The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is Botswana’s biggest reserve and is situated in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. This is pure, untrammelled wilderness.
The inhospitable desert habitat doesn’t support the wide variety of safari animals found in greener destinations – but sightings in this arid landscape are special.
The desert environment doesn’t support the full range of species that we think of as typical safari animals. It is, however, possible to see large concentrations of herbivores, such as blue wildebeest, oryx and springbok, as they are attracted to the water-filled pans in Deception Valley after the rains.
Eland, greater kudu and red hartebeest can be found in smaller numbers, and following this migration are the black-maned Kalahari lion and cheetah.
The Central Kalahari offers good bird watching. Over 250 species have been recorded, and the park is particularly good for raptors due to the high volume of small animals for them to feed on.
Some of the big ground dwelling birds to look out for are ostrich, secretary bird and kori bustard. Smaller bustards, such as black bustard and red-crested bustard are common as well.
Central Kalahari can be visited throughout the year. The park is seasonal, and wildlife migrates through the park with the seasons.
The best time for wildlife viewing is during the wet months, from December to March, when animals congregate around the pans in the Deception Valley area.
However, at this time, roads can get very muddy, and some roads might become off limits. In April and May, there are still a lot of animals around, but the roads tend to be in better condition.
Where to stay
Deception Valley Lodge
Deception Valley Lodge is an oasis in the Kalahari. Experience the Kalahari with Bushman at hand, to share their knowledge, while you can relax in total luxury at this unique destination. At Deception Valley Lodge you can experience the vastness of the Kalahari while enjoying the bird life or star gazing at night.
Haina Kalahari Lodge
The setting of Haina Kalahari Lodge is classically African, relaxed and informal. The Boma consists of a lounge, dining room and bar area with a swimming pool, sun deck, well-appointed bar and an expansive eating area. The Lodge accommodates up to 20 guests in luxury tents which are all private with their own decks.
Bigfoot currently maintains and manages the following campsites within the Central Kalahari – Passarge Pan, Sunday pan, Lekhubu Pan, Letiahau, Piper Pans and Motopi. They are kept clean and neat at all times. Each campsite can take upto 6 people with a maximum of 3 vehicles.
Dinaka Safari Lodge
Dinaka offers an explosion of colourful birdlife, herds of graceful antelope, and prides of Africa’s fiercest predators – amongst them the Kalahari black-maned lion.
A small lodge of only 6 tents, Dinaka Safari Lodge is able to provide you with real home comforts without losing its authentic bush feel