Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Travel Guide

  • Gemsbok (Oryx)
    Gemsbok (Oryx)
    by MikeAtSea
  • Springbok
    Springbok
    by MikeAtSea
  • Gemsbok (Oryx)
    Gemsbok (Oryx)
    by MikeAtSea

Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Things to Do

  • Meerkat

    Suricates spend a lot of their time on guard, looking out for predators. In South Africa Suricates are commonly known as Meerkat. Suricates have a tan to grey coat with brown bands on the back and sides, the head and the throat are greyish white.Suricate (Meerkats) are diurnal. They live in colonies of up to 30. When emerging from their burrows in...

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  • Gemsbok (Oryx)

    The oryx is a large antelope of striking appearance with long, spearlike horns. It has a thick, horselike neck with a short mane and a compact, muscular body. The oryx's ringed horns are up to 30 inches long, making them formidable weapons. The female's horns are often longer and thinner than the male's.Originally, various oryx species were found...

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  • Springbok

    In abundance one finds the Springbok in this park. The national animal of South Africa is a fast antelope that can jump long distances. If you move slowly you will be able to get very close to them since they are quiet used to cars. During the heat of the day they are assembled in the shadow of trees.

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  • Desert Lion

    Imagine Lions in the desert - but this is exactly what one finds in the Kalahari Gemsbok Park. Seeing them they appear a lot bigger since there is very little vegetation around. Check at the gate or the camps if someone has sighted any and then follow the direction. Lions are lazy during the day hence if a pride was spotted it is bound to be near...

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  • Hartebeest

    The Red Hartebeest is the third most common antelope in Kgalagadi behind the springbok and gemsbok. It has very flat head from its forehead to its mouth. It is a large antelope weighing 280-500lbs (130 – 230 kg) and stands nearly 5 feet tall (1.4 m)The coat is red to reddish brown and has a white rump and black tail. There are some black marks on...

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  • Kori Bustard (Common in Kgalagadi)

    Kori Bustards are another bird that is common in Kgalagadi. These birds are enormous. They are the heaviest flying birds in Africa, although rarely flys. The wings are mostly grey with white and black spots on the leading the edge. The neck is darker grey. Head is pointed into a long beak and quill-like had feathers. This bird feeds on...

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  • Secretary Birds (Common in Kgalagadi)

    The Secretary bird is one of the more common raptures found in Kgalagadi. They are long legged eagles that have adapted to the savannas. They are a light grey with black and white on the tips of their feathers. Their face is red with a yellow beak and their legs tend to be an orange or orange-red. Their name comes from the pointed feathers on their...

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  • Spot the Honey Badger

    Honey Badgers are among some of the most interesting carnivores you may see. They are busy creatures constantly searching for food. They are found in semi-deserts as well as savannas and forests all over Africa. They are strong creatures with very thick, loose skin. They have a set of sharp teeth with powerful jaws. If attacked they can quickly...

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  • The Dune Roads

    There are two dune roads in the park that connect the Nossob and Aoub River roads. The dunes are the classic rolling piles of orange sand with very little vegetation. There are not many large animals to be found out here away from water but you may find the kori bustard, black bustard, redcrested korhaan, as well as the occasional black back jackal...

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  • The Nossob River

    The Nossob River is more shallow and wider than the Aoub River. The Nossob River runs from Twee Rivieren along the Botswana boarder through Nossob Camp and then to Union’s End through to Namibia. It is possible to spot large herds of impala and gemsbok in these river beds. Common raptors found here are pale chanting goshawk, African hawk eagle,...

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  • The Aoub River Drive

    The Aoub River runs along the west side of the park from Twee Rivieren Camp up through Mata Mata Camp and into Namibia. It is a narrow and deep river bed and offers a slightly different experience than the Nossob River bed. The river bed tends to be a little more green than the Nossob River and larger species of thorn tree is present. As you get...

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  • Save on the Park Expense

    Buy a “Wild” Card and Save MoneyThe Wild Card program has been recently introduced in the South African National Park system to make the parks more affordable for those making multiple entries. The card has a small computer chip in it that stores and process information. South African residence may buy a card specific to one region or “clusters”....

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  • What Game You May Find Here

    Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is the middle of the Kalahari Desert. It has sparse vegetation and most of the water is found in the dry riverbeds of the Auob and Nossob Rivers. This is a fantastic park to find predators and to see large herbivores that constantly search for water and sweet grasses. Lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, brown hyena,...

