The Kalahari in the context of visiting Botswana, is divided into two main areas; the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Makgadikgadi Pans (including Nxai Pan). Supplementary to this is the dry Boteti River which historically used to join the Okavango Delta to the one-time Lake Makgadikgadi.
The Central Kalahari is vast and pretty inaccessible due to the lack of permanent water. Camps and lodges here are mainly located in the northern parts of the park, as is the wildlife, and the conservancies that border it. Safaris here take the form of game drives and also interaction with the San or Bushmen. Rhino tracking is also a highlight.
The Boteti River is mainly dry but there are a few water-holes that act as wildlife magnets, making game viewing here pretty good during the dry months. Elephant are regular visitors and there are also large herds of zebra and wildebeest that migrate through the area in the winter. Summer is also nice, but with less abundant wildlife. It is possible to visit both the Central Kalahari and Makgadikgadi while staying in this area.
The Makgadikgadi Pans are represented as a vast white blank on the maps and don’t differ that much on the ground. Hauntingly beautiful, you’ll find the sheer size and space of the place makes your heart thump. Islands of palm trees or rocky kopjes and baobabs add another unworldly dimension. This is not a place to go for big game and you should come with the expectation of being dazzled by the white landscape, the night sky and the unusual experiences to be had.