Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Travel Guide

  • Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
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Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Things to Do

  • Birding, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park


    I'm more than seriously keen on wildlife photography and I focus on mammals more than on birds but when I see a winged one I don't back down!The Kalagadi Transfrontier Park has 280 species of flying animals of which only about 92 resident. The remaining are nomadic, migratory and vagrant species, Then the park is famous for its birds of preyThis...

  • Waterholes, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park


    If you visit a National Park, waterholes are a must, as animals gather here to drink so they are a good spot for wildlife sighting.

  • Meerkat, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park


    Suricates spend a lot of their time on guard, looking out for predators. In South Africa Suricates are commonly known as Meerkat. Suricates have a tan to grey coat with brown bands on the back and sides, the head and the throat are greyish white.Suricate (Meerkats) are diurnal. They live in colonies of up to 30. When emerging from their burrows in...

  • Gemsbok (Oryx), Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Gemsbok (Oryx)

    The oryx is a large antelope of striking appearance with long, spearlike horns. It has a thick, horselike neck with a short mane and a compact, muscular body. The oryx's ringed horns are up to 30 inches long, making them formidable weapons. The female's horns are often longer and thinner than the male's.Originally, various oryx species were found...

  • Springbok, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park


    In abundance one finds the Springbok in this park. The national animal of South Africa is a fast antelope that can jump long distances. If you move slowly you will be able to get very close to them since they are quiet used to cars. During the heat of the day they are assembled in the shadow of trees.

  • Desert Lion, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Desert Lion

    Imagine Lions in the desert - but this is exactly what one finds in the Kalahari Gemsbok Park. Seeing them they appear a lot bigger since there is very little vegetation around. Check at the gate or the camps if someone has sighted any and then follow the direction. Lions are lazy during the day hence if a pride was spotted it is bound to be near...

  • Hartebeest, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park


    The Red Hartebeest is the third most common antelope in Kgalagadi behind the springbok and gemsbok. It has very flat head from its forehead to its mouth. It is a large antelope weighing 280-500lbs (130 – 230 kg) and stands nearly 5 feet tall (1.4 m)The coat is red to reddish brown and has a white rump and black tail. There are some black marks on...

  • Kori Bustard (Common in Kgalagadi), Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Kori Bustard (Common in Kgalagadi)

    Kori Bustards are another bird that is common in Kgalagadi. These birds are enormous. They are the heaviest flying birds in Africa, although rarely flys. The wings are mostly grey with white and black spots on the leading the edge. The neck is darker grey. Head is pointed into a long beak and quill-like had feathers. This bird feeds on...

  • Secretary Birds (Common in Kgalagadi), Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Secretary Birds (Common in Kgalagadi)

    The Secretary bird is one of the more common raptures found in Kgalagadi. They are long legged eagles that have adapted to the savannas. They are a light grey with black and white on the tips of their feathers. Their face is red with a yellow beak and their legs tend to be an orange or orange-red. Their name comes from the pointed feathers on their...

  • Spot the Honey Badger, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Spot the Honey Badger

    Honey Badgers are among some of the most interesting carnivores you may see. They are busy creatures constantly searching for food. They are found in semi-deserts as well as savannas and forests all over Africa. They are strong creatures with very thick, loose skin. They have a set of sharp teeth with powerful jaws. If attacked they can quickly...

  • The Dune Roads, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    The Dune Roads

    There are two dune roads in the park that connect the Nossob and Aoub River roads. The dunes are the classic rolling piles of orange sand with very little vegetation. There are not many large animals to be found out here away from water but you may find the kori bustard, black bustard, redcrested korhaan, as well as the occasional black back jackal...

  • The Nossob River, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    The Nossob River

    The Nossob River is more shallow and wider than the Aoub River. The Nossob River runs from Twee Rivieren along the Botswana boarder through Nossob Camp and then to Union’s End through to Namibia. It is possible to spot large herds of impala and gemsbok in these river beds. Common raptors found here are pale chanting goshawk, African hawk eagle,...

