In the remote northwest corner of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, close to Union’s End lies a small wilderness tented camp called Gharagab. This unfenced camp is perched on top of a sand dune that overlooks the vast red Kalahari savannah decorated with hundreds of camelthorn trees.
Gharagab is a place where people come to rest amongst the silence of the great Kalahari. There are few distractions apart from the occasional waterhole visitor. We stayed at Gharagab for 2 nights after camping for 21 nights in a row. It was a treat to sleep in a proper bed and have a private bathroom for a change.
The self-catering wilderness camp consists of 4 tented chalets, all overlooking a small waterhole that is lit up at night. We were lucky to spot a Brown Hyena drinking water in the early morning hours. At maximum capacity, the camp can accommodate 8 guests allowing for a quiet and intimate stay.
The camp relies on solar and gas for power and therefore don’t have any conventional plugs, so remember to charge your phone and camera batteries before you arrive.
Each unit has 2 single beds with extra blankets for the cold Kalahari nights. A small kitchen with a gas-powered fridge and two plate gas stove. The kitchen is well equipped with cooking utensils and cutlery for guests to prepare their own meals. Note that the water in this area is too salty for cooking so it’s advisable to bring your own drinking and cooking water. At the back of the unit is a bathroom with a sink, toilet and shower. Clean towels are also provided.
The unit’s private decks are fitted with a braai and have a small table with chairs for dining outdoor. The deck is great for observing the waterhole, birdwatching or just admiring the infinite view of the Kalahari landscape.
As the camp is unfenced there is a ranger on duty for extra protection from wild predators but there is no need to feel unsafe because the tents are elevated with a small gate at the entrance on the deck.
At the back of the camp is a viewing platform where one can get a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
The scenery around Gharagab was more vibrant than the rest of the Kgalagadi. The red dunes were more red than usual, the sky bluer and the trees greener. Perhaps it’s because this area receives more rainfall and everything felt more alive.
How to get there
Gharagab is situated in the north of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. I recommend staying the night prior to your booking at Nossob to cut down on driving time. After you’ve checked in at the Nossob reception, head north towards Union’s End, after roughly 3 hours there is a turnoff to a oneway 4×4 sand track which takes you to Gharagab. Turn left onto the track and drive for 32km until you reach the camp.
The drive to Gharagab from Nossob was bumpy, the roads in this part of the Kgalagadi are not in the best condition. However, as soon as you turn off onto the 4×4 track the drive becomes more pleasant.
Take note that no trailers are allowed at Gharagab, you can leave your trailer at Nossob during your stay.
How to Book
Book your stay at Gharagab through SANParks:
- Online: SANParks website
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +27 (0)12 428 9111 or mobile: +27 (0)82 233 9111
Need to Know
- The closest shop and fuel station is at Nossob Camp (164km)
- Check-in and trailer storage is at Nossob camp.
- Bring your own food and water for drinking as well as cooking.
- Bring your own wood if you want to braai.
- The camp is unfenced so be wary of roaming animals.
- There are no power points, so charge cameras and phones beforehand.
- Gharagab is a very popular camp amongst Kgalagadi regulars, so book well in advance.
If you are planning to visit the Kgalagadi, here are some tips before you go.
For more Kgalagadi inspiration and to view our full experience in the reserve, check out my husband’s (Juba’s Journey) video below: