Inyati Private Game Reserve

Black-maned Lion at sunset on a game drive from Kalahari Plains

Kalahari Plains   Classic

Kalahari Plains lies in a remote part of the diverse and productive Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) and offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in Africa, particularly in summer.

Located in the Kalahari Desert in central Botswana, this reserve is the largest conservation area in the country and one of the largest in the world. A place famed for vast herds of antelope followed by abundant predators and its star attractions include the legendary Kalahari black-maned lion as well as some of the world's best cheetah viewing and feisty honey badgers.

Game drives unlock wildlife treasures while respectful San Bushman experiences provide insights into a unique culture.Kalahari Plains overlooks an immense pan with endless horizons and beautiful skies.

Healthy wildlife populations are present in the area all year round, but with the advent of the summer rains, the desert comes to life. A plethora of plains game such as springbok and gemsbok converge in their hundreds to graze, followed by lion, one of the highest concentrations of cheetah in southern Africa and leopard. In winter, the Kalahari is a typical desert. General game is still easily seen, from the carnivores to wildebeest, red hartebeest and steenbok as well as small predators like black-backed jackal, Cape fox, honey badger and myriad mongoose species. Some 220 bird species have been recorded.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. Our concession is located on its northern plains, where the landscape comprises flat grasslands and undulating vegetated dunes, at times teeming with a multitude of antelope species and large predators. This area is characterised by vast open grassy plains, seasonal pans, wooded acacia islands, prehistoric scrub-covered dunes and fossil riverbeds. As a result of this diversity of habitats, healthy game populations move between dune and valley, depending on the season and the area also holds significant populations of large predators like lion and brown hyaena.

Aside from the enormous open plain in front of camp, other prime wildlife viewing areas include places with such evocative names as Deception Valley and Sunday Pan. The former is all that remains of an ancient riverbed, which today is an 80 km-long (50 mile-long) gentle valley floor covered with short palatable grasses interspersed with picturesque tree islands. The name 'Deception' is derived from the mirage effect caused by the dry surface of the pan halfway along its length that often appears misleadingly full of water.


Kalahari Plains comprises eight en-suite canvas units (including one family unit) with a sleep-out platform above each from which to enjoy moonlit or star-studded nights.

Kalahari Plains

This camp can accommodate 16 guests and 2 children. The main area consists of a lounge and dining area with a pool and deck.

In keeping with Wilderness’ objectives of using technologies and techniques towards reducing energy consumption and fuel use, as well as other resource-use reductions, Kalahari Plains is run on 100% solar power and provides all the electricity and hot water in the camp and insulated canvas walls and roofs keep temperatures inside the units comfortable.The lodge also uses an ancient yet effective water harvesting technique

We pride ourselves on a personalised approach, and do our utmost to accommodate our guests’ particular interests or requirements – so if there’s something particular you’d like to do please just let us know.

Inyati Private Game Reserve

Lounge and deck at Kalahari Plains

Enjoying the lodge

Kalahari Plains is unique...

  • Excellent access to the vastness of the Central Kalahari
  • Highly experienced and knowledgeable game rangers and trackers
  • Summer brings plains game concentrations and arguably some of the best cheetah viewing in Africa
  • Experience traditional San Bushman culture in a respectful and authentic manner
  • Easy access by road and air

Kalahari Plains

Kalahari Plains offers a truly authentic safari experience.

  • Game Drives Twice daily game drives or full-day excursions take place in open 4x4 vehicles and directed towards the seasonal movements of the wildlife. As we are in a National Park, we adhere to the regulations of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks restricting off-road driving and night driving
  • Bushman Walk An interpretive, guided "Bushman Walk" led by camp staff members who hail from the San Bushman clans of the area provides insights into their traditional lifestyles through dress, activities and a short walk (800 metres) in the immediate camp area.
  • Star Bed Sleep out under the starry starry skies of the Kalahari and be lulled to sleep by the sounds of Africa on the roof of your unit.
  • Photography Kalahari Plains is a photographer’s paradise. The ever-changing skies at dawn and dusk, the fast moving lightning storms in the afternoon and the myriad of fascinating animals, birds and insects keep aspiring and professional photographers alike permanently captivated.
  • Star Gazing The Kalahari is famous for its clear night skies, and with no light pollution it is the ideal spot from which to view the incredible formations of the stars and planets. Our guides are also known to dabble with astronomy and will take you on a tour through the constellations.
  • Guided Nature Walks In addition to the Bushman Walk, guided nature walks are on offer (seasonal and subject to the availability of a qualified walking guide). This activity is an approximate duration of 1.5 hours, departing camp just before sunrise and moving toward one of the pans in the area for a more up close and personal focus on the fauna and flora.

A day at Kalahari Plains

Game drives are planned for mornings and evenings as this is the time when the animals are most active. The game drives last for about three hours and include a coffee stop for the morning drive and a sun-downer stop in the evening.Kalahari Plains generally adjusts safari times accordingly to the seasons in order to maximise game-viewing opportunities and ensure that guests enjoy a comfortable experience.

  • Summer / Winter
  • 05h00 / 05h30 – Wakeup call
  • 05h30 / 06h00 – Refreshments and snacks on the deck
  • 06h00 / 06h30 – Depart for morning game drive
  • 10h00 / 10h00 – Brunch
  • 14h00 / 14h00 – Lunch is available for arriving guests
  • 16h00 / 15h00 – High tea is served on the deck
  • 16h30 / 15h30 – Depart for afternoon game drive
  • 19h45 / 19h15 – Pre-dinner drinks
  • 20h00 / 19h30 – Dinner

We suggest that guests arrive in time for lunch on their day of arrival not to miss out on any game drives during their stay.

Kalahari Plains
Kalahari Plains

Making a difference

Wild Dog Research Projectsn, Due to its large size (52 500km2) the Central Kalahari Game Reserve has the potential to sustain a significant number of wild dog packs. The Wilderness Trust has funded a number of projects in the area over the past ten years that have attempted to determine an accurate estimate of the population of this Critically Endangered species. These projects have looked at the factors that influence their population dynamics and spatial ecology and the potential spread of disease from domestic dogs to these populations.

Community Engagement Kalahari Plains has actively engaged with the Basarwa (Bushman) people to ensure they can benefit from our brand of ecotourism. The majority of our staff members hail from villages on the outskirts of the Game Reserve.

Water Conservation Management Since Kalahari Plains is in a very arid area, it is vital that we conserve water. We have installed water-harvesting tanks at each tent and other fixed structures to collect rainwater during the rainy season. When all tanks are full (thanks to the 115 mm of rain a year), the camp has 150 000 litres of additional water, reducing the need for borehole water during this period. The borehole water drawn from beneath the camp is too salty to drink and is therefore used in the pool and for showering. The camp has a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis desalination system to produce clean, safe drinking water.

Inyati Private Game Reserve

Some of the many Springbok at Kalahari Plains

This is a Malaria free area.

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