With 52,000 km2 the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the world‘s second largest protected area and one of the most remote and pristine areas in Africa. Nothing prepares you for the immensity of this reserve, nor its wild, mysterious beauty. There is an immediate impression of unending space and of having the entire reserve to yourself.
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is characterized by dense bush land, interspersed with open saltpans and grasslands, dotted with occasional sand dunes. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is mostly famous for its ancient fossil river beds, which form valleys through the bush of which Deception Valley is the most famous.
Generally, the Kalahari is not the place to see large herds of animals, but is rather a place for a high diversity of highly-specialized desert species. gemsbok and springbok are mainly seen, but also smaller herds of hartebeest, eland, wildebeest, giraffe, kudu and ostriches. The selection of predators is very diverse including the famous black-maned Kalahari lions, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs, brown hyenas, caracals, African wildcats, black-backed jackals, bat-eared foxes and cape foxes. The adaptability of the different desert species becomes obvious during the extremely dry winter months.
Game viewing in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is best during and shortly after good summer rains in the rainy season (November – March) as the harsh landscape turns into a flourishing paradise and rain water accumulates in seasonal waterholes on the pans. This is the opposite to most of the rest of the country, and while it is still an amazing wilderness experience in the dry season it is definitely for those seeking remoteness rather than wildlife during this time.