. At the campsite you can see baboons, monkeys be aware of them, they are not shy at all, don’t leave anything unattended. The best thing was meerkats and ground squirrels running around the campsite and many different birds. Phone for booking +27 (0) 12 428 9111

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Cell phone reception – yes
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other – kitchen with electric stoves, sinks, washing machines. Restaurant and shop at the reception.

Things to do

  • Hiking. There are two hiking routes; Klipspringer trail – 35km (3 days), opened from April to middle October. Dassie trail – 5km. Walking Dassie route we saw a couple of klipspringers, many dassies and some meerkats.
  • Mountain biking
  • 4×4 drive, 94km Wilderness road
  • Stargazing
  • Birdwatching
Hiking Dassie trail, Augrabies Falls National park
Hiking Dassie trail, Augrabies Falls National park

Day 4. Augrabies – Kgalagadi Transfrontier park

Augrabies – Upington – Meerkat Sanctuary – Kgalagadi Transfrontier park (Twee Rivieren campsite), 364km, 3h 40min.

If you want to make it all the way to Kgalagadi park and stop for shopping in Upington, do some wine tasting and visit meerkat sanctuary you’ll have to start driving early.

The drive is quite nice through some rocky hills and vineyards. There is a big mall in Upington where you can stock for the next days in the park. For wine tasting the best option is to go to Orange River cellar tasting room in Upington, they have some nice wines, tasting R20 pp.

Kalahari Trails, Meerkat sanctuary

As you know the Kalahari is meerkat country, here you have the best chance to observe these amazing animals. 30km before the park there is a sign “Meerkat Sanctuary”, it’s basically a house where Professor Anne Rasa, a specialist in desert animals’ behavior, helps to rehabilitate meerkats that were rescued or confiscated from people. It’s an official Cape Nature rescue center. Usually there are many meerkats running around the house and a couple of babies inside. We were fascinated by these cute little animals with so much personality. If you travel with children, they will love this place it’s one of the few places where you can actually interact with meerkats without doing them any harm. The place works for donations.

Kalahari trails Meerkat sanctuary
Meerkat looking through the window, Kalahari trails, the Meerkat sanctuary

Kgalagadi Transfrontier park

The wildest out of all SAN parks Kgalagadi is by far one of the favourite parks among South African safari junkies and wild life experts. We met many people in the park that’ve been here more than 10-15 times, they come almost every year and stay in the park for weeks. We’re quite far from being safari experts but definitely will come back one day and stay longer to explore every corner of this wild life paradise.

Need to know! Twee Rivieren, Nossob and Mata Mata campsites have petrol but it it gets too hot in the afternoon petrol pump doesn’t work it’s better to fill your car early morning or late evening.

Kgalagadi park entrance fee

  • SA and residents – R82, children – R41
  • SADC countries – R164, children – R82
  • Foreigners – R328, children – R164

Gate opening times

  • Summer (Dec-Jan) from 5.30 to 19.30
  • Winter between 6.00-07.30 and 18.00-19.00

Twee Rivieren

We arrived at Twee Rivieren at 3pm and decided to go for a quick drive just 35km to and back towards Nossob it took us 3,5 hours and we saw; jackals, a Cape fox, many meerkats and ground squirrels, many gemsboks and springboks, some wildebeests, many ostriches. Remember! you must return to your campsite before they close the gate.

Cape fox, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park, South Africa
Cape fox, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park, South Africa

Camping at Twee Rivieren, Kgalagadi park

The place has everything you may need for camping and safari. no worries if you forget to buy wood, fill your petrol tank or bring to deflate/inflate your car tires. Well-maintained campsite with good ablutions close to the main gate so even if you arrive a bit late it’s not far to drive. Phone for booking 054 561 2000.

Price

  • Site with electricity – ZAR330, up to 6 people.
  • Site without electricity – R285, up to 6 people.

Facilities (campsite with electricity)

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes, in you take a site with electricity
  • Power outlets – yes, if you take a site with electricity
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Cell phone reception – poor signal, no 3G
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other – petrol station, swimming pool, shop, ATM in the shop (cash ).
Twee Rivieren campsite, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park
Twee Rivieren campsite, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park

Day 5. Twee Rivieren – Nossob, Kgalagadi park 

Twee Rivieren campsite – Nossob campsite, 150km, 3h30min., gravel/sandy road

We started the drive quite early before 7am hoping to spot more animals and we did see some right in the beginning. Cape foxes and jackals were very active in the morning digging and running around so we got some nice photos. Most of the springboks, gemsboks and wildebeests were still half-asleep. After that for most of the way we didn’t see much some occasional ostriches, jackals and bokkies. The road is half gravel half sandy not difficult to drive don’t need 4×4.

There are two designated picnic spots between Twee Rivieren and Nossob with flushing toilets and running water. These are only places you allowed to get off the car.

