Nothing prepares you for the immensity of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, nor its wild, mysterious beauty. There is the immediate impression of unending space, and after hours of driving you may start to feel that you have the entire reserve to yourself.
Waist-high, golden grasses seem to stretch interminably, punctuated by dwarfed trees and scrub bushes. Wide and empty pans appear as vast white stretches of saucer-flat earth, meeting a soft, blue-white sky. At night the stars utterly dominate the land; their brilliance and immediacy are totally arresting.
Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest, most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa, and the second largest wildlife reserve in the world, encompassing 52800 square kilometres. It is a fantastic self-drive safari destination with numerous campsites to choose from, some in small clusters of five to 10 stands, others much more isolated and remote where you can find yourself completely alone under the African sky.
During and shortly after good summer rains, the flat grasslands of the reserve’s northern reaches teem with wildlife, which gather at the best grazing areas. These include large herds of springbok and gemsbok, as well as wildebeest, hartebeest, eland and giraffe.
At other times of the year, when the animals are more sparsely distributed, the experience of travelling through truly untouched wilderness, of seemingly unending dimensions, is what makes the Central Kalahari such an excellent safari destination.
The landscape is dominated by silver terminalia sandveldt, Kalahari sand acacias, and Kalahari appleleaf, interspersed with grassland, and dotted with occasional sand dunes, pans and shallow fossil river valleys.
In the northern section, Deception Valley is one of the highlights, principally because of the dense concentrations of herbivores its sweet grasses attract during and after the rainy season (and of course the accompanying predators). It is also the most travelled area of the reserve and those looking for more solitude might try the smaller, but very worthwhile Piper Pan to the southwest.
Campsites in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve are run in part by the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) and in part by private operators. For help with bookings, and with planning your Botswana safari itinerary, contact us today for an obligation-free discussion.