Khumaga: Makgadikgadi National Park


Khumaga in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is probably my most favorite place in Botswana, it is also close enough to us to be able to go for a weekend. But I recommend at least 3 nights.

I have lost count of how many times we have been there, but it must be 6 or more. Last visit July 2016. Next visit hopefully soon.


  • Stunning views of the Boteti River
  • Plenty of elephant
  • Massive herds of zebra and wildebeest
  • Good birding with wattled cranes
  • Not many people

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Khumaga ferryThe easiest way of getting to Khumaga is through the village of Khumaga, which is just off the Rakops – Maun road. This does include an interesting ferry trip across the Boteti River. There is no fuel at Khumaga so you need to fill-up at Rakops or Maun.

You can also enter the Makgadikgadi National Park through the northern gate which is on the Nata – Maun road (143 km from Nata). Then travel down a not so great road to Khumaga. I would only recommend this route if traveling to or from Nata or Nxai Pans. Closest fuel is at Gweta.


Camping at KhumagaSKL Campsite: There are a number of big shady campsites available near the Khumaga (western) gate. There are two big ablution blocks which are very clean and well kept. Each campsite has its own tap, fire pit and braai. There is no electricity.

Tiaan’s Camp: is situated outside the park right at the ferry crossing.  They offer both camping and chalets, with a pool, restaurant, swimming pool, bar and a deck overlooking the Boteti River. Read More on Tiaan’s Camp at:

There is also a lodge inside the park. which I haven’t visited,  so hence I can’t comment on it.

Best time to visit:

We have been to Khumaga at different times of the year and enjoyed it every time. But herewith some findings:

  • The zebra and wildebeest migrate to the pans during the wet season (December – April), so during those months you will see very few.
  • When we went in August this year the elephants had migrated.
  • The best two months we have visited have been April and November.


  • This is not a cheap camping option compared with most of Botswana and the ferry is also not cheap (BWP 180 – each way with a trailer, I think its BWP 150 without a trailer). But it is worth it.
  • A 4×4 is essential, you are not allowed onto the ferry if you don’t have one.
  • The roads are good, but very sandy
  • The best game drive route is along the river, there are a number of roads down to the river, it is worthwhile taking them.

Posts I have written about Khumaga:


37 Responses to Khumaga: Makgadikgadi National Park

  1. Pingback: Places we have been: Khumaga | Pete & Sue's Botswana

  2. Andre De Jager (Puma 130 ADJ ) on the forum says:

    Hi Pete & Sue ,thanks for sharing ,looks like a great place ,came past there on Friday last week on my way back from my camp in Mababe .I would love to see your neck ” o” the woods one day .

  3. Suki says:

    Lovely remember of your previous posting

  4. Pingback: The many faces of Khumaga | Pete & Sue's Botswana

  5. Pingback: Most amazing wildlife sighting at Khumaga | Pete & Sue's Botswana

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  7. Pingback: Khumaga: What a place | Pete & Sue's Botswana

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Pete,
    a beautiful piece of work on Khumaga…I wish I could blog like you do. You and wife more than welcome to stay at Tiaan’s Camp next time…just notify Heike at of your intentions and I will arrange so we can meet.
    I did a gamedrive to Nxai Pan last week and it was magic….I have not seen so many giraffes in one drive before…and I have been guiding for 24 years. My self drive clients came back equally excited….Nxai Pans are swarming with game.

  9. Felix says:

    We plan to stay one night when we travel from Maun to CKGR. We plan to leave MAun eraly to spend the afternoon in Makgadikgadi Pans NP. Do you suggest to stay in the NP or outisde (we planned Tiaans Camp).


    • PeteMorrie says:

      Hi Felix

      If its just 1 night maybe Tiaan’s is best. I haven’t stayed there, but friends that have say its great.

      Any longer I would suggest staying in the park, so you don’t have to keep taking the ferry.


      • Felix says:

        In October we stayed at Tiaan’s camp and it was great. It was one of the nicest camp we saw in Botswana and the pool was great in the heat.
        But we didn’t go to Makgadikgadi NP. Hope to visit this NP another time.


  10. Pingback: Another Face of Khumaga | Pete & Sue's Botswana

  11. Pingback: Khumaga trip part 2 | Pete & Sue's Botswana

  12. Arthur says:

    Hi Pete, I have just started to research another trip into Bots! We have done quite a few over the last few years. Camping in Moreme / Savuti / Chobe (2011), CKGR Piper & Deception (2013), Khutse (2014), Mabusehube (2015) and was thinking of exploring the Magadigadi area. I am encouraged by what I have read so far but obviously need to get the timing right. What is the best time to go alternatively where is it best to be in December?


