The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is known to offer some of the best African wildlife sightings and bird-watching in South Africa.
See wildlife that have adapted to life in the desert
The dry, arid landscape of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park means that visitors to the game park can look forward to exceptional sightings of African game animals. The wilderness reserve boasts a large population of Lion, Cheetah and Leopard, offering excellent sightings of predators.
Kgalagadi is also home to over 600 Brown Hyena and around 400 Spotted Hyena. There are a number of other smaller predators of which the most frequently seen are Bat-eared Fox, Yellow Mongoose and Suricate.
Where there are predators there has to be prey, and the reserve also has large populations of antelope including; Springbok, Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest and Wildebeest. Giraffe have been recently reintroduced into the park and are usually sighted near to Mata-Mata camp.
Best time for wildlife viewing
Surely the best time for wildlife viewing in Kgalagadi is towards the end of the Wet season, roughly from March to May, when animals congregate in the riverbeds. However, many might prefer the cooler winter months of May to September and, as a rule, wildlife viewing is good throughout the year. The summer months from October to April are very hot.
Bird-watchers will be in their element in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park as there are over 280 species of birds regularly spotted here including Ostrich (of which it is estimated there are over 16 000 of them), Lilac-breasted Roller, Crimson-breasted Shrike and Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill. About 92 of the species are resident.
The diversity of raptors is extremely impressive and bird-watchers may have sightings of some of the 34 species found here; including Pygmy Flacons and Lappet-faced Vultures.
Less common are Martial Eagle and Red-necked Falcon. Barn, Spotted and Verreaux’s (Giant) Eagle Owl are common, while Pearl-spotted Owlet, White-faced and African Scops-Owl may also be seen.
Larks and Sparrowlarks (Finchlarks) are abundant particularly after good rains which is also a good time to see seed-eaters such as Violet-eared Waxbill, Black-throated Canary, Shaft-tailed Whydah and Lark-like Bunting. Kori Bustard is common along both the Auob and Nossob riverbeds with Ludwig’s Bustard being relatively common during summer.
Best time for Bird Watching
Bird watching in Kgalagadi is always good, but especially from November to April, when you can observe migrant birds, as well as resident species. The mid-day heat can be extreme at this time, however, so it is important to plan accordingly.
Some of the sightings may be far apart because the park covers a large area, but do not let this put you off to visit this incredible place. It is the perfect getaway from the early everyday life!