The stark savannahs of the Kalahari and the lunar landscapes of the Makgadikgadi salt pans are worlds away from the safari reserves and river deltas of Botswana’s fertile and game-rich grasslands. When the rains cease, the dry season brings with it the chance to enjoy more adventurous experiences alongside game drives, such as quad-biking across the vast salt pans and learning survival skills from the San Bushmen that inhabit the region. Enjoy one of our Kalahari & Makgadikgadi holidays in the rainy season, and you’ll see a very different side to the arid region, as the salt pans fill with water, attracting zebra and wildebeest migration. Holidays to the Kalahari & Makgadikgadi will take you on a journey of discovery off the beaten track, through an otherworldly landscape in one of the most remote and untamed areas of Africa.
Despite being called the Kalahari Desert, the term ‘desert’ isn’t quite accurate, as the region receives an annual rainfall of between 60mm – 175mm, which is above the technical limit to be classified as a true desert like the Sahara. The name Kalahari translates from the Tswana language as ‘great thirst’, and indeed it is the largest sand basin in the world, stretching more than 2,500 kilometres from north to south. Here you’ll find a vast and wild scrubland of thorny bushes, rippling grasses and acacia trees standing proud amid the red earth and low-lying scrub.
Kalahari Desert Holidays can also unveil Botswana’s fascinating history. The park’s original inhabitants were the San Bushmen, and to this day paintings by the bushmen can be found here. The nomadic hunters lived an nomadic existence, moving from place to place in search of food, and even now the ancestors of the original San Bushmen live in the park. Tours to the painting sites and former homes of the bushmen can illuminate a different side to Botswana holidays.
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve covers over 50,000 square kilometres and is one of the most remote safari destinations in Africa. The reserve’s visitor count is much lower than elsewhere in Botswana and further afield, allowing visitors a more exclusive experience. Kalahari & Makgadikgadi holidays can include a variety of activities in addition to safari drives, including walking safaris – even more atmospheric after nightfall – and zooming around the salt pans on a quad bike. Another worthwhile experience is learning more about the native San Bushmen, through experiencing their traditional way of life, learning how to survive in the bush, or through traditional dancing.