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The Kalahari ... Botswana

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Derived from the Tswana word "Kgalagadi", meaning "the great thirst", the Kalahari is one of the world's most extensive mantles of sand that extends south into South Africa, west into Namibia and north into Angola and Zambia. This Kalahari sand covers the hollow basin of Botswana and forms a flat plain that covers nearly 70% of the country.

The Kalahari Desert is not a true desert in the sense that it is well vegetated and receives copious but very unpredictable rainfall. It does however hold no permanent surface water and has resulted in a fascinating ecological challenge for flora, fauna and the San Bushmen who have inhabited the area for thousands of years.

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The Kalahari has three of Africa's most remote game reserves including the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), Khutse Game Reserve and Gemsbok National Park.
  • The Central Kalahari Game Reserve was brought to the world's attention through Mark and Delia Owens' book "Cry of the Kalahari" during their research on brown hyeana between 1974 and 1981. It's the world's second largest protected area encompassing a harsh and unforgiving environment that holds a fascinating history of geological change.
  • Khutse Game Reserve is a small reserve abutting the CKGR's southern boundary. It consists mostly of some 60 calcrete pans within undulating savannah.
  • Gemsbok National Park, situated in the dry south of Botswana provides excellent habitats for raptors with nearly 50 having been listed - the oryx or gemsbok after which it is named are best seen between March and May.
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