The Kgalagadi Trans-frontier Park is a merger of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana. Most tourism happens on the South Africa side, which has excellent facilities.
The Botswana side only has very basic campsites. The red sand dunes in the inhospitable desert form a magnificent backdrop for wildlife viewing and photography. The park lacks many species found in the lush savannah reserves but offers great predator sightings.
The Kgalagadi is perhaps not the best destination for a first-time safari. It only has two of the Big Five: leopard and lion. Other predators often encountered are cheetah, spotted and brown hyena.
The desert-adapted springbok and gemsbok are the main antelope species. Blue wildebeest, eland and red hartebeest are other herbivores to look out for.
The Kgalagadi has an impressive bird checklist of just over 300 species, but only 102 of those are resident. The park has a fair number of both arid areas and bush veld birds and is particularly renowned for its birds of prey, with 46 species recorded.
Some of the species you can expect to see are black-chested snake eagle, bateleur, white-backed and lappet-faced vulture and tawny eagle. Sociable weavers and their enormous nests are very conspicuous in the park.
Pygmy falcons often live alongside the weavers and share their nests. This interesting co-dependency is currently under study. Migratory birds are present from November to April.
Wildlife viewing is always good in Kgalagadi but its best at the end of the rains (March to May) when animals congregate around the riverbeds.
This makes for easier sightings. However, Kgalagadi gets extremely hot during summer – the cooler winter months (May to September) are the most pleasant.
Where to stay
!Xaus Lodge is a private Safari Lodge in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Set in an isolated corner of the Kalahari Desert, this eco-lodge is owned by the local Khomani San and Mier communities, and commercially managed.
Guests stay on a full-board basis, with all meals, activities and game drives included in the tariff. Activities include wilderness walks with local Khomani San trackers, a visit to the craft village to meet local crafters, game drives and an opportunity to listen to the sunset. Night-sky star-gazing is a highlight of the evening.
!Xaus Lodge is an isolated, desert destination where the emphasis is on experiencing this unique part of the world. Guests stay in chalets on the edge of a large salt-pan and can view game at the waterhole from their private viewing deck. Wilderness walks provide an opportunity to see the smaller details, and give an opportunity to learn about desert life.
The local community owners, the Khomani San and Mier, make up the majority of the staff, and their influences dominate the aesthetics and culinary experience. !Xaus Lodge is a place to experience, and not just observe.
The Kimberley Club offers 21 en-suite bedrooms tastefully decorated with the ambiance of a bygone era. Facilities include all the “modcons” one would expect of a four star boutique hotel.
The Club boasts a member’s bar, lounge and dominoes room, an a-la-carte restaurant, ladies bar, Bistro Cafe, 3 conferencing venues, a reading room and a billiard room. The ideal venue for functions, weddings and conferences. “Modern comfort with old world charm”.
Protea Hotel Kimberley – 4-star elegance in the heart of historical Kimberley. Protea Hotel Kimberley is built on the edge of the famous Kimberley Big Hole.
The centrally situated hotel forms the ideal base from which to enjoy and explore all that historical Kimberley has to offer including museums, war routes and most importantly, the Kimberley Big Hole and Mining Village.
In addition to the town’s rich history, Protea Hotel Kimberley offers elegant dining with a la carte and buffet options for breakfast, lunch and dinner; with room service being available up until 23 h 00.
Relax and unwind after a fun-filled sight-seeing day with a cocktail on the viewing deck or cool off in our unique farm-style dam swimming pool, which both overlook the Big Hole.
The hotel offers secure, modern, quality accommodation in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly and professional STAFF to look after your every need.
Road lodge Kimberley
Adjacent to the Flamingo Casino and Entertainment Centre which includes a 200-seater conference centre, this 90-room hotel is ideally located for travellers doing business or holidaying in the capital of Northern Cape Province.
Boasting a gracious Victorian facade, the hotel blends in with its bygone day surroundings and is just minutes away from everything that Kimberley has to offer.
Kimberley Anne Hotel
We are a modern, boutique hotel in Kimberley in the Northern Cape, and we’re here to give our guests a stay they won’t get anywhere else.
The Kimberley Anne experience starts with our 16 luxury rooms where you’ll get the best night’s sleep on your chosen type of pillow, and it flows through every aspect of your visit here – from our tech-savvy conference and meeting venues, to the fine-dining restaurant and sun downer deck, and a choice of getaway event packages.
Cecil John Rhodes Guest House
Experience the wealth and luxury of yesteryear at this historical property built in 1895. Our eight elegantly decorated rooms are all en-suite with either bath or shower.
We are centrally situated and within walking distance from most of Kimberley’s historical homes and monuments as well as the city’s business centre, shopping malls, art galleries, theatre, private hospitals, Karen Muir swimming pool and restaurants.
We offer a tea garden, which specializes in picnic and have a liquor license. Elri and Lyndon de Meillon are the owners. Our friendly and efficient staff will cater to your every need. Come sit in our shady garden under our beloved mulberry tree and enjoy the sparkle of Kimberley.
Jungnickel Guesthouse is a turn of the century Victorian guesthouse renovated to perfection. The main house at 12 Park roads has 7 rooms. A scrumptious buffet breakfast is served every morning.
All meals are served on request on a fixed menu but must be organized with the staff on duty before 10am. We have an additional premise at 23 and 24 Park Road from the same era with 12 luxurious spacious rooms and breakfast is served on the premises. There is a swimming pool and braai area.
We also have a fully equipped kitchen with laundry facilities and a lounge available for the exclusive use of our guests. All our rooms have dstv, air conditioning, coffee trays, fridges and safe parking behind an electrical fence.
Wi-Fi is available in most of our rooms and all the public areas, at no cost to the guests. We have a wheel chair friendly unit at the main house and we welcome pets and children. Jungnickel’s staff is friendly, professional and always willing to do that little bit more.