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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 unmistakable cry.

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Audley Travel specialist Philippa

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Map of Central Kalahari

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    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.