The Central Kalahari Game Reserve covers 52,000 km2 of Central Botswana and is the second largest protected area in the world. The reserve was created in 1961 as a sanctuary for the Bushmen or San that traditionally live in the area, before being opened to visitors in the 1980s, although some areas remain the exclusive preserve of the San. Their presence means that, in addition to their safari experience, visitors can enjoy interactions with the San, escorted by highly knowledgeable guides and can learn more about one of the last true hunter-gatherer people found anywhere on the planet.
The area is characterised by dense bush with Kalahari acacia trees and Kalahari apple-leaf, leading to huge open saltpans and grasslands dotted with sand dunes. The landscape is truly extraordinary, especially at sunrise and sunset as the flat topography makes for stunning sunscapes. A number of ancient riverbeds, full of fossils run through the reserve, with Deception Valley being the best known of these.
Whilst this is an area where game viewing can be thoroughly enjoyed, you will not see the large herds of animals that one would traditionally associate with Botswana. Rather, you will enjoy an extraordinary diversity of animals which have adapted over the years to thrive in this harsh desert environment. Plains game include gemsbok and springbok, as well as small numbers of eland, giraffe, kudu and ostrich. Naturally, wherever one finds plains game the predators are not far behind and the Kalahari boasts large numbers of leopard, cheetah, wild dog, jackals and of course, the legendary black-maned Kalahari lions.
The number of lodges within the boundaries of the reserve is limited, with Kalahari Plains Camp and Tau Pan being the two that we would recommend. However, there are some lodges on the outskirts where you can still enjoy the Kalahari experience but keep the cost of your stay down, with Haina Kalahari Lodge and Deception Valley Lodge always proving very popular.
The Central Kalahari is much under-visited for such a beautiful area and the diversity of game you see really surprises visitors. It works superbly well as the end of an itinerary as it offers you the chance to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful desert scenery.
Read our blog and discover the best places to see cheetahs in Africa.Read more
Read our blog and discover our top new openings and re-openings across Africa for 2021.Read more
Read our blog and discover the best places to see elephants in Africa.Read more
Get the lowdown on travelling to Botswana in the 'new normal'.Read more
Read our blog and discover the best places to see giraffes in Africa.Read more
The UK government has announced that the the quarantine period will be cut to 5 days for English travellers.Read more
Get the lowdown on travelling to Namibia in the 'new normal'.Read more
Get the lowdown on travelling to Rwanda in the 'new normal'.Read more
Read our blog and discover the best places to see hippos in Africa.Read more
"When it rains the desert comes to life, with a number of animals to be seen across the plains, giving you some of the most magnificent summer game viewings"
Africa Travel is the UK's premier specialist dealing with travel to Africa, but we aren't just a website or a call centre, we are a boutique, owner-run company with personal connections to many of the owners of the properties we feature.
During these challenging times many of us are understandably concerned about the impact and effect of Coronavirus on our travel plans, and so to offer you complete reassurance, Africa Travel have put in place our very own Book Africa with Confidence policy.
All flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. Our ATOL number is 3384 www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate
Please complete the below details so that we can forward you a personalised holiday quotation