Skip to content

It dominates the centre of Botswana and it is Africa at its most remote and esoteric; a vast sand sheet punctuated by a few huge open plains, occasional salt pans, and the fossil remains of ancient riverbeds.

Big game

Oryx in the Central KalahariThe Central Kalahari is one of the most remarkable parts of Botswana. In the months following the rains the game concentrations massively increase and large herds of oryx and impala develop. This level of abundance brings into the area the famous black maned lions as well as healthy populations of cheetah who thrive on the open pans.

At times the distances are large, along bush tracks of variable quality. and there isn't the variation here that you'll find around Chobe or the Okavango. However this remains one of Africa's finest wilderness areas and a visit here offers a level of remoteness that is hard to match anywhere else in Botswana.


The birdlife here is very varied, with Africa's largest bird, the ostrich, being regularly observed. The kori bustard are the world's heaviest flying birds and are also common, stepping around the plains in search of insects and small reptile and mammals. You will also regularly come across korhaans with their unmistakeable cry.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Russell, an Audley Travel specialist

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Central Kalahari by contacting one of our Botswana specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Central Kalahari

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Central Kalahari, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Central Kalahari

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Central Kalahari

    Accommodation choices for Central Kalahari

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Central Kalahari. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Standard, Tau Pan Lodge, Central Kalahari

      Tau Pan Lodge

      First Class

      Enjoying a secluded spot on the ridge of an ancient sand dune, with the flat expanse of the Central Kalahari stretching out below, Tau Pan offers incredible views and a rich safari experience, with knowledgeable guides and trackers ensuring you can fully appreciate the reserve’s diverse wildlife.

    • Sunset at Jacks Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans

      Jack's Camp


      Jacks Camp is in a harsh but fabulous environment. Activities at the camp vary enormously: there’s the chance to sit surrounded by meerkats, walk with the Bushmen, explore by quad bike or just lie on a salt pan watching the stars.