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Covering 52,800 square kilometres – some 9% of Botswana – Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the world’s second largest game reserve. The gently undulating land is dotted with sand dunes and covered with waist-high grass and bush scrub.

Wide, pancake-flat areas of white salt pan seem to merge into the soft blue sky, and the shallow valleys of four fossilized rivers meander through the reserve. With the arrival of the summer rains, large herds of springbok and gemsbok, plus wildebeest, red hartebeest, eland, kudu, warthog and giraffe gather to graze the northern grasslands, accompanied by a host of predators such as brown hyena, wild dog, cheetah, leopard and lion.

The rest of the year, animals are more widespread, adding to the sensation of travelling through an untouched wilderness of unending dimensions. After sunset the brilliance of the star-filled night skies is spellbinding. The main highlights are Deception Valley, with its high concentrations of herbivores during the rainy season, Sunday and Leopard Pans to the north, Passarge Valley, and Piper’s Pan to the south.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: lion, brown hyena, gemsbok, aardwolf, eland
  • Where: Northern Botswana, Botswana

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

From the Kalahari to the Falls

This small group tour, operating with a maximum of seven participants, takes you to the best wildlife reserves in Botswana. Fly from camp to camp and experience safaris by vehicle and on foot in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, Linyanti Reserve, and Victoria Falls at Livingstone.

  • When to go: Nov-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £8,195 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Kalahari in Bloom

Explore some of Botswana’s finest wildlife destinations during the scenic splendour of the green season as the arrival of the rains brings the landscape to life. As the arid plains are rejuvenated, large herds of herbivores gather to graze on the grasslands, followed by a host of predators, including hyena, cheetah and lion.

  • When to go: Oct-Mar
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Tau Pan Camp

Situated inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, this secluded camp offers an excellent safari experience in an idyllic setting. Its elegant rooms all have a private viewing deck, from where it is possible to see various bird species and herds of antelope, zebra and elephant wandering across the plains.