Kgalagadi National Park

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South Africa >> Upington >> Attractions >> Kgalagadi National Park

Kgalagadi National Park

History

South Africa, Namibia and Botswana share boundaries and game parks too, and perhaps the best example of this is the huge Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park- formerly known as the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, and regarded as one of the region’s best wildlife reserves. The Gemsbok National Park in Botswana merges with Kgalagadi in South Africa, covering in all an area of about 36,000 sq km. Of this, the South African reserve accounts for almost 10,000 sq km- an expanse of arid land drained by two rivers, the Nossob and the Auob. There are no boundaries between the South African and Botswanan parks, and animals move freely from one park to the other. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park has stretches of red sand dunes and sparse scrub vegetation, making it easy for visitors to spot wildlife. Hundreds of antelopes gallop in unison across the red sands, and a wide spectrum of wildlife- gemsbok, meerkat, eland, blue wildebeest, springbok and hartebeest- can be seen throughout the area. By day, the black maned Kalahari lion cools off beneath bushes and the leopard stretches out on the branches of the camelthorn tree- both offering excellent opportunities for photography. Also home to predators like the cheetah, black-backed jackal and hyena, this park has about 215 species of bird life, including the pygmy falcon, Ludwig’s bustard, crimson-breasted shrike, Kalahari robin and Burchell’s sandgrouse.

Best time to visit

Like all of South Africa’s other game parks, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park too is best visited in the winter, between March and October. Summer temperatures can go as high as 40°C, and it can get very uncomfortable, to say the least.

Trivia

Shoes are necessary especially in the evening to protect from scorpion stings. If driving, be sure to carry a 10 litre can of water at all times. When driving from one rest camp to the other, travellers should depart with travelling times in mind to ensure arrival before sunset as no travelling is allowed in the park after dark. If you do have breakdown, stay in your vehicle. It is the safest place.

Timing

Go for the game Drives early morning or late afternoon to catch sight of the animals of this park.


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