The Kalahari is an epic wilderness draped across Southern Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Amidst this desert, you will find abundant lion prides, migrating zebra, iconic oases, shimmering salt pans, and the Okavango Delta, for this is no ordinary desert. It’s a clash of nature’s forces, a complex cycle of life that baffles scientists and safari-goers alike. The Kalahari is an icon of our world, a fable of mystique that offers some of Africa’s finest and most intimate safari experiences.
- Traverse the realms of the mighty Kalahari, exploring six game reserves and national parks in 11 days
- Game drive across the phenomenal scale of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a symbol of the desert’s inspiring battle between predators and prey
- Be baffled by the enormity of the Makgadikgadi, the largest salt pan in the world, a shimmering expanse of white that’s larger than Switzerland
- Find ungulate herds and hungry predators on the Nxai Pan, mammals wandering across the whiteness and past the baobab trees
- Start the adventure in the Khutse Game Reserve, a relaxed luxury introduction to the big game action
- Explore the waterways of the greatest desert oasis, traditional canoe safaris taking you through the Okavango Delta
- Discover the wildlife abundance of Moremi, a lush game reserve in the heart of the Okavango that challenges definitions of the desert
- Complete the safari in the northern periphery of the Kalahari, lounging beside rivers filled with antics of hippos and elephants
TRIP AT A GLANCE
(Day 1): Khutse Game Reserve – Inspiring Game Drives and Big Game Action
(Days 2 – 3): Central Kalahari Game Reserve – Lost in the Epic Scale of the Kalahari Wilderness
(Day 4): Central Kalahari Game Reserve – People of the Kalahari
(Day 5): Makgadikgadi Pans National Park – The World’s Largest Salt Pan
(Day 6): Nxai Pan National Park – Big Game Amidst the Baobabs
(Days 7 – 8): Moremi Game Reserve – Exploring the Evocative Okavango Delta
(Days 9 – 10): Selinda Game Reserve – The Abundant Northern Periphery of the Kalahari
(Day 11): Selinda to Maun – Departure
The Kalahari stretches across the heart of Southern Africa, a mighty desert that’s larger than all but 30 countries on the planet. It’s laced with contradiction and complexity. Water flows freely, forming oases that attract thousands of migrating herds. Yet, it also evaporates, leaving behind salt pans that shimmer far beyond the horizon. In some places you will find a great baobab tree with a black-maned lion pride lazing beneath it. At others, the grassland flourishes from nowhere, bringing the perennial battles of predator and prey. This great desert is an icon of our planet, an ethereal expanse that baffles scientists and bewitches visitors. For nothing is ever static here, even though it rarely rains. Life flows through the ecosystem and even in the midst of Southern Africa’s drought, you’ll find its finest abundance of big game.
Such a gargantuan destination cannot be explored in a day. The Kalahari is larger than the United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, and Portugal – combined. It would take a week to discover the dramatic changes and even longer to appreciate the subtleties. This unique 11-day itinerary traverses the Kalahari from south to north, immersing you in six national parks and game reserves. You’ll travel from the classic scorched desert tones of Khutse and the Central Kalahari, through the salt pans of Makgadikgadi and Nxai, then into the Okavango Delta and the reserves of Moremi and Selinda. Along the way, you’ll meet all the characters, from thunderous elephants to indigenous bushmen with lifestyles unchanged for 40,000 years. You’ll follow the migratory routes, admiring how the herds follow the lines of water through the desert on big game safari for 11 days. While a desert doesn’t normally suggest wildlife abundance, this is the Kalahari, and it’s one of Africa’s most iconic safari destinations.
Each reserve offers a very different landscape and habitat introducing a very different collection of animals and safari atmosphere. In reserves to the south, you’re mostly on game drives, touring the waterholes and finding the predators that roam across large realms. These are landscapes trodden mostly by nomads; by following their footsteps, discover the iconic battles for survival in the desert. The salt pans are havens for specialists, unusual sights framed against the baffling landscape. Moremi, in the Okavango Delta, is a place of wonderful abundance, although you’ll need to look through the flourishing grasslands. Think hippos, leopards, other predators, and a dazzling collection of ungulates. In Selinda, the landscape blurs into woodland, a haven for thousands of elephants and giraffe. But this is just a simplistic overview; the Kalahari delights in its complexities and animals appear in every place you that wouldn’t expect.
Such an expressive landscape also enables an inspiring collection of safari activities. Walk with San bushmen and inspect the intricate clues. Game drive all day and stop for lunch next to quarreling hippos. Softly paddle through the Okavango on traditional mokoro canoes. Drive at night in your ATV across the pans, and spend every evening watching nature’s show from your luxury camp. Micro flights connect many of the reserves, reducing travel time and continuing the sublime aesthetics. And while this is the desert and the wilderness, there’s a comforting level of opulence at some of Southern Africa’s finest camps.
- Cultural / Cultural Activities / Educational / World Heritage Sites / Leisure / Photography / Scenic Drive / National Park / Reserve / Nature / Outdoor Adventures / Safari / Wildlife