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. 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.
Sundowner Game Drive: Book a sundowner game drive and venture to the top of a red dune while searching for animals like Gemsbok, Eland, Wildebeest and Springbok. Refreshments and light snacks included.
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 is situated about 150m from the Mata Mata border. There are also two basic campsites for camping in the river bed, with communal ablution with hot water provided by wood-stoked donkey boiler, BBQ area, running water and electric lights and plug points.
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.
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. Black-backed Jackal, African Wild Cat and Caracal are occasionally seen. Smaller and mostly nocturnal animals are, Bat-eared Fox, Porcupine and Aardvark.
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 crosses 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