This post takes us away from Jo’burg (finally!) through lakes and red sands to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park.
As I write this we are resting between animal viewing at the Twee Rivieren campsite inside the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park. We finally managed to be up for the sunrise and got in just as the gate opened! But more on that later. Here’s a quick breakdown of our third week in South Africa (already!) and what’s in store for us next.
The Guests that Wouldn’t Leave
After Pilanesberg, we came back to Jo’burg, picked up the foam for our mattress, and after taking our hosts out to a nice steak dinner (that only cost us $80 CDN for 5 people!!), we opted for an early night to get out ASAP the next day.
But alas, there were a lot of small fixes the Landy needed, and by the time we were packed up it was once again after 3pm – way too late to get on the road, especially since we still needed some supplies. Nevertheless, we were determined, so we took photos, said our goodbyes, and started off on our great adventure.
And then, driving out the gate and on every speed bump thereafter, we heard a horrible metallic clunk somewhere in the back. When, after shopping, Moreno still couldn’t tell what was wrong, there was nothing left to do but put our tails between our legs and go back to our hosts for help.
I can’t even tell you how agonizing it was – it was one thing to overstay our welcome, but a whole other to come back, again. But they took us in, helped us figure out what was wrong (one of our shocks broke!!), and found us a mechanic that had the parts we needed. On top of that, I had apparently forgotten my toothbrush! Phewf!
And We’re Off!
In the morning, we squeezed in a visit to the Apartheid Museum, one of the only real tourist attractions in the city, and the only thing I had really been set on doing so that our time in Johannesburg wasn’t just spent hurrying up and waiting. Then we got our heavier shocks and we were off, and wanted to get as far away as possible from Jo’burg. The little site on the Rietspruitdam Lake was a perfect beginning to our ‘on the road’ adventure.
We didn’t get as far as we expected on the second day, so we camped and drank ciders and beer while star gazing among antelopes that came out of the bush.
We found out there was a border crossing into Namibia within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park (one of the best places to see cats), so we changed our route to head there instead. This was our first time at a real big park, and we were very surprised to find that they didn’t have any room for us. We booked a spot for the two following days and found some camping on the red dunes which were absolutely stunning and the view right behind our Landy was one of my favourites ever.
It doesn’t look like much, but the colors were absolutely stunning. Shortly thereafter, I became convinced the prints around back where giant cat paws, so I was pretty much terrified the rest of the night.
At the Kgalagadi we finally saw some cats, mostly a bunch of lions lazily resting under some trees, but our biggest happy moment was when we saw a cheetah! They have some absolutely beautiful animals here, with patterns and colours that are out of this world. We’ll have posts full of photos to show you what we saw soon.
We also attempted to tidy up the car since we had a couple of days not filled with driving, but it. was. HOT.
Next up: Our first border crossing into Namibia!!