Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
38,000 sq. km
2000 (Transfrontier Park)
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 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 people (or Basarwa as they are sometimes referred to in Botswana). A visit to a local San 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Kgalagadi safari tours you can experience uninterrupted and exclusive wildlife moments.
The red sand of the Kalahari Desert paints beautiful landscapes.
There are very few lodges, but you can camp on one of the remote and unfenced campsites in the wild.
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.
Dry SeasonMay to September
Best for more moderate daytime temperatures
Green SeasonOctober 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.
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
Classic Game Drives
Look for wildlife on guided or self-drive game drives
A safari experience tailored to your wishes
Overnight at unfenced campsites in the wilderness
These rare lions roam the vastness of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The fastest land mammal on the planet can be spotted here
These curious looking large antelopes are common on the Kgalagadi plains
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
Guest Tent at Mobile Camp
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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