The Kalahari extends 900,000 km² and covers much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa. What marks the Kalahari out from other deserts, such as the Sahara, is that it is not a true desert and can support animals and plants in semi-arid areas. The Kalahari is also home to the San Bushmen, a traditional hunter-gathered tribe who are well-worth meeting, to learn how they survive in this remote region.
The Kalahari is known by the local Tswana people as the Kgalagadi or Land of Thirst and covers a large proportion of Botswana. Whilst it is certainly a dry area – classified as arid and semi-arid, it is also not a true desert, with it being able to support a diverse range of plant and animal life that has adapted to the conditions.
The Kalahari has marked seasons and unlike traditional safari destinations, the best time to visit is in the wet season between January and March when the grass grows and attracts huge herds of antelope such as gemsbok and springbok as well as migrating zebra and wildebeest, of course such species are popular food sources for predators including the famous Kalahari lions with their huge black manes and leopard. The grass of the Kalahari also makes it ideal hunting ground for cheetah who favour the uninterrupted landscape.
The San people, traditional Africa Bushmen, have lived in the Kalahari for over 20,000 years and continue to follow a traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Hunting with bows and arrows and subsisting off the bush and what they find in it, their life is a simple one, focused on their surroundings. During a stay here there is the opportunity to go out with the Bushmen to learn more about their tracking skills and way of life.