park and reserve infoBotswana National Parks & Game Reserves
CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE
The Central Kalahari is a place where you find your soul, where the modern world recedes and you can get in touch with the earth, the sky and the space. Where you are on your own in the wilderness and the stars at night are a canopy of delight. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the 2nd largest conservation area in the world and covers 51,800 km². It was made famous by Mark & Delia Owens who camped in Deception Valley while they researched and wrote “Cry of the Kalahari” in the mid 80’s. The roads are generally firm in the north, except in the rainy season, but sandy in the South. This is 4×4 territory and there are no facilities whatsoever except a few primitive designated campsites. There are gemsbok, eland, wildebeest, springbok, tsessebe and steenbok. Predators encompasses lion, brown hyena, cheetah, leopard and the African wild cat. The reserve is home to many raptor species. CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE is included in Tours 29, 51, 53 & 54
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
Chobe Riverfront is renowned for its game throughout the year. The herds of elephant are among the largest in the world (estimated at 45,000). Huge prides of lions trail the game. Over 450 species of birds have been identified here. The skies are alive with birds of prey and the waters full of herons and waders. The rare African skimmer shoots across the water displaying its acrobatic fishing skills. Hippos and crocodiles lurk on the river edges. Chobe National Park covers 11,700 km². The vegetation varies from the tropical Linyanti swamp to the severe desert-like landscape of Savuti, from lush flood plain grassland to deep sands and woodlands. The animal migrations are dramatic. Zebra and wildebeest migrate in huge herds, eating the Savuti grasses on their way. Other big game animals and the ubiquitous lions follow them as the wet season ends at the beginning of the year. Then the plains heat up in the scorching sun and the animals retreat north under the dramatic sunsets as night approaches. CHOBE NATIONAL PARK is included in Tours 43, 49, 50, 52, 54, 55 & 58
KAA KALAHARI CONCESSION
The Kaa Kalahari Concession lies in the southwest of Botswana and borders on the north of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and is one of the last great unfenced wilderness areas in Southern Africa covering 1,3 million ha. Roughly 800 people live in a few small villages. There are two major ethnic groups; the Bakgalagadi and Basarwa or San. The latter lives here for 3 000 years.
Vast herds of game can still be seen in typical Kalahari veld with rolling grass plains and Acacia woodland. The area is dotted with pans (dry lakes) which fill up with water after good rains in summer and attract large herds of eland, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest, some predators and many birds. Over 50 species of raptors have been recorded here. Kaa Concession is of ecological importance as it is the migratory corridor between the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Central Kalahari Reserve.
The new Kaa Wilderness 4×4 Trail has opened new areas to public and the route passes various pans. KAA KALAHARI CONCESSION is included in Tours 14, 28, 29, 53 & 54
KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK
Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park covers an area of 37 000 square km park, which is one of the largest conservation areas in the world and one of the last truly unspoiled ecosystems.
