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Red sand and immense heat create a hazy mirage across the pans while black-maned lions lie in the shade of the camelthorn trees, watching the eland, gemsbok, springbok, blue wildebeest and ostriches in the distance. At sunset, golden light softens the stark landscape, making it seem habitable as the temperatures cool. Animals begin to move and interact while cheetah, lion and leopard are on the hunt.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park straddles the border between South Africa and Botswana. On the South African side, the infrastructure is good and there are facilities, whereas the Botswana side is rustic and unfenced; you need all your own camping gear, water and food. On the South African side, Twee Rivieren is the biggest camp and has two main roads heading northwest and north to Mata Mata and Nossob Camp. Smaller camps on the Mata Mata road include Kieliekrankie, Urikaruus, and Kalahari Tented Camp. Rooiputs Campsite is close to Twee Riviera. North of Nossob is Polentswa Campsite, for which bookings are made in Botswana. North of Nossob is Grootkolk Camp, close to Union’s End.

On the Botswana side, it’s camping all the way and campsites in the east, near Mabuasehube Gate, and at Mabuasehube, Mpayathutlwa, Khiding, Lesholoago, Bosobogolo, and Monamodi Pans. In the central area near Kaa Gate are Sesatswe and Kaa campsites. On the western side, there are Sizatswe, Gnus Gnus and Swart Pan campsites. From Kaa Gate to Nossob is a one-way track and two vehicles are required with an overnight stay at Lang Rambuka. Motopi 1 and 2 are overnight campsites between Nossob and Mabuasehube.