Kalahari

Aug 5, 2011   //   by Sam Wingate   //   Safaris  //  Comments Off on Kalahari

Kalahari sands cover about 80% of Botswana’s land surface and though the Kalahari is known as a desert, it is actually semi-desert, an arid savanna region that has a higher rainfall than true deserts like the Namib and supports more animals and vegetation.
Wildlife sanctuaries like the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Savute, Nxai Pan National Park, Kgalakgadi Transfrontier Park and Khutse Game Reserve have pans, dry riverbeds and fossil rivers that attract an abundance of game during and after the rainy season. Although the average annual rainfall in the Kalahari is only about 190 mm with no permanent water in these areas, many species of herbivores can survive off the moisture derived from the vegetation they graze or browse. Predators like lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, brown hyaena and jackal derive enough moisture from the blood of their prey, though jackals supplement this intake with sporadic grazing of certain grass species. Nonetheless, conservation officials have constructed a few waterholes in these areas to assist the survival of wildlife.
Despite the fact that Kalahari sand covers the whole of northern Botswana, this region is more moist savanna than arid due to the combination of the Okavango River, Kwando / Linyanti / Chobe River system, dynamic tectonic faults which allow water to be channeled into different areas and a generally higher rainfall. This in turn allows for a higher density of wildlife and thrilling safaris in spectacularly beautiful and diverse regions.
The Kalahari has a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere and being in these remote wilderness areas is a welcome escape from the noise and pressure of city life.


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