For those who love adventure, open spaces, true wilderness and a sense of roughing it, Bitterpan could be your nirvana
Bitterpan Wilderness Camp is not fully compliant with universal access (UA) standards because of its remote location and extreme environment, but several features allow mobility-impaired guests to stay there with minimal assistance, and movement from the parking zone over sandy ground is challenging.
Bitterpan is elevated above the dunes on stilts, so the two ramps are very steep. Once in the facility, the four two-bed tents, the ensuite ablutions, the kitchen and dining area are all linked by boardwalks ideal for wheelchair users. One of the ablutions is equipped with a roll-in shower and grab rails. There is no shower seat, but a sturdy wooden bench is available.
Wildlife viewing in Kgalagadi is best along the two dry river beds that flank the Park and Bitterpan’s seeming desolation is part of its attraction. Amazingly, the Park’s iconic wildlife, including the big cats, do visit the camp, so guests must always be alert.
How to get there
Kgalagadi is in the Northern Cape and accessed at Twee Rivieren via a tar road from Upington. Bitterpan is accessed by 4×4 vehicle only along a one-way track through the Kalahari dunes from Nossob Camp (55 km). The one-way route continues for 44 km and takes departing guests onto the Auob River Road at Craig Lockhart Waterhole. A shorter 12 km access road (4×4, but two-way) allows camp residents to access other roads for game drives.
More information about Bitterpan, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park or the other 18 national parks can be found on the SANParks’ website www.sanparks.org.
Designated UA accommodation units are kept on reserve and can only be booked directly with SANParks on special request. Unlike other units, they cannot be booked in advance online until the reserve period has expired.
Bitterpan, as an exclusive wilderness camp, is not on UA reserve, but about 10 of the Park’s other UA units are kept on reserve. Visitors pay a daily conservation fee to make use of park facilities and enjoy the natural heritage, but if you buy a Wild Card, that fee is waived.