  • The Aoub River Drive, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    The Aoub River Drive

    The Aoub River runs along the west side of the park from Twee Rivieren Camp up through Mata Mata Camp and into Namibia. It is a narrow and deep river bed and offers a slightly different experience than the Nossob River bed. The river bed tends to be a little more green than the Nossob River and larger species of thorn tree is present. As you get...

  • Save on the Park Expense, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Save on the Park Expense

    Buy a “Wild” Card and Save MoneyThe Wild Card program has been recently introduced in the South African National Park system to make the parks more affordable for those making multiple entries. The card has a small computer chip in it that stores and process information. South African residence may buy a card specific to one region or “clusters”....

  • What Game You May Find Here, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    What Game You May Find Here

    Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is the middle of the Kalahari Desert. It has sparse vegetation and most of the water is found in the dry riverbeds of the Auob and Nossob Rivers. This is a fantastic park to find predators and to see large herbivores that constantly search for water and sweet grasses. Lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, brown hyena,...


Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Restaurants

  • 5 km out of the park, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    5 km out of the park

    There is a new lodge just 5 km out of the park which means you can have a dinner here only in some periods or if you overnight here because for the park rules, the gate closes between 18:00 and 19:30 and opens at 7:00 in the morning. And it also depends on your holidays plans: if you like me are interested in wildlife photography, sunset and...

  • Only option, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Only option

    I had one meal in the only restaurant of the park, at Twee Revieren and to be honest, I was disappointed: when my hubby ordered a soup before his main dish, I said the waitress that I would have taken a dessert. They took very long to bring ourd order and when after my fish dish, I asked for my dessert, the waitress (of whom I had finally succeeded...

  • Only Restaurant in Kgalagadi, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Only Restaurant in Kgalagadi

    Twee Rivieren is the only restcamp that has a restaurant. It is located behind the main office overlooking the camp ground. The menu has a descent variety but it's a bit expensive for what you get. You may want to stick to the small camp store where you can stock up on the basics and cook it yourself.


Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Transportation

  • Desert 4x4 Rental Service, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Desert 4x4 Rental Service

    I normally prefer local companies to the big ones, it's a matter of liking and both have advantages and disadvantage: - bigger companies can have newer vehicles or with less kilometres but to me it doesn't mean at all that they work better!- bigger companies tend to have sparkling equipment and sometimes newer but less flessibility- a local company...

  • Travelling distances, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Travelling distances

    This are the travelling distances within the Park just to give you an idea and better organize your trip:Twee Rivieren - Nossob: 3.5hrs Twee Rivieren - Mata-Mata: 2.5hrs Twee Rivieren - Kalahari Tent Camp: 2.5hrs Twee Rivieren - Grootkolk: 6hrs Nossob - Union's End: 3hrs Nossob - Mata-Mata (over Kamqua dune road): 3.5hrs Nossob - Bitterpan: 2.5hrs...

  • How to get to Kgalagadi, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    How to get to Kgalagadi

    Kgalagadi National Park is still mostly called Kalahari Gemsbok Park by the road signs and most locals. The name only changed recently when the park merged with its counterpart in Botswana.You can reach the park from two entrances. Twee Rivieren is the South African entrance and the closest major city is Upington 350 kms to the south. It is all on...


Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Shopping

  • Don't miss the Amarula chocolate, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Don't miss the Amarula chocolate

    Marula is an African fruit and you can find a cream liqueur called amarula and really very yummy amarula chocolate.You don't find it in the Park but in grocery stores, commercial centres and at the airport: don't buy the amarula chocolate only as a present, but also for you, they are soooooo good!!

  • Roiboos, Baobab and Aloe, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Roiboos, Baobab and Aloe

    A good idea as a present or to bring home for yourself are creams (vanishing cream, renewing hand cream and so on) and soap bar and body wash with Roiboos and Baobab extract or with Aloe.In the small shops of the Park ther eis not a great selection at all but you can find all this also in the grocery stores or in the shopping centres and at the...

  • Freshly baked bread, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Freshly baked bread

    The three main camps, Mata Mata, Nossob and Twee Rivieren, and only the last one accept credit cards, the other only cash in local money, then they sell "basic" commodities but no fresh vegetable of other fresh food.Anyway if you order the day before, when you go back to the camp in the evening, you can find freshly baked bread, which is very nice,...


Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Local Customs

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    by pollon Written Aug 15, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you have been to South Africa, you know that this is the Afrikaan word for barbecue, grill and it's a real tradition in this country: in the park any camp site, any chalet or cottage, any desert tent and any picnic area has braai facilities!
    And the small shops in the camps which don't sell fresh food have frozen and vacuum-sealed meat for braai!

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Desert
    • Photography

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Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Jackals at Nossob, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Jackals at Nossob

    Nossob has a gate which has to be closed also during the day (it's the area with more lions and other big cats) but in spite of it, jackals like to enter the camp and roaming looking for food so don't leave your food unattended!I do really love wildlife and for me to meet a jackal while I was going to the washroom was a bonus so don't be afraid,...

  • Speed, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park


    The park gives travelling distances which could seem strange like 3.5 hours for the about 150 km from Twee Revieren to Nossob but the speed limit of 50 km/h is needed for the animals' security as it's their place and they cross the road or stand next to it, then you produce lots of dust at high speed, it's also for your security (more details on my...

  • Picnic areas, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Picnic areas

    As in all National Park with carnivores you aren't allow to leave your vehicle except at the picnic areas and in the Kgalagadi there are: one from Twee Rivieren (the entrance gate) to Mata-Mata, two from Twee Rivieren to Nossob and if you drive further north to Union's End, other two.In these areas there are also washroom (protected by gate for the...


Kalahari Gemsbok National Park What to Pack

  • It's coooooooooold!!, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    It's coooooooooold!!

    We from the so-called western countries relate South Africa with warm weather and this is almost true except for the Kgalagadi desert where in its winter it's normally fairly warm during the day but you can freeze during the night and I experienced an average of -5 and even -8 one night so be prepared!And you need extra blanket not only if you...

  • Wild Card membership, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Wild Card membership

    When entering a National park in South Africa there is a conservation fee to pay each day and for international visitors it's higher. So go on the Sanpark offcial website and check how much is this levy per day.In the Kgalagadi it is worth purchasing the Wild Card if you are staying more than 5 days and then if you travel as a couple, there is a...

  • Bring Plenty of Blankets or Freeze!, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Bring Plenty of Blankets or Freeze!

    I don't think most guide books fully explain how cold it can get in the Kalahari desert. Even if you have sleeping bags that are rate for freezing temperatures, bring extra blankets. You cannot have too many. The nights spent in the park where all below freezing. Two nights the temperature was -6 degrees C.If you are camping make sure you have...


Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Favorites

  • Lions, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park


    The Kalahari lions was on my list of course and I hoped in a black maned male.We heard the roars of lions for the two nights while at Gharagab rest camp and a male showed up only while we were sleeping. Anyway he so nice to be caught by our camera trap so in the morning we discovered that a great male with its darker mane had passed a few metrfes...

  • Cheetahs, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park


    Predators are the park’s biggest attraction and this was the main reason of my trip.I do love both small and big cats and cheetahs gave me some captivating moments!These felines are charachterized by black "tear marks" running from the corner of their eyes which also distinguish them at a first glance. Compared to the other felines, they are...

  • Gemsbok, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park


    These desert antelopes are the emblem of the park, they are called Gemsbok in Afrikan and Oryx gazelle in English.They have a horse-like posture and gallop and the difference between male and female is in the long, sharp, pointed horns: male horn have larger bases, female horns are sligthly longer and more slender.You can find them in the desert...


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    Explore Deeper into Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
    Warnings and Dangers
    High-void traction tread
    Warnings and Dangers
    Warnings and Dangers
    Filling up!
    Warnings and Dangers
    Book In Advance During School Holidays
    Warnings and Dangers
    Watch your speed in Kgalagadi
    Warnings and Dangers
    Buy an International Wild Card
    General Tips
    Things to Do
    Meerkats, Facinating Social Creatures
    Things to Do
    Watch out for Jackals in Nosob Restcamp
    Warnings and Dangers
    Black-Maned Kalahari Lion
    Things to Do
    Map of Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

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