Bitterpan
Guest Tents with waterhole view
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Our room
Room & Suite (17)
Communal kitchen
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4.0
#2 of 5 campsites in Upington
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.2 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
3.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.3 of 5 bubbles
Value
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HOTEL STYLE
Great View
Mid-range

Location

Upington South Africa
38Reviews0Q+A6Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Sara I wrote a review Feb 2020
Helsinki, Finland
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed here for two nights in January. The camp consists four units, each having it´s own bedroom and separate toilet/shower cabin. Kitchen is communal, but that wasn´t a problem for us since there was only one other couple at the same time, so it was very peaceful. Kitchen is very well equipped and each cabin has it´s own fridge/freezer. There is also a communal fireplace, but each unit also has it´s own braai-place. I would have loved to have small table at the terrace allowing us to eat there by our own. NOTE no electricity here, just solar lightning.
Units overlook to a pan with a waterhole. We didn´t see much game here, just few gemsbok and ostriches, but I suppose sightings vary greatly.
The camp was well maintained and we enjoyed there. The driving wasn´t so bad that we have been told, no worries about it. Just some thick sand at places, inflate your tyres and you´ll be fine.
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Date of stay: January 2020
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Naturelover_777983 wrote a review Oct 2021
Toronto
3.0 of 5 bubbles
A really challenging and long drive to get to Bitterpan. the way out is easier as one can fairly quickly join a road that doesn't require a 4 wheel drive. Lowering one's tire pressure even lower than on the general sand roads, certainly helps.

Very little game. Bitterpan is for people who love space and silence and can endure major discomfort for it, such as: someone in the tent next door lously snoring all night, beating sun with few places for shade, one's own bathroom but across the joint passage, communal cooking or using one's own barbecue in front of one's tent but unpleasant as no table.
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Date of stay: September 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: To try and slightly avoid the afternoon sun choose rooms on one's right when looking out at...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
John R wrote a review Nov 2013
Manchester, United Kingdom
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Bitterpan is amazing. To get there you have to take the 4x4 trail. Getting stuck on the soft sand dunes is not unknown. One pair of vehicles had such fun they went back for another go and both got stuck! So take a shovel let tyres well down. I got the Hilux up by the simple principle of giving it plenty welly. Mind when we stopped on top of a dunes to take pics we could feel ourselves sinking. By the way you come to a completely unreadable sign as you near the camp. Turn right for not go straight on which joins the escape route. We went straight on.
What a place it is. Overlooking a pan and good waterhole. Nice small rooms with good bathroom over the corridor. Well looked after by Willem, give him a beer, it must be like being Robinson Crusoe. The communal kitchen leads to great chats and drinks round a wood fire but is looking pretty tired. This would still get five stars for its unique qualities except for....
Yes bats. Nothing like as bad as Twee R but on the second night we had droppings on the beds. Sorry we just don't do the 'all about nature' where bats are concerned its a clear no from Mrs J at least inside the rooms.
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Date of stay: October 2013Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Rob S wrote a review Jul 2014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
2.0 of 5 bubbles
A very isolated camp, which one would expect to provide a real wilderness adventure. It is isolated, you are miles from anyone else except the other people in the camp, and therein lies the problem. There are four small wooden cottages, each with two single beds, with a door off the wooden walkway on one side and a door to a small porch and a fenced off private BBQ area on the other. The bathroom is across the walkway, and each cottage has its own bathroom, but it means having to leave your cottage to get to it. The bathroom has a shower, toilet and basin, and there is good hot water. The issue with the bathroom was the shower floor, which was very rickety and felt like I would drop through it at any time. There is a communal kitchen, with fridges with freezers and full crockery and cutlery, as well as a dining table and chairs, and an outside communal BBQ area. The four chalets are very close to each other, and there is no real privacy in terms of sounds of the night (from people rather than the lions). The decks creak a lot, so every movement is heard by all. The communal kitchen means having to interact with the others, which could be fine, but also not so, depending on who you share the camp with. We had some. loud companions who took over the place (having been there before we arrived).

There are also bats on the walls that squeak at night, and gerbils came into the cottage at night running over the beds and gnawing at things on the shelf. Don't leave accessible food out! Adds to the noisy night I guess.

