Everything you need to know about Bitterpan


I love the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, it’s my favorite SANpark which is why you can expect to see a lot more blog posts featuring this magnificent piece of earth.

Today I am sharing everything you need to know about Bitterpan, one of the wilderness camps inside the park. I also featured this camp as one of my Top 5 Tented Camps in Southern Africa.

Bitterpan Camp

Bitterpan is an unfenced camp with 4 stilted rooms and one communal kitchen overlooking the waterhole and salt pan.

It’s an exclusive and intimate camp in the sense that it occupies a maximum of 8 people a night and is located a 2.5 hour drive away from the nearest main camp, Nossob.

There is a Tourism Assistant on duty who stays at the camp, for emergencies or general assistance.

As we all know sightings are never guaranteed but there is a possibility to hear Lions roar at night, spot the resident Leopard or just watch the Oryx graze on the red sand dunes.

Bitterpan unit with fenced braai
Bitterpan view
The view from Bitterpan
Communal Boma

The units at Bitterpan

Each unit has two single beds with bedding and since temperatures can drop to below zero at night SANParks does provide extra blankets.

The room leads out to a small porch and a private fenced braai area. Each room has it’s own bathroom at the back of the unit in a separate compartment, with a shower and toilet. Towels are provided.

I can’t really say that I have a favourite unit, because all of them are similar with equal views of the pan.

Bitterpan Tented Camp
Camp can sleep a max of 8 people

Communal Area

There is a well-equipped kitchen and dining area in the center of the camp for all residents to use. The kitchen has:

  • Cutlery
  • Plates
  • Pots, pans, kettle
  • Glasses and mugs
  • Gas stoves and ovens
  • Fridges
  • Wash up sinks

The key feature is the boma in the center of the camp. The entire camp faces west, making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset. If you prefer to braai here, rather than at your unit you are welcome.


Tips before you go to Bitterpan

  • Children under 12 are not allowed at Bitterpan
  • The camp is self-catering, so bring your own food, water, and firewood.
  • Check-in is at Nossob, I highly recommend you sleep here the night prior to your arrival at Bitterpan.
  • There is no fuel station, so fill up when you check-in at Nossob.
  • Entrance and Exit roads are strictly one-way, no trailers are allowed. Trailers can be parked at Nossob for the duration of your stay.
  • Only 4×4 vehicles with high clearance are allowed.
  • Power is supplied by solar and gas, so no conventional plug points.
  • Bring your camera, the camp faces west, making for excellent sunset photos over the pan.
Road to Bitterpan
The road to Bitterpan

What to pack for Bitterpan

  • Charged Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Warm clothes for the evening.
  • Food and Water
  • Firewood
  • Torch or Headlamp

How to Book

Bitterpan is very popular amongst Kgalagadi regulars and bookings need to be made well in advance. If you lucky you can get in on a cancellation. Plan ahead and I suggest you sleep at Nossob the night before arriving at Bitterpan. To drive from any other camp and still make gate time will be a push. Exit route from Bitterpan leads to Mata Mata camp, so I suggest you stay there the night after you leave.


  • Bookings can be made online on the SANPARK website
  • Central Reservations (Pretoria): +27 (0)12 428 9111 or mobile: +27 (0)82 233 9111


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