Kalahari Region

Why Go

Visit the Botswana’s Kalahari reserves

The Kalahari can take the first-time visitor by surprise. The landscape is dominated not by sand but oceans of rippling grassland punctuated by wooded valleys and lunar-like saltpans. And they will be dazzled by its beauty too. The Kalahari’s wildlife is both prolific and fascinating, and its night sky blazes with starlight.

Yet the Kalahari remains largely visited by travellers, making it a place to explore with barely another vehicle in sight – and it’s as easy to experience as Botswana’s other safari destinations. Some specialist mobile camping operators include the Kalahari on their itineraries but if you want bedrooms and bathrooms, then each of Botswana’s Kalahari destinations – the Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pan National Parks and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve – has a handful of camps and lodges. You’ll enjoy luxury en suite accommodation, game drives with expert guides and walking safaris with San Bushman trackers.

Timing your safari is important. From May to October the Kalahari generally sits under clear blue skies. Game viewing is easy, especially around the few remaining waterholes, and from May to August the climate is at its coolest and driest. The arrival of the summer rains transforms the landscape and its wildlife. The November to April ‘Green Kalahari’ is a time of breathtaking scenery and herds of baby antelope. The abundant food and water attracts migrating zebra herds while the bird watching, good all year round, is now exceptional.

Kalahari Region on the map

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Top Experiences

THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO

1. Go on a Game Drive

Led by sharp-eyed guides, morning & afternoon drives in open 4X4s are the best way to see the Kalahari’s animals. Lodges on private concessions offer spot-lit night drives too, the best way to spot nocturnal ‘specials’ like brown hyena, aardwolf & porcupine.

2. Meet the Meerkats

Botswana’s Kalahari is the best place to see meerkats – you may even find yourself used as an observation tower by them! Ask us about accommodation with habituated meerkat families – an unforgettable treat for children.

3. Track Big Cats

Teeming with animals from gerbils to giraffes, the Kalahari is classic cat country. It’s Botswana’s best place for cheetah, home to impressively sized lions plus leopards & smaller felines – caracal & wild cat.

4. Walk with the San

Several lodges offer opportunities to meet local guides from the Kalahari’s indigenous San Bushman communities. They’ll open up the secrets of this harsh-looking but surprisingly bountiful landscape.

5. Discover the Migration

Drawn to the Kalahari for its green, well-watered summer, zebra herds attract big cats & wild dogs. Stay at lodges around the Makgadikgadi Pans for the best locations.

6. Explore on Horseback

Now you can explore this wild, unspoilt area in the same way many of the earliest explorers, hunters and missionaries did – on horseback! We’ll tell you the best places to saddle up.

7. Go Bird Watching

There’s enough all year to keep the average bird watcher happy but serious birders should visit in summer when many migrant species arrive. Good rains bring pelicans & flamingos to the Makgadikgadi Pans.

8. Ride a Quad Bike

An epic quad bike journey across the pans to Kubu Island. Sleep under the stars on an ancient granite island in the middle of the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.the Ultimate in Real adventure, Unreal Style!

Botswana Tailor-made

Experience the extraordinary! Let us tailor-make your safari to Botswana.

Hands-on Expertise

  • We’re based in Africa
  • We regularly do site inspections
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Reviews

They kept us fully informed and updated throughout planning, travel, etc.

It was excellent all around. Everything worked out well. An experience of a lifetime! The game viewing rides were fun and very informative.

Karen (USA)
The trip was sensational and tailored to our needs. Simply fantastic!

The care by Walter was great from planning to leaving Johannesburg. The accommodations were perfectly chosen. If after a few days you thought it could not be better, you were told otherwise. It was an increase every day, with the 3 days safari in the Kruger, including overnight in tree house, the grand finale.
I would book a trip anytime again at Safari Online.

Ulrike (Germany)
Very helpful good suggestions for holiday ideas always available for questions good organising

Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. Tongazebi was one place we stayed in a tree house amazing and friendly place our safari was in Savanna Lodge an incredible place to stay and amazing safari we got to see the big five and many others birds and animals. All very close you would not believe how close you get to the wildlife. We are so happy that this was organised for as we have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari on line. Would recommend Safari on line to organise your holiday.

Lorraine
Safari Online were extremely efficient and absolutely charming to work with.

I have a severe intolerance to chemical products such a fabric softener. This can create difficulties when you travel. But the team at Safari Online made sure that all the destinations on our itinerary met our unusual demands. Our 28-day itinerary took us to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. A magnificent and unforgettable adventure. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently from the flights, transfers, rides, connections, etc. Absolutely wonderful! Can’t thank them enough!

Ann & Mario (CA)
Above expectations

Excellent communications and service. We dealt with Sabrina and she is awesome. The safari tour was amazing, i can highly recommend going to Elephant Plains. Its a very special place run by awesome people.

Werner
A great tour operator that was a pleasure to deal with.

We used Safari Online to put together a mid-range Botswana trip for a group of four going to three different camps and then onto Vic Falls. We asked several operators to provide options (through this great safari bookings website) and Walter Kohrs from Safari Online was easily the most responsive and quickest to provide different but realistic options and at good prices. In the end it was a no brainer to go with Safari Online. Walter always responded to my queries quickly, with honest and valuable responses that were clear and made sense. From our perspective he tailored a good mix of places for both our budget and standard of facilities that suited us perfectly, with enough information and links to help us make our decisions. In the end each camp was different and had different aspects and strengths that made each unique. We loved it.

Shane (AU)
Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver. She responded to our requests promptly and gave us several options with links to each option; we ultimately chose Lukimbi. She then coordinated our flights to and from the property, arranged the drivers necessary to get us from the airport to the lodge and back again, and sent the appropriate paperwork to each of us to verify each step of the process. We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional.  Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Neena
Excellent service and support for our Africa vacation

Working with Walter was a great experience. He listened to us and helped us build a vacation that exceeded all of our expectations. We really appreciated his professionalism and attention to detail.

Dan (USA)
Perfect

We are six older but experienced travellers who usually do our own planning. Luck led us to Safari Online and Walter. His ideas proved spot on. First to Batonka in Victoria Falls, then the Eco lodge In Savuti and finally Ngoma Safari Lodge. Each was different and special in their own way. The game drives from the lodges were wonderful, each of our guides Ren at Savuti and Kenneth at Ngoma were informative and experienced. If there was game to be found they found it.
Throughout our planning Safari Online have been helpful, always answering emailed questions, no matter how basic, straightaway. We’ve had probably our best ever holiday in years of travel, everything went smoothly. Pickups and transfers were on time. Staff in all the places we stayed were friendly and helpful. I can’t think of one adverse remark except maybe seeing a lion that wasn’t asleep, though I think if it could have been arranged Walter would have done so.

Jennifer