The Kalahari is a vast semi-desert that covers more than tree quaters of the whole land area of Botswana. It is a great wilderness where the interepid traveller can find isolation and marvel at pristine Africa. It covers a vast area, including the dazzling white saltpans under the baobab trees and savannah where the game is plentiful. The original San inhabintants, some of whom still live in the desert today, have left their indelible imprint.
The word Kalahari is an Anglicised corruption of the Setswana name Kgalagadi. It is one of the largest areas of semi-desert in the world.
The Kalahari was formed over 60 million years ago when Africa became a continent. Three major basins were formed in the interior - the Chad basin in the north, the Congo basin in central Africa and the largest of the three, the Kalahari basin, in the south, which covers 80% of the land surface of Botswana. The Khoi (Hottentot) and the San (Bushmen) were the first modern inhabitants of southern Africa. their rock paintings, tools and pottery can be found in the Tsodilo hills and the Lepokole hills in the east and in other rocky parts of the Kalahari. Today, their present population has dwindled, but some San still live and follow their traditional lifestyle as hunter-gatherers in teh Central Kalahari Game Reserve and other parts of the Kalahari.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
The 52,800 sq km reserve in the Ghanzi district of central Botswana is one of the largest protected areas in Africa, most of which is totally inaccessible. Though some San people still live there the area is only seen by a handful of visitors each year. This makes the experience, far from the modern world and madding crowd, unusual and exclusive.
The adventure is well worth it as the
traveller experiences endless dunes, dry fossil valleys and grassy plains
under Africa's bruning sun and cobalt blue skies. In Deception Valley
and numerous pans nearby the game is plentiful in the first few month
of the year. The first flush of green vegetation attracts thousands of
springbok, gemsbok and wildebeest, ostrich, giraffe, leopard, lion and
cheetah and lots of smaller cats. As the game gather at the infrequent
waterholes there is often the chance of witnessing a dramatic chase and
Lodges and Camps in Botswana: Audi Camp - Camp Moremi -Camp Okuti - Camp Okavango - Chief's Camp - Chitabe Camp - Chobe Game Lodge - Chobe Marina Lodge - Crocodile Camp - Deception Valley Lodge - Delta Safari Camp - Duba Plains Camp - Duma Tau Lodge - Elephant Camp Victoria Falls - Footsteps Camp - Gunn's Camp - Grassland Safari Lodge - Jacana Camp - Kanana Camp - Kings Pool - Kubu Safari Lodge - Kwara Camp Okavango Delta - Leroo-la-Tau - Linyanti Camp - Little Mombo Camp - Mariolina's Victoria Falls - Mapula Lodge - Mombo Safari Camp - Motsentsela Tree Lodge - Nxabega Okavango Safari Camp - Pom Pom Camp - Sandibe Safari Lodge - Santawani - Savute Safari Lodge - Savuti Camp - Semetsi Camp - Xakanaxa Camp - Xigera Camp - Xugana Lodge
Botswana Destinations: Chief's Island - Chobe National Park - Gemsbok National Park - Kalahari - Khwai - Linyanti - Makgadikgadi Pans - Maun - Moremi Game Reserve - Nogatsaa/Tchinga - Nxai Pan - Okavango Delta - Savute - Tsodilo hills - Tuli Block - Xakanaxa
Zimbabwe Destinations: Victoria Falls
Birds of Botswana: Crowned Plover - Blue Waxbill - Cormorant - Egyptian Goose - Fish Eagle - Grey Lourie - Kingfisher - Kori Bustard - Lilacbreasted Roller - Ostrich - Saddlebilled Stork - Secretary Bird
Mammals of Botswana: African Wild Dog - African Elephant - Baboon - Bat-Eared-Fox - Brown Hyena - Buffalo - Bushpig - Cheetah - Eland - Genet - Giraffe - Hartebeest - Hippo - Impala - Jackal - Kudu - Leopard - Lion - Oryx - Puku - Red Lechwe - Roan Antelope - Sable Antelope - Sitatunga - Slender Mongoose - Spotted Hyena - Springbok - Squirrel - Surikate - Tsessebe - Warthog - Waterbuck - Wildebeest - Zebra