The great part about this camp is the location, which really is in the middle of nowhere, and at the edge of a large salt pan. This is a very special habitat, and the sunset over the pan is great to watch. There is a small waterhole, which is not floodlit, and there were no visitors on the night we were there.

The road to get there is also a wildness experience. A two track road through the sandy Kalahari, over the dunes. A very different habitat, and you don't see other vehicles at all. It requires a 4x4 with reasonable clearance, but does not need low range or diff lock. There is definitely the potential to be stuck, but deflated tires and a bit of momentum should get one over with a bit of shaking around in the car. There are two sections, the one to bitter pan and the other from bitter pan to Mata-mata. The second section has 3 or 4 dunes which are a lot worse than on the first section, and if you struggled with the first section then ask to take the escape route to Moravet. Passengers with tendencies for motion sickness may want to bring along a remedy or two.

Overall, an incredible place to visit, including the roads that are traversed, but the lack of wilderness experience when you get there really detracts from this camp, and we are not sure if we will visit again, but are pleased we went to see the unique setting.
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Date of stay: July 2014Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
stefabroad wrote a review Aug 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
3.0 of 5 bubbles
A must do experience if you are in the area, but very very basic and not for the faint hearted. There were bats in the tent lining. Not a fenced camp, but relatively clean as possible. I saw a cheetah on the salt pan, and eland on the drive over the sand dunes, there is a genet that hangs around the camp, but not a lot of game on the whole. Very cool, but don’t spend longer than a night here.
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Date of stay: August 2018Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bea wrote a review Jul 2019
Western Shore, Canada
3.0 of 5 bubbles
The area was amazing. We only give it 3 stars becaue the tents are so close to one another you can hear people whisper. The kitchen is communial and if you are a couple and there is a group of people in other tents it is quite chalanging to share facilaties including a fridge and freezer. Not everyone is "happy campers come let us crack a beer" type of people. We would have enjoyed it more if our tent was more private. It is not cheep staying here and quite a drive ... We stayed at all the other remote camps and this was our least favourite.
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Date of stay: July 2019Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
61Riana wrote a review Nov 2018
Kroonstad, South Africa
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Bitterpan can only be reached by a one-way 4x4 track from Nossob. William de Vries was on duty and gave us a warm and friedly welcome. Our unit nr 1 was ready,neat and clean. The bathroom is a seperate unit across an open hallway. Communal kitchen with 2 full gasstoves and 4 fridge /freezers. Unique unfenced camp with only 4 units. Only 3 were occupied with a total of 6 people. Full moon at the back with a breathtaking sunset. Sleeping area small and very hot on a summer afternoon as it faces west.
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Date of stay: October 2018Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
rajang wrote a review May 2016
Switzerland
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Bitterpan consist of 4 units - like all other wilderness camps in the park. However it has a communal kitchen area. Each unit hat a private braai area, toilet and shower. The toilet/shower is separated from the bedroom. Negativ: The sun is heating the bedroom up in the afternoon and there is no shadow on the private veranda. Positiv: You are really in the Kalahari - a one way road is leading to and from the camp, 4x4 is essential. Check - In is at Nossob Camp. The camp has been renovated beginning of 2016 and is in a better shape than before. View is on a pan, which so far I never saw with any water. This was our second stay at this place. It really depends, what other people there will be. The trip over the dunes is spectacular and some driving skills are needed.
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Date of stay: April 2016
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
skhaak wrote a review May 2016
München
+1
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Das Bitterpan Wilderness Camp im Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, ca. 54 km von Nossob, ist ein 4x4 Camp, d.h. es ist nur mit einem Fahrzeug erreichbar, das Vierrad-Antrieb hat. Es geht über 54 km Einbahnstraße durch Sand und über Sanddünen, vom Camp zurück zur Hauptstraße Richtung Mata Mata sind es weitere 53 km Einbahnstraße durch Sand.

Einchecken muss man in Nossob, dort wird geprüft, ob man wirklich ein 4x4 Fahrzeug hat, dann wird das Tor zur Road nach Bitterpan extra für einen aufgesperrt. Kinder unter 12 Jahren sind nicht erlaubt!

Das Camp besteht aus vier Schlafbereichen mit je zwei Betten. Die Schlafbereiche liegen nahe beieinander, das Bad ist gegenüber der Schlafbereiche, d.h. man muss über den öffentlichen Gang, um ins Bad zu kommen. Zum Glück hat jeder Schlafbereich sein eigenes zugewiesenes Bad.

