Kalahari Desert

The stillness and relative lack of tourists is one of the reasons the Kalahari in Botswana attracts clients who have taken many safaris over the years and are looking for something different, unique and peaceful; but which still delivers a very special wilderness and wildlife experience. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is not for everyone, as the wildlife here is more sparse compared to say Chobe and the Delta and the scenery more regular in appearance – although rather than finding a desert, you will be struck how green the reserve can be, with lots of low-level bushes, herbs and the occasional colourful tree; such as the purple-pod Terminalia.

Popular Itineraries in botswana

An Epic Botswana Safari

This exciting 12-day adventure takes in some of Northern Botswana’s most prolific parks, including Moremi, the private Khwai concession and Botswana’s jewel in the crown; Savute. Before finishing on the Chobe Riverfront in Chobe National Park.

All locations offer excellent photographic and wildlife viewing opportunities. Where the predators, including lion, leopard and wild dog are regularly seen. The areas are also a haven for other wildlife, such as elephant, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, lechwe, kudu and many other iconic African mammals and of course a vast array of bird species.

With a large well-equipped game vehicles for a maximum group size of 6 people there is plenty of room assured for each guest. This tour will be characterized by maximising time in the field to take advantage of all available wildlife viewing opportunities. Fully supported camping ensures long days in the parks enjoying wildlife and a warm and friendly welcome back at camp in the evening.

Best time to visit Botswana on safari?

One of the best times to visit Botswana for wildlife is the dry season which runs approximately from June to October. This is the best time to see the predators in Botswana; as they share the same depleting water resources as their prey and it is at the lagoons and still flowing rivers where the majority of the hunting action takes place. We can also witness large bull elephants in Chobe national park and take a peaceful Mokoro safari looking for Hippo’s, giant crocs and a wonderful diversity of birdlife in the Okavango Delta. Temperatures will climb steadily throughout this period and reach their peak in October, but the game viewing in Botswana will remain vibrant throughout. We will have the chance to see African Wild Dogs in Moremi or Khwai and some large prides of lions in Savuti.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 12
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3500
Exploring the Botswana Wilderness

Safari through the wilderness of Botswana. Experience the Okavango Delta by traditional dug-outs and the abundant wildlife of Moremi game reserve and Savuti. Explore Chobe NP by boat and enjoy wonderful views of Victoria Falls!

Style - Wild Camping
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 12
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2500
Safari on the Edge of the Kalahari Desert

If you enjoy the path less travelled and seeing a greater diversity of wildlife, then a camping safari to the edge of the Kalahari in Botswana could be for you. This 7 day bespoke Botswana wildlife holiday spends 3 nights each in Nxai and Madadakagdi Pans. There is plentiful resident wildlife in the Nxai Pan National Park which is mainly desert adapted species such as springbok, gemsbok, ostrich and brown hyena. During the summer months this population is swelled by elephant, zebra, eland, giraffe and wildebeest. The pans are one of the best places to see wild cheetahs in Botswana and prides of lions also follow the seasonal migrations.

Style - Wildlife Adventurer
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 7
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3500
Wild Dog Magic in Botswana and South Africa

The chance to see African wild dogs, or African painted dogs as they are sometimes referred to, is high on many wildlife lovers wish list. It is important to remember that this is one of the rarest canids in the world and sadly is on the endangered ‘Red List’ of IUCN. Loss of habitat and human conflict are the main reasons for their decline; so it is more important than ever to conserve and protect the few remaining strong holds of this charismatic species. Over the years, Wildlife Trails have enjoyed considerable success in photographing this species and with this knowledge we have created safari holidays which visit the best places to see wild dogs at the right time of year.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£6000

Wildlife to See in the Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari is famous for its huge herds of Springbok, which when conditions are favourable can number in the thousands, with their ability to maximise moisture retention from their food. You can also find the beautiful gemsbok (oryx), which like the springbok is predated on by the cheetah. In fact, the Kalahari is one of the best places to see cheetah in southern Africa; especially because the other main carnivores found here, leopard, spotted hyena and lion are found in relatively small densities. We can also find in the Kalahari real specialists fully adapted to the sometimes harsh environment, such as bat-eared foxes, aardwolf and black-backed jackals.

