Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park meerkats will melt your heart

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park lies in the large sand-filled basin in the west of the southern African subcontinent, known as the Kalahari. It covers almost one-third of the area and forms what may be the largest sandveld area in the world.

The term Kalahari was derived from the Kgalagadi word for ‘the land which dried up’, ‘the dry land’ or ‘the thirstland’. The Kgalagadi were some of the first people to penetrate the northern Kalahari and lived in comparative peace with the Khoe speaking inhabitants.

Photo: Taryn Arnott van Jaarsveld.

The Southern Kalahari is defined as the area to the south of the Bakalahari Schwelle. This is the indiscernible ridge that runs roughly from Gobabis in the north-east of Namibia to Lobatse in the south-east of Botswana. The Schwelle separates the Okwa and Hanahai river system in the north and the Nossob, a point at Twee Rivieren and Two Rivers in the south-west.

The southern Kalahari slopes gently in a south-westerly direction from the Schwelle.

No trip to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is complete without a sighting of meerkats. Head out early and you’re bound to find them sunning their bellies in the morning sun – sometimes for up to 30 minutes at a time. These very sociable animals rely on babysitters within the group to watch pups.

Photo: Taryn Arnott van Jaarsveld.

These babysitters may even have to watch the little ones for many days at a time. They are fiercely territorial and defend areas of up to 5km². The young group of meerkats in the image above – accompanied by two or three adults – were spotted inside Mata-Mata camp, on their way past the camp shop.

Did you know that the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park offers free entry from 22 – 24 September? A detailed programme of the activities lined up for the week will be posted on the SANParks website.

For enquiries e-mail Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park or phone us on the following numbers:

  • Park tel: + 27 (0) 54 561 2000 (Twee Rivieren)
  • Fax: + 27 (0) 54 561 2005
  • Tourism ManagerChrista von Elling
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Caxton Central

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