Top 5 reasons to visit the Kalahari Desert

bushmen in kalahari ©sjorford/Flickr

The heart of Southern Africa, Kalahari is truly a unique place. During the dry season, this vast area comprising several countries is quite similar to a desert. But as soon as the rainy season arrives, animals start their search for water and food and Kalahari transforms into a prime wildlife safari destination. If you are one of those many travelers dreaming about an unforgettable African holiday, then check out these top 5 reasons to visit the Kalahari Desert – you may just find your next vacation destination:

Meet the Bushmen

Although Kalahari is mostly an arid place, in the central part of Kalahari is still inhabited by San people. These people have been here from ancient times, and they live a very simple and traditional lifestyle based on hunting and gathering plants and fruits. The lack of water and difficult conditions means the life of San people isn’t easy, but this doesn’t mean their culture is not a very complex and fascinating one, including dances, religious manifestations, songs, games and humor.

The mysterious hoodia

kalahari sunset ©dalangalma/Flickr

Hoodia is the name of a mysterious plant living in the Kalahari desert. The reason why this plant is so famous and so appreciated by San people is represented by its nutritional, or better said, hunger suppressing properties. One portion and you can go for yours, they say…

Fish River Canyon

Forget the Grand Canyon! Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world, can be visited and explored in Kalahari Desert. Although this canyon doesn’t have the same depth or the iconic red rock, it is extremely interesting due to the specific climate which transforms the river into a long stretch of small lakes during the dry season.

Fossilized sand dunes

Unlike the Sahara which consists of seemingly endless sand dunes, Kalahari has more vegetation and much less sand. Although dune-like formations can be observed in the Kalahari, these are in their majority petrified and cannot move from place to place. Kalahari is a fossil desert.

Kalahari safaris

kalahari dust road ©yannboix/Flickr

Last but not least, and just as I was saying at the beginning of this post, Kalahari makes a wonderful safari destination, especially in the rainy season – November to May. You’ll be able to observe the most diverse species – from the multi-colored flowers  the bloom together with the first showers, to the pink flamingos, the antelope herds, as well as some of Africa’s predators like lions or hyenas.

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