Africa's first peace park

Established in May 2000, Kgalagadi is the only Transfrontier Park that is open in the true sense of the word – here tourists can move freely across the international border within the boundaries of the park.


This peace park has been in de facto existence since 1948 through a verbal agreement between South Africa and Botswana, and consisted of the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana (proclaimed in 1971), the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa (proclaimed in 1931) and subsequently extended to incorporate the Mabuasehube Game Reserve.

Today, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is 35 551 km² in extent, of which 73% is in Botswana with the remainder in South Africa.

National Parks

National Parks

Transfrontier Park Boundary

Transfrontier Park Boundary




Kgalagadi is a true success story within the international realm of transfrontier conservation. Peace Parks is proud to say that we played a significant role in establishing this cross-border conservation area by facilitating cooperation between countries, strategic planning and implementation of key projects, and securing necessary funding.



Origin of the de facto existence of the Kalahari Transfrontier Park.

June 1992

South African National Parks and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Botswana set up a joint management committee


The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park management plan is approved

7 April 1999

A bilateral agreement recognising the newly named Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is signed between Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks and South African National Parks. This agreement established the first formally recognised transfrontier park in Southern Africa.

12 May 2000

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is officially opened by President Festus Mogae of Botswana and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. As Africa's first transfrontier park, it served as a symbol of the long anticipated dawn of transnational interdependence and cooperation in Southern Africa.

May 2002

The ‡Khomani San and Mier communities receive 50 000 ha of land within the boundaries of Kgalagadi in the historic !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park land settlement agreement.

12 October 2007

The Mata-Mata tourist access facility is opened by the presidents of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.


!Xaus, a fully catered luxury lodge owned by the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities, opens its doors.


The Transfrontier Park's integrated development plan is adopted by both countries and the first steps taken to implement the identified actions.


A new tented camp opens in Erin Game Ranch, becoming an essential source of income for the ‡Khomani San communities surrounding the park.

8 July 2017

The ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, is recognised as the 9th South African World Heritage Site.


Kgalagadi has led the pack in achieving functionality in terms of ecosystem integrity. The park conserves one of the world’s most abundant semi-arid biomes. Arid regions are very sensitive and increasing desertification has led to a global recognition of the importance of plants and animals which are adapted to withstand desert conditions.  This area is a very valuable storehouse of plants and animals adapted to withstand harsh environmental extremes.

The vastness of the Park allows the nomadic ungulate populations and their predators to stay in balance with their environment, which means there is little need for extensive management intervention.


We assisted the Park in succesfully realising the free movement of tourists – with the Twee Rivieren (Two Rivers) joint access facility having removed the last vestiges of two separate national parks, and tourists now enter at a single facility to visit the entire park spanning the border between Botswana and South Africa, while the MataMata tourist access facility allows access via Namibia.

Kgalagadi has shaped and is implementing an efficient revenue sharing model.  However a considerable amount of work is still required to unlock the economic value on the Botswana side. In this regard we continue to support the Transfrontier Park with strategic planning for joint nature-based tourism development.


!Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park

!Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park

The historic !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park land settlement agreement with the government of South Africa saw six farms (totalling around 35 000ha) to the south of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and nearly 60 000ha of land within the park, restored to the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities in 2002. The Heritage Park aims to preserve the cultural and traditional knowledge of the indigenous ‡Khomani San and Mier communities, while improving their opportunities to earn a sustainable livelihood.


28 Aug 2018

A bright future for the ‡Khomani San

Living amongst the red sand dunes of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are two of the...

10 Jul 2017

ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape A World Heritage Site

On 8 July 2017, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribed the ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape in...

15 Jun 2017

Astounding Success Of Erin

Tourism Officer for the Khomani San, Dirk Pienaar, says something meaningful has been started from...

08 Jun 2017

Tracker Academy Expands To The Kalahari

We are excited to announce that SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy has opened a...



DONORS AND PARTNERSSupporting Kgalagadi


Privacy Policy     Terms of Use     Cookie Policy     Reg no: 1997/004896/08     NPO: 005-294     PBO: 130003729