Twee Rivieren and Mata Mata Camps in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Twee Rivieren Camp on the South African side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park nestles on the banks of the dry Nossob riverbed on the southern boundary with Botswana. The surrounding Kalahari Dune vegetation provide food and shelter for a number of desert herbivores like Springbok, Giraffe, Oryx, Blue Wildebeest and Steenbok as well as the predators who prey on these animals. Lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena sightings are common in the area.
Visitors may enter and exit the park from South Africa through the gate at Twee Rivieren and a full service border post is operational in the reception area. The border post do not keep the same hours as the gate, so visitors are advised to obtain the office hours from the personnel of the border post to avoid delays. Should visitors want to exit the park into Botswana or Namibia, they must stay at least two nights inside the park.
Other Things You Should Know
Fuel is available at a service station situated between the camping sites and the reception office. The fuel service station usually opens simultaneously with the gates and closes a short while after the gates.
A well- stocked shop caters to most of visitors needs, including ice-cream in summer to beat the forty degree Celsius heat, and sells a variety of curios, books and clothing. The restaurant serves traditional food as well as cosmopolitan dishes and the food is well priced and tasteful. Reservations for the restaurant must be done in advance at the reception desk.
To the left of the shop, an information center provides visitors with pertinent information about the area, its plants and inhabitants.
During the summer heat, visitors can cool off in the swimming pool behind the restaurant. Although on the smallish side, it is clean and neat.
Twee Rivieren is the only main camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with mobile phone reception. Once visitors drive into the park, this reception is lost just after the Confluence waterhole about ten kilometers into the park.
Camping & Chalets
Campsites are gravel with no grass. The sites are relatively level, but on the smallish side. Each campsite has a fireplace with a light attached and taps for water is placed close to the campsites. Several campsites have cement benches and a table. Most campsites have electrical outlets, but confusion tends to reign when the campsites are fully booked. Campers will need a blue caravan adapter socket to access the electricity, which is available twenty- four hours a day.
Ablution facilities include a scullery for washing dishes and a laundry. The washing lines are inside the walls built around the ablution facilities and partly obscured from view.
During the school holidays, the campsites can be noisy due to the surrounding population outside the park and the the traffic using the road next to the campsites to access the park.
Twee Rivieren also provides accommodation in chalets ranging from two sleepers to family cottages hosting six people. Each chalet features a bathroom, kitchen and air-conditioner.
The water at the camp is brackish and tourists must provide their own drinking water. Internal roads in the park are not suitable for sedans and are heavily corrugated at places, but the South African National Parks Board is attending to this problem.
Mata Mata Camp
Mata Mata Camp lies on the banks of the dry riverbed of the Auob River, on the western boundary of the Park and borders Namibia. The surrounding Kalahari Dune vegetation provide food and shelter for a number of herbivores including Springbok, Giraffe, Oryx, Blue Wildebeest and Steenbok.
Visitors may enter and exit the park from Namibia through the gate at Mata Mata Camp, but must spend a minimum of two nights inside the park before they depart. The Mata Mata border post doesn’t clear wood and vehicles and visitors must clear these at Twee Rivieren Camp.
Facilities at Mata Mata Camp
Visitors to the camp are able to replenish fuel supplies as well as basic provisions, at the small shop. During the summer months, especially during the local school holidays, ice is not always available. As the temperatures reaches a scorching forty degrees Celsius during these months, visitors must ensure that they have enough cool drinks to combat heat exhaustion. The tree in front of the shop also houses a couple of White-faced Owls, which hide in the branches during the day.
A small, but well kept swimming pool nestles between the park homes and camping sites and offers visitors a chance to cool off in the summer heat.
The small birds of prey museum next to the reception office is well worth a visit. The display includes large and small birds of prey including different owl species. Large high detail photographs augment the informative text.
Inside the camping ground, a bird hide overlooks a man made watering hole. Various animals arrive during the day to quench their thirst. Lions, jackal, hyena, cheetah and various herbivores frequent the water hole and visitors rarely have to leave the camp to view these animals.
Camping at Mata Mata Rest Camp
Campsites are gravel with no grass. The sites are relatively level, but not clearly marked. Some of the sites are small and large groups will have to search for the larger stands. Each campsite has a fireplace or portable braai stand and there are taps for water between the sites. Most of the sites have electrical outlets supplying power to campers.
A generator supplies electricity to the Mata Mata camp and operates for 18 hours per day. At night, management switches the generator off by eleven o’ clock, ensuring peace and quiet during the hours of darkness. Large trees provide shade and most campsites have shade during part of the day.
Ablution facilities include a scullery for washing dishes and laundry. The washing lines are behind the scullery and partly obscured from view.
Chalets/Park Homes and Chalavans in Mata Mata
Mata Mata also provides accommodation in chalets and park homes. These range from two- bed chalets to family cottages, catering for families or groups of up to six people. Each cottage/chalet features a bathroom, kitchen and fan.
The water at the camp is brackish and tourists must provide their own drinking water. Internal roads in the park are not suitable for sedans and are heavily corrugated at places, but the South African National Parks Board is attending to this problem. Wearing closed shoes at night is advisable as scorpions are abundant in the camping area.