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  • Gemsbok

    The gemsbok, or Oryx, is a large antelope with very strait serrated, horns. They are grayish with black and white markings and have a horse like tail. They are quite common.The uniqueness of this species of antelope is its adaptation to the desert climate. It survives on meager amounts of water mainly by eating wild melons and cucumbers. They are...

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  • Meerkats, Facinating Social Creatures

    Meerkats, also called suricats, are a busy animals. They are small like mongoose but are much more entertaining. They are found in dry open country and live in dens in large packs of 30 or more. They are always busy sratching at the earth looking for invertebrates, digging out their dens which are sometimes share with squirls and other small mamals...

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Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Restaurants

  • Waxbag's Profile Photo

    by Waxbag Written Oct 25, 2004

    Twee Rivieren is the only restcamp that has a restaurant. It is located behind the main office overlooking the camp ground. The menu has a descent variety but it's a bit expensive for what you get.

    You may want to stick to the small camp store where you can stock up on the basics and cook it yourself.

    Looking for a Meal
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • National/State Park
    • Desert

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Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Transportation

  • Waxbag's Profile Photo

    by Waxbag Updated Dec 2, 2004

    Kgalagadi National Park is still mostly called Kalahari Gemsbok Park by the road signs and most locals. The name only changed recently when the park merged with its counterpart in Botswana.

    You can reach the park from two entrances. Twee Rivieren is the South African entrance and the closest major city is Upington 350 kms to the south. It is all on paved road except for the last 60 km to the park entrance which is very dusty and bumpy, but they may be upgradeing this soon. Watch out for the deep patches of sand that will grab your wheel and spin out your vehicle

    The other entrance is the Mabua-Sehube entrance in Botswana if you are coming from that route.

    There is no entrance from Namibia, however, there have been talks of reopening the gate at Mata Mata. That probably means it will take ages to open if ever at all.

    If you are coming from Namibia and wish to visit the park, go through the boarder at Rietfontein, SA. It is the closest to the park with out going to far south. Make sure you get supplies in Keetmasnhoop if you come this way. There are no supplies in Rietfontein.

    Lioness in the Kalahari
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Desert
    • Photography

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Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Book In Advance During School Holidays

    This is South Africa’s second premier park and is now getting a lot more press and attention. It is very popular during school holidays so book ahead during January and February and during the three week holiday in July.We got to Kgalagadi thinking that it was way off the beaten path. It is, but not during the school holidays in July. We were lucky...

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  • Watch your speed in Kgalagadi

    The roads are really bad here. The roads are all dirt roads and have patches of sandy spots that can cause you to wreck if you are speeding. Sometimes you hit nice spots of road that used to be paved and you can get the confidence to drive a bit faster and then you hit pure sand and it really grabs your tires and you loose control. The speed limit...

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  • Watch out for Jackals in Nosob Restcamp

    Even though it is fenced, Jackals go in and out of Nossob restcamp as they please. You may see as many as four at one time and they will get quite close to your camp site even while your there. Watch your food and gear closely as well as your shoes. They will carry your shoes away and eat them.

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Kalahari Gemsbok National Park What to Pack

  • Waxbag's Profile Photo

    by Waxbag Written Dec 2, 2004

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I don't think most guide books fully explain how cold it can get in the Kalahari desert. Even if you have sleeping bags that are rate for freezing temperatures, bring extra blankets. You cannot have too many. The nights spent in the park where all below freezing. Two nights the temperature was -6 degrees C.

    If you are camping make sure you have some sort of insulator to put underneath you. The cold ground really penitrates.

    The Desert Gets Cold at Night
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Desert
    • Camping

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Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Favorites

  • Buy an International Wild Card

    Buy a “Wild” Card and Save MoneyThe Wild Card program has been recently introduced in the South African National Park system to make the parks more affordable for those making multiple entries. The card has a small computer chip in it that stores and process information. South African residence may buy a card specific to one region or “clusters”....

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  • General Tips

    Roads in the park have gravel surfaces. The speed limit is 40 km/hr. If you go too fast you will really kick up the dust in the air. You could also easily wreck as there are deep sandy spots as well that could quickly slow down one side of the vehicle.Apparently, you may hire a car in advance and pick it up at Twee Rivieren. I suggest hiring a car...

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  • Kalahari Gemsbok National Park Hotels

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