The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) is a vast national park (over 3,6 million hectares/38,000 square kilometres) in the Kalahari desert basin, that straddles the borders of two countries (central northwest South Africa and southwestern Botswana) in southern Africa.
The KTP is an amalgamation of the former Kalahari Gemsbok National Park of South Africa and the adjacent Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, and was proclaimed in 2000, Africa’s first formally declared trans-border conservation area. Kgalagadi means “place of thirst”, and indeed annual precipitation is very low. In addition, extreme temperatures of −11 °C (12 °F) and up to 45 °C (113 °F) have been recorded.
It is indeed a magical place where the red Kalahari dunes dominate the arid landscape, where herds of Gemsbok and Springbok gather close to the dry river beds, where imposing Camel Thorn trees provide shade for black-maned Lions and vantage points for raptors… Perfect for a different kind of African safari and even better for nature and wildlife photographers. Because of the sparse vegetation and concentration of animals in the dry riverbeds of the Auob and Nossob rivers, many an award-winning wildlife shot has been taken in the KTP.
The park has abundant and varied wildlife. It is home to large mammalian predators such as Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, and Spotted and Brown Hyaenas. Large herbivores such as Common Wildebeest, Springbok, Common Eland and Red Hartebeest also live and move seasonally within the park, providing food for the predators. Other interesting fauna include Meerkat, Honey Badger, Temminck’s Ground Pangolin, Bat-eared Fox, Brants’s Whistling Rat, Barking Gecko and Cape Cobra.
More than 280 species of bird can be found in the park, including many vultures and raptors. Special species include Secretarybird, Tawny and Martial Eagle, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Bateleur, Pygmy and Red-necked Falcon, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, African Scops Owl, Violet-eared Waxbill, Kori and Ludwig’s Bustard, Crimson-breasted Shrike and of course the Sociable Weaver with its massive communal nests.
Within the park there are three traditional fully serviced tourist rest camps and also six wilderness camps where visitors need 4×4 vehicles and basically only shade is provided. The KTP receives about 50,000 visitors each year.
There is a legend that says “Once Kalahari sand gets into your shoes you’ll be drawn back again and again”. This is indeed true for the fantastically different Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
We are very excited to announce our latest itinerary to be added to our growing safari portfolio at Nature Travel Africa: The Red Dunes of the Kalahari Trip.
This 9-day tour includes a few days in the KTP, as well as stays in Mokala National Park and Marrick Safaris. For more information on this fantastic safari get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.