Geography: The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the most northwesterly park in South Africa, stretches across the South Africa/Botswana border, with the South African entrance gate some 250km from Upington. On this side of the park, the final stretch to the gate is made along two dry ancient river beds, with a dune road linking the more northern camps.
History: The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is an amalgamation of the former Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana's Gemsbok National Park. This occurred in April 1999, making it the first Transfrontier Park to be established in Africa. Known as the "Peace Park", Kgalagadi is huge; at 3.8 million hectares, it is nearly twice the size of Kruger National Park! There are very few conservation areas of this magnitude in the world. The South African section of the park has different types camps, with some being traditional camps that offer basic shopping facilities and fuel. The other camps, however, are wilderness camps, and because there are no fences you are literally immersed in the tranquil heart of the Kalahari. A few of the wilderness camps can only be reached by 4x4, and you should enquire about this before making bookings.
Science and Nature: This massive conservation area encompasses red sand dunes, Kalahari scrub and arid savannah, and represents one of the best game-viewing and wildlife photography opportunities on the planet. Large herds of antelope such as springbok, gemsbok, wildebeest and eland are preyed on by Africa's large carnivores, typified by the famous black-mane Kalahari lions. The Park is also renowned for its birds of prey, enormous sociable weaver nests, bustling families of meerkat and the night-time pulse of barking geckos.
Entertainment: There is nothing much better than enjoying the excitement and thrill of viewing a lion hunt from the back of an open land rover. Here at Kgalagadi, the two dry riverbeds of the Auob and the Nossob Rivers provide plenty of game-viewing opportunities. Some of the animals you are bound to see include the park's emblematic animal, the gemsbok, mischievous meerkat and the weaver bird that builds massive communal nests. The stars of the Kagalagadi show, however, are the imposing black mane Kalahari Lions. For those visitors who travelled in their 4x4 vehicle, the Mabuasehube Wlderness Trail and the longer Polentswa Wilderness Trail, are challenging and great fun. They are popular, so early booking is required.
Did you Know: 'Kgalagadi' is derived from the San language and means "Place of thirst".