Introducing The Kalahari
A voyage to the Kalahari is akin to being catapulted into a parallel universe. It’s a surreal Alice in Wonderland experience, where everything looms larger than life in the scorching desert heat. A collage of fiery sunsets and shifting crimson sands, lush green fields and gushing waterfalls, magnificent parks and tidy vineyards, this region will enchant long after you depart. If you want to get a feel for it before you leave home, Laurens Van der Post brought the Kalahari alive in his books, including The Lost World of the Kalahari and A Far-Off Place.
As well as South Africa, the Kalahari covers much of Botswana and extends as far as Namibia and Angola. In South Africa, it’s divided into two distinct areas: arid, semi-desert and desert regions; and the ‘Green Kalahari’, an irrigated, fertile belt along the banks of the Senqu (Orange) River. In this agricultural area, dunes give way to fruit and wine farms producing goodies such as delicious sultana grapes and some excellent tipples. Nonetheless, the Green Kalahari retains a frontier feel, with dazzling night skies and plenty of wide-open spaces.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
A long, hot road leads between crimson dunes from Upington to the magical Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, one of the world’s last great, unspoilt ecosystems. Once you step foot inside Africa’s first transfrontier park, tucked away alongside Namibia in the Northern Cape and southwest Botswana, you’ll soon see why the journey was well worth the effort.