Holidays to Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

Spanning 52,800 square kilometre, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the world's second largest game reserve. Located in the heart of Botswana's Kalahari Desert, it was founded in 1961 to protect the San Bushmen who have called the reserve home for thousands of years. Today, this expansive national park offers some of the best game viewing in Africa.

The remote reserve is home to a vast array of wildlife including South African giraffes, white rhinos, Cape wild dogs, ostriches, baboons, impalas, leopards, cheetahs, warthogs, and the unique Kalahari black-maned lions. In addition to enjoying spectacular game drives, visitors have the opportunity to interact with local bushmen who, although granted the right to reside here by the Botswana government, are banned from practising their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

Travelling here requires some self-sufficiency given the complete lack of phone coverage, fuel, electricity and water, and the fact that large predators sometimes venture through unfenced camp sites. Visitors are, therefore, recommended to safari with an experienced guide, and night drives are prohibited. Intrepid visitors have the choice of camping in the park in one of the demarcated camp sites or in one of the two lodges inside the park boundaries. Due to the remote landscape it's unlikely you'll come across other people for days at a time, so visitors must be equipped with emergency supplies. But as long as you're prepared, Central Kalahari Game Reserve offers one of the most life-changing safari adventures on the planet.

Spotting game is only part of the action. Along with its extensive open plains and ancient riverbeds, the Reserve is home to four fossil rivers (some of which are 16,000 years old) and, since 2014, a diamond mine operated by Gem Diamonds that's estimated to be home to billions of dollars worth of diamonds. At night-time, enjoy amazing sunsets over the vast plains, before settling back and watching the glittering night sky lit up by trillions of stars.

With its pristine wilderness and untamed areas of natural beauty, Central Kalahari Game Reserve offers a rare chance to switch off from the world and enjoy total solitude. It's a unique safari experience and an escape from modern life.


  • See the famous Kalahari black-maned lions

  • Interact with native bushmen

  • Explore vast open plains and ancient riverbeds

  • See the night sky lit up by trillions of stars

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I was lucky enough to celebrate my 30th birthday in Botswana. Boating along the Delta waters spotting amazing birdlife, champagne in hand, is definitely one of my fondest birthday memories.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve trip ideas

Map of Central Kalahari Game Reserve

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