Wildlife & Animals – Central Kalahari GR

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

The desert environment doesn't support the full range of species that we think of as typical safari animals. It is, however, possible to see large concentrations of herbivores, such as blue wildebeest, oryx and springbok, as they are attracted to the water-filled pans in Deception Valley after the rains. Eland, greater kudu and red hartebeest can be found in smaller numbers, and following this migration are the black-maned Kalahari lion and cheetah.


Wildlife Highlights

Dawn and dusk are the best times to spot hyenas returning to, or leaving, their dens. Spotted hyena are common, but the less common brown hyena is quite easy to find as well. The desert is also home to many smaller predators, such as bat-eared fox, yellow mongoose and the charismatic suricate.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Central Kalahari has very seasonal wildlife viewing. The best time is in the wet months, from December to March, when animals congregate around the pans in Deception Valley. Some of the roads can become difficult to navigate during this time. April and May at the end of the rains are perhaps a good compromise. They offer good wildlife viewing in better weather conditions.

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