The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is the result of the merging of the "Kalahari Gemsbok National Park" and the "Botswana's Gemsbok National Park" at the end of the 90's. It covers a total area of nearly 15, 000 sq mi, which makes it the second largest game park in South Africa. In fact, it is bigger than the whole of Belgium! The climate of the region is semi-arid and two rivers run through the park: ...
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is the result of the merging of the "Kalahari Gemsbok National Park" and the "Botswana's Gemsbok National Park" at the end of the 90's. It covers a total area of nearly 15, 000 sq mi, which makes it the second largest game park in South Africa. In fact, it is bigger than the whole of Belgium! The climate of the region is semi-arid and two rivers run through the park: Nossob and Aoub, which are dry for most of the year. With its aridity and high temperatures, it is not for nothing that the name of the reserve means "country of thirst".
The ground is mainly made up of orangy-red sand, which is typical of the Kalahari region. The desert extends out of sight and there is very little vegetation that manages to survive here. Given the size of the territory, it can be difficult to actually find the animals. There are some fairly scarce water-holes, but the closer you get to these, the likelier you are to meet an animal.
It will take you some four hours by car to cover the 190 mi from the city of Upington, where the closest airport is, to the park. The park only has three tracks that are suitable for cars to circulate. You are not permitted to leave the marked out tracks to get closer to the animals. In other words, humans don't rule here, so get used to it!
As the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is in a semi-arid region, there are some moments of the year that are nicer than others for a visit to the park. Temperatures easily reach 45°C during the months of December and January. The rain season is generally in full swing during the months of September and October, and the climate is often milder during the months of May and June. If you want a better chance of seeing the animals though, you should come in February or May.
Other than the safaris, which will take up most of your time, it is important that you take an interest in the local population, notably the Bushmen, whom you will find extremely interesting. Listen to them speak their impressive language, which consists, among other features, of 20 different clicks of the tongue!
Go on a safari, on foot, with an experienced ranger who will teach you how to identify the tracks left by various animals and snakes...
If you are in Kgalagadi National Park, it is to take part in a safari of course! During your night or early morning excursions, you will see all sorts of animals, ranging from birds to fierce predators. Warthogs, wildebeests and other antelopes also await your visit! The region is also home to the Kalahari lions, recognisable by their black manes.
Don't expect to get a lot of rest during your safari holiday. Indeed, during the warmer hours in the day, most of the animals sleep and hide in the shade. Be aware that morning safaris begin very early to enable visitors to see as many animals as possible. Remember to bring warmer clothes with you for the morning and the evening as the temperature differences can be quite dramatic, particularly when you are driving around in an open car.
You are strongly advised to stay in your car when you are out in the bush. Some of the animals are experts at hide-and-seek and could very well catch you unaware. Your guide knows the bush like no one else and he will tell you when it is safe to leave your car.
If, during a safari on foot, you come across an aggressive animal, the idea is not to panic and definitely not to start running. This is easier said than done, true, but if you're nervous, you will only scare the animal in front of you even more.
South African cuisine is truly delicious! You will find it difficult not to be tempted by the various culinary specialties of offer: we highly recommend the "potjikoos", a type of meat stew, or the "bobotie" also made with mincemeat and a vegetable sauce. You may find it difficult to taste the meat of the animals that you have seen running around during the day, but that is the way the locals eat. Corn-based dishes are part of the staple diet in the northern territories.
There is not much to bring back with you from the park apart from the souvenirs on sale in the boutique located at the entrance to the park; these include teddy bears, t-shirts, handicraft, etc. However, we recommend that you bring back some local items, expertly crafted by the Bushmen.
Xaus originally means 'heart'. The name comes from the alliance ...