Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the best destinations to find the big cats, especially cheetahs, along with many other predators. Black-maned lions are often sighted lazing in the shade on hot days or heard roaring through the night, and cheetahs can be seen prowling for prey. The landscape of the Kgalagadi is just as incredible to see as the wildlife. Red sand dunes span the endless horizons meeting beautiful clear blue skies and pose an exquisite setting for photography. With its picturesque landscapes and awesome predators, the Kgalagadi truly lives up to the ideals of an African safari.

  • Best Time To Go

    March - May

  • Average Safari Cost

    $200 to $1,500pp/day

  • Highlights

    Beautiful scenery, black-maned lions and many other predators, game drives, guided walking safaris and so much more!

Why Visit Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park?

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park spans from Botswana into South Africa and, while the South African side has better facilities, the Botswana side offers a pure African safari experience. With its rustic and secluded campsites, the Kgalagadi offers an exciting adventure in the wilderness that just can't be beat.

You will get the chance to see cheetahs, black-maned lions, hyenas and many more creatures thriving in their true habitats. The Kgalagadi is a massive conservation area that results in an amazing opportunity for you to see animals living in their natural habitats. Whether you're driving yourself through the park or adventuring off on game drives, there is plenty of wildlife and stunning scenery to see.

Pros And Cons

To choose the right adventure, have a look at our list of pros and cons.
  • Superb animal viewing
  • Good chance to see cheetahs and black-maned lions
  • Beautiful scenery for photography
  • Excellent for bird watching
  • Beautiful sunrise and sunset game drives
  • Less diversity of wildlife than in some other reserves
  • Very harsh climate and can get uncomfortably hot

Best Time To Visit

The best time for game viewing is from March to May. This is after the rainy months when animals can easily be found gathering around the riverbeds. While these months are at the end of summer, it can still be very hot with temperatures averaging around 88˚F (31˚C) during the day. Leading into the winter season, nights can get cold in May with temperatures of about 43˚F(6˚C). This time is also the best for birdwatching as migratory species can be spotted.

The summer months of October to February can be extremely hot and, as this is the wet season, thunderstorms bring heavy rains and strong winds, which can disrupt game drives and other activities. Temperatures during the day can reach up to 113˚F (45˚C).

Daytime temperatures are much more pleasant during the winter months, May to September, but the nights can be very cold. The animals disperse more during these months and are harder to spot as they move through the land looking for food and water.

For more details about when to visit broken down by months/seasons see our Botswana overview.

Start your Botswana Adventure

Wildlife And Birds

From fierce black-maned lions to little but charismatic meerkats, the Kgalagadi has a great variety of wildlife to see. If you want to see big cats roam the land, this is the place to be.

While it doesn't have the impressive diversity of wildlife species some of the other parks have, it does boast incredible predator sightings, especially cheetahs. The Kgalagadi is also good for birdwatching and is well known for its birds of prey.

List Of Animals
  • Lion
  • Cheetah
  • Hyena
  • Giraffe

Frequently Seen Animals:

  • Lion
  • Cheetah
  • Hyena
  • Wildebeest

Rare Animals:

  • Giraffe
  • Wild dog
  • Pangolin


While there are over 300 species of birds to see in the Kgalagadi, only about 100 of those species are inhabitants of the land. With 46 recorded species, the park is a great destination for the birds of prey sightings. The best time for birdwatching in the Kgalagadi is from November to April, as this is when migratory birds can be found.

Endangered Birds:

  • Ludwig's bustard
  • White-backed vulture
  • Hooded vulture
  • Martial eagle
  • Steppe eagle
  • Black harrier

Near-Endemic Birds:

  • White-quilled bustard

Getting There And Safety

The Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park can only be access by a 4x4 safari vehicle with at least two vehicles travelling in convoy. Your operator can also arrange a chartered flight to take you to one of the airports or airstrips close to the Kglagadi gates. These airports or airstrips include Maun, Ghanzi, Tshabong and Sir Serestse Khama International Airport. Charter flights can be booked online or are often booked as a part of a tour package so check with your operator.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Botswana.

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Botswana.

For more details about flights see our Botswana Safari - Complete Travel Guide.


All foreign visitors must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after their visit. Visas are not required by visitors of many nationalities, who will receive a 30-day entry permit upon arrival.

For more details about visas see our Botswana Safari - Complete Travel Guide.


The vaccinations recommended for Botswana are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and typhoid. Boosters are recommended for measles, tetanus and diphtheria.

Unless you plan to travel to the more northern parks of Botswana, anti-malarial drugs aren't necessary.

It’s better to check with your local medical authority which vaccinations are required.

For more details about vaccinations see our Botswana Safari - Complete Travel Guide.

Travel Insurance

Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Botswana. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check the World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of the safari trip cover.

What To Pack

You will need to pack clothes for both warm and cool weather as it can get very hot during the day and quite cold at night depending on what time of the year you go. Try to pack neutral, earthy toned clothes and avoid bright colours. Other essential items are a hat, sunscreen, toiletries, closed shoes, torch, batteries, insect repellent, binoculars, camera, a good map and a First Aid kit.

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.

Shopping and Food
Even if you prefer to have a self-driving safari, there are shops that stock very basic items such as bread, water, wood and charcoal. Diesel is usually available but petrol is not, so be sure to fill up your vehicle when you can and plan your trip so you know the distance you can safely drive.
Campsite Fencing
The campsites are not fenced off so do not sleep outside your tent or leave any food out as animals can wander freely around the camps. There is always a park ranger on duty to ensure everyone's safety.