    • PeteMorrie says:

      Hi Arthur

      December is not the greatest time for Botswana, but if this the time you have to come then…

      I don’t think we have been to Khumaga in Dec, but I am sure it will still be lovely. You can also travel up to Nxai Pan from there and see Bain’s Baobab.

      At Planet Baobab, they do a trip to see meerkats, which jump all over you, a bit pricey.

      The pans themselves are very dependant on the rain, last December there was very little rain and we got through to Kubu Island easily.A place you can also visit is Moriti, from there you can visit Kukonje Island and Kaitshe. They also offer motorbike trips across the pans, which is stunning.

      Camping is also available in Letlhakane ( maybe my camp will be offering some competition by December), so you could do a day trip to Kubu, if you don’t want to camp there. Also if you do camp here a visit to Orapa game Reserve is generally rewarding.

      Hope this helps

  13. Graham Ground says:

    Hi Pete This sounds like an amazing place to visit. We live in S.Africa and are planning a trip in May and wondered how we could book at SKL Campsite and would it be possible to get there with a Pajero 4×4 towing a Semi off road caravan. Also how far would we travel on dirt roads and what condition are they.
    We appreciate your help.
    Kind regards
    Graham & Gail

    • PeteMorrie says:

      Hi Graham and Gail

      To book email – I have been told from reservations that they are full and just gone anyway, once we were the only ones in camp:) The other option in that area is Tiaan’s camp.

      A Pajero with caravan will make it easily. From the main road (Rakkops – Maun) you have about a km of tar then about 3km of could dirt road through the village of Khumaga to the river. Depending on the height of the river you may have to take the ferry (which is quite an experience – seen pics?

      If you are coming in from the Nata-Maun road you have about 35km of soft corrugated road but easy to make it.

      The roads in the park are thick soft sand – you may feel more comfortable dropping your tyres.

      Hope this helps

  14. Graham Ground says:

    Big help thanks Pete

  15. Graham Ground says:

    Hi Pete
    I was looking at your site and I see you recommend a campsite near Moremi called Dijara. It looks like a place we would love to visit, but do you think I would be able to get there with the caravan?
    Thanks again for all the help.
    Graham & Gail

    • PeteMorrie says:

      Dijara is wonderful. Just a note that ownership has just changed, so who knows what might happen.
      You will make it there,but a semi offroad caravan might take some punishment. The road from Maun to the vet fence is very rough and badly corrugated. but the rest is fine.

  16. Franscois says:

    Hello Pete

    Can one cross the Boteti river with a trailer attached to your vehicle. I have a few questions I would like to ask you. Please can you make contact with me via email:

    Thanking you in anticipation


  17. marc bosenberg says:

    Hi, I contacted you earlier this year and you were most helpful. One other question, we are camping at Khumaga, no fuel at Gweta. Wondered what the situation for fuel at Rakops or Mopipi as we are going into CKGR as well.

  18. Johan brandt says:

    Thank you for the info and articles,i cant wait to go again!
    The only problem i have with bots is the very difficult process of booking.
    What do you recommend? Maybe tiaanś camp is an easier option?
    We are planning a trip to khumaga in august 2018

  19. Nontando Orateng says:

    Good day! I kindly request for your price list and would also want to know about the bookings requirements

  20. Jane says:

    Hi there. We are visiting next month. Is there wifi in the camp?

  21. Maartje says:

    I am considering booking at Khumaga campsite. Is it correct that bookings are done through It seems odd for a Botswana campsite.

  22. PeteMorrie says:

    It is always a risk using your credit card – but as long as you are paying a good company like SKL it shouldn’t be a problem.

    My sisters paid by credit card when they visited here, with no problem

    I do bank transfers for payments.

  23. Rapm Van Vlerken says:

    Hi Pete, We (4 Dutchman) have made a reservation at Khumaga campsite :in july 2 out july 5. I have some questions: We come from Maun. What is the best route to Khumaga campsite (is ferry working in july?). Which activities you would propose? Is a visit to Deception valley possible? Where is the best place for game viewing?

    • PeteMorrie says:

      Hi Rapm – sorry for my slow response but I have been away.

      The best route is to take the Motopi turn – could also be called Rakops. Head to the town of Khumaga and catch the ferry there. The ferry runs all year round when there is water in the Boteti – else you drive across if there is no water.

      The best thing to do is self drive keeping next to the river for best game viewing.

      Deception valley is a bit far – best to get there and camp a few nights there.


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