Best of South Africa & Mozambique
This luxurious and action-packed itinerary takes in the highlights of South Africa before finishing up with 4 nights on the Mozambique coast.
Kgalagadi, meaning ‘place of great thirst’ in the local San language, is a harsh environment. For the most part, hot and arid, the land here is sparsely vegetated and the sand beds of the Nossob and Auob rivers flow with water only occasionally after very heavy rain. The deep red and orange colours of the expansive parallel dunes meet the dusty shades of Kalahari scrub, with only sporadic shade from hardy acacias.
Yet in spite of the unforgiving environment, the wildlife is surprisingly prolific. The park has abundant, varied wildlife. It is home to large mammalian predators such as lions, cheetahs, African leopards, and hyenas. Migratory herds of large herbivores such as blue wildebeest, springbok, eland, and red hartebeest also live and move seasonally within the park, providing sustenance for the predators. With more than 200 species of bird can be found in the park, including vultures and raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and secretary birds.
Being away from most major travel routes, the park gets few visitors, making it ideal for true explorers and wildlife enthusiasts. As part of an immersive trans-Africa adventure, from Augrabies Falls through to Namibia, a leisurely exploration of the Kalagadi is invariable well-rewarded.
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.
Winter is the best time to visit the Kalagadi. The dry days encourage wildlife to gather around waterholes making wildlife viewing at its best. Do note the nights and early mornings can be bitterly at this time of year. This is May to October when you want to visit.
Summers in the Kalagadi start by the end of October, with day-time temperatures getting very hot and incredible thunderstorms begin to roll in. This rain brings with it the migratory bird species who summer here. The wildlife begins to spread out and the vegetation gets very lush all the way through to April.
Kalagadi Transfrontier National Park is quite out the way and not typically included in many itineraries. Yet that does not mean you shouldn’t go! This unique landscape can be incorporated into a self-drive adventure, get your 4x4 ready as you head out! For those looking to fly-in there is some beautiful accommodations, such as Tswalu Motse located in the area that offers a once in a lifetime stay, with your own private vehicle and guide you can get truly immersed. Many researchers and conservationists are based out of this area and for those interested it’s a fantastic opportunity to get involved, learn and actually make a difference to on-going conservation efforts.