When you enter the park you are requested to deflate your tyres to 1.6 or 1.5 bar. Please heed this advice – for two very good reasons. By Romi Boom
The roads in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are all gravel roads, and often corrugated. The most important factors that contribute to corrugation are speeding, back wheels of 2×4 cars spinning and tyre pressure that is too high.
Whereas highly inflated tyres aggravate the formation of corrugations, soft pressure acts like an extra set of shock absorbers. By lowering your tyre pressure, you will not only prevent corrugation and thereby protect the roads, but you will also have a more comfortable ride. There is an air pump at Twee Rivieren for when you leave.
You may want to go down to 1 bar or even 0.8 bar in places where the sand is thick, for example on the Nossob Eco Trail, or en route to Gharagab unfenced wilderness camp in the extreme north of the South African side of the park. Obviously you will require a compressor to inflate your tyres again when you are out of the sand.
When your tyre pressure is really low, be extremely careful to avoid sticks protruding from the sand, otherwise you might well write off a tyre. And don’t drive too fast on deflated tyres – the tyre is prone to pop off the rim.
- Depending on your vehicle and your load, you may want to adjust your pressure from the recommended guidelines.
- When you drive a 4×4 make sure to have 4×4 mode engaged while driving in the park. This will prevent the back wheels from spinning.