Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Kgalagadi National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park 6560 South Africa
Gharagab on the inside
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4.5
#2 of 2 ranches in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
4.9 of 5 bubbles
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4.4 of 5 bubbles
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4.4 of 5 bubbles
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4.5 of 5 bubbles
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HOTEL STYLE
Mid-range
Quaint
Property amenities
Free parking
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Kitchenette

Location

Kgalagadi National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park 6560 South Africa
39Reviews1Q+A5Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Naturelover_777983 wrote a review Oct 2021
Toronto
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Pros: It feels even more remote than Grootkolk. Great nightlife sightings at the waterholes: Jackals and owls drinking and playing and bonding all night, brown hyenas, plus other game if one is lucky.
Cons:
A long drive with little game to see and the last part of the drive out is very challenging, with hills, deep sand, and potholes all at the same time. Once there, all one can do is stay put, looking out at the waterhole, as the drive out and back is one way only and way too long to do comfortably in one day. If you are a person who loves to stay put and chill it is great.
Note that there are a couple of hours in the day when most of one's deck is in the sun.
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Date of stay: October 2021
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.
Dave S wrote a review Dec 2020
Cape Town, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Look through the reviews. It's all been said before. My favourite place in the Park, after only two nights. Three to four nights better, even though you are in a one way loop with the exit involving a few rough sections, but best just to stay in the camp, chill and take it all in. Eric is also the perfect host. Really nice guy and committed.
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Date of stay: November 2020
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.
Tunapalooza wrote a review Mar 2013
El Cerrito, California
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed here in February, 2013 during my visit to Kgalagadi. (I also stayed at Bitterpan, Grootkolk, and Kalahari Tented Camp, as well as the three rest camps.) This may have been my favorite. There are only four units. The camp is reached by 4X4 trail. The route in is narrow, but not difficult. The outbound route is a bit more difficult with sandy dunes to cross. Nevertheless, getting in and out of Gharagab is certainly easier than Bitterpan, which has far more sand and dunes.

The four units overlook a watering hole. Each unit has a deck with a view, along with a simple kitchen, two twin beds, toilet, sink and shower. The unit was clean, but there are critters about since the camp is in the wilderness. I was visited by a wide variety of small birds and a black-backed jackal that patiently waited (in vain) for hand outs. Barking geckos provided the evening sound track.

Early in the morning, Andres - the camp attendant - came by to let me know that there were lions in camp (there are no fences). Sure enough, a pride of four or five lions walked right through camp on their way to the water hole. They paid the humans no mind. It was not an unsafe situation because each unit is gated.

Many other animals visited the water hole during my stay. One needs binoculars because the hole is not especially close, although the camp sits on a hill with a great view into the bush. You must bring your own drinking and cooking water. The well water is very high in minerals. Fine for bathing and washing, but you wouldn't want to drink it.

All in all, a very special stay.
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Date of stay: February 2013
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled solo
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.
Tamara D wrote a review Sept 2012
Solwezi, Zambia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at Kalahari tented camp, Nossob and Gharagab on our trip and this was by far my favourite camp. It's a heck of a long treacherous drive to get there (definitely not suitable for a 2x4 as the road is very sandy in places and you need good ground clearance to get over the dunes) but the drive is worth it. I believe Grootkolk compares similarly to Gharagab so would check that out next time as it does not involve the very long, small road to Gharagab (which is actually a really awesome road to see- long wavy grass and very beautiful).

There are only 4 tents so it is quiet and you feel isolated which is lovely. The waterhole is AWESOME: right in front of the chalets and floodlit all night. We saw such a plethora of animals coming to drink in only 1 night there: lion, brown hyena, jackals, gemsbok and wildebeest. Residents are allowed to take drives "1 way the wrong way" to the nearby waterhole which is great if youre staying for a couple of nights. Do stay a couple of nights!

The chalets were spacious, well kitted out, if a little run down. The water is unbelievably salty and tastes like sea water, ony more bitter. You cant even use it for cooking and brushing your teeth with is it is very unpleasant.

The lookout over the valley is really great, giving you 360degree views.

