Safaris to the Kalahari Desert Botswana

Kalahari Desert

Does the idea of a complete safari package holiday to the Kalahari in Botswana thrill you? Imagine complete disconnection from real life and total immersion in a silent yet vibrant wilderness? We will book your full itinerary online and Voyage2Africa has all the lodge and camp information at your fingertips to plan your successful trip to the Kalahari Desert in style.  

Let us take you there – to the Central Kalahari National Park deep in the heart of Botswana. Let us show you the magnificence of a wildlife destination famous for its superb extremes and awe-inspiring African splendour. Because we know that a safari in the Kalahari is the ultimate wildlife adventure. And you can be the celebrity in the show – the intrepid traveller who gets to experience these immense open spaces, extensive shallow empty pans, and extraordinary, stark beauty! 

Kalahari in Tswana comes from the word Kgala meaning “the great thirst”, or Kgalagadi meaning “a waterless place”. The Kalahari is covered with dry red sandy dunes so it is hard to believe that the magnificent Okavango Delta is part of this region – the only permanent river in the northwest surrounded by exquisite marshes rich in wildlife.

Did you know?

The Kalahari is made up of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Khutse Game Reserve and Tswalu Kalahari. Catch the mind-blowing sight of thousands of pink flamingos wading in the shimmering Makgadigadi Pans during the wet season!

Highlights

  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park straddles the fence free South African Kalahari Gemsbok and Botswana Gemsbok National Parks
  • Vast yawning spaces of semi-desert habitat hosts more plants and animals than a true desert, especially lush grasslands after good rains
  • Surreal sightings of large predators such as the black-maned lion, cheetah, leopard, spotted hyena, brown hyena, African wild dog or painted wolf, and charismatic birds of prey
  • The San people (Bushmen) still hunt wild game with bows and poison arrows and gather edible plants, such as berries, melons and nuts, as well as insects.
  • Huge herds of zebra leave the Kalahari when the rains start in November, in the longest terrestrial wildlife migration in Africa! Go and find them at Nxai Pan where they end up for drinking and feeding.

Silent Haven of the Bushmen

Nothing prepares you for the sheer solitude, the deafening silence or the raw pulse of the Kalahari where you leave only footprints. Come with us to discover this exceptional sweeping region, founded in 1961 as a sanctuary for the indigenous San people, to preserve their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life. Meet the San who have lived here for more than 20 000 years collecting berries, melons, nuts and edible plants, hunting wild animals with bows and arrows and living in tune with nature. 

It is not surprising that the Kalahari is incredibly important to Botswana’s national heritage and has become a much-loved space for ecotourism initiatives, luxury lodges and impressive safari camps under the stars. This semi- desert region covers around 80% of Botswana, extending into both Namibia and South Africa.

Family Holidays in the Desert

Take your family on a breath-taking holiday in the desert – a Kalahari safari is the ultimate bush getaway in Botswana for all ages!   Choose uber luxury lodges or rustic canvas tented camps and take the kids into nature where the enormous spaces and starry skies will seem magical and fantastical. Imagine 4×4 game drives off the beaten tracks and the giggle of a hyena at dusk? Some premium safari lodges offer hot air ballooning, guided walks to find meerkats and things, real desert sleepouts and walks with the Bushmen to learn how they forage and tack animals for miles in the sandy terrain.  Family Kalahari holidays are a time to be active and to be quiet, a time to chat and a time to listen. Nature beckons.  So browse our Kalahari packages here now.

Huge open Spaces and Big Skies

Your customised safari in the Kalahari takes you on a wildlife adventure into the largest remote game reserve in southern Africa embracing an extensive 52 800 square km!  Feel as if you are completely alone in paradise thanks to the very real impression of limitless space in nature.

It is time to explore this desert environment – the Kalahari Desert is about vast open plains, saltpans, and ancient riverbeds as far as the eye can see. It’s time to be part of incredible game viewing and intense solitude. Imagine a landscape covered in sun burnished tall grasses, stunted trees dotted around and scrubby bushes everywhere. Imagine giant empty pans waiting something, your arrival maybe, and a jaw dropping sky filled with blue space in the day and brimming with shiny stars at night. Feel the urgency, the authenticity and the rawness of nature in her prime. This is the Kalahari!

Brilliant Game Viewing

Game viewing in the Kalahari Desert is wild – drive off the beaten track to see extraordinary herds of delicate herbivores such as springbok, gemsbok (oryx), red hartebeest and wildebeest grazing on the dune belt where some plants grow. Look out for carnivores like the famous black-maned lions from this region which roam the plains with their cousins the leopard, and the brown hyena. You may be lucky to see the largest concentration of cheetah in Southern Africa.

Plan your safari to the Kalahari during and shortly after good summer rains if you want to immerse yourself in mind-blowing teeming herds of plains game. Photographic opportunities abound with the new growth of unique sand veldt, Kalahari sand acacias, and Kalahari apple leaf scattered into golden grasslands that meet the daunting blue of the horizon.

A must visit destination in this astounding Botswana destination has to be Deception Valley, located in the north. Huge, dense concentrations of herbivores gather to feed on the sweet grasses that shoot up into the sky after delicious rains. Synchronicity means opportunistic predators lying in wait so there will be loads of action for wildlife enthusiasts and never a dull moment! Choose a rustic Kalahari campsite for your stay and enjoy the rawness of the wilderness on your huge Botswana escapade.

Hot Summers, Tranquil Winters

Summer is hot in the Kalahari Desert, but this is also the season of life when the rains come. The Kalahari climate is described as ‘subtropical’ making it less hot than the Sahara Desert further north. Enjoy average temperatures of 18-29 degrees C while extreme heat can reach 40 degrees C too. Safari enthusiasts head to the northern Deception Valley after the rains to celebrate the sight of sweet grassy plains, drawing huge herds of gorgeous herbivores. This short season brings a burst of wonder and rejuvenation to the region, food for the animals and exceptional visual delights for all visitors. Enjoy thrilling thunderstorms that replenish the huge subterranean water reservoirs under some of the Kalahari for example, there is an underground lake called Dragons Breath Cave!

Come in the long dry winter months to interact with the San people and experience the still tranquillity of the chilly desert. Most tourists like to see the Kalahari in the rainy season because the animals then congregate in the open plains. But the rest of Botswana is best in the drier months, from April to October. 

The Best of the Best Safaris in the Kalahari

Plan a Botswana tour and safari with Voyage2Africa, the African travel experts, and enjoy signature experiences to premier wildlife destinations south of the equator. We bring you thrilling adventures in the infinite spaces of the Kalahari, Mgadigadi Pans and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. We offer you the best of the best safari accommodation in and around Kalahari Central National Park, in lavish lodges, family resorts, modern hotels, eco villas and rustic wild campsites in nature.  Take a look at some beautiful bush camps here for starters. 

Proceed Booking