Destination/terrain explained

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park straddles the South Africa / Botswana border and is jointly managed by both countries. This southern corner of the Kalahari Desert forms a vast semi-arid savannah known for its red sand and low, acacia-covered dunes. Herds of oryx, wildebeest and springbok are preyed upon by numerous lion, cheetah and the occasional leopard. Sightings are common along the usually-dry riverbeds and the scattered waterholes where the animals congregate.

Highlights of the destination

Although not a Big Five destination, the Kgalagadi is famous for its black-maned lions and there’s a good chance of seeing them even on a short safari. With such open vistas, the opportunities for wildlife photography are excellent, and the incredible landscapes themselves also attract photographers from all over the world. This is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for unspoilt wilderness. There are a number of truly wild 4×4 trails on both the South African and Botswana sides of the border. If you’re interested in experiencing South Africa by 4×4 self-drive, book your vehicle with 4×4 hire South Africa today.

 

Black maned lions are one of the main attractions at Kgalagadi

Practical + driving advice about the destination

The South African park gate is at Two Rivers (or Twee Rivieren). It’s possible to cross directly into Botswana or Namibia from inside the park, but if you wish to do so you’ll need to complete immigration at Two Rivers as you enter. You won’t need a 4×4 unless you’re planning to do one of the 4×4 trails, but a high-clearance vehicle is highly recommended. The roads through the park are all dirt and can be alternately bumpy and sandy in places. Autumn (March to May) is generally the best time to visit, although the park can be beautiful and green in the brief summer rainy season, providing you can handle the +40°C temperatures. The biggest downside, however, is the time needed to get there. The park isn’t on the way to any of South Africa’s most popular destinations but does make an excellent stop on an extended holiday into Botswana or Namibia.