Central Kalahari Game Reserve
The magnificent expanse of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is a not-to-be-missed attraction when embarking on a Botswana safari. This is the largest, most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa, offering almost exclusive wildlife sightings.
After the wet season, the reserve becomes a hive of activity for large herds of plains game such as springbok and gemsbok. Visitors will also be treated to wonderful sightings of wildebeest, hartebeest, eland, giraffe, cheetah and the legendary black-maned lion.
During the dryer months, the Central Kalahari reveals wide, desolate pans, which offer exceptional photographic opportunities. The reserve is well-known for providing awe-inspiring star gazing experiences as well as for its most notable attractions such as Deception Valley, the Sunday and Leopard Pans, Passage Valley and Piper’s Pan.
Big herds of desert-adapted antelope, such as springbok and oryx, can be seen walking along the dunes. Predators are easy to spot on the plains. The Kalahari black-maned lions are particularly stunning, and cheetah thrive in this open country. Lucky visitors might even come across brown hyenas or a solitary honey badger.
The scenery can be monotonous but the endless horizons – as the sun gets low in the sky and afternoon colors soften – are mesmerizing. The landscape is a mix of straggly bushes, including the desert-adapted silver terminalia, patches of acacias, pans and fossil riverways interspersed with dunes. In the Wet season, the inter-dune valleys transform to green.
Weather & Climate
The desert climate of the Central Kalahari is at its most testing in the Dry season (April to October), with average daytime temperatures peaking at 33°C/91°F. The only exception is early in the morning, when you’ll need to rug up against the chill if you’re doing a game drive. The Wet season (November to March) cools things down with its intermittent showers.