Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Together with Khutse Game Reserve they form the largest game reserve complex in Botswana, and the third largest game reserve in the world.
As part of the Kalahari ecosystem, the CKGR supports a wide variety of animals such as wildebeest, hartebeest, eland, springbok, kudu, giraffe, brown hyena, warthog, cheetah, wild dog, leopard, lion, and gemsbok.
The word “Kalahari” is derived from the Tswana word “Kgala” meaning “great thirst” –and it has vast areas without any permanent water. The term “desert”, however, is not quite accurate when referring to the Kalahari, as the region receives an annual rainfall of 60 mm – 175 mm, too high to be classified as a true desert.
The Kalahari’s vegetation consists mainly of grasses and acacias as well as stunted thorn and scrub bush. There are over 400 identified plant species present.
The annual rainy season is between December and March when summer temperatures can get quite high. After the summer rains the CKGR completely transforms as the blue sky fills with huge clouds, and the plains and pans burst with sweet grasses. This is one of the best game viewing areas in Botswana at this time of the year and not many people seem to be aware of this – so the visitors are few. The dry season between May and September is also a wonderful time to visit the CKGR as the animals congregate close to any surface water.
CKGR activities are considered the “Dry Safari”, while the Okavango is referred to as a “Wet Safari”.