Central Kalahari Game Reserve Mobile Safari

Vast, remote & untouched

In the heart of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, just over the last of the towering dunes, you’ll catch a glimpse of what looks like a vast, iridescent lake, shimmering in the sun. But it’s not a lake at all. This is Deception Valley, one of the most remote areas of the Kalahari Desert, and miles and miles of pristine, glistening sand. The area has, until recently, been closed to the public, and even now it sees only a handful of visitors every year.

To explore Deception Valley and the Kalahari on a mobile safari is to travel back to an Africa of another time. The game viewing is spectacular with huge herds of gemsbok, springbok and wildebeest roaming the scorched earth, as well as a range of carnivores from meerkat to the Kalahari lion. Then there’s the scenery; jumbles of sand and thorn that stretch to infinity and beyond, transformed by the summer rains into a sea of sweet green grass. And you’ve got four full days days to explore as much as you possibly can…

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Price from:

$4,420

Duration:

5 days/ 4 nights

Departure Dates:

January to April

Min / Max Group Size

2 / 14

Trip Begins / Ends

Maun / Maun

Includes Mobile Camping:

Yes

Details, Details

Highlights

  • Explore the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the second largest reserve in Africa at 52,800 square-kilometres, and the largest open eco-system remaining in Botswana.
  • Visit Deception Valley, one of the most remote areas of the Kalahari Desert.
  • Game drive amongst huge herds of plains game, and keep your eyes peeled for predators- lion, cheetah and honey badger can all be found here.
  • Visit the Passarge Valley, Piper Pan and Deception Pan to search for intriguing, desert-adapted flora and fauna.
  • Sleep under the twinkling, desert stars in our wonderfully-wild mobile camp.
  • Visit the campsite of Mark and Delia Owens, researchers who undertook an eight-year research programme into the predators of the desert.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: $4420 per person for 4 nights, based on 4 people travelling ($1105 per person, per night). Please enquire for other rates and pricing information.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of this trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, we also offer three night packages to the Central Kalahari, but 4 nights is our recommended length of itinerary.

Extension ideas: Combine a trip to the Central Kalahari with a few nights at Jack’s Camp or Camp Kalahari in the Makgadikgadi for the ultimate desert exploration.

When to Go & What to Pack

This trip can be booked from January to April during Botswana’s green season. Unlike many other classic safari areas in Botswana, this is the best time to visit the Central Kalahari and the game viewing is spectacular. It’s at this time that the animals congregate in the pans and valleys attracted by the sweet grasses that flourish following the rains. It’s birthing season too, and baby animals dot the luscious plains, and if you’re a birder you’ll enjoy watching the migrants arrive in their hundreds and thousands. Temperature-wise, it does get hot and you should expect a couple of thunderstorms (making for beautiful and dramatic sunsets!). Please remember to pack a light rain jacket and sturdy, waterproof shoes

 

Our Guides

As former guides ourselves, we’re only too aware of the importance of exceptional guiding. We know that it’s they who bring the flora and fauna to life and help guests fall in love with a park, species or camp. That’s why we have the best. Our guides live and breathe the bush and they know its rhythms, its beats, and its quirks. Not only do they possess innate intuitions for the areas in which they work, but they’re also professionally trained for any situation (by guide extraordinaire Ralph Bousfield nonetheless!), and are able to handle anything unexpected that might arise. Our team also know, first and foremost that you’re here to have fun, and they’ll help with that too.

 

Highlights

  • Explore the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the second largest reserve in Africa at 52,800 square-kilometres, and the largest open eco-system remaining in Botswana.
  • Visit Deception Valley, one of the most remote areas of the Kalahari Desert.
  • Game drive amongst huge herds of plains game, and keep your eyes peeled for predators- lion, cheetah and honey badger can all be found here.
  • Visit the Passarge Valley, Piper Pan and Deception Pan to search for intriguing, desert-adapted flora and fauna.
  • Sleep under the twinkling, desert stars in our wonderfully-wild mobile camp.
  • Visit the campsite of Mark and Delia Owens, researchers who undertook an eight-year research programme into the predators of the desert.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: $4420 per person for 4 nights, based on 4 people travelling ($1105 per person, per night). Please enquire for other rates and pricing information.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of this trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, we also offer three night packages to the Central Kalahari, but 4 nights is our recommended length of itinerary.

