The rolling red dunes of the Kalahari Desert cover most of southern and eastern Namibia. Do not expect to find the tall dunes associated with the Namib Desert and Sossusvlei. The Kalahari landscape is one of golden grass on small red dunes.
The Kalahari is cheetah country, Namibia has the world’s largest free-roaming cheetah population. Many living and hunting in the Kalahari. Other wildlife includes aardwolf, honey-badgers, mongoose, meerkats, springbok, hare, porcupines, giraffe and zebra.
Birdlife is plentiful with raptors including martial eagle, brown snake eagle, black-breasted snake eagle, white-backed and lappet-faced vulture and pale chanting goshawk. Huge sociable weaver nests dominate acacia trees & telegraph poles. The Kalahari is also home to crimson-breasted shrike, rosy-faced lovebird, Gaber goshawk, pygmy falcon and ant-eating chats.
The Kgalagadi, as it is called in Botswana, stretches across seven countries: Botswana, Zambia, the Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This name derives from the Tswana language with the word Kgala, meaning “the great thirst”, and Kgalagadi, meaning “the great waterless place”.
The San people who live here have identified over a thousand useful plants.. In Namibia the Kalahari is covered with trees, dry river beds and grass. Regular rainfall allows diverse species of animals, bird and plants to thrive. The vegetation in the drier southern regions includes quiver trees, while in central areas large sprawling camelthorn trees line dry river beds. Further north, where rainfall is higher, large teak & tamboti trees become more prevalent.
While the Namib Desert is impressive with huge dunes (at Sossusvlei and other areas) the Kalahari doesn’t have an obvious focal point, or must visit section. It is as diverse as it is sprawling and a visit to any part is sure to enthrall and calm the spirits.
Typical Kalahari scenery
Accommodation – There are not many lodges in the Kalahari. The best are situated in southern Namibia, around the town of Mariental. Others can be found east of Windhoek and the international airport.
Food – The Kalahari is sheep farming country. So expect the menu to include lamb and mutton
Transportation – Some guided safaris spend a night or two in the Kalahari. But if you really want to explore we suggest renting a car and including the area on your self drive holiday of Namibia
San demonstrating traditional village life