A traveller’s guide to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the second largest reserve in the world and by far the most remote reserve in the Southern Africa. The CKGR covers an area of 52000 square kilometers and it is home to the largest animal population.

Central Kalahari is not for your first-time safari in search of the big game. However, CKGR has no seasons. Instead there are three distinct phases: the rains — which may commence anytime from November to January, and last through to March, April — making the Kalahari a birder’s paradise. However, a cold dry spell follows from June to August as well as the hot dry spell lasts from September until the rains start.

When is the best time to visit

Unlike in other safari locations, January through April is the classic time to visit. During this season, the beautiful interdune valley become lush with vegetation, attracting thousands of springboks and gemsbok. You’ll also find a good number of ostrich and giraffe, herd of wildebeest, excellent cheetah and the Kalahari’s famous black-maned lions. Leopards and brown hyena are common residents too — though they are very rare to see.

What to see

The main wildlife concentration are to be found in the northern part of the reserve. Expect to see giraffe, wild dogs, leopards, lion, brown hyena, warthog, a wide variety of antelope, kudu and springbok and more. However, travellers will also see fascinating reptiles, scorpions and insects.

Where to stay

Dinaka Safari Lodge

Dinaka Safari Lodge is able to provide you with the real home comforts without losing its authentic bush atmosphere.

Each tented chalet nestles under the branches of the Purple Pod trees, blending in with the natural surroundings. Two of the seven tents are suitable for families. Each tented chalet has a covered veranda overlooking the waterhole.

Deception Valley Lodge

Deception Valley Lodge is situated in a private concession on the border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The lodge offers an authentic African theme — while the surrounding area offers excellent wildlife sightings.

Enjoy guided walks with the Bushmen to learn about their culture and hunting techniques, and about the unique flora and fauna of the area. Head out on day or night game drives, occasionally going off-road to follow tracks. Alternatively, sit back and relax with sundowners while admiring the flaming sunsets and star-filled sky.

Kalahari Desert Camp

The Kalahari Desert Camp is located on the northern border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The camp offers 12 tented camps with all the modern luxuries and comforts.

The tents are all equipped with comfortable beds and en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. The main camp area comprises a reception, dining area, lapa, lounge, viewing deck and swimming pool. It provides a serene setting for the guests to relax during the midday heat of the Kalahari.

Guests can expect to see numerous species of animals such as oryx, eland, zebra, hartebeest, wildebeest, impala, springbok, kudu, ostriches, aardvark and a variety of bird life.

What to do

There are so many activities to explore at the CKGR. Enjoy game drives, Bushman interaction that will give you the opportunity for cultural interaction in the village. Witness small mammals of bird. Nature walks in the Kalahari are generally accompanied by Bushmen trackers who enhance the experience with their incredible knowledge of the area and its life.

Night drives outside the park are done on some of the private areas outside the game reserve boundaries — providing a unique look at the nocturnal creatures of the Kalahari. Explore Botswana’s green season safari that will give you the opportunity to participate in all of the above listed activities.