The Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park is located in Southern Africa, in a large sand-filled basin known as the Kalahari, the meaning in Kgalagadi is ‘the land which dried up’. The park is a wildlife reserve and covers parts of both South Africa and Botswana. The park is 38 000 km, 3/4 of the park is Botswana land and 1/4 is South Africa’s land. Kalahari National Park is made up of red sand dunes, very little vegetation and a few trees and little rivers or streams.
The National park has many animals like, mammals, birds and reptiles. The most amazing animals to see would be, lions, hyenas, cheetahs and leopards. The most common animals that are seen are, wildebeest, springbok, eland and vultures.
I think that the national park was amazing but very dry. I thought that the lions with the black manes were also very cool. We saw a female lion trying to get into some sot of animal like maybe a tortoise.
After leaving Windhoek we arrived in the Kalahri Transfrontier Park, as we first entered we watched a string of giraffes slowly ambling along with the red desert sands in the background. There had been recent rain, so there was new fluorescent green grass. There was also herds of springbok, which kept us entertained with their bouncing around and headbutting. Its amazing how both the giraffes and springbok blended so well into the Kalahari colours.
Giraffes ambling along
Herds of very cute springbok
Twee Rivieren Campsite
We got up bright and early for a game drive. There was much excitement when we spot this small group of adolescent lions.
Everyone was amazed as we came across a second pride of lions that had not one, but two male lions with the black manes. There seemed to be no animosity between the males. One of the male lions relaxed beside a female with two young cubs, it almost looked like Dad was on babysitting duty while mum slept.
Nearby the first male was a second one, he seemed quite happy to relax on his own.
We had one very curious adolescent lion who seemed to spot Max and Ava in the RV sitting on the main bed looking out the window. He/she was quite keen to get a closer look.
Another lion found what at first glance looked like a coconut but was actually a tortoise curled up in its shell. She eventually gave up and left it alone. It was still alive.
As there had been recent rain, there wildflowers out in parts of the park.
We did an organised game drive on our last night at the park. It was a little disappointing as we had hoped the guide would know great spots to find some of the big game animals. We did see this brown hyena, which was the first one we had seen in southern Africa and very different to the ones mum and dad had seen in eastern Africa.
Tourist Information on the Kalahari Transfrontier Park
Cost for Conservation and Entry Fees:
- South African residents: Adults – $82, Children -$41
- SADC residents: Adults – $164, Children – $82
- Foreign visitors: Adults – $328, Children – $164
Opening Hours – The gate opening and closing hours vary each month. To find out the monthly times use this web address: https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kgalagadi/tourism/get_there.php#gate
Accommodation: Below is a brief outline of the accommodation available in the park, for more information on the cost and to book click here.
- Twee Rivieren – Accommodation includes family cottages, chalets and campsites. Facilities include a shop, fuel, restaurant, information centre and pool. The campsite also has 24hr electricity and cell phone reception.
- Mata-Mata Rest Camp – Located on the western side of the park and borders Namibia. Accommodation includes chalets, family chalets and campsites. Facilities include swimming pool, shop and fuel facilities. The camp has electricity for 16 hours a day, but no cell phone reception.
- Nossob Rest Camp – Located on the dry riverbed of the Nossob. Accommodation includes two guesthouses, cottages and campsites. Facilities include a swimming pool, information centre, shop and fuel. The campsite has electricity for 16 hours a day but no phone reception.
- Bitterpan – Accessible by 4 x 4 only and guests must be over 12 years of age. The camp is unfenced. There is no shop or fuel facilities at the site and guests need to bring their own water and firewood.
- Grootkolk – The campsite is in the dunes overlooking a waterhole. Guests must be over the age of 12 as the campsite is unfenced. Accommodation includes 4 x 2 bed chalets. Facilities include a commnal kitchen and braai.
- Kalahari Tented Camp – Located 3 km from the Mata-Mata Rest Camp. Guests must be over the age of 12 as the campsite is unfenced. Accommodation includes luxury honeymoon tent, 4 family tents (two beds and a stack bed), 10 two bed tents. Facilities include a swimming pool, waterhole, although there are no shops or fuel onsite, they can be accessed from the Mata-Mata Rest Camp 3 km away. Guests need to bring own drinking water and firewood. There is gas for hotwater and cooking and solar for lighting.
- Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp – Located 50 km from Twee Rivieren in a sunken sand dune. As the camp is unfenced guests must be over 12 years of age. Accommodation includes 3 dune cabins and 1 cabin adapted for mobility impaired. Each cabin has two single beds, bathroom and kitchen. Campsite uses gas for hotwater and for fridge/freezer, solar for lights and has braai facilities. There is no shop or petrol supplies the closest place for them is at Twee Rivieren. Guests must bring own drinking water and firewood.
- Urikaruus Wilderness Camp – Located 72 km from Twee Rivieren on the road to Mata-Mata. Accommodation is in one of the 4 riverside stilted cabins. EAch cabin has two single beds, bathroom and kitchen. The fridge/freezer and hot water are run on gas and the lights run from solar power. Braai facilities are available. There is no shops or fuel station, the closed to ones are at Twee Rivieren. Guests must bring own drinking water and firewood.
- Gharagab Wilderness Camp – located on the far northern region of the park. Guests must be over 12 years of age as the campsite is unfenced. The camp is accessible by 4 x 4 only. Accommodation includes 4 log cabins, each with two single beds, bathroom and kitchen. The fridge/freezer and hot water is run on gas and there are solar powered lights. Braai facilities are available. There are no shops or fuel facilities at the campsite, the closest ones are at Nossob, 164 km away. Guests must bring own drinking water and firewood.
- !Xaus Lodge – The lodge is run by the Khomani San and Mier communities. Accommodation includes 24 bed thatched safari lodge, overlooking a large salt pan. Facilities include a plunge pool and curio shop. Guides are available for walking tours and game drives. You can also meet the bushmen. For information and booking for this privately owned lodge, click on the link here.
Official Website: https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kgalagadi/