|Think of a vast, dry and dusty landscape, covered in tall grasses, scrub bush and trees, with a distant horizon in all directions and big, big skies and you may begin to visualise this huge, seemingly untouched wilderness in the heart of Botswana’s interior.
At over 50,000 square kilometres, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is one of the largest reserves in the world and the largest in Southern Africa. This is “thirstland” where life seems to thrive despite existing on the edge.
Undoubtedly, the most famous wildlife attraction in this part of Botswana is the Kalahari lion. Although belonging to the same species as other lions in Southern Africa, the Kalahari lion is slightly larger and heavier, and many males sport thick black manes making them appear even more impressive. Their prey include several of the large herbivores found here such as gemsbok, zebras, impalas and giraffes.
The best time to view big game in the reserve is after summer rains. The northern areas of the park have the densest concentrations of animals at such times but it is worth noting that with such a vast area for wildlife to disperse over, concentrations are lower than Okavango or Chobe. The trade-off is incredible scenery and seemingly limitless, natural tranquillity.
The reserve was established in 1961 not, as one might assume, to protect the region’s wildlife but actually as a protected area for the indigenous San Bushmen who followed a hunter-gatherer lifestyle here for thousands of years.
There are comparatively fewer camps here than in other parks but the Kalahari Game Reserve offers a great deal to the adventurous traveller. Many visitors choose to explore the immense expanse of the reserve in 4×4 vehicles, sleeping under the stars and experiencing the Kalahari as it really is – wild and beautiful.
ACCOMMODATION NEAR KALAHARI
San Camp, in the Kalahari Desert, offers 6 luxurious tents with en-suite bathrooms, Persian carpets and crisp cotton linen, each sheltered by a cluster of desert palms. Perched on the shore of an enormous salt pan, the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, a relic of one of the world’s largest super-lakes that dried up thousands of […]
Kwando Tau Pan Camp
Situated inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Tau Pan has been built with the environment in mind. Utilising only solar power for producing electricity, pumping water from deep under the Kalahari sands and water heating. The camp has a total of nine environmentally adapted en-suite tents, including one family tent with two sleeping areas. All […]
Deception Valley Lodge
Deception Valley Lodge is situated next to the north-eastern border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in 15,000 hectares of privately owned, pristine Kalahari bush. The main area features a pool, dining area, a bar and lounge, curio shop and small library. There are eight chalets with en-suite Victorian style bathrooms, an outdoor shower and […]