Witsand Nature Reserve
History of Witsand Nature Reserve
Witsand means “White Sand”. The name is derived from the colour of the dune sand. Witsand was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1993 and covers approximately 3 500 ha, most of which comprises the unique dune system. The Nature Reserve is situated in the Northern Cape region of South Africa.
Where Is Witsand?
- Northern Cape Province in the Kalahari, South Africa
- 690 km from Johannesburg
- 220 km from Upington
- 275 km from Kimberley
- 1 020 km from Cape Town
Transport Options Available
There are different ways of getting to Witsand Nature Reserve. The most common one is to take a scheduled flight or express either to Upington or Kimberley. From these cities hire a car and drive yourself to the nature reserve. Use the GPS data at the Office Complex in Witsand Nature Reserve: S28º 34” 967 E22º 29” 242.
- Chalets- sleep 60 in ten thatched-roofed, self-catering, air-conditioned units.
- Bungalows- sleep 20 in small units, sharing ablution and kitchen facilities
- Caravan and Camping sites, sleep 60, each site provided with electricity, water and fireplace with a light. The ablution facilities are of the highest standard.
- Kiosk selling basic foodstuffs & curios.
The Witsand Nature Reserve is part of the “Roaring Kalahari Route” and was a semi-finalist in the AA Awards competition.
- Ten individual thatched-roof, 3 bed-roomed, self-catering, air-conditioned chalets.
- One of the ten chalets is wheelchair friendly.
- One honeymoon unit.
- Consists of three separate bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms and an open plan kitchen/living area. Each chalet can sleep six people.
- Fully equipped with kitchen utensils, bedding, towels and an outside fireplace with a light for braai’s.
- Chalets are superbly positioned for privacy and a real Kalahari experience.
- Backpackers style accommodation.
- Accommodate a total of 20 guests in 7 units.
- There are three rooms sleeping four people and four rooms sleeping 2 people.
- Communal ablution and field kitchen facilities available.
- Bedding is provided, bring own towels and glasses.
Caravan & Camp Sites:
- Accommodate 60 people.
- There are ten sites: each fitted with water, electrical points, and generous fireplaces with a light. The ablution facilities are of the highest quality.
- Facility for washing dishes.
- Clothing lines.
Kalahari Experience Package
- Stay in one of the specially designed luxury chalets and enjoy a true Kalahari experience.
- Package includes:
- DBB and a bottle of wine with your typical Kalahari style dinner
- Guided walking tour.
There are a lot of things to do in Witsand Nature Reserve – some activities for the relaxed and some for the adventurous traveler. The easygoing traveler will find various exhibitions, nature books, magazines or other resources to view in the information centre. There is also the Botanical Meander – a 3.2 km walking trail through Kalahari veldt with 43 marked plant species. By the way, Witsand is renowned for the fact that there are no restrictions to where visitors can go on foot. Hence, it is a hiking paradise. Find well positioned bird-spotting hides (especially built to attract sandgrouse) and 2 view sites fitted with information panels.
The adventurous traveler can rent bicycles or dune boards for fun experiences. On a farm 16 km from Witsand check out the Kalahari Mountain View 4×4 Dune Route. On that trip you might be spotting springbok, common duiker, steenbok, gemsbok (Oryx), red hartebeest, ground squirrels and suricate (meercat).
The Kalahari region is also regarded as the finest area in Africa for stargazing at night! That is an amazing experience. Next to the stars you might view nocturnal animals like ground pangolin, porcupine, aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared fox, cape fox, genet, spring hare and owls.
If you like birds, the Kalahari is the place to be. More than 140 species inhabit this area. The most significant birds are pygmy falcon (Africa’s smallest raptor), sociable weavers (with their huge nests), kori bustard (heaviest flying bird in Africa), secretary bird, crimson-breasted boubou or shrike, lilac-breasted roller and three species of sandgrouse.
As you can see the photographic opportunities are endless, with the dunes, blue skies and all the natural assets of Witsand.