Pictures and story by Ian Landsberg
Upington- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a vast 3.6 million hectares wildlife preserve and conservation area bordering South Africa and Botswana.
Located largely within the southern Kalahari Desert, the reserve which is near Upington in the Northern Cape is marked by red sand dunes, sparse vegetation, occasional trees and the dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob Rivers.
Despite the arid conditions - Kgalagadi means “Place of thirst” in the San language, the park is teeming with wildlife and home to predators such as black-maned Kalahari lions, cheetahs, leopards, jackals and hyenas as well as plenty of herbivores such as springbok, wildebeest, gemsbok, eland and red hartebeest.
It also boasts more than 200 species of various bird species including vultures and raptors such as eagles, buzzards and secretary birds.
An important development in conservation as a land-use option is that a total of almost 58 000 hectares of land in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was restored to the Khomani San and Mier communities who once lived there.
The park has three rest camps - Twee Rivieren, Mata Mata and Nossob. These are fully serviced lodges with amenities such air conditioning, shops, petrol stations and swimming pools.
For campers there are also six wilderness camps in the park.
The park's dirt roads are not sedan-friendly and vehicles with higher ground clearance and 4X4 transmission are recommended.
For more information: https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kgalagadi/
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