The Kalahari

A spectacular contrast to the lush Okavango

The Kalahari is the dominant ecosystem in Botswana.  Whilst influences of wetlands and monolithic rock formations are evident and important, the baseline environment is Kalahari Desert and this takes many different forms. A desert safari offers a fascinating contrast to the lush Okavango- both in both environment and game viewing. Despite the strikingly different landscapes these areas are easily combined in an itinerary and showcase Botswana’s amazing diversity. A delta and desert safari offers an fantastic array of different activities too – the desert opens up more unusual and exciting activities. The Kalahari is also the best place for an authentic San Bushman experience.

The Kalahari is a not a typical desert with the dunes often associated with this harsh environment. Instead it is an arid landscape that is mainly defined by areas of grassland, bush scrubland and the lunar like Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. These harsh desert landscapes provide an incredibly interesting contrast to the lush Okavango Delta and add wonderful variety to any safari itinerary. The desert adapted wildlife is remarkably different to the Okavango and so too are the activities available. As well as traditional morning and afternoon game drives many camps also offer sleepouts and cultural activities such as bushman walks and village visits. Quad biking is available in the Makgadikgadi as well as visits to habituated meerkat colonies which are a delight to visitors of any age.

Protected wildlife and wilderness areas throughout the classic Kalahari region include The Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Nxai and Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and Reserves, Khutse Game Reserve and the jointly managed Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (also referred to as Mabuasehube-Gemsbok National Park on the Botswana side).

Accommodation in this Area

From $1500 per person

Tswalu Kalahari

An oasis of luxury in the striking southern reaches of the Kalahari desert. Tswalu is set on the largest private game reserve in South Africa, bordering Botswana, and offers one of the most exclusive safaris in Africa. This outstanding wilderness is shared between just two lodges, Tswalu Motse and Tswalu Tarkuni. Undulating dunes and savannah grasslands lie between dramatic mountain ranges, explored on horseback, 4x4 or on foot.

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From $370 per person

Tsau Hills

On a private concession in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, at the foot of Tsau Hills, this camp promises awe-inspiring views over this semi-arid region. Tsau will offer an active desert experience, with day and night game drives, horseback riding, walking as well as fly camping – allowing guests to fully explore the concession. A great opportunity to get up close and personal on foot in the Kalahari.

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From $1500 per person

Bushways Safaris

The long established Bush Ways Safaris provide a variety of mobile safari adventures across northern Botswana and the Okavango Delta. Bushways offer three mobile safari types, semi participation, fully serviced and accommodated safaris, covering a variety of itineraries and provide a cost effective way of visiting northern Botswana. Bush Ways Safaris also offer private and tailored safaris.

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From $610 per person

Tau Pan Camp

With impressive views of the vast Kalahari plains, Tau Pan Camp stands on a sand ridge deep in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and offers a fascinating desert safari experience. This comfortable lodge overlooks a permanent waterhole which allows constant game viewing right from the viewing deck. Explore this huge, wild and remote reserve with morning and afternoon game drives, or experience the desert through the eyes of the san bushman on informative walks.

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From $1795 per person

Jack’s Camp

One of Africa’s most famous camps, Jack’s Camp rises like an oasis of luxury from among the lunar like Makgadikgadi Pans. Elegantly styled to capture the sense of adventure of the original explorers without compromising on comfort, Jack’s Camp is unique in style and experience-with some of the most original desert experiences in Africa available. Exploring by 4x4, on foot, quad bike or even horseback- the secrets of the desert are revealed by some of the best guides in the business.

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From $1495 per person

San Camp

The breath- taking Makgadikgadi Pans form the backdrop for impressive and elegantly- styled San camp. Fringed by palm trees with sweeping views over the salt pans, San Camp is an achingly romantic and truly enchanting Bedouin-style oasis in the Kalahari. This chic camp offers a luxurious desert safari and an impressive range of exciting activities- with day and night game drives, san bushman walks, meerkat visits, quad biking and much more.

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From $620 per person

Camp Kalahari

On the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, beneath the rattling palms on Hyena Island, lies Camp Kalahari. This is a simple and relaxed camp with buckets of charm and an ideal base for guests exploring the Kalahari salt pans. The desert safari experience here is excellent, with a captivating list of activities including game drives, San bushman walks, quad biking and meerkat visits. Popular with all looking for something different, especially families.

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From $1000 per person

Feline Fields

Feline Fields is a beautiful boutique lodge, an oasis in some of Botswana’s most remote and harsh landscapes. Great thought has gone into every detail offering the very highest level of luxury and service. It offers a unique and spoiling experience and a wonderful variety of activities there is something for everyone here- nature lovers, culture vultures, sports enthusiasts and spa seekers. One of the best and most authentic San Bushman experiences is found here.

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From $545 per person

Dinaka Camp

Dinaka is a classic luxury tented camp set on a large private reserve on the border of the stunning Central Kalahari Game Reserve offering an exciting range of activities. The game viewing here makes for a fantastic contrast to that of an Okavango safari and really showcases the variety of Botswana's wildlife. Dinaka is a smart, well -run camp offering game drives, san bushman walks, a photo hide and sleepout options thereby ensuring a complete and well-rounded desert safari experience.

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