Where to Go in The Kalahari

The Kalahari is a fantastic place to see a wide variety of desert and savannah wildlife, scenic grasslands and an astonishing display of stars in its night sky. Nxai Pan National Park, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Makgadikgadi Pans National Park offer unforgettable experiences for visitors – from the majestic Baines’ Baobabs to the action-packed springbok birthing season, and the remarkable birdlife of a prehistoric ‘super lake’ at Makgadikgadi.

Check out all of our Kalahari Tours and Safaris here.

Nxai Pan National Park

The smallest of the three parks, Nxai Pan offers a great mix of desert and savannah animals in an easy-to-access environment. The sole dry-season waterhole makes game viewing simple during winter but it’s during the green summer that Nxai Pan comes alive as herds of buffalo and elephant arrive. Make sure you visit nearby Baines’ Baobabs, a stand of huge baobab trees marooned on a salt pan island.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Botswana’s largest conservation area, the CKGR is as big as Belgium and a whole lot more interesting. It’s where to go to see classic Kalahari wildlife and the density of game and waterholes makes for a predator paradise. The springbok birthing season in December usually delivers a lot of predator action but it’s a good winter game viewing destination too.

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

The arrival of massed herds of zebra usually means the summer rains have arrived in the Makgadikgadi. The area’s grasslands provide good grazing but if the rains are good then the vast salt pans – once part of a prehistoric ‘super lake’ – fill up as well, attracting phenomenal birdlife from flamingos to waders and wildfowl. The open nature of the park suits predators such as wild dog, cheetah and lion and there’s always a good range of Kalahari animals to be seen at any time of year.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park is an immense desert area, with grass-covered sand dunes and ancient riverbeds. At over 38,000 square kilometres (15,000 square miles), it’s almost twice the size of the Kruger National Park and is about the same size as the Netherlands. Wildlife is plentiful in this region, with an astonishing 19 species of carnivore, including the black-maned Kalahari lion, cheetah, brown hyena, honey badger and the endangered African wild dog. This is a land of never-ending beauty and splendour – it calls to true adventure seekers.