Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the largest game parks and reserves in the world, stretching over 3.8 million hectares across three national borders. The park, which covers parts of South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia, and it was formed in 2000 to replace the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park which was based solely in Botswana.
Stretching across thousands of square miles, the Kgalagadi National Park is renowned for its wildlife, landscape and its cultural significance to the southern African people.
If you are thinking of making the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park a part of your South African holiday trip, you will access the park through the Twee Rivieren Gate. The park itself has five gates, but the Twee Rivieren is the only one accessible via South Africa. You could choose to remain on the South African side of the park or cross over to Botswana or Namibia after spending at least two days in South Africa (staying in one country for that period is necessary for those who want to cross borders). If you intend to cross from one country to the other, ensure that you bring your passport with you during your journey.
Kgalagadi is also hot during the day and under zero degrees during the night, so pack clothing accordingly.
Now that you know a little bit about the southern African multinational park, here are a few activities you can partake during your trip to make it truly memorable.
Game drives are the most popular activities in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and with good reason. The park has so much to explore, see and photograph.
As you drive through Kgalagadi, with its stretching red dunes, scarce scrubs, and the occasional camel thorn trees, you will have the opportunity to view the famous wildlife of the Transfrontier Park. Black-maned lions lying lazily and scanning the horizon, leopards taking advantage of the large trees to scout their prey, these are just a few of the sceneries that you can find in Kgalagadi. Other wild animals that the park boasts of are the big, beautiful desert antelope and park mascot Gemsbok, springbok, blue wildebeest and the eland. You might also see smaller animals like the weavers and bat-eared fox, which are also common to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
The terrain in the park is quite hilly, therefore if you are thinking of taking a trip there, a four by four is recommended, though not necessary. For the most immersive experience, explore all three sections of the park. You are more likely to see all these species if you visit the entire Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
South Africa is a bird-watchers’ paradise, but more so for those who enjoy tracking birds of prey. If watching birds of prey is a favorite for you, then Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park should be one of your South African stops whenever you visit the African gem.
Those who enjoy watching rare eagles (including the Tawny eagle), vultures and goshawks have two options. As a birdwatcher, you can either immerse yourself in watching the birds of prey during your game drives across the park. You will have multiple opportunities to see and record the birds in their wild African habitat. Alternatively, you could visit one of the three camps in Kgalagadi, Nossob. The Nossob riverbed and camp has a Predator Center where you can easily observe the birds as well.
The other two camps, Twee Rivieren family camp, and the Mata Mata camp are great places for resting. You could use their facilities (accommodation, meals, and swimming among others) as you continue with your drives and sightseeing endeavors.
Culturally Significant Landmark
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is not only famous for its wildlife. On the contrary, the southern African culture is another reason tourists like visiting the park.
Kgalagadi is a heritage site for the San and Mier people of South Africa. While visiting the park, you could take the time to indulge yourself in exploring the two cultures or touring the Auchterlonie Museum.
Depending on your interests, there are a variety of activities you can engage in while you tour the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. You could go on a game drive, admire the indigenous avian species or explore the local culture whether you are alone, in a group or on a getaway for two.