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Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Kgalagadi is ideal for dedicated game-viewers.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: in detail

Kgalagadi safari holidays: the full story

In the north of the Cape, sandwiched between Namibia and Botswana, is a magical corner of wilderness for serious safaris. Here, Botswana and South Africa have joined forces to protect the wildlife on opposite sides of their border, forming the world's first Transfrontier Park: the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This consists of about 38,000km² of the Kalahari and was previously split between South Africa's Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana's Gemsbok National Park.

Being away from most major routes, the park gets few visitors, making it ideal for dedicated game-viewers. Springbok, blue wildebeest, gemsbok, red hartebeest and eland abound, while meerkats, leopards, and black-maned lions add to the entertainment. This is also one of Africa's best safari parks for cheetah, which thrive by hunting in its fossil river valleys and the surrounding Kalahari dunes. The Kgalagadi is also a haven for birders, especially those interested in birds of prey.

Original restcamps of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Originally, the SA National Parks Board ran only three 'restcamps' in this park. These were designed for self-driving visitors, with simple self-catering accommodation dotted around village-like compounds, which include a shop, a small fuel station, a pool and sometimes even a restaurant.

Twee Rivieren

Of these restcamps, Twee Rivieren is the largest and most developed, and the only one with a restaurant. Other facilities include a well-stocked shop and a family-size swimming pool. It's usually the first stop within Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, near the southern entrance. (Read more about Twee Rivieren…)

Nossob Rest Camp

Further north, Nossob Rest camp is fairly basic, with seven types of self-catering chalets – although most visitor camp here. It also has communal cooking facilities and a small shop, and its central location provides one of the best spot to enjoy the parks untouched wilderness. (Read more about Nossob…)

Mata Mata Rest Camp

Set in Kgalagadi's southwest, Mata Mata Rest Camp is quite simple, but a great place for adventurous small families. Its self-catering chalets are ideally situated to explore the whole of the park, including the fantastic wildlife and spectacular wilderness. (Read more about Mata Mata…)

Wilderness camps in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

More recently, six 'wilderness camps' have been built in scenic locations deep in the park. Small, remote and unfenced, these are very different in character to the restcamps; they feel more isolated and closer to the wildlife. Most take eight people when full. All require you to bring your own water, fuel and food – though cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery are provided – and all the accommodation is en-suite. For safety, each has a single armed game scout in residence.

Grootkolk Wilderness Camp

In the northwest of the park, near the Namibian border, Grootkolk Wilderness Camp is one of our favourites. It has four simple tents with verandas, overlooking a floodlit waterhole in the dunes, which is frequently visited by animals quenching their thirst. (Read more about Grootkolk Camp…)

Urikaruus Wilderness Camp

In the eastern part of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Urikaruus' four self-catering cabins are built on stilts overlooking the dry river bed of the Auob. Each unit has a well-equipped kitchen and braai facilities on an outside deck. (Read more about Urikaruus Camp…)

Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp

Situated on Southern Dune Road, 50km from Twee Rivieren, Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp has four en-suite cabins with two single beds, built on top of dunes, with a waterhole below – stunning views over the red Kalahari sands inclusive! (Read more about Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp…)

Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

Bitterpan Wilderness Camp has four tents, elevated on stilts above Kalahari's red sand dunes, overlooking a large pan. There's also a waterhole and a 6m look-out tower, offering stunning panoramic. Please note that Bitterpan is only accessible by 4WD! (Read more about Bitterpan Camp…)

Gharagab Wilderness Camp

In Kgalagadi's far north, a four hours' drive from Nossob, Gharagab Wilderness Camp has four log cabins with elevated views over the Kalahari dunes and thornveld savannah. As is Bitterpan Wilderness Camp, Gharagab is only accessible by 4WD! (Read more about Gharagab Camp…)

Kalahari Tented Camp

By contrast, on the western border of the park, the larger Kalahari Tented Camp has 15 large, comfortable en-suite tents, and even a swimming pool. It's a little more luxurious than the other wilderness camps, offering a typical safari experience. (Read more about Kalahari Tented Camp…)

!Xaus Lodge

Although part of the national park, !Xaus Lodge is run by San/Bushmen communities who originally lived on this land. Its 12 thatched chalets have private decks overlooking a large saltpan; meals, guided walks and game-drives are all included in your stay. (Read more about !Xaus Lodge…)

Places to stay near the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Occasionally the camps inside the park are full, and you'll want to stay nearby – or perhaps you're arriving late in the day, after the park gate has shut. For these times, there are two convenient hotels within reach of the park:

Molopo Kalahari Lodge

60km outside of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Molopo Lodge has 36 rooms, and proves to be a very useful base when the camps inside the park are fully booked. Set between red dunes are different accommodation options, including camping facilities, a bar, a restaurant and a lounge. (Read more about Molopo Lodge…)

Protea Hotel Upington

Located in the gateway town to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, on the banks of Orange River, the Protea Upington has 58 comfortable rooms with air-conditioning and satellite TV. Four restaurants are within walking distance. (Read more about the Protea Hotel Upington…)

Including Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in your trip

If you take your game-viewing safaris fairly seriously, then a Kgalagadi safari can be a real gem, well worth spending at least three or four nights here. However, don't try to just 'drop in' here for a few nights, as you need to spend time in the Kgalagadi on safari to get the best out of the park.