Best Time to Visit the Kalahari

Uniquely the best game viewing in the Kalahari is actually during and just after the main rains arrive. This sudden greenness attracts prey species such as springbok, gemsbok, wildebeest, hartebeest and eland to the lush grazing; closely followed by opportunistic predators, such as leopard, lion and cheetah. To visit at this time you get the best of all worlds; with the lush landscapes, waterholes for birds, the greatest variety of prey species and increased predator action.

Best Lodges in the Kalahari

To be fair we are not picking from a long list of candidates here – this is not Chobe after all! However, it is that isolation and dramatic location that makes lodges like Tau Pan, Kwando Safaris and Kalahari Plains camp, Wilderness safaris all the more spectacular to stay in. However high-end lodges are not the only way to take a Botswana safari in the CKGR. There are several operators who organise mobile camping options or a combination of simple lodges and wilderness camps and we have a cheap Botswana safari that combines the Kalahari and the Okavango Delta.

So why not contact Wildlife Trails and let us organise your own very special Botswana safari?

What

Our Clients Say About Us

★★★★★
Wild Botswana Experience

This was a wonderful mobile camping trip visiting several areas of Botswana. It was my first time mobile camping and I absolutely loved it - even the 'long drop toilets'! To sit outside er the stars with no light pollution was incredible. We had some brilliant sightings, especially the elephants who we watched playing in the water for ages. Trips in between camps could be long but it was more like an extended game drive and didn't bother me in the least. The trip started off at Thamalakane River Lodge where we had a beautiful sunset over the river. It finished at Chobe River Lodge where we went on a boat trip - once again with wonderful sightings - and watched the sun go down. I could honestly have gone immediately back and done it all again! Kirsty and Allan of Wildlife Trails arranged this brilliant photographic tour for us and I will hopefully return again in the not too distant future. I thought the quality of both lodges and the mobile camp was excellent. We would go for a game drive on the morning of our departure to another camp and by the time we got to our new site the old camp had been dismantled and was re-assembled, ready for us to use, as soon as we got there - with food and drink awaiting! The staff were absolutely amazing and our chef created excellent food with seemingly no effort. This was extremely well arranged by Wildlife Trails with nothing being too much trouble for Allan or Kirsty.

ByChris
★★★★★
A great wildlife trip where I saw everything I hoped for

On a safari trip I go with hopes and expectations, in this case they were exceeded which was a first. The vehicles used were modern and most importantly not crowded. The trip was a photographic ari and our hosts turned out to be expert wildlife photographers and I learnt a lot from them. The other part was fulfilled by our two local guides who had exemplary, knowledge and had the happy knack of putting us in the right place at the right time. This was a wild camping trip and the facilities again exceeded my expectations. The itinerary worked very well and enabled us to make the most of our time in Botswana. Wildlife trails created the environment that made the trip so good, I learned a lot about photography and the wildlife I went to see. For me the highest praise is that I was a returning customer and have already booked my next trip and that they are good value for money.

ByDavid
★★★★★
Amazing experience

Everything went like clockwork . Superb organisation, transfers, border crossings, our guide and driver were excellent making sure we got everywhere on time and with little fuss, but lots of husiasm. They were very knowledgeable, friendly, good cooks and always happy to help. Our accommodation was excellent ranging from luxury to basic camping. Elephant Eye was luxury on stilts with fantastic views over the watering hole, watching the elephants, etc, especially when you were having a shower! The Bedouin camp will remain close to my heart. Camping in the bush giving you that real sense of being at one with nature! The countries we visited, the wonderful friendly people and cultures we experienced was just amazing. This holiday was a little gem, although Vic Falls is highly commercialised,( but still dramatically beautiful) The rest of the trip is off the tourist trail! Would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to spend there time watching wildlife. Great company, always happy to help, listen to what your needs are and deliver an itinerary that is perfect. Would highly recommend Wildlife Trails to anyone wanting a holiday full of wildlife and adventure!

ByLesley