Who would have guessed that this vast, seemingly desolate space is actually home to one of the most diverse wildlife in the planet? That is classic Kalahari Desert to you. Its 900,000-square-kilometer glory, which spans across four African countries (i.e., Botswana, Namibia, Angola, and South Africa), will surprise you at every turn. It is no wonder then that Kalahari Desert group tours are on most seasoned travelers’ bucket list.
So what do you do in this vastness?
We have rounded up some of the best Kalahari Desert travel destinations to help you get started.
Kalahari Desert Highlights and Features
1. Kalahari Meerkat Project
Perhaps you have already seen these creatures in one of those BBC documentaries. In the Kalahari Desert, however, they are live and are virtually immune to humans. Based in the Kuruman River Reserve, just south of the Botswanan border, the Kalahari Meerkat Project started as a research venture. Now, tourists are allowed to visit the meerkats who have become comfortable around humans. It is a one-of-a-kind experience, set against the gorgeous backdrop of the desert, dunes and all. Temperatures tend to get quite extreme (with over 104F during the summer, and around freezing temperatures during winter) so make sure you are dressed appropriately and comfortably.
2. Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
Surreal is the first word that comes to mind whenever we think of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, with an area of 16,000 square kilometers, making them the largest in the world. It is an attraction that you must see twice. Yes, two times! Because these pans transform with the seasons. During the dry winter season, expect parched and dusty plains that shimmer against the sunlight. On the other hand, in the wet summer season, the pans metamorphose into grassy wetlands, attracting animals such as flamingoes, wildebeest, springbok, and approximately 25,000 zebra who migrate every year from Okavango Delta. It is during this time that one ought to culminate their Kalahari Desert photography adventure. Prepare your lenses to capture the diverse wildlife in such an expansive landscape.
3. Kalahari San
This is a rare chance to experience how one of the oldest ethnic tribes in the world live. The Kalahari is home to the San Bushmen, an ancient African tribe. For many years, this tribe has learned to live in harmony with nature. Through this attraction, you will get a chance to walk through their way of living, from hunting and gathering food to making fire.
4. The Kalahari Desert Night Sky
Away from the artificial light pollution of the big cities, the night skies in the Kalahari Desert will surely take your breath away. You can take a 4×4 to the middle of the desert and spend the night under the glittering canopy of stars. It is a simple activity, yet the effect is different. It is the perfect way to end a satisfying tour of the wonderland that is the Kalahari Desert.
Kalahari Desert group tours are an experience you should not miss. To say that it will change your life, or at least the way you view the world, is an understatement.