Access is easiest by flying from Cape Town or Johannesburg to Upington, where we can arrange for you to collect a hire car. Alternatively you can visit as part of a fly-drive trip between Cape Town and Windhoek. Now that the border post between Namibia and South Africa at Mata Mata is open, it's also possible to drive a great circular route beginning in Windhoek, and including Sossusvlei and the Kgalagadi.

Driving times within the Kgalagadi

Our trips feature the western side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where the roads are all gravel, yet easily accessible with a 2WD. (The Eastern side of the park has a few 4WD-only tracks which are for small expeditions only – and we don't offer trips there.)
You'll drive slowly to maximise your chances of seeing game. At such a moderate pace, with the occasional pause to observe the wildlife, your timings might be approximately:

Twee Rivieren to Nossob - - - - - 3 hours 30 mins
Twee Rivieren to Mata-Mata - - - 3 hours
Twee Rivieren to Grootkolk - - - - 6 hours
Nossob to Bitterpan - - - - - - - - - 2 hours 30 mins
Bitterpan to Mata-Mata - - - - - - - 2 hours

Driving to and from Namibia

The border crossing between South Africa and Namibia at Mata Mata is now open!

Tourists from Namibia can use Mata Mata as a day or overnight visitor access point without having to check in with boarder officials at Twee Rivieren, as long as you return to Namibia that way. If you leave the park to go into South Africa or Botswana, then you have to go through passport control at Twee Rivieren. This is the only passport control on the South African side.

Likewise if you are going to exit South Africa via Mata Mata, you need to get your passport stamped at Twee Rivieren. Please ask us for the latest information.

Where to stay in Kgalagadi

Our suggestions for safari camps in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

Twee Rivieren

The Kgalagadi's largest restcamp, Twee Rivieren is the centre for the park's administration, and an obvious stop for food and fuel for self-driving visitors.

81% (35 reviews)
Kalahari Tented Camp

Kalahari Tented Camp

Kalahari Tented Camp, with self-catering accommodation, is an unusual and well positioned base for exploration of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

92% (31 reviews)
Ta Shebube Rooiputs

Ta Shebube Rooiputs

One of just three private lodges in the Kgalagadi, Ta Shebube Rooiputs offers a well-appointed base from where you can explore this delightful National Park.

88% (15 reviews)
Mata Mata Rest Camp

Mata Mata Rest Camp

On the western border of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Mata Mata Restcamp offers camping and simple self-catering chalets, great for adventurous travellers on self-drive explorations of this park.

83% (14 reviews)
Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Gharagab Camp

Gharagab Wilderness Camp is located in a remote corner of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which is wonderful if you like wilderness areas. However, access takes time - so it's not the best base for exploring the park.

89% (14 reviews)
Nossob Rest Camp

Nossob Rest Camp

A basic but very well positioned rest camp within the heart of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Simple self-catering accommodation is available as well as camping options

81% (14 reviews)
!Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge mixes guided wildlife safaris with very good community interactions, suiting those who prefer not to drive and cater for themselves.

98% (11 reviews)
Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

Bitterpan Camp

Bitterpan is a basic self-catering camp in the Kgalagadi's central dune-field; it suits experienced self-drivers comfortable with remote travel.

82% (11 reviews)
Grootkolk Wilderness Camp

Grootkolk Camp

Grootkolk Wilderness Camp has quirky sand-bag self-catering accommodation and simple amenities, offering a comfortable place to stay while exploring the north western Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

91% (11 reviews)
Ta Shebube Polentswa

Ta Shebube Polentswa

Although accessed via South Africa, Ta Shebube Polentswa is situated just across the border, in a private concession on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

94% (10 reviews)
Urikaruus Wilderness Camp

Urikaruus Camp

Urikaruus is one of the most popular wilderness camps in the Kgalagadi National Park with lovely riverside cabins set high up on stilts overlooking the Auob riverbed.

96% (10 reviews)
Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp

Kielie Krankie Camp

Perched high atop a huge red sand dune, the small Kielie Krankie wilderness camp it is well positioned for accessing both east and west sides of the Kgalagadi National Park.

91% (9 reviews)
Molopo Kalahari Lodge

Molopo Lodge

Less than an hours' drive from the Kgalagadi, this makes a good base near to the park if you're arriving late in the afternoon.

60% (3 reviews)
The Motse at Tswalu

The Motse at Tswalu

Tswalu Motse is a smart lodge located in the Tswalu Game Reserve, the largest private reserve in South Africa.

100% (2 reviews)

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings in Kgalagadi

This is their success for sightings in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Click on a species for more detail. How we work this out.


100% success


100% success

Black Rhino

100% success

White Rhino

100% success


100% success

Roan antelope

100% success

Sable antelope

100% success


96% success


71% success


65% success


65% success


43% success


37% success


35% success

Spotted Hyena

26% success

Wild dog

11% success

Brown Hyena

10% success


5% success


5% success

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