Kgalagadi Transfrontier National ParkIn the year 1999, South Africa's former Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana were joined. The resulting huge game reserve with an area of about 36.000 square kilometres is called Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park. Here the visitor can experience the fascinating ecosystem of the Kalahari with its orange-red sand dunes and a flora and fauna specially adapted to the arid conditions in the Kalahari desert. The Kalahari is the habitat for a stunning variety of animals. 58 mammal species live here, for example the Kalahari lion. The park is also famous for its large herds of antelope. One can often observe hundreds of Wildebeest, Oryx or Springbok antelopes, slowly moving through the softly rustling grass of the dry Kalahari savannah.
The border between South Africa and Botswana is marked only by whitewashed stones, so that the game can roam freely through both parks. There are no fences hindering the animals on their search for food and water.
Centre of the South African part of the park are two dry riverbeds, the Auob and Nossob Riviere. They meander over hundreds of kilometres through the park. There are a couple of waterholes in the riverbeds, where the animals gather to drink - ideal conditions for wildlife photography.
After heavy rainfalls temporary puddles and even streams form in the usually dry riverbeds. Acacias and camelthorn trees grow there. They can cope with the desert conditions and even grow tall due to their wide-spread and deep-reaching root systems. During the heat of the day the animals like to laze in the shade of these trees. The fruits of the trees are a welcome vitamin-rich variation of their diet.
The South African part of Transfrontier Park is well developed. The roads are, of course, untarred and quite sandy in parts, but a four-wheel drive is not required.
Twee Rivieren, the main camp, disposes of a campground and air-conditioned bungalows. And there is a shop, a restaurant, a swimmingpool and a petrol station.
The two main routes through the park start at Twee Rivieren. The eastern one leads along the dry bed of the Nossob. At intervals between 5 and 20 kilometres one gets to waterholes along the riverbeds, most of them fed by wind pumps. Here is where the game gathers, especially in the early hours of the morning and late in the afternoon. The western route goes from Twee Rivieren over 120 kilometres along the Auob riverbed to Mata Mata. At the waterholes along the route game is usually abundant. The restcamp Mata Mata offers – like camp Nossob – a campground, chalets, petrol station and a swimming pool.
Coming from Namibia, one enters South Africa through the border post Aroab / Rietfontein and travels from there to the restcamp Twee Rivieren. An alternative route goes via Gochas directly to Mata Mata. In any case, the border formalities must be done at Twee Rivieren and one has to prove the booking of at least 2 nights of accommodation in the park.
The Botswana part of the National Park is less developed. A 4x4 is required. More information: Travel Information and Accommodation.