The Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

The Kalahari is one of the planet’s last great wilderness areas, a vast expanse of scrubby dunes far from human habitation. After the rains, the desert springs into life, attracting herds of antelope as well as all manner of predators from handsome black-maned lion to brown hyena, meerkat and honey badger.

Much of this remote, arid terrain is protected within the immense Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with two smaller but no less spectacular national parks to the east. The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park harbours the remnants of a superlake which throughout the year is crusty and dry. In the short green season however, tender young grasses carpet the parched, white landscape sparking Africa’s second-largest terrestrial mammal migration comprised of tens of thousands of zebra.

Smaller Nxai Pan National Park to its north also plays host to the zebra herds and is home to many surreal saltpans as well as stands of millennia-old baobab trees, the most famous being Baines’ Baobabs, named after the English artist and explorer Thomas Baines, thought to have discovered them in the late 19th century.

Quad bike safaris are a popular way to explore the Kalahari, as are game drives in 4×4 vehicles. Walks led by San Bushmen are particularly eye-opening, as visitors are taught age-old survival techniques by guides who have lived for generations in this harsh environment.

Location

The Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Salt Pans Highlights

  • A vast, arid wilderness far from any human settlement
  • Comprised of classic sand dunes and enormous salt pans
  • Transforming into rich grasslands after the rains
  • Hosting Africa’s second-largest terrestrial mammal migration
  • Surreal landscapes dotted with thousand year old baobabs

When To Go

The hot, wet summer months (Nov-Mar) are the most conducive for good gameviewing, as the rains turn sand dunes into lush grasslands, attracting herds of zebra and antelope as well as huge flocks of bird. The cold, dry winter months (Apr-Oct) are best for stargazing and exploring the saltpans, when skies are clearest.

Want to find out more about our Botswana safaris?
Call one of our travel specialists on 1300 363 302.

Contact Us for a Tailor Made Quote Today
Receive Specials Updates

Featured

Kalahari Accommodation

The following are some of the tented camps that we recommend in the Kalahari region. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Camp Kalahari

Comfortable, laid-back Camp Kalahari sits at the very edge of the remote Makgadikgadi Saltpans, offering travellers a unique desert safari experience.

Dinaka

Occupying an exclusive piece of land in the central Kalahari Game Reserve, Dinaka is home to species including the black-maned Kalahari lion and brown Hyena

Jack’s Camp

Award-winning Jack’s Camp sits in the shade of palms amid a giant salt lake which dried up millennia ago, beside Botswana's otherworldly Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

Kalahari Plains Camp

In an exceptionally remote section of the immense Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Kalahari Plains Camp overlooks an enormous white salt pan.

Leroo La Tau

Welcoming Leroo La Tau sits on a cliff beside the Boteti River, an important source of water to many birds and animals especially during Botswana's dry season.

Meno a Kwena

About halfway between the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Okavango Delta, Meno a Kwena offers a diversity of safari experiences from a very scenic, secluded setting.

San Camp

San Camp is a collection of romantic white tents which sit like a mirage beneath a scattering of lofty palms at the edge of a vast, glittering saltpan.

Featured

Botswana Sample Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Botswana experience.

View More

Botswana Overview

What is the best thing to do in Botswana?
Stunning safari experiences; Abundant Wildlife including big cats; Exploring the waterways of the Okavango Delta; Bushmen of the Kalahari; Birding; Mokoro trips.

When is the best time to see Animals in Botswana?
Best during the dry season (May-Oct), but game can be seen year-round in many parts.

What is the Climate in Botswana?
During the winter months of May-Sep days are dry, sunny and dusty with average temperatures of 25°C. Mornings and evenings can be very cold. Temperatures from Oct-Apr (Summer) can be very hot, reaching 38°C, with some rain.

What can I combine Botswana with?
Victoria Falls; the stunning sand dunes of Namibia; cosmopolitan Cape Town; a beautiful beach resort in Mauritius or Mozambique.

How to get to Botswana?
The main gateway to the Delta is Maun. Maun is a popular Delta access point as it is linked by daily air services from Johannesburg, where most visitors begin their Botswana itineraries.

Do I need a Visa for Botswana? Please call us on 1300 363 302 or visit or FAQ page

Do I need vaccinations for Botswana? Please call us on 1300 363 302 or visit or FAQ page

Request our Africa Brochure

By Post
View Online
Download

All of our safaris and tours are tailor made.

Contact us to start customising your African safari.

Contact us