To reach the entrance gate follow the directions below, and note that the small Matswere Scout Camp, where you sign in and pay fees, is a further 8km into the park. From there it's a further 30km to the nearest campsites, those at the north end of Deception Valley.
Driving yourself into the central Kalahari is only a viable option for experienced and bush-wise adventurers with their own fully equipped 4WDs. Even they need at least two 4WD vehicles and some fail-safe plan for back-up assistance in the event of an emergency. Then there are three usual routes to the park's northern entry gate.From the Maun-Ghanzi road
About 119km from Ghanzi and 167km from Maun, on the tarred Maun–Ghanzi road, you'll have to stop and pas through the Kuke Veterinary Fence (GPS:VETFEN). Immediately north of this, you'll find a good wide gravel road that heads off on a bearing fractionally south of east. After a few kilometres, this thoroughfare bends round to the left, and there's a small turning into the bush on the right. Take this, and you'll find a simple sand track with two clear ruts for your wheels (welcome to the Kalahari!). The veterinary fence will be literally inches from your right side.
Expect only the occasional 4WD to pass you; this isn't a busy track. Beneath your wheels you'll sometimes find patches of hard ground with bands of calcrete rocks. Then there are mud-holes, where thick clay is a sticky hazard during the rains (when this route is perfectly possible, but time-consuming). However, most of the track is good, fairly hard sand on which a reasonably experienced bush driver should be able to average 50km/h.
After about 175km, the taller bush thins out a little, leaving more open grassy areas. At times now you'll find yourself travelling parallel to several fences, and sometimes with one on each side of you. Beware of startling antelope here; they'll run in front of the vehicle with no escape, and become exhausted easily if you drive too fast.
Around 245km after the tar you'll reach a left turning (GPS:DVLTUR) which is clearly signposted to Deception Valley Lodge. The lodge is about 5.3km as the eagle flies north from here, but a little further using the winding track which leads there, via the lodge's own airstrip at GPS:DVLAIR.
Almost 24km after passing this, you'll reach Kuke Corner (GPS:KUKECO). Here a gate marks the junction of several veterinary fences. To the left a straight cut line heads due north, towards the Maun–Nata road. To the right, a well-used track follows the line of the fence, roughly south-southeast (bearing about 143°). This can be quite rutted and tedious driving, but after about 21.5km leads to the main entrance gate to the CKGR (GPS:CKGATE). From Rakops
There is one main track between Rakops and the CKGR's entrance gate at GPS:CKGATE, which is fringed by a few detours and side-tracks. Starting at Rakops, head north out of town towards Motopi, and then turn left off the main road where you see a number of tracks, about 2–3km from the radio mast, around GPS:TOCKGR.
You probably won't find one obvious track until you're a few kilometres from the tar, but if you average a bearing of about 250° then you'll be going in roughly the right direction, and will reach the entrance gate (GPS:CKGATE) after around 41km. Even heading roughly in this direction, you can't go wrong, as sooner or later you'll hit the veterinary fence that doubles as the park's boundary.
When wet, during the earliest months of the year, this is one of the muddiest, and hence trickiest, sections of track in the region. I've heard tales of this section alone taking several days to pass, with frequent stops to dig out – so don't tackle it lightly. Later in the year, the track hardens to a roller-coaster ride where you bounce in and out of a succession of dry mud-holes; even then it's fairly slow going.South along the cut line
This cut line follows a veterinary fence. I haven't driven this route, but believe that it's probably the quickest route between Maun and the CKGR, at least until the tarring of the whole road down from Motopi to Rakops is completely finished. You'll find the north end of this at the small village of Makalamabedi, west of Motopi. Simply follow this due south (driving on the eastern side of the veterinary fence) to Kuke Corner (GPS:KUKECO), and from then continue for 21.5km to the main entrance gate at GPS:CKGATE.
Without your own vehicle
If, like most visitors to Botswana, you don't have the knowledge, experience, or equipment for this kind of a trip, then to visit the CKGR you'll need to take a 'mobile safari' to the area. There are several ways to approach this.Join a group
A few of Botswana's larger safari companies have scheduled group trips, leaving on specific pre-planned dates, which include time camping within the CKGR. Check out what they have running and read between the lines to make sure you understand exactly how much of their time is within the CKGR – often, quite long trips will spend far too short a time in the actual park. Many of these trips will also feature Deception Valley Lodge, or even a private campsite on Deception Valley's reserve. Some of the better ones include a flight one-way, probably best done out of the park at the end of your trip. Expect a return charter on a six-seater plane (up to five passengers) to Deception Valley to cost around US$300.Organise a private mobile trip
If you have a fairly generous budget, then the same operators (and many of the smaller ones also) will be delighted to organise a private trip for you, for which you'll be able to specify the departure date and the timings. Expect the costs to be high though – in the region of US$200–350 per person per night. (Larger groups and longer expeditions are generally less expensive than smaller groups and shorter trips.)Book a short trip from a lodge
If you just want a few days in the park, then it's worth checking with Leroo-La-Tau, and perhaps also Deception Valley Lodge (see below for details). They will sometimes organise short, simple, guided camping expeditions into the park. Typically these come as part of a few nights spent either side at their lodge.