It was year 2000 when Botswana and South Africa decided to create the first “transfrontier natural park” in Africa. They unified two national parks already existing, Botswana’s Gemsbok and Southafrican Kalahari Gemsbok. Later on, also Namibia was included in the project, so the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park became a tri-state tourist attraction. Stretching over 3,600,000 ha, this is one of the largest parks in southern Africa.
Its territory is mainly dry and desertic. There are two rivers crossing the Park, Twee river and Nossob river, but they only have water during the rain season (January-March). Otherwise they are dusty and dry as well. The particular characteristics of the region, though, are very interesting and tourists love to visit it and go safari over there. The most beautiful African animals live there, and you can easily admire them in their natural environment.
Kgalagadi, lions in the desert
When tourists think of a lion chasing its prey they imagine it running through grasslands or forests. They have never seen a lion living and hunting in a desert. This is the magic of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Animals living over there got used to the hard climate, to the sun, to the wide, sandy environment. So, in this Park you can really admire lions in a desert. And not only lions.
The red sands of the Kalahari Desert, which is a part of the Park, may hide cheetahs, hyenas, leopards. There are also many herbivores – wildebeests, antelopes, springboks – that are their preys. In the sky fly eagles, vultures and over 200 other species of birds. Lions are the most important animals of the Park. They are widely protected, in fact Kgalagadi is considered a lion sanctuary.
What to do, what to see at Kgalagadi
Safari is the main tourist activity at Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Three camps organized for tourists are set at the three main entrances: Mata Mata, Nossob and Twee. The Twee Camp is the largest and has more services, such as restaurants, shops, cafés, even a petrol station! All camps have lodges or huts for tourists. In the Park you can also stay at the so called “wilderness camps”, that is tents with no services but at direct contact with nature itself. Every camp has one ranger, or more, taking care of it and making sure tourists are always safe.
You can go on excursion in the Kalahari Desert, or go admire wild animals. Tourists can do bird watching or take photos, by following their guides’ advice. Kgalagadi Park is also home to Khomani San and Mier tribes. At the beginning the people were forced to leave the region, but later they were allowed to keep on living over there. They are all gathered at the !Xaus Lodge, which is a very interesting place to visit in order to learn more about these tribes, the oldest of southern Africa.
Information about Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
You can enter the Park from five different gates, though the most important are three: Twee Rivieren, Mata Mata and Two Rivers (Nossob). The main gate is Twee Rivieren, from the Southafrican side. Mata Mata gate is in Namibia. Botswana has three other gates: Two Rivers, Mabuasehube and Kaa.
You have to pay a entrance ticket in order to explore the Park. In Botswana, the fees are about 20 Pulas but they could change according to times and events. For more complete information, contact the rangers at + 267 318 0774 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember! You must always have your passport ready for checking, if you go visit the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Because you might enter the protected area in one Country and move or exit from another one, while exploring. Tourist services as camping, restaurants, lodges and museums could require extra payment.
To get to the Park, you must take a national flight from Gaborone Airport to the local airstrips. The closest is Hukuntsi Lokgwabe Airport, 4-hour drive from the entrance of Mabuasehube.