Botsalano Game Reserve, North West
Did you know?One of the oldest volcanic craters in the world extends through the Botsalano Game Reserve.
Botsalano Game Reserve, less than 6 000ha in size, is a rugged and unspoiled reserve in the North West province.
An excellent choice for nature lovers looking for some peace, quiet and an affordable bush break, Botsalano Game Reserve is compact with a large network of roads from which to view the park’s numerous antelope species and other game.
Largely dry, with seasonal streams that flow into the Molopo River after the summer rainfall, this game reserve comprises mostly Kalahari thornveld, with some wetlands on the flood plains. Weird termite sandcastles dot the landscape, and woodland thickets of Acacia, Karee and Buffalo thorn trees provide welcome shade.
A special feature of this game reserve is its numerous grass species that grow gold, russet, green and burgundy, depending on the season.
Botsalano Game Reserve's birding list numbers well over 200 recorded species. Raptor sightings are excellent, with Martial, Bateleur, Tawny, Wahlberg’s, brown snake eagle and black-breasted snake eagle all prevalent.
Cape, white-backed and lappet-faced vultures catch thermals above the grassland where the secretary birds and Kori Bustards hunt; and in the northern regions, where the park abuts the Kalahari, look for Camelthorn trees – their canopies heavy with the communal nests of sociable weaver birds.
Two of the Big Five, Cape buffalo and white rhino, are resident in the park, and there are graceful eland, scimitar-horned oryx and pronking springbuck on which to focus your binoculars.
At night, since there are no dangerous predators, take your torch and scout for snuffling porcupines, wide-eyed spotted eagle-owls, pint-sized pearl-spotted owlets and shy pangolins.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Botsalano Game Reserve
Tel: + 27 (0)18 386 8900
How to get here
From Zeerust, take the N4 towards the Lobatse border post. After 27km, turn left to Mathlhase and continue for 25km to the reserve. From Mafikeng take the N18 to the Ramatlabama border post, turn right just before the border and then left after 7km. Continue for a further 7km to the reserve.
Hiring your own vehicle would be the most convenient option.
What will it cost
Park fees are R35 for adults and R20 for pensioners and children under 12 years. Vehicle entry fees range from R5 for a sedan to R80 for a tour bus.
What to pack
Botsanalo Game Reserve is self-catering. Whether a day visitor or staying overnight, bring all your own food, drinks, wood and water. The reserve is in a malaria-free area, but in summer insect repellent is recommended.
Where to stay
Botsanalo Game Reserve offers caravan and camping sites with very basic amenities. There are also four bush camps that are more secluded, also with very basic amenities, and a tented, solar-powered camp with its own viewing deck overlooking a dam.