Kalahari Safari

Why Go

Visit the Botswana’s Kalahari reserves

Travel to the Kalahari for one of the biggest safari secrets in Africa. Far from being an empty desert, Botswana’s Kalahari is home to a rich mix of birds and animals and offers some of the best game viewing in the country. It’s a place of big cats and wild dogs, meerkats and springboks as well as zebra migrations and great bird watching.

It’s easy to visit too. Botswana’s Kalahari reserves are just an hour’s flight from Maun airport and the Okavango Delta. Safari lodges are tucked away – often in exclusive-use concessions – and offer plenty of comfort. Activities range from game drives and stargazing to nature walks, quad-biking and horseback safaris. You can also experience the Kalahari on a guided overland safari, staying in tented camps and enjoying the camaraderie of the campfire.

A Kalahari safari is best combined with Botswana’s more famous wildlife destinations: the Okavango Delta/Moremi and the Chobe National Park. These itineraries mix familiar animals such as elephant, buffalo and hippo with desert specialists such as gemsbok antelope – and the predator count will be high. It’s usually enough to visit just one of Botswana’s three Kalahari reserves but keen safari travellers and wildlife photographers may want a taste of each.

Nxai Pan National Park is the smallest reserve. It has savannah and desert animals, good predators, and its summer greenery even attracts elephants and buffalo. The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park lies around enormous salt pans and offers open grassland habitats as well as seasonal rivers. It’s great for summer game viewing and birding. The enormous Central Kalahari Game Reserve is equally good in summer (springbok birthing season) and has a well-deserved reputation for big cats. It’s also a great dry-season destination thanks to its permanent waterholes.

A safe and beautiful destination to visit, the Kalahari has broad appeal. It is virtually malaria-free and sits under warm, dry and sunny skies for most of the year. Several lodges welcome families with children while others are honeymoon-favourites. Browse our recommended Kalahari safari tours and accommodation or simply contact us for more information and advice.

Kalahari Safari 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!

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Reviews

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. We have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
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
Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.

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

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 and Mario (Canada)
Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved. Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately……..no evasive tactics, always head-on!

Roger (UK)
Safari Online made our fantastic family holiday dream come true!!

Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

Penni (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.  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)
An incredibly well organised tour with no hassles whatsoever.

Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)
Professional, quick and top of the edge service!!!

From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from safari-online.com. Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip. Our expectations were excelled!!!

Lukas (Germany)
It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

Heather (USA)