Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP)

Legend says, 'Once the red Kalahari sand bites your toes, you will be drawn back again and again and again'.... Well, we lost our hearts on our first visit - extremely tough as this has caused major contention with our Kruger addiction! This vast and wild wilderness straddles South Africa and Botswana and touches Namibia too. It is the semi desert red dunes and star studded sky and the big cats that draws your soul....CAUTION: HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park covers 3.6m hectares across the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana – red dunes, blue skies, puffy clouds and wildlife galore … but most importantly, very few people. The accommodation varies from the larger Camps where lions and jackals patrol the fences to the smaller and remote unfenced rustic bush camps where lions, leopards hyenas and jackals are frequent visitors. The sounds of your tyres singing on the sand…. the barking of the geckos …. the eerie howling of the jackals … the sawing of a residential leopard … the cackling of a hyena clan … the reverberating roar of lions … these are the sounds of the Kalahari….Visit if you dare!

🙂 The wildness, the remoteness, the varying redness of the dunes as the day progresses, the blue skies, the wild flowers after the rains, a desert storm…

🙁 What is not to LOVE?! HOT! Highly addictive!


The highlight for us are the wilderness camps which are unfenced, remote, private and idyllic … but be warned – you need to book a year in advance to secure your preferred options!

Bitterpan: This unfenced camp is accessed only by 4×4 from Nossob on a one directional road. Access is via Nossob and you will need to arrive 3 hours before closing time to check in. The raised viewing platform provides spectacular views across the pan. We had some nice hyena sightings.

Gharagab: Only accessible by 4×4 on this exclusive one way route … the unfenced camp overlooks a water hole and is idyllic and as remote as you can get – divine. The barking gheckos were amazing.

Grootkolk: You will feel as though you have the Kalahari to yourself. We had great lion and brown hyena sightings here.

Kalahari Tented Camp: Three kilometers from Mata Mata, this is a fenced camp with tented bungalows and sits on top of the dunes overlooking the water hole on the dry Aoub riverbed. Jackals are regular visitors. There is also a swimming pool.

Kieliekrankie: These chalets blend into the high dunes and have fantastic views across the sandveld. We had a huge black maned lion roaring all night from the water hole… one of our favourite places in the world. The wild cat kittens were too cute!

Mata Mata: This rest camp is situated on the dry Auob riverbed on the border of Namibia – great area for cheetah sightings. There is a basic shop, fuel, swimming pool, chalets and camp site. Guided game drives are on offer. The night sky was incredible!

Nossob: is a game rich area and vehicles can disperse to remote areas of the park so you may have many sightings to yourself. There is a shop (you can order bread the day before), swimming pool, fuel, Game viewing hide at the waterhole, chalets and camping. Guided game drives are on offer. The new riverbed units look amazing!

Polentswa Tented Camp: This private all inclusive camp was administered by Botswana and was absolutely stunning with a staggering 180 degree view from the main area and the tents. The camp offered accommodation in six canvas safari tents, one family unit and one luxury desert suite, all built on wooden platforms offering beautiful vistas of the surrounding Kalahari. Each tent had a sleeping area, a desk, an en-suite bathroom and an outside shower. The main area and lounge was located at a waterhole and the surrounding pan which attracts numerous wildlife. Unfortunately a raging veld fire burnt it own in September 2021! A lioness was under our tent so we had to move to another tent! Amazing black mane male roaring right next to our vehicle at the waterhole. A family of cape foxes outside our tent provided great photo opportunities in the morning. It was absolutely wonderful.

Rooiputs Lodge: is located about 25 km north of Twee Rivieren along the Nossob River Valley within Botswana and as such is administered outside of SANParks. The private all inclusive lodge is perched along a vegetated red sand dune offering extensive panoramic views of a valley of acacia savannah and grassy plains. Lions are frequent visitors to the adjacent waterhole. Accommodation comprises of nine chalets, one family unit and one luxury desert suite or honeymoon suite all under thatch.  Each chalet is set on an expansive wooden deck and constructed out of a clever mix of wood, thatch, canvas and glass. We enjoyed the plunge pool to cool down in (we did have to insist that they fill it up!). Incredible lion pride sighting at sunset at waterhole. A resident owl had a broken leg.

Twee Rivieren: The Entrance Gate to KTP and a fenced rest camp on the dry Nossob Riverbed, also serving as the administrative centre of KTP. The rest camp has a well stocked shop, restaurant, swimming pool, petrol as well as chalets and camping spots. Guided walks and drives are available. The ground squirrels provided endless entertainment as the played and groomed each other while we braai’d.

Urikaruus: This unfenced camp is constructed on raised walkways which connect the units. Another firm favourite – fantastic leopard and brown hyena sightings here. The leopard walked straight through camp and under us as we stood on the walkway – completely unfazed!

!Xaus: is a private all inclusive luxury lodge built on the heritage land of the Khomani and Mier communities. Game was scarce but it was a perfect 3 day break to immerse yourself in the wilderness that is the Kalahari. We did see hyenas on the pan.

Picnic Spots: There are numerous unfenced picnic spots with ablutions dotted along park. Please exercise caution…we have enjoyed a picnic at Melkvlei only to spot a large male lion on a kill about 30m away as we drove off! My cousin and her daughter enjoyed their picnic at Dikbaardskolk and then went to the toilet to find a leopard resting there in the shade – no doubt been there al the time observing them enjoying their breakfast!

Auchterlonie Picnic Site & Museum: This is a museum created at one of the picnic spots in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The museum is housed in an old fieldstone farmhouse, which was built by the Human family. They farmed with sheep, goats, horses and donkeys. They used mauzers for hunting, and shooting leopards and lions. They used to travel to Upington, taking 14 days to do so. This museum displays their bedroom and kitchen area.

Melkvlei: A memorable picnic spent here with a crow who made very realistic babbling brook water sounds!! On one trip a car pulled in and told us there were two separate prides of lions with kills a few 100m in either direction … we headed off in search of them and found both prides coming head to head in a face off! Amazing.

Dikbaardskolk: Always a favourite stop to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere enhanced by the stunning wildflowers and sweet perfumed air accompanied to the call of the ring necked dove, ‘work harder, work harder / drink lager, drink lager’ humming in the background – pure bliss. The crimson breasted shrike is always waiting for a titbit! We had a big male lion on a kill under the tree that we only spotted when we left!

Lijersdraai: We made the error of using brakish water from the tap for our tea and coffee – t was rather salty! Top Tip: Bring a flask of fresh water!

Unions End: This picnic site is a few Kms before the stopping point of Unions End where tht=ree countries share a border: South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.



Here are a few of our photos of wildlife over the past few years since our first visit in March 2016 to give you a taster – just book it NOW!

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