Land of the Bushmen | Travel Guide to the Central Kalahari
With unending space stretching out in front of you for as far as the eye can see, Botswana's Central Kalahari is the second largest game reserve in the world and the most remote game reserve in Southern Africa.
The ExperienceA popular safari destination, a visit to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve offers excellent game viewing opportunities including sightings of Cheetah, Wild Dog and Leopard. The large safari tents add an element of rustic sophistication making you feel like you really are staying in the middle of nowhere. The walk with the Bushmen is a must-do experience to learn how these friendly locals survive in the environment - a wonderful way to gain insight into a different culture.
ActivitiesThe Kalahari is a desert landscape that is the home of the hunting and gathering Kalahari Bushmen. A must-do activity while in exploring the region is to interact with these native people, learning about their customs and traditions, how they survive in this seemingly uninhabitable environment and listening to their tales of exhilaration hunts and tales of times long past in their enthusiastic clicking language. Aside from the interactions with the Bushmen, visitors can enjoy a variety of other activities ranging from guided game drives with enthusiastic guides to horse riding game viewing excursions. Guided Rhino tracking walks provide an exciting adventure and interesting insight into these magnificent giants of the African bush. A visit to the nearby predator protection project is also highly recommended. Visitors will also be able to enjoy Botswana's signature activity, a boat ride on a traditional mokoro.
HighlightsTaking up around 80% of Botswana, the Central Kalahari is huge and offers visitors the opportunity to explore a land unaltered by the modern world and tourists, where the Bushmen hunt for their prey and live off the land. Due to its massive size, the Central Kalahari offers game animals the chance to migrate as they once did many years ago moving from area to area with the changing seasons. The northern region of the reserve literally abounds with huge herds of game roaming across massive expanses of land from empty water pans to open flat grasslands. A night the clear sky is painted pitch black and lit up by millions of millions of stars that twinkle down as you gaze up into space for hours on end, soaking up the silence of the African bush.
AccessVisitors to the Central Kalahari can enter the reserve through three main points of entry, namely; Khutse in the south, Xade in the west andMatswere in the northeast. The majority of the game animals are found in the northern regions of the reserve making the Matswere entrance the most popular entrance. The reserve is strictly, and for a very good reason, 4X4 only country and visitors are advised that there is very very little human traffic through the reserve, and one will need to be highly competent at 4X4 driving and completely self-sufficient throughout the visit. All bookings for the reserve need to be made in advance through the Botswana Wildlife reservations or Botswana Tourism offices. There are a number of safari packages to choose from should you wish to explore this incredible destination.
AirportThe closest airport it Maun airport.From Maun visitors can drive to the various access points. From Maun visitors can also arrange a chartered flight into the Central Kalahari. The flight from Maun to Deception Valley takes 45 minutes.
ClimateThe Central Kalahari Game Reserve is located in a region that experiences two seasons; a dry season and a wet season. The southern part of the reserve is the driest part and it is very susceptible to drought. The northern region has more rain, with annual rain fall occurring between November and March. The rainy or green season is also the season when the migration occurs and huge herds of game can be seen moving across the plains. Hot, dry winter months occur between May to October.
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