Blood red sky during a sunset at Central Kalahari Grand Reserve

Visit the Central Kalahari

About Central Kalahari

Expanding across 2,500km, the Kalahari is the largest sand basin in the world and home to the immense Central Kalahari Game Reserve. While not being particularly user-friendly due to its challenging terrain and fierce heat, those who dare to explore this region are sure to reap the benefits in the form of some sensational game viewing opportunities. Despite being a desert, this area is inundated with rich vegetation, including acacia trees and silver terminalia sandveldt, both of which contribute to making up the diversity of the landscape. Travelling through this reserve is a must for anyone looking for some completely untouched nature.

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During the summer rains and for a short time once they have finished, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve brims with activity as wildlife flocks to the area. Springboks, wildebeests, lions and giraffes are just some of the animals that come here in search of a spot of hydration and respite from their parched African surroundings. Unfortunately, with no permanent source of water, the park only sees game during that short period of rain. The real treat of exploring here is the feeling of having the entire reserve to yourself.

Historically, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is notably significant. In first instance it was designed to be the resting place of the San Bushmen, a tribe of hunters who were thought of as nomads and who populated this region for around 30,000 years prior to its being opened up to the public. Nowadays, many of the members of this tribe have moved to local villages and settlements. Most, however, have retained their in-depth knowledge of bush survival as it has been passed down through generations.

Central Kalahari Hotels

If you are planning a Central Kalahari holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:

Grasslands Bushman Lodge Central Kalahari

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Lodge

Grasslands Bushman Lodge has been a family run lodge for five generations and has comfortable en-suite chalets. The main complex overlooks a waterhole where a large variety of wildlife can be seen. A large outdoor pool and two dining rooms are further features of the lodge. Meals are prepared throughout the day by the chef and in the evenings guests can watch animals drinking from the nearby water pan. The lodge is situated in a 15,000 hectare private area on the western side of the Reserve and makes an excellent base for excursions.

Haina Kalahari Lodge Central Kalahari

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Lodge

The Haina Kahalari Lodge is a classical African style lodge with luxurious tents, all of which have their own decks. Architecturally, the tents are completely unique as they have been constructed within an arched, slatted canopy. The lodge is in the heart of the Kalahari, bordering the Central Kalahari Game Reserve; about 3 hours drive from Deception Valley. It makes an excellent base for exploring the park in all its glory.

Kalahari Plains Camp Central Kalahari

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: Luxury Lodge

Kalahari Plains Camp comprises canvas units with a sleep-out above each one from which guests can enjoy the night skies. The tents and main area are all raised off the ground to catch the breeze. In the main area there is a swimming pool along with a dining area, where guests often congregate in the evenings. Much of the power that the camp uses is solar-generated, making the camp comfortable and sustainable simultaneously. The camp is beautifully situated on an immense pan just a short drive from Deception Valley.

Tau Pan Camp Central Kalahari

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Lodge

Tau Pan is a luxurious Central Kalahari game lodge in Botswana. This lodge can accommodate up to eighteen guests in thatched, tented suites, which are built on raised wooden decks. The camp is situated on the edge of an ancient sand dune and its elevated position (a rarity in Botswana) means that it has fantastic views over Tau Pan. As one of the first semi permanent camps within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the game lodge has been built with eco-friendly principles in mind and only uses solar power to generate electricity and pump water from deep below the sand.

Other Places to Visit in Botswana

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