​Getting There – Kgalagadi TP

Philip Briggs
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many Africa guidebooks, including the Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa.

Philip is author of the Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa.

Travel Alert

Travel restrictions and additional entry requirements may apply for South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic and if so, can change from day-to-day. Please visit our coronavirus page to stay informed about the latest developments.

Travel Alert

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is mostly a self-drive destination. It spans two countries: South Africa and Botswana. Except for some basic campsites, there are no facilities on the Botswana side, and most visitors go to the South Africa side of the park.

South Africa Side

O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg is where most visitors will arrive when visiting South Africa. Kgalagadi is located approximately 904km/584mi from Johannesburg. It is possible to rent a car in Johannesburg and drive from there, or you could take a connecting flight to Upington Airport (UTN). The distance from Upington to Kgalagadi is 250km/124mi.

There are two entrance gates on the South African side. The first is the Twee Rivieren Gate in the south, which acts as a border post with the Two Rivers Gate on the Botswana side. The second is the Mata-Mata Gate, which can be entered from Namibia. Airstrips for chartered flights are available at Twee Rivieren and Nossob Camp and hire cars can be collected at Twee Rivieren if prior arrangements are made with a car rental company.

Most of the roads in the South African part of the park are accessible with an ordinary car, but high clearance (SUV or pickup type vehicle) is preferred. Even then, it is possible to get stuck on the sandy roads, so some people might choose to play it safe and hire a 4x4.

!Xaus Lodge does all-inclusive packages with game drives and they can organize a return transfer from Upington.

Botswana Side

Adventurous 4x4 drivers visiting the Botswana side of the park still mostly come from the South Africa side. The Botswana side is accessible by 4x4 only. Visiting here should only be attempted as part of an organized tour or by someone who has a great deal of experience with totally self-sufficient safaris in challenging environments. To enter the Botswana side, a convoy of at least two vehicles is required. Campsites and routes must be booked in advance and reservations can be made at the Botswana Department of Wildlife & National Parks. There is no visa required if you return through the same gate that you came from.

If you are entering Kgalagadi from Botswana, you can fly to Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE), just outside the capital city of Gaborone. From Gaborone, you can drive to the Mabuasehube Gate using a 4x4 vehicle. The drive is about 530km/329mi and takes at least 12 hours. Another choice is to arrange a chartered flight to Tshabong and drive from there (115km/71mi).

If your Botswana safari starts by visiting the more popular northern parks, you will most likely have a stopover in O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB), Johannesburg, South Africa,from where you can fly to Maun Airport (MUB) or Kasane Airport (BBK), depending on the park you will visit first. When coming from the north, you can enter Kgalagadi through the Kaa Gate, which is 376km/234mi from Ghanzi and 797km/495mi from Maun. A 4x4 vehicle is required. There is also an option to fly from Maun or Kasane to the airstrip near Ghanzi or Tshabong by small charter aircraft and drive from there.

Airlines & Ticket Prices

Please check Skyscanner to see which airlines can take you to South Africa/Botswana, and what tickets would cost.

Domestic Flights

Most charter flights between parks are offered as part of your package and are arranged by your tour operator. There are several choices for domestic carriers running scheduled flights:

Passport, Visa & Other Entry Requirements

Please check our Getting There – South Africa and Botswana pages to learn more about passport, visa and other entry requirements.

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