Why the Kalahari...

The Kgalagadi is a remote, wild, and unspoilt semi-desert with red sand dunes, sparse vegetation and lots of big cats - a true photographer's paradise.

Female Leopard walking past us in the KalahariFemale Leopard walking past us
Kalahari LandscapeKalahari Landscape

The openness and lack of tall grass allows easy spotting of animals while the summer thunderstorms provide dramatic backdrops...

Kalahari LightningKalahari Lightning

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is such a dramatic contrast to other parks, such as the Kruger, and its open spaces provide excellent opportunities for photographers.

The Kalahari is most famous for its predator sightings and in particular for its huge black-maned lions...

HDR image of Drinking lionsHDR image of Drinking lions

This male lion in the image below had, with his pride, killed four wildebeest the night before and they feasted on the carcasses near Mata Mata camp for two days. They were at the base of a dune next to the road so no 'bazooka' lenses were needed - a 300mm or 400mm lens was more than adequate!

Kalahari Lion with wildebeest killKalahari Lion with wildebeest kill

Here is some basic info on the Park and why we love going there:

Auchterlonie museum and waterholeAuchterlonie museum and waterhole

• The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa was proclaimed in 1931 and covered about 9500 square kilometers with Namibia on the western border and Botswana on the eastern border. The park is situated in the Northern Cape province of South Africa and now, together with the adjacent Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, this Transfrontier Park comprises an area of about 38000 square kilometers

• The park is about 920 kilometers from Johannesburg so it takes at least one day to get there, hence a safari stopover is recommended. 

• The name Kgalagadi means "land of thirst" or "Thirstland" and is where the original name was obviously derived

• There are only gravel roads in the park – these roads can get very rutted but the park staff do regularly level the roads. You will be pleased to know that the 60 km stretch of road leading up to the park gate has finally been tarred – this was the most uncomfortable road to drive!

• There are 10 camps/lodges on the South African side of the park and 2 on the Botswana side...

Kalahari sign boardKalahari sign board

"We discovered Mario’s book, “Photographer’s Guide to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park” online and a relative bought it for my birthday. This book was a godsend it saved us so much time in the park and gave such good advice re travel plans and photographic tips.

We never adhered to all the tips as sometimes we slipped into the trap of being subject focused rather than light focused, it is difficult when you visit the park for the first time.

We are beginner photographers and were worried that opportunities may not present themselves again, we will learn. We highly recommend this eBook to all visitors, at less than $30 it is a real bargain. Thanks Mario for all your patience and assistance". - Ted, Brisbane, Australia

kgalagadi ecover small

South African side of the Park:

Twee Rivieren gateTwee Rivieren gate

3 Main Rest Camps:

Each main camp has a shop, petrol station and swimming pool. The shop at Twee Rivieren is the best stocked.....

Nossob campNossob camp
Mata Mata Reception and border postMata Mata Reception and border post

Twee Rivieren


Mata Mata

6 Wilderness Camps:

The wilderness camps are all unfenced, providing a true wilderness experience!

Kieliekrankie cabinsKieliekrankie cabins
Urikaruus campUrikaruus camp
Gharagab cabinGharagab cabin




Kalahari Tented Camp



Kalahari Tented Camp sundowner viewKalahari Tented Camp
Grootkolk campGrootkolk camp
Bitterpan campBitterpan camp

1 luxury lodge:

!Xaus Lodge sunriseSunrise at !Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge


Botswana side of the Park:

2 Luxury lodges:

Rooiputs Lodge bomaRooiputs Lodge boma

Rooiputs Luxury Lodge

Polentswa Tented Camp

Please don't get confused with the names of the Botswana lodges as they are situated next to camping sites with the same names. Rooiputs Lodge is 400 meters away from the old Rooiputs camping site, which has six A-frame camp sites and both are close to the Rooiputs waterhole.

Polentswa tented camp is about 3 kilometers away from the old Polentswa campsite that has 3 A-frame campsites and again, both are close to the Polentswa waterhole.

The two Botswana lodges are owned and run by Ta Shebube and are premier / luxury lodges.

Polentswa camp boma at nightPolentswa camp boma at night

The Kalahari has its own big-five (lion, leopard, cheetah, gemsbok, and eland)....

Lioness and cub in the KalahariLioness and cub
cheetah cubs playing in the Kalaharicheetah cubs playing
Gemsbok in the long grass in the KalahariGemsbok in the long grass
Eland image taken on game drive at !Xaus lodgeEland image taken on game drive at !Xaus lodge

"Having a passion for the region myself and having had to learn about all the dynamics, waterholes and ideal routes to drive over a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa

Leopard mother and cub at waterhole in the KalahariLeopard mother and cub at waterhole

What we love most about the Park is not only the superb predator sightings, but the lovely waterholes; raptor sightings and the eruption of wild-flowers after the first rains.....

Samevloeiing waterhole in the KalahariSamevloeiing waterhole
Martial eagle in the KalahariMartial eagle
Devils claw and its flowerDevils claw and its flower


• The park covers a huge area, about one third in South Africa and the balance is in Botswana. The park is accessible from South Africa, Namibia and from Botswana.

• You can also combine a Kgalagadi safari with Cape Town tours and activities

• To see some of our Kgalagadi photographs please visit the Kgalagadi Gallery page and read our interview with Nigel Dennis a professional wildlife photographer who has spent over two years photographing in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

• To download our PhotographyBB Magazine article Kgalagadi - a Nature Photographer's Paradise, please right click on the above link and then save the file to your desktop.

• Wild Card is a must as you will save a lot of money on conservation fees by investing in this small item!

Click on the image below to find out more...

Kalahari Maps

To download Kgalagadi park and camp maps please click here

Kgalagadi Trip Reports

On our way to Gharagab Wilderness campOn our way to Gharagab Wilderness camp

You can read our Kgalagadi trip reports here

Share Your Kalahari Stories...

Share Your Kgalagadi Stories here

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To make a safari rental booking in South Africa, Botswana or Namibia click here

"This eBook is packed with knowledge that can be applied to other parks, safaris and wildlife excursions via the photography lessons and additional advice for photographers" - Amanda Ellis, Pretoria, South Africa

"This eBook will be extremely useful for a wide spectrum of photography enthusiasts, from beginners to even professional photographers." - Tobie Oosthuizen, Pretoria, South Africa

"Having a passion for the region myself and having had to learn about all the dynamics, waterholes and ideal routes to drive over a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa

"Mario and Jenny take you to spots that are not always visited, and their descriptions of the more remote camps will allow you to make an informed decision without wasting time and money" - Bob & Sherry Shepardson, DeBary, Florida, USA


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