Makgadikgadi Pans & Kalahari Desert
SUNSET & SUNRISE
Kalahari, a fascinating savannah, is home to mind-blowing land, including the famous Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, which is home to the largest salt flat in the world.
The Kalahari is not actually a desert, don’t let the name deceive you, technically it is a large semi-arid sandy savannah. It is home to fabulous natural sites including the famous Makgadikgadi Pans which features an array of incredible animals. The pans are what remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi but dried up several thousand years ago. Cool, right?
WHY WE LOVE
Makgadikgadi Pans & Kalahari
There are many reasons to love this semi-desert including its landscape, wildlife, and sunset. There are more aspects that add to this area’s intrigue but we figure we should just stick to what we consider the three big ones.
The area does not have year-round aridity, there are times when there are heavy rains in the region so much so that the delta floods. This area is so special that even its sand is unique. Kalahari's sand is better than most deserts at retaining water, this allows for more plant growth than most deserts. Over four hundred species of plants have been discovered and identified in the Kalahari Desert…not what you think about when the word ‘desert’ is mentioned, right? But wait, there’s more, most of the area is so flat and wide that the largest singular pan takes up almost 5,00 square kilometres. This area of flat and extensive lands is impressive considering one can perceive the curve of the Earth on its horizon…yeah, the sunsets over this horizon are literally breathtaking.
This area’s spectacular land is what houses and welcomes a myriad of incredible wild animals. So much so that, the Central Kalahari is in the running for being named and holding the title of the largest game reserve in the world. This south African semi-desert spans an impressive 52,000 square kilometres, most of which is inaccessible to tourists.
The Desert also features the magnificent Makgadikgadi Pans where one can find out of this world animals people only dream of seeing. Such animals include hyenas, lions, meerkats, giraffes, warthogs, jackals, baboons, and several species of antelope, and hundreds of species of birds and reptiles. Not to mention this region is home to the oldest living human culture in the world!
Makgadikgadi Pans & Kalahari Gallery
DID YOU KNOW?
- Every year about 20,000 zebras migrate through these pans.
- Makgadikgadi Pans are the world's largest salt pans at 6,500km squared and Sir David Livingstone crossed them guided by just two baobabs.
- Salt pans cover about 20% of the Makgadikgadi National Park.
- The Kalahari Desert gets its name from the Tswana word ‘Kgala’ meaning ‘the great thirst’, or similar words meaning ‘a waterless place’.
- The San Bushmen are considered to be the oldest living culture in the world, they have lived in the Kalahari for approximately 20,000 years.
- Bushman is the only world language that has clicks.