Nossob

This post is part of  Kalahari  Series II – 2011. The previous post in the series is Slip-Slap-Slop-Slide and other Bush Beauty Tips. Also see Kalahari Series I – 2009.

In Kalahari Series I – 2009, I wrote about six of the unfenced wilderness camps in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park or KTP (read those posts here). When we went back to the Kgalagadi this time, I wanted to take photos of the three main (fenced) camps as well. They are a popular search term on my site, so this post may be of particular interest to people intending to travel there, but I hope that for those that don’t, the photographs will be interesting anyway.

Of the three main (i.e. fenced) camps in the Kgalagadi, Nossob remains my favourite. It is well-situated about half-way along the Twee-Rivieren – Unions End road (see map here). If you base yourself at Nossob for a few days, you can take some lovely game drives north and south of the camp. The area is well known for its predators (there is even a Nossob lion pride which has lived in the area for many years) and the wide variety of birds that live near the Nossob river.

Unlike the unfenced wilderness camps, Nossob does not have a view of the waterhole from the chalets. However, it does have a big bird and game viewing hide which extends out into the dry Nossob river bed, and where you can watch animals and birds coming to drink. All the fenced camps – including Nossob – also welcome families with young children. Here kids can walk around the camp and play in safety.

What I particularly like about Nossob, is that you get the feeling of a busy working camp. It is the last refueling and watering point for those travelling further north in the KTP – or even those leaving the KTP and travelling into Botswana.

The Nossob gate. Even though this gate is kept shut most of the time, the jackals still find a way to get into the camp at night. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Close-up of sign on the Nossob gate. I wonder which “dangerous animals” they are referring to? The ones inside the camp or out in the bush?! ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Is this another warning – the bush equivalent of a skull and crossbones? These horns are from various buck species found in the Kgalagadi. Clockwise from upper-left: Eland, Kudu, Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebees, Blue Wildebeest. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The office/reception at Nossob. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Accommodation at Nossob is in the form of self-catering chalets (mostly 2-person units, but there are bigger chalets for families too), and a camping site. The camp is powered by a generator which runs from about 5:30 a.m. to about 10 p.m. So this is the place to recharge all those camera and gadget batteries!

One of the two-person chalet buildings. Each of these little buildings houses 3 units – each with a kitchen, bedroom for 2, and a bathroom. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Although the chalets are basic, whoever designed them did a great job. In summer they are lovely and cool inside. In winter the temperatures inside remain fairly moderate even if the temperatures plunge outside.

The bedroom. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The “kitchen” area. Although the kitchen is equipped with a fridge, microwave, electric hotplate and crockery/cutlery, it is very short on working surfaces. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

For those wanting to rough it, there are camping sites available and clean communal shower blocks. The only problem is that there is no grass, so you have to pitch your tent on the ground, in the sand. This means you are very exposed to the elements – very hot in summer, very cold in winter. So take the right gear! Some people choose to sleep in vehicle roof-top or trailer-top tents which looks a little more comfy.

Camping sites. See the vehicle-top tent in the center of the photo. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The walkway to the Nossob hide which lies outside of the camp. Is the fence really going to keep any big cats out – or does it just give the illusion of safety?!  ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Inside the Nossob hide. I was there on a very quiet afternoon – both in terms of people and animals coming to drink at the waterhole. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The waterhole at Nossob as seen from the hide. ©2009 WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Late afternoon view from the Nossob hide across the dry Nossob riverbed. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Nossob is not only a busy camp when it comes to human activity. There are lots of birds and small animals living in the camp too.

A Ground Squirrel comes to visit us. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

This is the first year we have seen a Yellow Mongoose in the Nossob camp itself. They are usually very shy animals and stay away from humans.  ©Theo van Zyl

Within minutes of arriving at Nossob, one begins to notice the wide variety of birds in the camp. These are just a small selection – ones which we managed to get good photographs of.

Cape Glossy Starling ©Theo van Zyl

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

African Red-eyed Bulbul ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

A Southern White-faced Scops-Owl asleep, during the day, in a tree in the Nossob camp. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Another owl – this time a Pearl-spotted Owlet –  in another tree in the Nossob camp. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill ©Theo van Zyl

There is a little bit of plant life besides the thorn trees. Below are some colourful flowers growing in the Nossob office “garden”.

©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Close-up of flower above. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Close-up of flower above. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Thank you to Theo van Zyl for allowing me to use some of his beautiful photographs for this post.

The Kalahari 2011 Series:

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Categories: Lifestyle/Travel, Nature/Environment

Author:lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)

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15 Comments on “Nossob”

  1. September 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    LOVE your small mammal and bird pics, especially the pearl-spotted owlet and the ground squirrel!

    • September 23, 2011 at 7:32 am #

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed the photos! Just hope my bird captions are right – I’ve asked a friend to take a look and check them for me.

  2. September 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Gosh, Lisa, you have made me totally fall in love with Africa and want to visit there. Love the bird photos here.
    Kathy

    • September 23, 2011 at 7:33 am #

      Thanks Kathy! I’m glad that you are getting a sense of the African bush through my posts and photos. It’s very difficult to describe.

  3. September 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    What a splendid post: makes me want to visit even more. I am amazed at the variety of creatures given that you say there is no grass, and everywhere looks so barren except for the thorn trees. Thanks for giving me a taste:)

    • September 23, 2011 at 7:35 am #

      Thanks for reading the post and leaving a comment! 🙂 Yes, given that it is a semi-desert environment, it is amazingly full of animals and birds. It’s a very tough environment for them to survive in, so they’ve become pretty well adapted to it.

  4. jacquelincangro
    September 23, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    Wow – I love the shots of the birds. That hornbill has quite an angry look about him. 🙂 The owlet is incredible.
    Did you see all of these animals while waiting in the hide?

    • September 23, 2011 at 7:36 am #

      Thanks Jackie! No, actually these animal and bird photos were taken just walking around in the camp. They seem quite happy to share the camp with humans – and of course it’s a lot safer there for them, than outside the camp.

  5. Sarita Botha
    September 23, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I’m so happy to see bird and flower pics and not creepy crawly’s….. It looks so calm and relaxed there.

    • September 23, 2011 at 8:40 am #

      Fortunately for you, the creepy crawlies were all hibernating or elsewhere! It is calm and relaxed there – even when it’s busy.

  6. September 23, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Gorgeous photos!! Love them all, but Yellow Mongoose and the Pearl-spotted Owlet are superb! – Nossob Camp looks like a great place, and I take note of the moderate temperatures offered by the chalets as opposed to camping in the sand and the extreme heat! One day, when we get to plan a trip to this corner of the country, I shall remember all these wonderful tips 🙂 Thanks Lisa!

    • September 24, 2011 at 7:48 am #

      Thanks Lu! I agree that Pearl-spotted Owlet is very cute. Well, you may experience the camps differently to what we did, but I think the posts and photos give you some idea of what to expect. I thought a tough exploration geologist such as yourself would have no problems with heat or camping in the sand! 😉

      • September 24, 2011 at 10:41 am #

        Aaah, well yes indeed – However, the last thing we feel like doing for a holiday is what we have to do for work 🙂
        Sometimes a little luxury is welcome break!

  7. Estie
    September 23, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    During my last road trip I loved all the aloes and I am so glad see some on your trip as well!

    • September 24, 2011 at 7:50 am #

      We didn’t see lots of aloes up there, so these might have been planted.

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