Witsand Kalahari Nature Reserve
Good white sand dunes surrounded by pink Kalahari sands, in opposition to the backdrop of the Langeberg Mountains… the Witsand Kalahari Nature Reserve is among the wonders of the Northern Cape. To not be confused with Witsand Nature Reserve within the Western Cape, the reserve spans round 3500 hectares, and is understood for its “roaring” sands (Brulsand in Afrikaans).
Throughout sizzling, dry circumstances, the dunes emit an odd roaring sound when disturbed by man, beast or wind, which might be heard as much as 400 metres away. One other pure phenomenon that happens right here is the creation of fulgurites — tubes or crusts of glass fashioned by sand – throughout thunderstorms.
Actions within the reserve embody sandboarding, mountain climbing, biking, star-gazing, recreation viewing and bird-watching. The panorama is surreal and the reserve is a nationwide treasure. It’s a pity that it’s not taken higher care of although.
Firstly, making the reserving was a mission. As a result of I take care of so many institutions, I favor corresponding on electronic mail with the intention to preserve correct data. The reserve was sluggish to reply on electronic mail and a few of my queries have been by no means responded to.
The street resulting in the reserve was actually unhealthy. I had been informed that it was appropriate for a sedan, and though it was doable to drive it with a sedan, the harm to the car may very well be appreciable. The street hadn’t been graded lately. It was additionally moist and muddy as a result of rain, which made it much more tough to drive on. Our automobile nearly received caught a number of instances and my coronary heart practically stopped simply as many instances. It was the worst 75 km we had ever pushed. Fellow friends who got here in from the choice street with a caravan and a 4×4 mentioned that they nearly received caught as properly.
As soon as we had lastly checked in, we have been stunned to see the lodging. The thatch-and-stone chalets are set in thick bush beneath massive camel-thorn timber. However for need of a greater phrase, they’re deconstructed.
They consist of three bedrooms, an open-plan dwelling, eating and kitchen space, a toilet and a rest room. Nevertheless, as an alternative of all these being housed in a single unit, they have been particular person models surrounding a courtyard with every one being individually lockable. I’d by no means seen that earlier than. Though I favor my bathrooms en suite, this was not a practice smash, and we determined to loosen up and revel in ourselves.
At evening, after dinner, we received prepared for mattress and settled down in our rooms – my son in his room and my husband and I in ours. It had been an extended day and we have been trying ahead to evening’s relaxation. We tried to disregard the warning indicators — just like the black grain-like substances on the mattress however as soon as we switched off the lights, they have been unattainable to disregard any longer. Excessive-pitched squeaks pierced the air accompanied by swooshing, flying sounds. Bats!
Now, I don’t learn about you, however bats freak me out! There have been 3 small, dimly-lit bedrooms and we moved from room to room, however the bats emerged in every room in flip, as they have been inter-connected. In desperation, we moved the mattresses to the lounge the place we had spent the remainder of the afternoon, pondering that it was secure. My son took the sofa.
However but once more, once we dimmed the lights, the shadows started flying throughout the wall accompanied by the terrible sounds. I went to the sunshine change to show it again on and a bat flew proper previous my head.
At our wits’ finish (no pun supposed), we known as the supervisor, who was quick asleep, and informed him about our predicament. His response was that this was a basic downside at Witsand, together with the workers quarters, and that they’d tried many cures to eliminate the bats however have been unsuccessful. All of the chalets had them so sleeping with the lights on was our solely answer. That’s how he slept too. This wasn’t comforting in any respect. I used to be terrified that if there was an influence failure, or loadshedding, we’d be doomed, and resigned myself to a sleepless evening. My son wished to sleep within the automobile, however ultimately all of us succumbed to fitful sleep.
We have been eager on leaving the reserve the following morning although we had paid for one more evening there – in truth, the supervisor mentioned that he had been anticipating us to take action – however the considered navigating the muddy, 75 km gravel street so quickly once more whereas it was raining was too daunting so we spent one other evening on the lounge flooring with the lights on. The supervisor informed us that there was a workers member who had labored there for 30 years and she or he had slept with the lights on for all these years due to the bats.
In the course of the day, we climbed the dunes and noticed wildlife. We tried to hike the botanical meander however the path was overgrown with grass and weeds so we couldn’t do it. The street to the chook cover was broken with the rains so we needed to park our automobile and stroll for some time to get there. And we didn’t get to listen to the sands roar, as a result of they have been too moist. However, the reserve is peaceable and picturesque, and we’d have nonetheless loved our go to there if it weren’t for the bats.
Sleeping with bats was an disagreeable expertise nevertheless it does make for story. We’ve been regaling shocked family and friends with accounts of our keep at Witsand Kalahari since then.
Good to know
- The reserve is managed by the Northern Cape Financial Improvement, Commerce and Funding Promotion Company (NCEDA), which is a part of the South African authorities.
- It’s situated between Kuruman and Upington.(Round 2 hours quarter-hour away from every city.)
- There isn’t a gas or restaurant on the reserve. Nevertheless, there’s a comfort retailer.
- We booked a single unit cottage however we have been informed that they have been beneath renovation whereas we have been there.
- There’s a tenting space too and the evaluations I’ve seen from the campers have been optimistic.
- There may be MTN reception within the chalets. Vodacom and Cell C solely work on the viewpoint.
- The bank card machines are sometimes offline, so in the event you haven’t paid earlier than arrival, then take money.
- Look out for the large weaver chook nests close to the chook cover. There’s a viewpoint there the place you will get an awesome view of the camp too.
- For extra info, go to Witsand Kalahari .
Would you sleep in a room understanding that there have been bats there? Let me know within the feedback under.