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About the Kalahari



“Kalahari” is derived from the Tswana word Kgala meaning “great thirst” – and it has vast areas covered by red sand without any permanent water. The Kalahari Desert is the largest sand basin in the world stretching 2,500kms from the northern regions of South Africa through to Namibia/Angola and ending in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest game reserve in the world (52,800 sq km's) and for many years was closed to the public, hence it is know for being one of Africa's last true wild areas.

The term ‘desert,' is however not quite accurate when referring to the Kalahari, the region receives an annual rainfall of 60mm-175mm, too high to be classified as a true desert. The Kalahari's vegetation consists mainly of grasses and acacia's, as well as stunted thorn and scrub bush. There are over 400 identified plant species present. Annual rain season is between December and March when summer temperatures can get quite high. About 1,100 meters above sea level – the largely unchanging flat terrain is occasionally interrupted with gentle valleys, sand dunes and a large number of pans, which vary in size and complexity. These pans are invaluable to the wildlife as they supply them with nutrients from the salts and the grasses of the pans.

Famous for being where the waters of the Okavango come to rest – the Kalahari has been written about by several explorers, notably David Livingstone and more recently in “Cry of the Kalahari” by Mark and Delia Owens, during their time studying of the Brown Hyena.

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