Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Size

38,000 sq. km

Founded

2000 (Transfrontier Park)

Best time to visit

March to May

Off-the-beaten-track in Botswana and South Africa

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) became a “peace park” in 2000 when the Mabuasehube-Gemsbok National Park of Botswana and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park of South Africa merged. It is popular with repeat visitors more than with first-time safari-goers.

A Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park landscape with red sand

A true adventure for nature lovers

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is most rewarding to those who seek an adventure along the trails which others do not often tread on. Covering both Botswana and South Africa, the KTP is the first park in Africa to extend over two separate countries and its wildlife and remoteness leads to a deep appreciation of the Kgalagadi wilderness.

The Botswana side of the KTP is the wilder side of the two. The wilderness trails which run through this part of the park require a 4×4 vehicle and an experienced off-road driver. Lodges on the Botswana side are few and far between, as it is the unfenced and rudimentary wilderness campsites which offer the greatest appeal. The amount of people allowed per campsite is limited and requires you to be self-sufficient like a true adventurer. What you get for your efforts is great wildlife viewing and beautiful landscapes, including the red sand dunes of the Kalahari, the only place in Botswana where these can be admired.

The facilities on the South African side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are more developed, offering not only camping but also a greater variety of accommodated options. These range from self-catering to fully catered and luxury lodgings. All of this on land which was traditionally roamed by the San/Bushman (or Basarwa as they are sometimes referred to in Botswana). A visit to a local San/Bushman cultural village can give you a fascinating look into their ancient way of life and you can even learn a thing or two on how to survive in this harsh climate on a guided bush walk with a local San/Bushman.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is also known for providing great wildlife sightings. You won’t be able to spot the Big 5 but when it comes to predators, the region can provide memorable moments. The Kalahari black-maned lion is the most famous of the predators and this park is one of the few where these striking looking lions can be spotted. Additionally, the park boasts leopard, cheetah, brown and spotted hyena and bat-eared fox amongst its species of hunters. Further residents of the park include antelopes such as the oryx, springbok, eland, and kudu. You should also spend some time admiring the meerkats which call the KTP home as these adorable creatures have a complex and interesting social life.

Due to the remoteness of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, it is often overlooked by the main tourist masses. This is the reason why those who go there, love the park. The thrill of hearing a lion roar whilst camping on one of the unfenced campsites with no other travels around might not be for the faint-hearted, but for many it encapsulates why they love going on safari. Being close to nature and close to wildlife. With pristine landscapes along the way, the KTP will provide you with a fantastic off the beaten track adventure.

Botswana Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Botswana off-road experience on Kgalagadi safari tours

Off-Road Experience

You can truly experience 4×4 rugged off-road driving on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The deep sand and tough road conditions make for an adventurous journey.

Fascinating landscapes on Kgalagadi safari tours

Impressive Landscapes

You can marvel at the beautiful shifting red dunes of the Kgalagadi, the only place in Botswana where you can do so. This ancient land and harsh environment create a mesmerising landscape for you to discover.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

A Transfrontier Peace Park

You can explore the first transfrontier, peace park in Africa. Free movement within the park allows not only the animals but also you to travel between Botswana and South Africa on a unique safari adventure.

Springboks as seen on Kgalagadi safari tours

On Kgalagadi safari tours you can experience uninterrupted and exclusive wildlife moments.

Red sand road leading into the horizon in Botswana

The red sand of the Kalahari Desert paints beautiful landscapes.

Camping lanterns on Kgalagadi safari tours

There are very few lodges, but you can camp on one of the remote and unfenced campsites in the wild.

A road leading to the horizon in the night in Botswana

An experience truly off the beaten track, for self-sufficient adventurers.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to go to the Kgalagadi

The dry season brings animals to the waterholes as well as to the dry riverbeds of the Auob and Nossob. During the dry winter months, the nights can get well below freezing cold so be prepared. Summer months bring fresh rains, great wildlife viewing and spectacular birding with scorching hot temperatures. Depending on your preferences, it’s always a great time to go on Kgalagadi safari tours.

Botswana dry season for Kgalagadi safari tours

Dry Season

May to September

Best for more moderate daytime temperatures

Botswana wet season for Kgalagadi safari tours

Green Season

October to April

Best for wildlife sightings

Why to go

An adventurous but exclusive experience

You can witness spectacular game viewing at any time of year and never will the park feel crowded with visitors. This is particularly true on the Botswana side where the number of vehicles per day allowed on the wilderness trails and campsites is restricted. It is just you and the Kgalagadi around you.

A tent on a remote campsite in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Holger, expert for Kgalagadi safari tours
If you’re up for an adventure, the Kgalagadi is your place. However by adventure we do mean adventure – you will overnight on unfenced campsites in the wild, not meet other travellers for many days at a time and experience the true meaning of remoteness and isolation. If you are hands-on, flexible and not afraid of the dark, you will love it here!
Holger | Founder Botswana-Experience
A safari vehicle with pop up roof on a game drive during Kgalagadi safari tours
Classic Game Drives

Look for wildlife on guided or self-drive game drives

A map of Southern Africa
Private Safaris

A safari experience tailored to your wishes

A campfire at a camping site at sunset on a Kgalagadi safari tour
Camping Safaris

Overnight at unfenced campsites in the wilderness

Things to do

Great wildlife viewing throughout the year

Kgalagadi safari tours are a great opportunity to experience Southern Africa’s wildlife without having to share sightings with many people.

A male black maned lion in the Kgalagadi in Botswana
Black-Maned Lions

These rare lions roam the vastness of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

A close up of a cheetah as seen on Kgalagadi safari tours
Cheetah

The fastest land mammal on the planet can be spotted here

A lone wildebeest on the open plains with views of the horizon
Wildebeest

These curious looking large antelopes are common on the Kgalagadi plains

Two meerkats on the lookout as seen on Kgalagadi safari tours
Meerkats

These fascinating suricates display very complex social behaviour

WILDLIFE IN THE KGALAGADI

A rugged and hidden wildlife gem for true Africa lovers

While wildlife watching is possible all-year-round on Kgalagadi safari tours, the best time is at the end of the wet season, when mammals come to the riverbeds to drink. You can spot lions and leopards, hyenas, oryx and meerkats.

Where to stay in the Kgalagadi

Campsite setup in Makgadikgadi Pans night sky

Adventure Camping

Mobile Camp setup with guest tent campfire mess tent

Mobile Camps

Guest tent at mobile camp at night

Guest Tent at Mobile Camp

Location

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is located in the very south-west of Botswana, spanning into South Africa’s Northern Cape. You can enter the park in one country and leave it from another. Most visitors enter the park via the South African side, travelling from Johannesburg to Upington. A 4×4 vehicle is essential and a convoy recommended and sometimes required.

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