Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Torgos Lodge is situated 5 km from the Mata Mata entrance to the park, being the closest accommodation to the park. Spend a few nights at Torgos and take day trips into the Kgalagadi. Though one must bear in mind that the Namibian border control office hours limit the entry and exit times. A good day trip would be to drive down the Aoub River from Mata Mata to the picnic spot at Kamqua, where you can get out of your vehicle, picnic and make use of the toilets before driving back. There are several waterholes fed by boreholes which attract game. On this route one can spot, lion, cheetah, giraffe, wildebeest, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, suricates and several other smaller mammals. Of the numerous bird species, one may see bateleur, white-backed vulture, secretary bird, martial eagle, pale chanting goshawk, ostrich, kori bustard and many smaller species.
Tourists entering the park from Namibia should have their passports and take note of the Welverdiend / Mata Mata border post times. 08h00 – 16h30 and during winter from the first Sunday in April to the first Sunday in September, Namibian time is one hour later than in South Africa. If you wish to exit the park into South Africa or Botswana, visitors must stay at least two nights in the park before exiting.
Things to do at Torgos Lodge
Waterhole: There is a waterhole in the riverbed adjacent to the lodge, where a variety of animals can be seen especially in the evenings and early mornings. The waterhole is floodlit at night. Sit on the terrace and watch.
Game Drive: Book a game drive and venture into the dunes in search of animals like Gemsbok, Eland, Wildebeest and Springbok. The game drive takes you through a 11000 hectare game camp which is stocked with a variety of game, included will be refreshments or a sundowner on top of a red dune
Seek Golden Oryx: Book a trip on a farm vehicle in search of Golden Oryx, a variety of Gembsok which has a golden colour variation. These antelope are bred as exotic game. Included in the trip is a sundowner on top of a high dune overlooking the Aoub River.
Unguided walks: take a walk into the veld from the lodge, either into the dunes or along the river bed. Here one can experience first-hand every detail of nature, from the birds and animals, to plants, seeds, animal tracks and smaller forms of life. Perfect for general photography.
Stargazing: Sit outdoors in the evenings, look up and touch the stars! There clear skies with no pollution and artificial light make the Kalahari one of the best places to look at the stars.
Swimming Pool: Relax and cool off at the swimming pool.
Sitzas Farmstall and Campsite
Sitzas Farmstall is situated a few hundred metres from the Mata Mata border, here one can purchase fresh meat, biltong, droewors, rusks, jams etc. as well as basic provisions, arts and crafts. There is also two basic campsites for camping in the river bed, with communal ablutions, braai places, running water and electric lights.
The Kalahari is a vast expanse of sand stretching from the Orange river in South Africa, through Namibia and Botswana into Angola covering more than 1,600,000 square km. Torgos Lodge is situated in the area dominated by red sand dunes and dry river beds. The dunes are stabilised by a sparse grass and bush cover. The red colour of the sand is caused by iron oxide in the sand.
The main farming activity is sheep (mostly Dorpers) and cattle for production of beef, the natural
Climate: The Kalahari is a semi-arid to arid region experiencing about 200 mm of rain annually. The unreliable and irregular rain falls mostly in summer from November to April in the form of thunder storms often accompanied by strong winds and dust storms. Summer days are extremely hot, whilst winter days are warm and mild with extremely cold nights.
Wildlife: Wildlife is typical of the region, at Torgos the following animals can be seen: Springbok, Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Steenbok, Duiker, Eland and Kudu. The natural predators include Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Spotted Hyena though due to farming activities these are not normally in the area. Brown Hyena and Black-backed Jackal, African Wild Cat and Caracal are occasionally seen. Smaller and mostly nocturnal animals are, Bat-eared Fox, Porcupine, Aardvark,
Farming: game species are also utilised. It is too hot and dry for any planted crops.
Useful Travel Information
What to bring when visiting the region: Sun block, insect repellent, first aid kit, camera, binoculars, hats, sun glasses and clothing to suit the time of year. Be prepared for very dry skin, extremely hot days or very cold winter nights and mornings.
If driving from South Africa, vehicles must have a ZA sticker, bring your driver’s licence and copies of registration papers, if borrowed or hired vehicle, bring a letter of authorisation from owner.
No Firewood may be taken across the border either way
Travelling: The gravel roads leading to Torgos lodge are in a good condition, care must be taken whilst driving at dusk and at night as wild animals are often in the road. Beware of loose gravel on corners. The road from Koës goes over many dunes, beware of oncoming vehicles and unexpected corners.
Distances to nearest towns:
- North: C17 Route : Koës – 151 km, Keetmanshoop – 260 km
- West: C15 Route: Gochas – 177 km, Stampriet – 255 km, Mariental – 324 km
- South: Mata Mata – 5 km, Tweerivieren 126km, Upington – 376 km
- Rietfontein via Koës – 330 km