Driving from Johannesburg to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is probably one of the best road trips to travel through South Africa. Travelling to the Kgalagadi it’s best to make sure that you have the right vehicle for the trip. A 4 x 4 vehicle will be best and make sure that it has enough ground clearance. You can either rent the vehicle in Johannesburg, or take a domestic flight to Kimberley and rent the vehicle there. With a distance of 459 km between Johannesburg and Kimberley you will be sure to start your trip in one of the most important cities of South Africa’s past, also known as “The city that sparkles”. We recommend that you spend the night at the Kimberley Anne Hotel and from there visit the extraordinary Kimberley Mine Museum at the Big Hole.
On your next day, take the N8 out of Kimberley towards Griekwastad. Drive straight through Griekwastad to Groblershoop, then take the N10 to your right and head towards Upington. 12km from your turn, you will find a village called Wegdraai, take a turn left there and drive on the gravel road for another 12km. On your left hand side, you will find the gates to Thuru Lodge. We recommend spending at least 2 nights here. Thuru Lodge is an idyllic oasis at the start of the Green Kalahari region. They offer game drives with sundowners, a spa, a restaurant, a swimming pool and an outside Jacuzzi. It is the perfect pitstop and one where you can even explore the stars of the southern hemisphere while having dinner in the dunes.
The distance between Thuru Lodge and the gates of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is about 361 km, so try not to start your day too late. Follow the N10 to Upington, which is about 118 km from Thuru Lodge. In Upington, remember to fuel up your vehicle. Orange River Wine Cellars is also a stop not to miss, with a brand new tasting room for you to taste and then choose the wines you like. Then hit the 260 km road toward the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park at the Tweerivieren Gate.
For an unspoiled experience of the vast arid Kgalagadi Park, we recommend staying at !Xaus Lodge. Allow yourself one-and-a-half hour to drive from the Tweerivieren gate to the Kamqua picnic site, where a representative of !Xaus Lodge will meet you. Then you will drive a further 30km single-track soft road through the dunes for another one to one-and-a-half hours.
It is recommended that tyre pressure be reduced to 1.6 bar for travelling on the gravel roads within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and to 1.4 bar when self-driving through the dunes to !Xaus Lodge.