Gemsbok posing for photos, Kgalagadi National park
Gemsbok posing for photos, Kgalagadi National park

Camping at Nossob, Kgalagadi park

Standard campsites were fully booked so we had to book a premium one. When we got there, we were glad that had booked it we could sit outside under the roof drink coffee do some work and sort out photos. At night we heard hyenas and jackals, a couple of jackals somehow sneaked into the campsite and were running in search of food without worrying about people at all so don’t leave any food outside.

Price

  • Premium campsite (private ablutions) – R600 per site, up to 6 people.
  • Standard campsite (shared ablutions) – R330 per site, up to 6 people.

Facilities (Premium campsite)

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes, caravan type
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Cell phone reception – yes, no 3G
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other – petrol station, small shop, swimming pool.
Premium campsite at Nossob, Kgalagadi National park
Premium campsite at Nossob, Kgalagadi National park

Day 6. Nossob – Mata Mata, Kgalagadi park

Nossob campsite – Mata Mata campsite, 140km, 4 hours, gravel/sandy road

It was our worst day in the park we literally saw nothing till the last turn to Mata Mata, there we saw some springboks, gemsboks, jackals and many different birds. We did spend some time at two waterholes on the way but there were no animals there.

Springbok, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park, South Africa
Springbok, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park, South Africa

Camping at Mata Mata, Kgalagadi park

The campsite was quite entertaining with many ground squirrel and meerkats running around and digging trying to find some food. Some people saw a cheetah at sunset and a hyena at sunrise at the waterhole.

Price

  • ZAR305 per site, up to 6 people.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes, in the ablution sector, not in the campsite
  • Power outlets – yes
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Phone reception – no
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other – petrol station, small shop, swimming pool, kitchenet, waterhole.
Meerkat at Mata Mata campsite, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park, South Africa
A sneaky guest at Mata Mata campsite, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park, South Africa

Day 7. Mata Mata – Upington 

Mata Mata – Kgalagadi Lodge – Upington, 370km, 6 hours

By 6.00 when they opened the gate we were all packed and ready, we stormed after other cars trying to catch some nocturnal animals returning from their night hunt. First 100km through the park we drove very slow and stopped for animals a lot. It was our best day from the beginning just after we left the campsite we saw a wild cat, 5 minutes later two hyenas. Finally, we had some luck! This day we saw four lions (two male and two females), two bat-eared foxes, a Cape fox with two cubs. Not mentioning black-back jackals, boks, wildebeest, eagles, falcons, many meerkats and ground squirrels.

Cape fox cub, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park
Cape fox cub, Kgalagadi Transfrontier park

Looks like driving between Twee Rivieren and Mata Mata you have the best chance for spotting predators especially lions everybody we met in the park saw a least a couple of lion on this route. From our experience this part was definitely the best part of Kgalagadi. We’d suggest to camp for a couple of days at Mata Mata and do morning and evening drives from there. 

Once at Twee Rivieren don’t forget to fill you tank, the next petrol station is 60km away at Molopo Kalahari lodge.

A lioness at the waterhole, Kgalagadi National park
A lioness at the waterhole, Kgalagadi National park

Kgalagadi lodge

We were quite tired of sitting in the car and decided to stop for coffee at Kgalagadi lodge which is only 5km away from the gate. If you don’t feel like driving further to Upington you can camp here they have great facilities, nice restaurant and swimming pool. Camping with private ablutions costs R350 per site for 2 adults and 2 children.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Cell phone reception – yes
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other – swimming pool, nice restaurant with good coffee, shop.

After the coffee stop we kept driving to Upington as we had some friends there to meet up with.

View over Kgalagadi Transfrontier park from a viewpoint.
View over Kgalagadi Transfrontier park from a viewpoint.

Accommodation in Upington

There are many guest houses and B&Bs in the town we stayed at Upington backpackers. It’s a good option if you want to say on a budget and don’t feel like camping. The hostel is nice, safe, close to the mall, has good wi-fi and all the normal hostel facilities; fully equipped kitchen, outside braai area, lounge room. The owners are super helpful and chilled they’ll make you feel here like at home. They started the hostel very recently and still working hard on improving it. Laundry service is available. Price R150 per person.

Southern yellow-billed hornebills at the reception office, Mata Mata campsite, Kgalagadi park
A couple of Southern yellow-billed hornebills at the reception office, Mata Mata campsite, Kgalagadi park

Day 8. Upington – Witsand Nature Reserve 

Upington – Witsand Nature Reserve, 150km, 2h20min.

Witsand Nature Reserve

The park is famous for its white sand dunes that contrast against the red sand of the surrounding area. The dunes are between 20m and 60m high in a way they remind famous Namibian sand dunes just on a smaller scale. If you’re lucky and the weather conditions are right you can witness famous Roaring Sands of Kalahari.

