botswana kalahari safaris

 

The kalahari and makgadikgadi pans

The Kalahari

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is Botswana’s biggest reserve and is situated in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. This is pure, untrammeled wilderness. The inhospitable desert habitat doesn’t support the wide variety of safari animals found in greener destinations – but sightings in this arid landscape are special.

  • Adventurous wilderness destination

  • Off-the-beaten-track and little visited

  • Stunning desert scenery

  • Chance to see striking Kalahari black-maned lions

Big herds of desert-adapted antelope, such as springbok and oryx, can be seen walking along the dunes. Predators are easy to spot on the plains. The Kalahari black-maned lions are particularly stunning, and cheetah thrive in this open country. Lucky visitors might even come across a pack of wild dogs and a solitary honey badger.

For prime wildlife viewing and fewer crowds, you should avoid the driest times of year and visit in the Wet season (November to March). Besides the low-season prices, this is also when animals make the most of the returning rain by gathering around the pans in Deception Valley. The trade-off is that some roads can turn into muddy bogs.

Makgadikgadi

If you want to explore something completely different, then you will want to visit the famous Makgadikgadi Pans, a vast, mainly dry area of grassland, sparse savanna and saline lake beds situated roughly 120 miles to the southeast of Maun.  There are some great tented safari lodges like Camp Kalahari and the famous and original Jack’s Camp (both camps are operated by Natural Selection) Transfer is by charter plane for the one hour plus flight to / from the lodges. The views are spectacular from the plane.   The arid, wide open landscapes of Makgadikgadi come as a total contrast to the Okavango Delta region at Moremi and savanna landscapes of Khwai, Savuti and the Chobe River that you will experience during your expedition. This is a semi-desert region and for much of the year the huge saline pans are dry, fringed by grasslands and areas of dry bush country. 

One of the highlight of visiting MakgadiKgadi pans are the groupsof habituated Meerkats. These little guys are unafraid of humans that you can actually visit them at their den, or follow them closely as they forage through the grasslands. They are not only tame enough to let you photograph them from just 2-3 feet away if you want (you can get great wide angle view shots) but they will, if you kneel or sit, climb up on your back, shoulders or head to get better views of their surroundings ! You can even stand up while they remain at their post.  One of them will act as a lookout and prefer an elevated position to get that perfect vantage point. 

Nxai Pans


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