The name Kalahari is derived from the Tswana word “Kgala”, meaning the great thirst, or “Kgalagadi”, meaning the waterless place. It has been inhabited by the Bushman for 20 000 years as hunter-gatherers, who lived in a harmonious relationship with the environment until the influx of African and European man. However, due to its harsh environment, modern day man found its unfavourable conditions unsuitable to develop. Even with the introduction of borehole water, farming of livestock was a difficult pursuit. It is for this reason that man has had almost no impact on the land, and the Kalahari has remained a true wilderness area.
The southern Kalahari, due to its location and local climatic conditions, receives somewhat more rain than the central Kalahari, allowing it to support a large diversity of life. It is for this reason that the southern Kalahari is frequently referred to as the “Green Kalahari” – this is the home of Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. Discover the Kalahari Now.
History, landscape and people
The Kalahari Desert came into existence approximately sixty million years ago along with the formation of the African continent. This extensive semi-arid savanna covers 900,000 square kilometres of Southern Africa including much of Botswana, Namibia and of South Africa.
Regardless of its high temperatures this semi-desert boasts huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. Collections of acacia trees and waist-high, golden, savanna grasses and scrub bushes provide the perfect home to a wide variety of animals including all the big cats, hyenas and wild dog, many African birds of prey and a large variety of exquisite antelope.
Iconic Africa Recommends
Iconic Africa has developed relationships with the destinations, which we believe showcase the best of Kalahari’s wilderness splendour, wildlife and uncomplicated luxury while demonstrating a genuine commitment to conservation.
Why the Kalahari
- The sheer immensity of this untouched, endless landscape
- Spectacular variety and unbelievable quantities of unique wildlife
- A distinctive semi-arid wilderness
- Tswalu Game Reserve – never-ending vistas and rolling dunes
- Star gazing under expansive African skies
The Kalahari really is a once-in-a-lifetime destination. The untouched, endless wilderness and its sensational game viewing will no doubt leave you speechless. The camps that Iconic Africa recommends represent the epitome of discerning luxury eco-tourism and authentic conservation.