What animals can you see?

Springboks, steenboks, gemsboks, red hartebeest, ground squirrel, meerkat, porcupine, aardvark, bat eared fox, cape fox, genet, spring hare, aardwolf and many different birds.

Witsand entrance fee

  • Adults – R60 Wild card is not valid here.
  • Children – R40
  • Camping – R110 per person. If you stay overnight you don’t pay entrance fee.
Sand dunes at Witsand Nature reserve
Sand dunes at Witsand Nature reserve

Camping at Witsand

We didn’t expect much but absolutely loved camping here, the campsite is very spacious, with good ablutions, quiet and peaceful. Springboks and steenboks walking around the campsite not bothered by people presence. A couple of steenboks were walking around our site all evening and later at night we heard them eating coals from our fire. We saw a genet a couple of times next to our tent in search of food, it was the first time we saw that nocturne animal. It’s a great place to escape from the bustling city life the only noises you hear are those produced by animals. This campsite was one of our favorite on this trip. Tip! Bring mosquito repellent there were quite a few of them after sunset. Phone for booking 083 234 7573. 

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes, caravan type.
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Phone reception – yes, poor signal, no 3G
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other – swimming pool, small shop at the reception.

Things to do

  • Drive to the view point to see the white dunes
  • Climb the dunes
  • Sandboarding, rent a board for R150 per day
  • Cycling, rent a bike here for R120 per day
  • Hiking
  • Watching animals
  • Birdwatching
Campsite at Witsand Nature reserve
Campsite at Witsand Nature reserve

Day 9. Witsand Nature Reserve – Kimberley (Ritchie)

Witsand Nature Reserve – Kimberley (the Big Hole) – Ritchie (Riverside country club camping), 208km, 3h20min.

Don’t forget to fill petrol at Griquatown it’s the only petrol station on the way before Kimberley. We almost ran out of petrol and just made it to Engen with 2l left.

Kimberley is a capital city of Northern Cape so if you need to do some shopping or stock with food for the next days it’s a good place for these.

The Big Hole

It is an ex diamond mine turned into a museum. The hole is 240m deep and 463m wide and claimed to be the largest excavated by hand hole in the world. Digging started in 1872 and by 1914 over 22 million tons of earth was excavated and 3000kg of diamonds were found. The hole looks very impressive its turquoise blue water lake.

On the museum territory there are some old style houses and running old trams you can walk around the streets, have a lunch in a restaurant or take a tram tide.

Entrance fee

  • Adults – R40
  • Children – R20
  • An hour tour –  R100.
The Big Hole, Kimberley
The Big Hole, Kimberley

We wanted to camp at Mokala National park, but the campsite was fully booked for the weekend. Riverside Country club was the nearest campsite to the park campsite. We liked the campsite it’s spacious and grassy on the river bank. Good place to enjoy sunsets and sunrises.

Price

  • Standard campsite – R230 per site.
  • Next to the river – R270.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Phone reception – yes
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other – small shop at the reception, kitchenette, swimming pool, dog-friendly.

Things to do

  • Fishing
  • Swimming
Riverside Country club and camping
Sunset at Riverside Country club and camping

Day 10. Mokala national park (Ritchie) – Briston 

Ritchie (Riverside campsite) – Mokala National park – the Wagon bridge (Hopetown) – Orania town – Kambro campsite, 280km, 4h30min.

Mokala park

The youngest of all SAN parks it’s predators-free park so if you want to see lions, cheetahs or hyenas it’s not the right place. The park is not very big if you’re driving from Kimberley the best way to see it is to enter at Lilydale gate and exit at Mosu Gate. Driving thorough we saw many springboks, zebras, wildebeests, gemsboks, ostriches, buffaloes, antelopes and some birds. If you like birdwatching don’t miss the Bird hide with a big water hole.

There is a restaurant at the reception where you can pre-order lunch.

Mokala park entrance fee

  • SA and residents – R40, children – R20
  • SADC countries – R80, children – R40
  • Foreigners – R160, children – R80
  • Camping – R430 per site, up to 6 people.

Gate opening time

  • Summer from 07.00 to 19.00
  • Winter from 07.00 to 17.30
Driving through Mokala National park
Driving through Mokala National park

Motswedi campsite

As I mentioned we couldn’t stay here but we went to check the campsite. Each site has private ablution block with kitchen, fridge and small gas stove. There is a waterhole just outside the campsite where you can see animals mostly in the mornings and evenings while having breakfast or enjoying braai. Note! If you want to camp in the park especially over the weekend, make sure to book it in advanced the campsite is very small (only 6 sites) and often fully booked. Phone for booking 053 204 8000

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – no
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Phone reception – poor signal, no 3G
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other –kitchen with fridge and gas stove.

