Khutse Game Reserve boasts an excellent location near Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, and acts a popular weekend destination for residents and tourists alike. The 2,500 sq kilometre Reserve is defined by pans and savanna scrub and offers a secluded experience in the African wilderness. Its name means ‘where one kneels to drink’, and it borders the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to the north, combining a lot of the Kalahari habitat, including lush grasslands, fossilized river beds, and saltpans.
There are various accommodation options scattered around the Reserve, as well as three separate camping sites within. Sir Seretse Khama International Airport is approximately 240 kilometres away, in Gaborone, making it a convenient destination for weekend visitors.
Like most of Botswana’s reserves, Khutse is unfenced and borders the Central Kalahari Game reserve. This allows wildlife to move naturally across the Kalahari. The seclusion of Khutse Game Reserve and the semi-arid conditions of the area means that wildlife has had to adapt.
Visitors can expect to see herds of gemsbok, eland, kudu, springbok, wildebeest, and giraffe. These herbivores sometimes attract a variety of predators, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, and brown hyenas. Bird watching is popular as the Game Reserve is home to over 150 bird species, including white-backed vultures, Kori bustards, and ostriches.
The best time of year to visit is after the wet season has begun, which is usually between December and April.
Visitors to Khutse Game Reserve need to be completely self-sufficient. The Reserve boasts semi-arid conditions, and most camping sites do not offer modern facilities. Tourists or residents visiting can expect a unique experience coupled with the magical seclusion of the African desert.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Game Reserve provides a truly unique experience. There are guided safari tours, bush-walking experiences, and cultural excursions with the San people. Visitors can also interpret the tracks and signs of resident wildlife.
There are three public campsites in Khutse Game Reserve. However, only one of these sites has running water and shower facilities. Desert-camping isn’t for the faint at heart, so visitors need to be self-sufficient when camping in the Reserve.