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Central Kalahari

Central Kalahari Destinations

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Nothing prepares you for the immensity of the Central Kalahari, nor its wild, mysterious beauty. There is the immediate impression of unending space.  Waist-high golden grasses seem to stretch forever, punctuated by dwarfed trees and scrub bushes.  Wide and empty pans appear as vast white saucers, meeting a soft, blue-white sky. There are few places on earth where the skies are clearer and at night, the stars utterly dominate the land.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest, most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa, and the second largest wildlife reserve in the world, encompassing 52 800 sq kms.  During and shortly after good summer rains, the flat grasslands of the reserve’s northern reaches teem with wildlife, which gather at the best grazing areas. These include large herds of springbok and gemsbok, as well as blue wildebeest, kudu, impala, hartebeest, sable antelope, eland, zebra and giraffe.  The Central Kalahari is home to the legendary Kalahari black-maned lions as well as desert-adapted elephants.  It also offers some of the world’s best cheetah sightings.  The park is also home to wildlife such as white rhino, Cape buffalo, spotted hyena, brown hyena, honey badger, meerkat, yellow mongoose, warthog, caracal, Cape wild dog, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, aardvark, Cape porcupine, chacma baboon and ostrich.

The landscape in the Central Kalahari is dominated by silver terminalia sandveldt, Kalahari sand acacias, and Kalahari appleleaf, interspersed with grasslands, and dotted with occasional sand dunes, pans and shallow fossil river valleys, such as Deception Valley.  During the drier months, the grasses die back and the Central Kalahari reveals wide, desolate pans, which offer exceptional photographic opportunities.  At this time of year, the arid desert plains form an exceptional contrast with the greenery and abundance found in the Okavango Delta.

CKGR is unique in that it was originally established with the intention of serving as a place of sanctuary for the San/Bushmen in the heart of the Kalahari, where they could live their traditional hunter/ gatherer way of life, without intrusion, or influence, from the outside world.

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Vanessa Langner
Vanessa Langner
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