Botswana :: Central Kalahari
Category: Protected Areas :: Protected Area
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Khutse Game Reserve was established in 1971 and covers an area of 2 500km². Its landscape features
rolling grasslands, ancient river beds, fossil dunes and flat, white salt pans that only fill with water after heavy rains. This explains the name Khutse, which means ‘place where you can kneel down and drink’. Animals do indeed congregate around these water-filled pans during the dry season.
Khutse borders the Central Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) and, as there is no fence between the two reserves, access to the CKGR can be obtained via the Khutse entrance gate. This area is remote and wild but don't be too surprised if you come across some local people. This is the ancestral land of the San and there still are a few settlements within the reserves, the closest being at Gugamma, 20 km from Khankhwe campsite.
This is not a zoo-like destination; don't expect to see daily predator sightings. Rather enjoy the unique qualities the reserve offers: breathtaking sunsets, bright starry nights, and the chorus of barking geckos at dusk.
Khutse's remote wilderness has been protected in part by not developing or upgrading its road network; you will need an off-road vehicle here. The road consists of a circular loop that runs past the camps, all situated near pans. The loop crosses the Tropic of Capricorn twice.
There's no water inside the park so visitors must be totally self-sufficient when staying here. Facilities at the campsites consist of a wooden shelter with a concrete floor, a bucket shower, and a long-drop chemical toilet. There is no running water; borehole water may be available at Khutse entrance gate, but this is not guaranteed.
The campsites at Khutse Pan are very popular, partly because they have shade and also because this is regarded by some as the most scenic part of the reserve. Moreswe, Maharushele, Khankhwe and Molose offer more remote and isolated camping. All campsites must be pre-booked through Big Foot Tours or Botswana Footprints. Reserve and vehicle entry fees can be paid at Khutse entrance gate, in Botswana Pula, in cash only. Credit card payments can be made by contacting the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) in Gaborone on the number shown on the following page.
The camps in the park are unfenced so predators and other game can enter the campsites. Look around for any dangerous game before exiting your vehicle, and stay close to your campsite at all times if you are on foot. Taking unguided walks in the park is not allowed and could have disastrous consequences should you encounter any dangerous game.
|Central Kalahari, Botswana
|DNWP, P.O. Box 131, Gaborone, Botswana.
|DWNP Reservations Office - Gaborone
|+267 397 1405
|Cellphone Reception :
April-Sep: 06:00-18:30; Oct-Mar: 05:30-19:00
|Gate Opening and Closing Times :
|April- Sep : 06h00-18h30; Oct-Mar : 05h30 -19h00
|Payment Methods Accepted :
|DWNP Park Entry Fees: Citizens BWP20pp; Residents BWP145pp; Non-Residents BWP190pp. Kids under 8 don't pay park entry fees. Kids 8-15 years: pay half the adults rates. (Nov-2022)
|Landing Strip Nearby
|Game Viewing, Game Drives, Guided Walks, Bird Watching, Photography
|Game to View :
|Giraffe. Gemsbok. Red Hartebeest. Eland. Kudu. Wildebeest. Springbok. Steenbok. Grey Duiker. Lion.
|Notes on Activities :
|(Some activities may be offered nearby).
Each campsite has got a bucket shower (bring your own water) and a long drop toilet. (2018).
There is no network in the park and it is advisable to use a satellite phone. (2018).
Firewood may not be collected in the park, and it is advisable to obtain this when shopping. Visitors are requested to consider the environment, and limit the fires to cooking and small fires to socialise around, rather than huge bonfires that burn unnecessary wood, run the risk of starting veld fires, and serve no purpose in keeping predators away.
There are no fuel supplies in the Reserve itself. There is a small filling station at Lethlakeng, the last fuel stop before you enter Khutse. So make sure you have enough fuel for travelling in the Reserve.
The small village of Salajwe just before entering Khutse has basic supplies and drinks for sale.
There are no shops in the Reserve itself.
Travelling between the northern region of the park and the southern Khutse Game Reserve, is not possible in one day. The region is vast, roads are either muddy in the rainy season, or long stretches of deep sand in the dry season, which makes for slow travelling. Driving at night is strictly prohibited and staying overnight at either Xade, Xaxa or Bape campsites en route is required. If you arrive at an entrance gate just before closing time, you will not be allowed to travel all the way to your campsite, and you will have to camp at the gate.
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) Gaborone: +267 39 714 05 or +267 31 807 74.
You need to have a reliable 4x4 car.
There is no water at the campsites, there is only water at the entrance gate. Bring enough drinking water as the water in the park is salty but it can be used for bathing, cooking and washing.
Bring containers to fetch water in the gate then take it through with you onto the campsite.
There is a reception office at Khutse gate, here visitors are required to check in and pay park and vehicle fees. Phone Parks and Reserves Reservations Office for camping reservations.
Shopping should be done in Ghanzi or Gabarone when travelling to Khutse, as there aren’t any large shops in the villages near Khutse.
The last fuel stop before Khutse entrance gate is at Letlhakeng; travellers who intend to travel through Khutse up to the CKGR, must ensure that they have sufficient fuel, water and supplies for the journey.
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