I HIGHLY recommend this camp.
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Date of stay: September 2012
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: All 4 have exactly the same view
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.
Kalaharecotrail1 wrote a review Mar 2016
Upington, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I was there with guests. The chalets are great and the view good. The road leding there is awesome and the vegitation changes the whole time. Tourists that are looking for more than just the animals, but enjoy the whole nature experience will enjoy this
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Date of stay: January 2016
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.
Safariholic wrote a review Jan 2015
Horsham, United Kingdom
+1
3.0 of 5 bubbles
When researching this trip, I heard that the Gharagab Camp was remote, a Wilderness camp (nothing to do with Wilderness Safaris), tough to get to, middle-of-nowhere, fairly basic type of Camp, rustic, and unencumbered with trifles, precious/delicate touches, creature comforts, style notes and sophistications, and that one needed to be self-sufficient..

Well - they got that right.

And that is not a criticism. You just better be sure this is the kind of experience you want and are prepared for. Because otherwise this might lead to all sorts of disconnects.

Let me elaborate, in order to try and help you understand and figure out whether this is what you want.

We drove up from Nossob Camp, leaving after a sojourn South to 'Marie se Gat' (local watering hole, where Lions had been reported - we saw them - Tick). We then returned to Nossob and got our Permit stamped (again) and set off around 09.00 - 60 kms or so to Polentswa, encountering very little traffic, all of which going the other way. Polentswa Camp is set back off the road (East side), so we did not even see it

Couple of watering holes nearer the Polentswa turning proved quite productive game-wise, and warranted stops, but again we did not want to stop too long, as we were unsure of exactly where Grootkolk Camp & Gharagab Camp were other than somewhere up there. As it happens the Grootkolk turning was quite clear. Lions had apparently visited them the previous evening/night.

Dropped off their package and on to Gharagab Camp - it is located on a long-loop road which is ONE-way coming in from further North, close to the Namibia border near Unions End. That, we later discovered, is a watering hole and had NO Signs as to where Gharagab is - not reassuring at all, especially as we have not seen another living soul for two hours.

However, we then perchanced upon the sign (see Picture), denoting 32 kms to go, or 20 miles if you'd rather. Four-wheel drive essential on these roads - a term used in its loosest sense. It is a sandy (dark red as opposed to the almost white sand of the main KTP roads) twin wheel track, that winds and wiggles constantly between the bushes. Staying very clearly inside your predecessors' tracks and keeping up some momentum, helped no end. Two hours later and we were there, having encountered 1 sign at the T-junction and some game at 2 watering holes (primarily Gemsbok & Ostriches) No vehicles whatsoever, and the next one, we later learned would not be before 14.00 the following day, at the earliest.

6 hours after leaving Nossob, we arrived, and what a warm, genuine and charming welcome (the best of any in the whole of KTP), we received from the resident Warden - he even helped with charging some batteries (Camera gear) and came by later to check that we had all we needed - a VNM.

4 Cabins, each perched in a line on the edge of an escarpment looking down on a watering hole (a single trough filled from a bore hole with a wind-driven pump/mill) - a stunning panoramic view as far as the eye can see of red, ochre and yellow sand with scrub, bush and scattered trees. There is NO Fencing around any aspect of this Camp.

Small deck (with braai on it, and inside the gate, for a very good reason), kitchenette with part-time working fridge/freezer (Electricity is not available 24/7 via solar power), a dining/breakfast table, twin beds and a bathroom at the back. Perfectly adequate. Sundowners, braai'd, ate and retired. Nothing of note visited during the night and we left at first light in the morning (06.01). Having arrived with the Thermometer showing 41C, it is worth acknowledging that it plunged to single figures during the night and we were distinctly cool - fleeces are not the most romantic, nor flattering, items of bedwear, but proved essential, even in October.

Sightings-wise, we were disappointed/unlucky - Gemsboks, Ostriches, Jackals (20 +) and load of Birds - a Lanner Falcon being the highlight.

Since we (well I actually) had dropped a bit of a clanger organisationally, in that our next Camp/Lodge was MataMata and that was 300+ kms (c.200 miles) and on the opposite side of the KTP, we had one heck of a long drive ahead of us.

Packed, saddled-up and ready to rumble by 06.00 (the very earliest moment allowed), off we went, heading basically East on the track that connects after 25 kms, with the Nossob Road. Now being intrinsically a fairly trusting soul, and reassured by fact that he has lived and worked here (Gharagab that is) for 8 years, because that is exactly what he said, we expected him to be pretty darned accurate in that regard.

