Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Travel to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – Southern African Wilderness Zone
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the largest nature conservation areas in southern Africa, and one of the largest remaining protected natural ecosystems in the world. The Park provides unfenced access to a variety of game between South Africa and Botswana.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a large wildlife preserve and conservation area in southern Africa, located largely within the southern Kalahari Desert . The park has a surface area of more than two million hectares and straddles the border between South Africa and Botswana, comprising two adjoining national parks, respectively Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and Gemsbok National Park in Botswana.
The terrain consists of red sand dunes, sparse vegetation, occasional trees, and the dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob rivers.
The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa was established in 1931 mainly to protect the migrating game, especially the gemsbok, from poaching. In 1948, an informal verbal agreement was made between the then Bechuanaland Protectorate and the Union of South Africa to set up a conservation area in the contiguous areas of the two lands.
In June 1992 representatives from the South African National Parks Board Board (now SANParks) and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Botswana set up a joint management committee to manage the area as a single ecological unit. A management plan was drafted, reviewed, and approved in 1997.
The parties agreed to cooperate in tourism and share equally in park entrance fees. On 7 April 1999, Botswana and South Africa signed a historic bilateral agreement whereby both countries undertook to manage their adjacent national parks, the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa as a single ecological unit.
The boundary between the two parks had no physical barriers, although it is also the international border between the two countries. This allowed for the free movement of animals. On 12 May 2000, President Festus Mogae of Botswana and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa formally launched Southern Africa’s first peace park, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
The park gives sanctuary to herds of endemic antelope that have roamed the semidesert savannah and endless pans for aeons such as gemsbok (oryx), springbok, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest and eland. Other species include the famed black-maned Kalahari lion, leopard, cheetah and smaller game including mongooses, porcupine and honey badger.
58 mammal, 55 reptile, countless insect and a host of plant species share the desert and dry savannah while approximatley 300 species of bird, including at least 20 species of large raptor, share the endless blue skys.
The park is dotted with three traditional rest camps where you can enjoy night drives and guided day walks.