Extension ideas: Combine a trip to the Central Kalahari with a few nights at Jack’s Camp or Camp Kalahari in the Makgadikgadi for the ultimate desert exploration.

When to Go & What to Pack

This trip can be booked from January to April during Botswana’s green season. Unlike many other classic safari areas in Botswana, this is the best time to visit the Central Kalahari and the game viewing is spectacular. It’s at this time that the animals congregate in the pans and valleys attracted by the sweet grasses that flourish following the rains. It’s birthing season too, and baby animals dot the luscious plains, and if you’re a birder you’ll enjoy watching the migrants arrive in their hundreds and thousands. Temperature-wise, it does get hot and you should expect a couple of thunderstorms (making for beautiful and dramatic sunsets!). Please remember to pack a light rain jacket and sturdy, waterproof shoes

 

Our Guides

As former guides ourselves, we’re only too aware of the importance of exceptional guiding. We know that it’s they who bring the flora and fauna to life and help guests fall in love with a park, species or camp. That’s why we have the best. Our guides live and breathe the bush and they know its rhythms, its beats, and its quirks. Not only do they possess innate intuitions for the areas in which they work, but they’re also professionally trained for any situation (by guide extraordinaire Ralph Bousfield nonetheless!), and are able to handle anything unexpected that might arise. Our team also know, first and foremost that you’re here to have fun, and they’ll help with that too.

 

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Arrive in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Today, you’ll fly into Deception Pan and meet your guide before enjoying a slow, meandering game drive through the valley to your private campsite. The evening is for G&Ts round the fire, sunsets, and a brief history of the area.

Days 2, 3 & 4: Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Over the next few days you’ll rise with the sun and head out on game drives to look for honey badger, jackal, lion, cheetah and wild dog. In the afternoons, there will be time to explore Deception Valley and the campsite of researchers Mark and Delia Owens, the exact spot where their book, The Cry of the Kalahari, was written. You’ll also visit Passarge Valley and all its inhabitants, Piper Pan, Leopard Pan, and examine the differences in flora and fauna of the valleys and dunes.

Day 4: Depart from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve

After a glorious Kalahari sunrise, it’s back to the airstrip at Deception to be collected by private charter for your onward journey.

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Accommodations

Our mobile camps are comprised of large, Meru-style canvas tents, equipped with all the essentials (and a few extras!), and unequalled on any other mobile safari on the continent. You’ll find real beds, down pillows and pure cotton sheets in the bedrooms, and Persian rugs, bone-handled cutlery, and classically-styled, campaign furniture in the mess tent. The three-course meals taste just as wonderful as they look, and there’s always something sweet and mouth-poppingly delicious waiting at tea time. And the question on everyone’s lips? Bathrooms are private, with bucket showers, plenty of hot water, and bush loos. There are no electrical facilities available on our mobile safaris, but camera batteries can be charged using a 12-volt car battery.

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Wildlife

The game viewing in this region is exceptional. During your time here, you’re likely to see huge herds of gemsbok, springbok, wildebeest and hartebeest who are attracted to the area by the sweet grasses that germinate after the summer rains. Keep your eyes peeled for the Kalahari lion and cheetah, and you’ll probably spot giraffe, honey badger, jackal, and a variety of small antelope. Meerkats abound and there is always a good chance of seeing brow hyaena – and the birding is unexpectedly good! In pursuit of these magnificent wildlife sightings, you’ll move through different sites including Piper Pan, Passarge Valley, Deception Pan and the area’s towering sand dunes.

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