The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest, most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa. As the traditional home of the San Bushman, the CKGR has been off limits for 30 years but now restricted development has allowed two lodges deep within this special reserve – Kalahari Plains and Tau Pan. Deception Valley is a highlight, coming to life after the Green Season rains.
Makgadikgadi is part of the vast Kalahari Basin and comprises a series of salt pans, with Nxai Pan the most accessible of these. During the wet summer season (Nov-May), large herds of zebra and plains game arrive, followed by predators. Flowers bloom, flamingos dance, giraffes start courting and cheetah can be seen. The dry winter months are stark, a chance to relish the vast star studded skies and abundant meerkats. Baines Baobabs are in the south. The scene is unchanged since the baobabs were painted by Thomas Baines in 1862.
There is still very little known about the second largest land migration in Africa (the first is the Great Migration in Kenya/Tanzania). The migration of zebra in Botswana is thought to be the longest overland migration with around 30,000 Burchell's zebra following a 360 mile round trip all the way from the parched Makgadikgadi grasslands to the lush Boteti River.
As with the Great Wildbeest Migration, this is a seasonal (rain-dependent) migration. It forms in March/April in an area that is covered by the Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi Pans national parks and ends in September time around the lush grasslands and waterholes of the Boteti River. The zebra feast here until about November when they begin the arduous journey south again.