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A visit to South Africa's Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

By J.F. Kloppers

One of the largest and driest parks in the world, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is far from lifeless.

The green season usually starts in November and ends around April, with January typically one of the wettest, hottest months. Thunderstorms can be fierce, but usually brief, with midday temperatures averaging at around 35°C. The dry lakes, or pans, in the north of the park will be carpeted with grasses during and just after the rains which, in turn, attract large herds of antelope and predators. The dry season (April/May to Sep/Oct) is generally cooler and can get quite chilly at night so bring warm clothing. Blue skies will be the norm.

You can explore the CKGR with a tour company or as an independent. Most campsites, lodges and game-viewing tracks are situated in the northern sections. Animals are attracted to the artificially pumped waterholes and grassy pans located in the north.

The CKGR gets steadily drier, and emptier, the further south you go. The jeep tracks that pass for roads in the CKGR are often very slow and sandy and the speed limit is 25mph.

If you plan on a self-drive, you’ll have to bring everything from the kitchen sink to the water you intend putting in it. Drive in a convoy because there is often no cellphone signal and no AA to rescue you if you have a breakdown. You can reserve one of 41 campsites by visiting Bigfoot Tours HERE!

Both Tau Camp and Kalahari Plains are upmarket resorts that provide guides, vehicles and full board and lodging as part of their packages. On a mobile safari, also fully catered, you will be accommodated in army-style dome tents. Prices change according to season. Keep an eye out for special offers.

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