Photo Credit: Chris Eason

Khutse Game Reserve, “where one kneels to drink”


Khutse Game Reserve is a small Reserve located on the southern boundary of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The Reserve, whose name means means “where one kneels to drink” in Sekwena, a local Tswana dialect, was opened in 1971 and covers an area of 2 500km². Because of its nearness and ease of access to the nation’s capital, Khutse is a favorite sanctuary for Gaborone visitors.

Khutse lions andre tr Licence: CC


Neighbouring the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to the north, and with no fences dividing the two, the landscape of Khutse is a mixture of most of the Kalahari, bare, white salt and sometimes grassed pans, undulating grass-plains, remnant dunes and ancient river beds.

A Red Hartebeest with only one horn in the Kalahari Chris Eason Licence: CC


Khutse is home to several species of game that include the predators, the Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Brown Hyena, the Wild Cat, the Black Backed Jackal, then the herbivores including the Springbok, found in abundance, the Steenbok and the common Gemsbok, the Kudu, Duiker, South African Giraffe, Hartebeest, Duiker, Gemsbok, Eland, Chamois and the Ibex.

Gemsbok or Oryx in the Sunset Mathias Licence: CC

 Getting there

Visitors can fly into the capital , Gaborone from Johannesburg or Capetown and from there, Khutse is accessible by road from Gaborone with the route covering 210 km and taking around four hours of driving time. One drives for 50 km on the road to Molepolole then turn right towards Letlhakeng, drive a further 61 km till reaching the village of Letlhakeng. Here, the tarred road ends at the traffic circle that has the green sign indicating the direction to Khutse. After Letlhakeng, one proceeds on a sandy road for 25 km to Khudumelapye, then a further 36 km of the same sandy road takes one to the Salajwe village and following the green Khutse sign, past small settlements, one eventually reaches the Wildlife Camp. A four wheel drive vehicle is required.


Khutse does not offer tourist lodges, chalets or rest camps but has places selected as campsites, some of which have pit latrines and nothing else. The main concentration of these campsites is in the area between Khutse I and Khutse II Pans, with Moreswe Pan in the south-western area of the reserve having the more isolated individual camps. There are other remote sites at Khankhe, Mahurushele, and Sekusuwe set in the neighbouring Central Kalahari Game Reserve but managed by Khutse.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Khutse is during the hot dry period where vegetation is thinner and animals drift towards the water holes, thereby making game spotting easier. The dry periods are also better in terms of driving to and around the reserve.

Maribou Stork at the waterhole Brian Ralphs Licence: CC

Weather and Climate

Khutse Game Reserve enjoys a warm grassland climate with pleasant temperatures all year round though night times sometimes become cold to just above freezing points. The Reserve receives low precipitation than the other Reserves and Parks and most of these rains fall from October till April.

Kalahari sunset Chris Eason Licence: CC

Other Safety Considerations

Malaria is a real risk in this area and visitors are urged to take all the precautionary measures to stay safe. These include taking malaria medication, covering bare skin at dusk, sleeping under treated nets as well as using mosquito repellent sprays and creams.