Khumaga: What a place

A number of people have highly recommended Khumaga, a camp in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. So we headed there this last weekend and wow was it worth it.

The camp is situated right on the banks of the Boteti River, which is rapidly becoming my favourite river. We have visited some amazing places along it and Lake Xau that it flows into.

Khumaga Makgadikgadi Pans National ParkThere is one catch in getting there and that is you need to cross the Boteti River and you need to do it by ferry.

Khumaga Makgadikgadi Pans National ParkDropping down the bank of the river the ferry came into sight. Sue went dead quiet. She had been driving up until this point, but from the look of complete horror on her face, I knew I should take over. I got to the driver’s door and she sat there motionless with her mouth gaping open, her fingers clenched around the steering wheel and her knuckles going white.

Khumaga Makgadikgadi Pans National ParkThere was a vehicle in front of us which was being loaded so Sue had the option to see how the whole thing worked, but it hardly relaxed her.

We got our car and trailer loaded being told to park as far forward Khumaga Makgadikgadi Pans National Parkas possible. This to get the back of the ferry off the bank.  With a pull of cord the engine kicked into life and we were on our way.

To ensure that the ferry didn’t dig into the other bank I needed to reverse the car as far back as possible. Having a trailer on the back of our car and not being the best at reversing especially on two thin metal strips, I imagined loosing the trailer into the river.

Khumaga Makgadikgadi Pans National ParkWith Chris de Burgh’s song “Don’t pay the ferryman” playing in my head we moved slowly across the river. Getting off the ferry was not too difficult. Sue survived the trip, but realised that we had to get back again at the end of our stay.

Oh – I did pay the ferryman, but only once he got us to the other side. .

Khumaga Makgadikgadi National ParkThe Park, as its name suggests, extends to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, but we were on the western edge where the Boteti River forms the boundary and the only water source for the animals. The flood plains of the river are lush and the banks are lined with trees, but away from the river is just a dust bowl.

The area is known for the massive numbers of zebra and wildebeest that migrate from Khumaga Makgadikgadi Pans National Parkthe river to the salt pans for the rainy season then back again as the pans dry. They were already back and all along the river we saw massive herds of both. We have never seen so many, just thousands, in any other park we have visited.

Interestingly, something we have also never seen, is kudu actually in the river itself feeding on the water vegetation.

Elephants were also plentiful along the length of the river. Drinking, feeding crossing the river and even fighting, we saw it all. One even mocked charged us.

Khumaga Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Like most camp sites there are always some animals that have become pests and here we did have monkeys, but at night we had honey badgers that came in to get what they could find. It is an animal that is not often seen so to have them running around camp was a really a treat.

Khumaga Makgadikgadi Pans National ParkOur first night I was not prepared camera wise for them. Obviously dam tourists have fed them, that’s why they come to the camp. So I put out some food for them on our second night. Got out my camera and tripod and waited for them. I got excited when I saw them at other guests tents, but dam – not one came for my food.

The bird life as you can imagine was bountiful along the river and we were very fortunate to have a number of sightings of the critically endangered Wattled Crane.

It was an amazing few days, plenty of game and stunning scenery – we will definitely go back – and probably often.

See a collection of a few of our photos 

For more information on Khumaga

Makgadikgadi National Park


About PeteMorrie

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12 Responses to Khumaga: What a place

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi guys, I can just imagine how Sueee panicked to get (floating) across the river.
    Luv Maggie

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can just imagine Sue’s face!!! We were also petrified the first time but hey its Africa and anything is possible!!! Amanda

  3. Bridgette & Geoffrey Flint says:

    Tough life – I’m jealous!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Very true of those damn tourists feeding the animals – pity you joined their ranks….
    Will see you sometime this week to share our experience of Khumaga! Thank you for telling about the place – Botswana’s best kept secret – a mini Moremi indeed!

  5. vera says:

    Hi, i am planning a trip to botswana at the end of january and i found your post very helpful.
    . I was wondering,how did u book the Khumaga campsite?

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  8. Rob says:

    Hi Guys… I am Off this way next month..End March..can you give me ant tips or advice..going to central Kalahari, but thought I would stop off for two day in Magadigadi…Please Contact me at

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