The big attractions: wilderness, wildlife and the San hunter-gatherers. With such vast expanses of uninhabited land you're about as remote as you can be on planet Earth without putting your life at risk. Explorations barely scratch the perimeter of this savanna wilderness and the wildlife roams far and free.
The northern section is the most developed - by that we mean it is accessible, has a public camping area and some exclusive lodges - with Deception Valley being the focal point. Private concessions line the edge of the park and these offer exclusive access and accommodation ranging from suitably comfortable to complete luxury.
The Kalahari is a rich and intricate ecosystem built on a layer of sand and covered with grass and beautiful acacia trees - camelthorn and the distinctive flat-topped umbrella trees predominate.
Wildlife is especially prolific in the dry season from May to September when daytime temperatures are mild to warm and the nights are cold. On game drives and tracking expeditions led by the San guides you can expect to a variety of wildlife species. Carnivores in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve include lion, leopard, wild dog, cheetah, jackal, caracal, brown hyena and nocturnal predators; herbivores include kudu, giraffe, steenbok, duiker, zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest, eland, ostrich and oryx.
Summer rains arrive - in the form of spectacular thundershowers - at varying times between November and January to herald the birding season with over 200 species recorded including migrants and local rarities.
Self-sufficient adventures through the park require the detailed planning of an experienced guide and at least two vehicles equipped with all necessary off-road features.
Our Most Popular Central Kalahari Tours
19-day Namibia & Botswana Roundabout Safari (Self-drive)
Itinerary Type: Sample
Countries: Botswana, Namibia
Highlights: Central Kalahari, Chobe, Makgadikgadi Pans, Okavango Delta, Caprivi, Damaraland, Etosha, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Windhoek
Our Most Popular Central Kalahari Accommodation
The Central Kalahari is a world apart from the hydrous northern regions of Botswana. Here animals survive for months on end without a drop of water and life follows a gentle, timeless course in a land as old the dinosaurs.
Haina Kalahari Lodge
Our expert review of Haina Kalahari Lodge has not been loaded onto our new website yet. We are working on it.
Our expert review of Deception Valley has not been loaded onto our new website yet. We are working on it.
Kalahari Plains Camp
If you want remote, Kalahari Plains Camp is about as far from anywhere as you can get. The ultimate middle-of-nowhere experience, Kalahari Plains Camp is situated near the centre of one of the world's largest games reserves, itself in the centre of Botswana - one of the world's most sparsely populated countries.
Tau Pan Camp
Our expert review of Tau Pan Camp has not been loaded onto our new website yet. We are working on it.
Where is Central Kalahari Game Reserve?
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