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Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

The second largest wildlife reserve in the world, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is Botswana’s principal national park. The park was originally created in 1961 to protect the native San Bushmen, who have roamed these lands for the past 30,000 years. Originally nomadic hunter-gathers, the San now mostly live in settlements in the park’s southern section.

Its remoteness, unforgiving climate, and harsh terrain have kept the area in pristine condition for modern visitors. Situated right in the middle of the country within the boundaries of the Kalahari desert, today the reserve is best known for its expansive open plains populated by scores of species of birds and mammals.

Moving south within the park, the landscape transforms from sandy dessert to vast grassy plains to mopane forests. Once the summer rains arrive (between November and March), the vast plains transform from semi-desert to lush grasslands and become one of prime wildlife viewing areas in Africa. Vast herds of wildebeest, giraffe, eland, gemsbok, kudu, and hartebeest traverse the undulating wilderness, followed by packs of hyenas and wild dogs, prides of lion, and solitary leopards.

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