Es gibt keine individuellen Küchen, sondern nur eine Gemeinschaftsküche. Dort sind Herd und Kühl-Gefrier-Kombis, wiederum mit Gas betrieben und wieder nur mit schwacher Leistung, unbedingt Eis aus Nossob mitnehmen.

In den Wohneinheiten gibt es keinerlei Tisch, weder draußen auf der Terrasse noch drinnen. Entweder man behilft sich selbst oder ist gezwungen sein Grillwürstl in die Gemeinschaftsküche zu tragen und dort zu essen.

Wir hatten Unit 4, diese lag am rechten Ende der Wohneinheiten und gewährte eine gewisse Privatsphäre, da niemand daran vorbeilaufen musste, auf dem Weg zur Küche.

Alle Bereiche haben solarbetriebene Beleuchtung, im Schlafzimmer gibt es hier keinen Decken-Ventilator. An der Eingangstür und neben der Tür zur Terrasse kann man die mit Moskitonetzen versehenen Fenster in den Zeltwänden aufrollen.

Es gibt keine Steckdosen! Es wird empfohlen eigenes Trinkwasser mitzubringen.

Die Terrassen liegen direkt nebeneinander und sind sehr schlecht angelegt, ab Mittag kommt die volle Sonne und man hat keinerlei Schatten. Bei 45°C Außentemperatur ist das denkbar blöd. Wir behalfen uns mit einem Leintuch, das wir aufspannten, viel brachte es allerdings nicht.

Das Camp war frisch renoviert.

Das Wasserloch ist sehr weit entfernt und schlecht einsehbar.

Es gibt einen Campwart, der täglich die Betten macht, Handtücher wechselt etc. In unserem Fall war das ein finster blickender Typ, dessen Namen wir nicht verstanden haben. Er war zwar freundlich, aber äußerst zurückhaltend, auch machte er abends keinen Rundgang.

Das Camp ist nicht eingezäunt.

Restaurants oder Shops gibt es hier nicht, es ist ein reines Selbstverpflegercamp. Die nächsten Einkaufsmöglichkeiten sind in Nossob, bevor man nach Bitterpan fährt.

Fazit: Der Weg zum und vom Camp ist ein echtes Abenteuer. Über 100 km durch Dünenlandschaft, rauf und runter, durch tiefen Sand, ein einmaliges Erlebnis. Das Camp selbst ist nicht das Gelbe vom Ei. Ich denke nicht, dass wir hierher nochmal kommen werden. Wir haben das Abenteuer des Tiefsand fahrens genossen, aber nochmal braucht man das nicht. Durch die permanente Hoppelei und die Konzentration auf die Strecke sieht man weder was links noch rechts ist. Man könnte an einem Löwenrudel vorbeifahren und würde es nicht wahrnehmen. Es war schön, aber einmal reicht!
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Date of stay: February 2016
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sebastian A wrote a review May 2016
Munich, Germany
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Winziges 4 Chalets Camp mitten im Nichts mit umso erstaunlicherer Ausstattung. Die Zimmer sind top in Schuss, Küche und Badezimmer bestens ausgestattet! Der Weg zum Camp ist mit 4x4 gut zu schaffen, rechtzeitige Buchung aufgrund der Größe dringend zu empfehlen!!
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Date of stay: April 2016Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Naturelover_777983 wrote a tip Oct 2021
Toronto102 contributions119 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"To try and slightly avoid the afternoon sun choose rooms on one's right when looking out at the pan"
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mallonsLancashire wrote a tip Nov 2016
lancashire51 contributions22 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"all are good"
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Bennett B wrote a tip Jan 2016
Port Elizabeth, South Africa369 contributions91 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All 4 tents are great. don't forget to take drinking water, food and firewood."
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annettet wrote a tip Nov 2014
Camberley, United Kingdom379 contributions160 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"only 4 units and they are all very much the same"
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charlieCornwall wrote a tip Oct 2014
Cornwall England1,540 contribution202 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ask for number 1 or number 4 if travelling alone so that you are on the end."
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LOCATION
South AfricaNorthern CapeUpington
NUMBER OF ROOMS
5
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BITTERPAN - Campground Reviews (Upington, South Africa)

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