Things to do in the park

  • Game drive
  • Birdwatching
  • Stargazing
Motswedi campsite, Mokala National park
Motswedi campsite, Mokala National park

Wagon bridge, Hopetown

Wagon bridge at Hopetown an interesting and quite off the beaten track attraction. A steel bridge over the Orange river, 8km outside Hopetown, that was built in 1871. You can drive across it and take some photos it’s quite long and high.

The Wagon bridge, Hopetown
The Wagon bridge, Hopetown

Orania town

A very conservative Afrikaans town with a couple of cozy coffee shops though quite small and a bit out of the way if driving from Kimberley towards Briston. We couldn’t really see much as in was Sunday afternoon and everything (including campsite) in the town was closed. So, we just drove around a bit it didn’t take that much time the town is really small.

This day we didn’t feel like driving too far further and camped at Kambro Accommodation, 20km before Bristown. The campsite is in the middle of nowhere surrounded by vast plains with some mountains on the background. Good place to watch sunset. Price R200 per site, up to 6 people.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes, caravan type. The standard one you can find in the toilets.
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Phone reception – yes
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other – grassy spots with bamboo fencing. Shop and restaurant at the reception.
Kambro Accommodation campsite, Briston
Kambro Accommodation campsite, Briston

Day 11. Briston – Karoo National park 

Kambro campsite – Briston – Three Sisters (mountains) – Molteno pass – Beaufort West – Karoo National park, 320km, 3h30min.

Three Sister are in fact three similar shaped mountains next to each other. You can see them from the road but the best view you get if you turn off from the road towards Three Sister guest farm.

Just before Beaufort West take a right turn this road goes through beautiful Molteno pass it’s not far to drive will take extra 20min. to and back.

Beaufort West is quite a big town good place to do shopping and fill the petrol.

Three sisters mountains, Kalahari
Three Sisters mountain range, Northern Cape

Karoo National park

Karoo National park surprised us with its stunning landscape and biodiversity; mountains and passes with breath-taking view points and many wild animals around. There are even lions here we didn’t expect it unfortunately we didn’t see them. But we saw many mountain zebras, gemsboks, springboks, elands and red hartebeests. There are several loops that you can drive some only 4×4. Not to miss Klipspringer pass and view point.

Karoo park entrance fee

  • SA and residents – R48, children – R24
  • SADC countries – R96, children – R48
  • Foreigners – R192, children – R96
  • Camping – R295 per site, up to 6 people.

Gate opening time

  • April – September from 07.00 to 18.00
  • October – March from 06.00 to 19.00
Mountain zebra, Karoo National park
Mountain zebra, Karoo National park

Camping at Karoo National park

Absolutely amazing campsite with good facilities, beautiful view over the mountains and many big tortoises walking around as well as some mongoose and all sort of birds. The hiking trails are walking distance from the campsite. Phone for booking 023 415 2828

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes, caravan type. You can buy an adaptor at the shop for R175.
  • Braai place – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Phone reception – yes
  • Accept cards – yes
  • Other – kitchen with a microwave and electric kettle, laundry room with washing machines. Swimming pool, shop and restaurant at the reception.
Tortoises at our campsite, Karoo National park
Tortoises at our campsite, Karoo National park

Things to do

  • Game drive
  • 4×4 drive
  • Bird watching, there is a bird hide walking distance from the campsite
  • Hiking, there are three short hiking trails
  • Fossil trail, 400m trail that will take you through an impressive collection of prehistoric fossils found in the area.
Klipspringer pass, Karoo National park
Klipspringer pass, Karoo National park

Day 12. Karoo National park – Cape Town

Karoo National park – Cape Town, 557km, 5h20min.

Basically, just driving back to Cape Town in N1 watch for trucks and drive safe. 

Incredible sunset in Karoo National park
Incredible sunset in Karoo National park

Wild card breakdown. How much money we saved with our Wild card (couple)?

We bought our Wild Card All parks (couple) just before the trip for R845, now it costs R930. You can buy it almost at any SANpark office, you’ll need your ID or passport to prove your citizenship/residency.

Let’s see how much money on entrance fees we saved with our Wild Card on this trip. 

  • Tankwa – R80
  • Augrabies – R96
  • Kgalagadi – R164
  • Mokala – R80
  • Karoo – R96.

Total: R516

We paid R845 for our Wild card and on this trip already saved R516 and we still have 11 months ahead to use it.

Driving Karoo to Cape Town
Scenery on the way from Karoo to Cape Town

To buy or not to buy a Wild card

If you’re not a frequent visitor to SAN and other national parks and go no more than 4 times a year than it’s not worth to buy it.

If you’re a foreigner and don’t have South African residency (temporary or permanent) it’s not worth to buy it the same Wild card (couple) will cost you R3800.

If you’re South African and go to SAN and other National parks quite often then Wild card is a really good deal for you.

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