We managed to get up and over most hills, but after 25 kms had passed, then 26 kms, then 27 kms, and we were encountering hills that we had to have 2/3 different goes at, and taking pretty aggressive runs at, we started to get concerned. Of the 4 Chalets at Gharagab, two families were not leaving, but staying a 2nd night, and the other was Unoccupied, leaving us as the sole users of this Road, for the next 24 hours at least.

28 kms passed on our mileometer, then 29 kms - Have we missed a turning or what !

30 kms, 31 kms and then at 32 kms - Hurragh.

Concerned - Yes. Did we enjoy the experience - Hell Yes. Would we did it again - Pass.

A 4x4 on these tracks is ESSENTIAL and quite possibly dangerous without. High range proved better than Low-range and speed was also essential even if it made the road much more bumpy and alarmingly uncomfortable - Our video tapes are a cacophony of shrieks and squeals of excitement and delight (and not for publication).
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Date of stay: October 2014
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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.
rajang wrote a review Apr 2014
Switzerland
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Gharagab is the remotest accommodation in KTP (beside camping on the Botswana side). As for the other Wilderness Camps in KTP it has 4 units. This was our third visit to that place. Full self caitering chalets looking onto a waterhole. We saw Lion, Brown Hyena, Eland and more. Accesible only by 4x4 (30 km over the dunes to reach it, even more km back the mainroad also over numerous dunes. ALL ONE WAY). Bush feeling pure! The chalets could use a renovation, but everything is still working as planned.
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Date of stay: March 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Chalet 1 (from the left) is the best (privacy) - all chalets the very same infrastructure.
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.
Katanga2 wrote a review Oct 2016
London, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This has to be one of my favorite camps in the KTP.

The far north location close to Unions end and also the quality of the accommodation is top notch. The rooms are well maintained a pretty functional with the kitchen inside the room just before the entrance. The bathrooms are clean and spacious with excellent boilers for steaming hot water.

The location of this camp is excellent for solitude and great game viewing. Lions almost guaranteed. The road requires a 4x4 but it is not as challenging a drive as it is to Bitterpan.

Love this camp and would go back every time I am in the KTP.
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Date of stay: September 2016Trip type: Travelled with friends
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.
diveninja21 wrote a review Apr 2016
Kittery, Maine
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Stayed here for 2 nights. Great location with a fun drive in and out over the red dunes of the Kalahari.

Tents are comfy with adequate facilities. If you enjoy nature and the tranquility of the bush then this camp is for you. Kitchen stocked with basic utensils that do the job!

Be sure to bring all your own food and plenty water. Enjoy the wild off grid experience.

We were also lucky to get Lion in camp during one of our evenings!!
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Date of stay: March 2016Trip type: Travelled with friends
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.
NigelDCapeTown wrote a review Sept 2015
Cape Town, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Wonderful 30 km sand road drive in and out of this remote camp, the accommodation is sited on a large dune overlooking a illuminated waterhole . Lots of animal activity , good accommodation with solar lighting and gas hot water heating.This is a self catering camp.
The units are of mixed canvas and corrugated steel construction on a raised wood platform. The maintenance standards are poor and the camp urgently needs a full makeover.
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Date of stay: September 2015
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 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.
Glynnis76 wrote a tip Dec 2018
Johannesburg, South Africa31 contributions1 helpful vote
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"there are only 4 tents and all have their own unique charm"
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Les P wrote a tip Dec 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa589 contributions196 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All 4 tents have good waterhole views"
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the_cumbrian_man wrote a tip Nov 2017
cumbria UK9 contributions30 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All 4 rooms are identical and allocated on arrival."
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rajang wrote a tip Apr 2014
Switzerland457 contributions206 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Chalet 1 (from the left) is the best (privacy) - all chalets the very same infrastructure."
Read full review
Tamara D wrote a tip Sept 2012
Solwezi, Zambia22 contributions20 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All 4 have exactly the same view"
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There are more places to choose from in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park area.
LOCATION
South AfricaNorthern CapeKgalagadi Transfrontier Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
4
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GHARAGAB WILDERNESS CAMP - Ranch Reviews (Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Gharagab Wilderness Camp
Is parking available at Gharagab Wilderness Camp?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.