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Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve, Northern Cape

The private 3500ha Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve is situated in the heart of the red dune fields of the Kalahari thirstland, on the border with Botswana, 35km south of the main gate to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park at Twee Rivieren.

Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve offers guided walking safaris as well as vehicle safaris – although the walking safaris are recommended as it gives you a chance to focus on things you would not see from a vehicle – such as the early morning tracks left on the dunes by the myriad little creatures that survive in this ‘red desert’ as they go about their business in the night, before hiding again from the hot sun in the day.

In addition to these little creatures and critters, the Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve is home to over 200 species of bird, as well as a number of local game species, but no large predator species that are a threat to humans. Animals that can be seen include Cape fox, bat-eared fox and black-backed jackal, pangolins, many species of wild cat, mongoose species (including meerkat and genet) and rock hyraxes. Antelope species on the reserve include red hartebees, springbok, gemsbok, steenbok, blue wildebeest and grey duiker. There are also many insect, reptile and rodent species, well adapted to thrive in what appears to be a harsh and unforgiving environment, though you will more likely see the tracks they leave in the red and gold sands.

Bird species include many Raptor species from eagles to secretary birds, hornbills, many small species such as bee-eaters, to wading and water bird species such as herons, cranes and kingfishers near the watering holes.

The biodiversity that the arid Kalahari supports, both fauna and flora, is surprising, and the Kalahari Trails walking safaris entice everyone from photographers to botanists, while the space, remoteness and clarity of the still ‘desert’ air offers incomparable stargazing.

There are various accommodation options from camping, tented camps to self-catering or guesthouse accommodation.

Safaris offered include early morning walking safaris, day and night drives and evening safaris by vehicle or on foot. Walks can be guided by a bushman guide.

Read more on the Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve

Getting there: From Upington take the R360 North, following the signs for Kgalagadi. Travelling distance is about 375 km. Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve is 35km before Twee Rivieren, the main entrance to Kgalagadi and the border post between South Africa and Botswana.

More info on the quaint town of Kgalagadi More info on the Kalahari area