Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Situated in the Kalahari Desert region, the park crosses between South Africa and Botswana (bordering Namibia in the west) and has over 3 million hectares of untamed land – one of the few conservation areas of this size left in the world.
It’s a magical place of red dunes, black-maned lions and birds of prey. It offers up a feeling of being the last man standing in the vast open spaces of sparse vegetation and sky.
We’ve been lucky enough to have had great lion and cheetah viewings as well as watching herds of different antelope, giraffe, hyena and jackal, to mention but a few. The animals, of course, move around so it’s worth looking at the sightings board at the rest camps daily to find out what’s been spotted where!
For the bird lover there is abundant birdlife, especially birds of prey such as the bateleur, vulture and various species of eagle – there’s nothing quite so majestic as a raptor in flight.
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Unless you are camping it is essential to book for these rest camps as they have a fairly long waiting list.
Urikaruus – one of the wilderness camps in the park that is ungated which means you could find lion taking a break underneath your accommodation! These wooden chalets are fully equipped and overlook a water hole for private animal spotting from your balcony. Hard to get into as there are only 5 chalets so persevere, it’s worth it.
Mata Mata riverside chalets – beautifully equipped and laid out with a large stoep overlooking a dried river bed, along from a water hole.
Nossob chalets – more basic and older in construction than those at Mata Mata, but clean and comfortable. There is a braai area in front of the house and a lovely hide in the rest camp overlooking a water hole.
Game driving (of course) – there are not many loop roads but the water holes are plenty along the way and the amount of time you spend in the car is up to you. The picnic spots are fairly widely spaced apart – the best in our view is Dikbaardskolk on the road between Twee Rivieren and Nossob.
Game viewing from the various hides or sitting at water holes – if there are no animals in sight, there are certainly great birds to be spotted and just gazing out over the African plains is, in itself, balm to the soul.
Hot and dusty
The temperatures can hit 40C in summer which makes it fairly unpleasant to drive around and besides which the animals make themselves scarce, so plan your trip carefully.
The speed limit is 50kph but it’s sometimes hard to even make that speed and the kilometres take a while to travel, especially stopping every few minutes to look at animals or birds. The roads are in a pretty good condition although a 4×4 vehicle is recommended.
Take your time
Don’t rush your trip here – if you can, allow 5 nights in the park so that you receive the maximum benefit that this kind of nature experience offers. Relax, move to the rhythm of the wild and just enjoy the space. For bookings check out their website
Where to find it