The very word Kalahari, meaning ‘thirsty land’, summons up visions of a sun baked desert, a stark landscape strewn with scrub and deep red sunsets that set sand dunes ablaze with flames of orange. The Kalahari is this, yet so much more. Spending time amongst the solitude of the wide-open spaces and marvelling at the endless stars in the night sky will energise and inspire any visitor. A vast expanse of dramatic desert land, the Kalahari stretches around 360,000 square kilometres across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. It composes the largest continuous expanse of sand on earth.
Pockets of fertile green farmland, where good table wine is produced, and boulder-strewn national parks filled with the native acacia trees and the Kalahari lion add to the magnificence of this region. Animals that have learnt to adapt in this harsh environment include meerkats, gemsbok, a large species of antelope, and social weavers, small birds that build large communal nests, and rare species such as the brown hyena have also made their home here. The region is also home to many migratory animals that venture here only when there is adequate water during the wet season, which is between November and April. Many camps within the Kalahari have now started pumping artificial waterholes to attract animals to enhance game viewing opportunities in front of camp, especially in the dry season when natural waterholes are totally depleted.
Laurens Van der Post’s celebrated book, The Lost World of The Kalahari, brings to light the fascinating history of the San Bushmen. These Khoisan-speaking Kalahari tribes people represent the first nation of Southern Africa and have lived here for 2,000 years as indigenous hunter-gatherers. Only a small population of Bushmen still follow a traditional lifestyle within the most remote and impenetrable parts on the desert, but you can learn about their way of life including how to track animals, survive in this harsh environment and collect herbs.
Features in the following itineraries
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Leslie Siben, India
- Anonymous, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India