Eight Things you always wanted to know about a Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Posted on September 26, 2017 by in Safaris & Tours Africa

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Where is the Central Kalahari Game Reserve?

In Botswana, there are five reserves that are part of Kgalagadi and the Kalahari Desert:

  • Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Khutse Game Reserve
  • Nxai Pan
  • Makgadigadi Pan
  • Mabuasehube in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Located in a remote part of central Botswana, the wild and mysterious Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the largest of the five; it’s huge, at more than 5 million hectares – most of which is actually inaccessible.

Established in 1961, but mostly closed for the next 30 years or so, the reserve is located in the Kalahari Desert, like most of the country. It’s the second largest game reserve in the world, where you’ll be surprised by harsh desert dunes, fossil rivers and an abundance of wildlife, and it covers 9% of Botswana. The area, known locally as CKGR, is dominated by desert-adapted species, due to the scarce food supply and the fact that there is little to no water to be found.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

An interesting fact about the Central Kalahari Game Reserve…

The indigenous Kalahari Bushmen have lived on the land for thousands of years. Since one of the world’s largest diamond mines was found on the reserve, there have been attempts to relocate the Bushmen, and they have appealed as far as Tibet, to the Dalai Lama himself.

How do I get to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve?

Maun Airport (MUB) is the nearest international airport to the reserve but it’s still a five-hour drive away. While you can use miles to get to MUB (or Gaborone Airport – GBE – which is a 7.5-hour drive), you can’t use miles to fly directly into the park, so you’ll need transfers to get to your safari, too.

Considering a Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari? Mighty Safaris connects you with local tour operators that are up to 70% cheaper. Send our friendly local operators a note. Tour operators are able to include transport, lodging and game drives for you.

Where can I stay in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve?

There are currently only two permanent accommodation options inside the reserve – the Kalahari Plains Camp and the Tau Pan Camp.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

You can also camp on the reserve, as there’s a number of basic public campsites available, at around 120 BWP (US $12) per person per night. Plus there are many lodges, camps, hotels and more lodging choices to be found on the borders of the reserve and in and around Botswana. However, in and near to the reserve, it can easily cost hundreds of US dollars per night for a room.

How much does the Central Kalahari Game Reserve cost?

Entrance to the reserve itself is fairly cheap, with a vehicle levy of 50 BWP (US $5). A guided safari or a guided self-drive safari is recommended, and you’ll need a 4WD vehicle loaded with supplies to show that you will be self-sufficient during your visit. Prepare to be turned away if you don’t have the latter! There is no water in most of the reserve, no cell phone reception, electricity or shops and you won’t be able to find firewood or fuel. The Kalahari can be tough!

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Paying for vehicles, guides and supplies can get expensive, so people often decide on a full day trip safari without the added cost of expensive nearby accommodation.

Considering a Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari? Mighty Safaris connects you with local tour operators that are up to 70% cheaper. Send our friendly local operators a note. Tour operators are able to include transport, lodging and game drives for you.

When should I visit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve?

Between December and March or April, in the wet months (known as the Green Season), you can expect to see large herds of animals. Temperature-wise, some recommend early December or April as the best time to visit. Nevertheless, even in the dry season, you can see many different animals, especially desert-adapted species.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

What are the rules of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve?

As with many reserves, you should follow basic regulations and etiquette to both stay safe and protect the animals while visiting. These include:

  • Observing a speed limit
  • No off road driving
  • No littering
  • No feeding or harassing the wildlife
  • No night driving

What animals can I see on a Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari?

The reserve is home to a large variety of wild animals, so you could see a…

Bat-eared fox

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Oryx

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Zebra

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Wildebeest

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Springbok

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Lion

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Giraffe

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Cheetah

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

Honey badger

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari

You could also see a black-maned lion, warthog, aardwolf, buffalo, black-backed jackal, duiker, eland, brown hyena, gemsbok, meerkat and so much more.

What are you waiting for?!

Considering a Central Kalahari Game Reserve Safari? Mighty Safaris connects you with local tour operators that are up to 70% cheaper. Send our friendly local operators a note. Tour operators are able to include transport, lodging and game drives for you.