Central Kalahari GR

- Overview Central Kalahari Safaris

About Central Kalahari Game Reserve

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is Botswana’s biggest reserve and is situated in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. This is pure, untrammeled wilderness. The inhospitable desert habitat doesn’t support the wide variety of safari animals found in greener destinations – but sightings in this arid landscape are special.

Size: help
52,800km²/20,387mi²
Altitude: help
938-1,134m/3,077-3,720ft
Pros and Cons
  • Adventurous wilderness destination
  • Off-the-beaten-track and little visited
  • Stunning desert scenery
  • Chance to see striking Kalahari black-maned lions
  • Very little accommodation in and outside the park
  • Self-drive visitors exploring the interior of the park need to be totally self-sufficient
  • Limited animal species
  • It is very hot and dry
  • Limited tracks inside the park

Wildlife

Big herds of desert-adapted antelope, such as springbok and oryx, can be seen walking along the dunes. Predators are easy to spot on the plains. The Kalahari black-maned lions are particularly stunning, and cheetah thrive in this open country. Lucky visitors might come across a pack of wild dogs.
More about the wildlife

Scenery

The scenery can be monotonous but the endless horizons – as the sun gets low in the sky and afternoon colors soften – are mesmerizing. The landscape is a mix of straggly bushes, including the desert-adapted silver terminalia, patches of acacias, pans and fossil riverways interspersed with dunes. In the Wet season, the inter-dune valleys transform to green.

Weather & Climate

The desert climate of the Central Kalahari is at its most testing in the Dry season (April to October), with average daytime temperatures peaking at 33°C/91°F. The only exception is early in the morning, when you’ll need to rug up against the chill if you’re doing a game drive. The Wet season (November to March) cools things down with its intermittent showers.
More about the weather and climate

Best Time to Visit

For prime wildlife viewing and fewer crowds, you should avoid the driest times of year and visit in the Wet season (November to March). Besides the low-season prices, this is also when animals make the most of the returning rain by gathering around the pans in Deception Valley. The trade-off is that some roads can turn into muddy bogs.
More about the best time to visit

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Safari Reviews

- Central Kalahari
Expert Rating
Wildlife
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
Birding
User Rating
Wildlife
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
Birding
Latest User Review
By Ian from United KingdomGB

The journey to the Central Kalahari is quite long with around 45 miles on metaled roads followed by a similar distance on a dead straight, sandy track. Once at the Northern gate, the remainder of the journey is a game drive to wherever the camp has b... Full review

  • Cheetah - Central Kalahari

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