Endemic game such as gemsbok, springbok, eland, giraffe, blue wildebeest and red hartebeest roam the sparsely vegetated red sand dunes and the dry river valleys of the Nossob and Auob where a variety of acacia species thrive. The Park is well known for good sightings of lion, leopard and cheetah and spotted – and brown hyena are common residents. Because of an abundance of prey in the form of mice, whistling rats, birds and insects, smaller predators thrive in the park. The park is home to caracal, honey badger, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African wildcat, mongoose and the ever-popular suricate (meerkat). KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK is included in Tours 01-14, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29, 32-36, 38-40, 48, 49, 53, 54 & 59-63
KHAMA RHINO SANCTUARY
The sanctuary is situated near Serowe. During the 1980’s, due to indiscriminate poaching, rhinos were made almost extinct in Botswana. In 1992 a community trust wildlife was established to create a park to safeguard the few remaining rhino and to re-establish both black and white rhino populations in the area. This project has been highly successful and the reserve is now flourishing under the protection of the Botswana Defense Force and a dedicated team of conservationists. The reserve is situated on 4,300 hectares of Kalahari sandveld. Rhino share the reserve with giraffe, red hartebeest, ostrich, brown hyena, leopard, jackal, antelope and smaller mammals such as the bat-eared fox, lynx and wild cat. There is also abundant birdlife in the sanctuary with a large variety of raptors. KHAMA RHINO SANCTUARY is included in Tours 51 & 52
KHWAI COMMUNITY TRUST & WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA
The Khwai Community Trust & Wildlife Management Area borders on the northern side of Moremi Game Reserve on the Khwai River and borders on Chobe National Park in the East. This pristine area is rich in wildlife and teems with bird life and is one of the last real wilderness areas in Botswana. Herds of elephant and buffalo come to drink in the Khwai River, home to many hippos and crocodiles. Waterbuck, giraffe, zebra, impala, kudu, roan antelope and red lechwe are common residents. Lions, leopard and spotted hyena are seen often and heard very often at night. Khwai is one of the best birding destinations in Botswana and various raptor sightings are common, with an abundance of bataleur. Ground hornbills, saddle billed stork, wattled crane, various heron species are just some regularly spotted species. KHWAI COMMUNITY TRUST is included in Tours 52, 54, 55, 58 & 64
MAKGADIGADI PANS NATIONAL PARK
Makgadigadi Pans National Park covers an area of 4144 km² and incorporates the northwestern corner of the Ntwetwe Pan. Here you’ll find open grasslands, shimmering pans, groves of palm trees, and lush riverine forest along the Boteti River.
Vast herds of wildebeest and zebra migrate from the grasslands in the east to Boteti River as the pans dry up. Other game species to be seen here are elephant, white rhino, giraffe, gemsbok, kudu, springbok and impala. Predators are lion, cheetah, brown hyena and jackal. MAKGADIGADI PANS NATIONAL PARK is included in Tours 51-55 & 58
MOREMI GAME RESERVE
Moremi Game Reserve is definitely one of the best game reserves within Botswana, offering the visitor a magnificent variety in landscape and marvelous wildlife all year round. Birdwatchers will be amazed! Best game viewing is during the dry season between June and November, when seasonal pans dry out and wildlife concentrates around permanent water resources. Moremi covers a third of the Okavango delta and it includes the Mopane Tongue and a patchwork of lagoons, flooded pans, plains and forests. Moremi was the first Wildlife Sanctuary that was created by an African tribe, the BaTawana tribe. It encompasses 4872 km². One can see large herds of antelope including red lechwe and the rare sitatunga, elephants and buffalo’s. Not far behind are the ubiquitous predators, lions, cheetahs and leopards.
NATA BIRD SANCTUARY
The Nata Sanctuary at Sowa Pan, which is part of the Makgadikgadi Pans, is a community project and one of Botswana’s premier birding destinations. Nata Sanctuary is home to 165 bird species including flamingoes and pelicans. After good rains, hundreds of thousands of globally threatened Lesser Flamingos, along with Greater Flamingos, Chestnut-banded Plovers, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, and a host of other waterbirds converge on the nutrient-rich waters of the pans. As the pan dries out, the Sanctuary hosts the largest congregation of Lesser Flamingos in Southern Africa. NATA BIRD SANCTUARY is included in Tours 49-54
NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK
Nxai Pan National Park, some 2,100 km² in extent, is a combination of dry pans, grassland and thick bush, with clumps of mopane, acacia and baobab trees. The pans in this park also formed part of the ancient vast inland lake. If the rains have been good, the game congregates at the pans near the camping area. Lions are often seen at the edges of these pans. The man made waterhole also attracts game, especially in the early morning and late evening. Large herds of springbok, gemsbok, wildebeest, zebra and eland use this area as breeding ground. When young are being born, predators such as lion, cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena and jackal are plentiful. There are usually large herds of giraffe and other species include impala, elephant, kudu, red hartebeest, brown hyena and bat eared foxes. NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK is included in Tours 51, 53 & 53