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Trip advice - Kalahari

Andrew

G-Wagen Club SA
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#1
I need some desert walkabout and am considering a solo drive in the next few weeks via Kuruman, Hotazel, Tshabong?, Mabuasehube? Unions End through Kgalagadi Transfrontier. Maybe into Southern Nam to see the results of record rain there.

Is the route do-able and esp. alone?
For the effort is this route a good one? And if so:
How much diesel do I need from Tshabong to Unions End? Google says it is 412km in 20 hours. Is there diesel in Mabuasehube?
If I am stranded between Mabuasehube and the Nossob road, what is my life expectancy!? Ie is the route used by others from time to time?
How do you clear borders?
Is there diesel at Unions end?
Can I cross into Nam at Unions End if I overnight at the border?
Will I have to borrow one of those GPS things or is a decent map enough?

Advice appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Chris B

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#2
We did Kuruman- Tshabong- Mabua-Nossob in July'17. After Tshabong your next refueling place will be at Nossob. The southern route Mabua to Nossob in my view is used regularly. This road is sandy with dunes near Nossob with a possibility to get stuck there. Keep in mind that whole area is lion and leopard territory.........
 

Andrew

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#3
Thanks Chris, would you believe 95 lites of diesel enough? I think my consumption is a little better than a Prof.
 

Doug Nel

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#4
There is no border post at Unions end. The border post is at Mata Mata, but I think you will have to clear customs in Twee Rivieren and then drive up to Mata Mata. You also have to spend 2 nights in KTP before you will be allowed into Namibia via Mata Mata. No diesel at Mabua.

On a side note, why not delay your trip slightly to coincide with the G40 celebrations at Loch Maree?
 

paulventer

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#5
Andrew - while in that area, I recommend a quick detour to the hot springs at Riemvasmaak. Quite a special little place to visit.

When passing through Kuruman beware of smash and grabbers. I've heard of several accounts of people being robbed while stopping/refueling in Kuruman.
 

Andrew

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#7
Thanks gents.

@ Doug, re postponing, the itch is bad at the moment, I have a gap coming, and the solitude is appealing. Thanks for the border advice. I still have not committed though. Just surfing at the moment.
@ Paul, I had to agree not to go to Riemvasmaak because my own personal wife, who does not like the minimalist travel I intend, wants to go there when its cooler.
@ Chris, That is good info thanks. I plan my life around avaoiding jerry cans!
 

Antony

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#10
Sounds like a wonderful trip. As payment for all this fantastic advice, you’ll need to take awesome photos and deliver some sort of trip report to make us all envious of your good fortune.
 
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#12
Only seeing this post now - not sure if you did the trip? I will post my info here anyway for future reference.

IMO Kgalagadi & Mabua are two different trips. For Mabua we went via Zeerust,crossed the border and onto the Kalahari Highway via Jwaneng and Sekoma. Tanks was filled to the brim in Sekoma. From there via Khakhea, just after Khakhea there is a dirt road(2spoor) that cuts across to Mabua. It's about 140km to the gate on the 2spoor. I did hear over December that this road has been graded. It is a full days drive from Zeerust to Mabua.

Your nearest fuel from Mabua is Sekoma/Nossob.

Nossob can be reached from Mabua via the Boso trail, from Bosobologo pan to Nossob is 160km, and takes the best part of one day (I've not driven this road). There is an overnight stop (Matopi) that you have to book, but can only do so for 1 night.

Border crossing have to be done in Twee Riverien/Mata Mata. To enter Namibia you have to stamp at TR and MM. If I understand it correctly, if coming from Botswana and you want to go to Namibia, you need to get to TR first before going into Namibia at MM. Coming from SA, only at TR and MM.

For Mabua and game drives there, I would not travel without a GPS or at least paper map from T4A - but then again my left and right are not always where they should be.

This area is a must visit destination. Watch out for the kitty cats!