Central Kalahari

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Introduction

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve was founded in 1961 and is the largest conservation area in the country; at 5 million hectares (12 million acres) it is one of the largest in the world. The reserve was not founded to protect any endangered wildlife species, however to protect the San Bushmen. The aim was to provide a home for the San people in their natural environment and to ensure their survival and preserving their way of life. Located in the centre of Botswana, this reserve is characterised by extensive open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds. Four fossil rivers wind through the arid reserve. Among them is Deception Valley, an old watercourse that wound its way through the Northern Kalahari 16,000 years ago. Today this area is a fantastic game-rich reserve. A variety of grass, acacia, thorn trees and other drought-resistant plants cover most of Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Among the shallow valleys, tsamma melons and gemsbok cucumbers can be spotted, providers of the main source of water for animals and Bushmen during the dry season.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve Game Viewing

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve offers one of the most remote safari experiences in Africa today and is renowned for its incredible wildlife viewing with huge herds of antelope followed by an abundance of predators. With the arrival of the rains during the summer months, from the end of November until April, the desert turns into a wildlife sanctuary. Short grasses sprout in the pan systems and fossil riverbeds and plains game such as springbok, gemsbok and wildebeest congregate in their hundreds and thousands here to feed. This of course attracts predators such as lion and cheetah; in fact the abundance of game at this time of the year also leads to thrilling lion and cheetah hunts to be seen. San Bushman experiences provide insights into the unique and extraordinary culture of these fascinating people.

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