Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Rugged landscapes with magnificent beauty

Photos

The largest sand basin in the world

Nothing prepares you for the sheer magnitude of this Central Kalahari Game Reserve, or its rugged and magnificent beauty. As soon as you step foot here you will feel an overwhelming sense of remoteness and isolation. Luscious golden grasses seem to stretch infinitely, dotted by Kalahari acacias and the occasional spread of sand dunes in the north, flat bushveld in the central area and saltpans and river valleys in the south-east. As the largest wildlife reserve in Southern Africa stretching up to the Democratic Republic of Congo, every corner of this 50,000 sq km patch of untouched wilderness is mesmerising.

During and after the summer showers, the northern grassland region is a hub of activity for wildlife which gather in their herds. Home to the black-maned Kalahari lions, sit back in awe and admire these majestic predators amongst large groups of grazing springbok and gemsbok, cheetah, wildebeest and giraffe. One of the main draws, however, is this northern Deception Valley, an 80km-long ancient riverbed, with its dense concentration of herbivores attracted to the luscious sweet grasses after the rainy season. Meanwhile, other interesting areas to explore are Sunday and Leopard Pans, Piper’s Pan and Passarge Valley.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve was originally designed to provide a homeland for the San Bushmen, a people of nomadic hunters and gatherers who inhabited the area for the past 30,000 years. Most of them are now mixed with other local tribes and live in villages or settlements in the Southern part of the reserve, and often work as guides in the desert offering a fascinating and authentic insight into the region.

Wildlife

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve northern region is teeming with wildlife which includes large herds of springbok and gemsbok, as well as wildebeest, hartebeest, eland and giraffe.

  • Two Giraffes
  • Central Kalahari Game Reserve_01

Seasonal Information

Find out the best times to visit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

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  • Green Season
  • Mid Season
  • High Season

January brings heavy summer rains to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, transforming the harsh, dry landscape into a flourishing paradise. The rain accumulates in the seasonal waterholes in the pans, attracting thousands of antelope to the area. These herbivores are followed closely by hungry predators, which makes for some exciting wildlife viewing opportunities. A plethora of unique bird species can be seen in the region year-round. However, it is during the rainy season that the area comes into its own as a birding destination.

Plan your Safari

The summer rains continue in February. The harsh landscape has been transformed into a flourishing paradise and the waterholes in the pans are filling up. The water sources and lush vegetation attract thousands of antelope to the area who are closely followed by hungry predators, which makes for some exciting wildlife viewing opportunities. A plethora of unique bird species can be seen in the region year-round. However, it is during the rainy season that the area comes into its own as a birding destination.

Plan your Safari

The pans are at their fullest in March with huge herds of wildlife congregating around them. The lush green grasslands that appear after the rains create a vibrant backdrop for photographic opportunities.

Plan your Safari

April brings the dry season to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. This causes water and food to become more scarce and the wildlife to disperse across wide territories. This makes the challenge of spotting them that much more exciting and rewarding whilst on safari.

Plan your Safari

May is the dry winter season in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the landscape has died out and temperatures plummet after sunset. Due to the scarcity of food and water, the wildlife tends to disperse across wider territories, which makes the challenge of spotting them that much more exciting and rewarding whilst on safari.

Plan your Safari

June is the dry winter season in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the landscape has died out and temperatures plummet after sunset. Due to the scarcity of food and water, the wildlife tends to disperse across wider territories, which makes the challenge of spotting them that much more exciting and rewarding whilst on safari.

Plan your Safari

July is the dry winter season in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the landscape has died out and temperatures plummet after sunset. Due to the scarcity of food and water, the wildlife tends to disperse across wider territories, which makes the challenge of spotting them that much more exciting and rewarding whilst on safari.

Plan your Safari

August is one of the driest months in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve; landscapes are harsh, and water is scarce. As a result, the wildlife disperses across wide territories, making the challenge of spotting them that much more exciting and rewarding!

Plan your Safari

September sees the start of the summer migration. An astonishing number of plains wildlife and their young journey across the expanse of the Central Kalahari. This is quite the spectacle to witness and, with the deserts barren beauty as a backdrop, there are many great photographic opportunities.

Plan your Safari

The summer migration continues in October. An astonishing number of plains wildlife and their young journey across the expanse of the Central Kalahari. This is quite the spectacle to witness and, with the deserts barren beauty as a backdrop, there are many great photographic opportunities.

Plan your Safari

November is the rainy season in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. During which, the wildlife is abundant as the herds concentrate in the valleys to feed on the lush green grasses that spring up. A plethora of unique bird species can be seen in the region year-round. However, it is during the rainy season that the area comes into its own as a birding destination. Raptors are plentiful, and migrants add to the many species one can spot.

Plan your Safari

December is the rainy season in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. During which, the wildlife is abundant as the herds concentrate in the valleys to feed on the lush green grasses that spring up. A plethora of unique bird species can be seen in the region year-round. However, it is during the rainy season that the area comes into its own as a birding destination. Raptors are plentiful, and migrants add to the many species one can spot.

Plan your Safari