2. KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK
Size 9 500 sq.km
The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa was established on 31 July 1931 mainly to protect the migrating game, especially the gemsbok, from poaching. In 1948 an informal verbal agreement was made between the then Bechuanaland Protectorate and the Union of South Africa to set up a conservation area in the contiguous areas of the two lands. On 12 May 2000, Botswana and South Africa formally launched Southern Africa’s first peace park, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The total area of the park is 38,000 square kilometres. Approximately three-quarters of the park lies in Botswana and one-quarter in South Africa. Kgalagadi means place of thirst. The weather in the Kalahari can reach extremes. January is midsummer in southern Africa and the daytime temperatures are often in excess of 40 °C. Winter nights can be quite cold with temperatures below freezing. Extreme temperatures of −11 °C and up to 45 °C have been recorded. Precipitation is sparse in this desert area. The park has abundant, varied wildlife, including large mammalian predators such as black-maned Kalahari lions, Namibian cheetahs, leopards and hyenas.