The Kalahari Desert is the largest undulating erg in the world. The Kalahari Desert is an action-packed attraction that provides a traveler with all the goodies when one finds himself in this part of the world.
The Kalahari Desert is Botswana’s tourism mecca. Botswana is a Southern African country whose greater area is covered by the Kalahari Desert. Though the beautifully rising and falling, fine and smooth sand dunes of the Kalahari provide a perfect picturesque for any outdoor lover, Botswana offers more than just its smooth sands.
Botswana’s other attractions make this country a haven for hardcore adventurous safari lovers. Botswana houses the largest population of elephants on the African continent and other terrestrial and aquatic wildlife on offer in Botswana include lions, kudus, zebras, rhinos, different reptile and bird species among many others.
You can enjoy your safari adventures in and around the Kalahari Desert at sites such as the Makgadikgadi salt pans, the Nxai Pans National Park and Baines Baobab, Kubu Island, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
Alternatively or if you have ample time, you can also visit other destinations away from the desert which includes the Chobe National Park, Tsodillo Hills, Okavango Delta, Moremi Wildlife Reserve and the Linyati Wetlands.
Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
The Makgadikgadi salt pans are one of the largest salt pans in the world measuring 12,000sq km, almost the size of Portugal. This is a featureless terrain stretching several thousands of kilometers, the Makgadikgadi is largely uninhabited owing to unfavorable living conditions present.
The area is largely arid though flash floods are an annual occurrence during late November to lateDecember. During this time, there is a high probability of sighting large mammals as they quench their thirst in the flooded rivers of the pans while tasting the salty Makgadikgadi surface.
The Makgadikgadi Game Reserve which covers approximately 3,900sq km houses zebras, wildebeests, duiker, bushbuck, springbok and the steenbok.
Nxai Pans National Park and Baines Baobab
The Nxai Pans National Park is formerly a salt pan. Several years of erosion, weathering, and exploitation have however reduced the salt deposits and the area is now partially covered by savannah type vegetation. Safaris in the Nxai Pans National Park is seasonal, it is dependent upon the rains.
The rains fall in the summer here, between November and March and if you coincidentally arrive when the rains fall, you are likely to sight elephants, buffalos, beteared fox, brown hyena, wild dog, cheetah, lion, giraffes and zebras.
Some 30kms from Nxai Pans lie the Baines Baobab which comprises of 7 gnarled Baobab trees that tell the history of this part of the world during the 19th century through paintings. The area is named after Thomas Baines whose paintings have made Baines Baobab a world attraction.
Kubu Island is the archaeological guardian of Batswana history. Various historical and archaeological remains which tell the history of Botswana is littered all over the place.
The Island itself is a rock outcrop that covers an area of approximately 1 km.
The rock outcrop has a pebble beach which has an abundance of fossilized guano. On top is a white pan surface which gives Kubu Island a heavenly view.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a vast expanse of land that shares much of its territory with the Kalahari Desert.
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park offers much of Botswana’s wildlife all under one roof. The part covered by the Kalahari Desert consists of red sand dunes and dry rivers.
The other part offers a great viewing spectacle for terrestrial wildlife as they make their annual migration in huge numbers.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Central Kalahari Game Reserve covers much of central Botswana and supports much of the wildlife present in Botswana.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve is much popular among travelers as it is one spot in Botswana which offers out-of-the-world campsites in fossilized river valleys.
Two such valleys popular with travelers are the Passarge Valley and the Deception Valley. The infamous Zebra migration also takes place here if you happen to time your journey perfectly (end of November to early December).
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park is one of the biggest parks in Africa and its diverse wildlife reserves do not disappoint.
Covering an area of approximately 11,000sq km, Chobe National Park is home to the biggest population of elephants globally.
Chobe National Park is divided into 3 areas, the Chobe Riverfront where you will find the largest concentration of wildlife in Botswana.
The Linyati marshes where all of Botswana’s predators take refuge and the remote but soulful Sayuti where only the stars, plants and animals will keep you company during your safari.
The Okavango Delta is Africa’s largest inland delta famous for its sprawling grassy plains.
One of the things you ought to do in the Okavango Delta is to hire a canoe and navigate past the dangerous aquatic wildlife present including crocodiles, elephants, and hippos.
You will also sight different species of small aquatic life and migratory birds while your ears are filled with the laughter’s of the hyenas and roars of the lions as you cross the Okavango Delta.