Central Kalahari Game Reserve

The discussion of South African goodies reminded me that there is a wonderful place in Botswana that most mammalwatchers seem to be unaware of: Central Kalahari Game Reserve. It’s a huge area, very remote (you need to be fully self-sufficient), but cheap to visit by Botswanan standards. It’s the best place in Africa to see honey badgers (we saw 15 in 3 days, all in broad daylight) and porcupines (abundant around campgrounds). We  also saw two caracals, some interesting rodents, huge herds of gemsbok, and a black-maned lion of truly outstanding size. Everything is very tame there. Wild dogs and brown hyenas are frequently seen, although we missed them (saw tracks of both, but too old to follow). Also good for advanced birding and herping (particularly larks, raptors, bustards and cobras).

A trip there can be combined with a visit to Khama Rhino Sanctuary, where both rhinos are guaranteed (or at least were in 2008) and brown hyenas frequent the campground (we saw one rather easily). Other campground residents include red rock rats and Namaqua rock rats.

Vladimir Dinets


  • mattinidaho

    Good info! This is also the area that is featured in the book Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens.

  • tomeslice

    Late response, but thanks for sharing, Vladimir!!
    I will 100% use this information in the near future.

    This is exactly the type of information that I love to see being shared on this blog (well, I like everything I see on this blog, really). But I am friends on Facebook with a wildlife photographer in Israel who keeps locations to himself. He occasionally posts a cool picture of some species I have yet to see, and then when I ask him where he took the picture he ALWAYS ignores me, but he answers other people who just praise him and say “WOW, That’s amazing, [insert name]! You’re SO F****NG COOL!”.
    Well I wish him luck.

    • vdinets

      Well, he has to protect his livelihood from competition. For me, tour guiding is just an auxiliary source of income, and besides, as far as finding mammals goes, I am pretty much above competition 😉

      • tomeslice

        Other Israeli photographer and wildlife watchers (primarily birds) who make a living from this “hobby” share with me this information, at least in private messages. Because even if this info becomes widely available, most people who aren’t “real” wildlife watchers don’t have the patience and willingness to spend the time and go during the best hours etc.. So he will always have an audience and I’m no competition.

        And yes, you may be above the any competition, sleeping in trees and swimming in crocodile-infested rivers.. lol 🙂

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