When most people think of tourism destination in Botswana, they think of the Okavango Delta and the Chobe National Park.
It is not so often that many would think of the Kalahari Desert yet this place does offer a different, memorable experience.
The Kalahari offers many attractions in form of landscapes, wildlife and vegetations though the main attraction is Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Established in 1999 the park was officially opened in 2002.
Located in the southwest corner of Botswana, and adjacent to the Northern Cape Province in South Africa, the park covers 37 000 square kilometres between two countries.
Popular attractions within the park are the Nossop River valley, along the South Africa/Botswana border, the wilderness trails on the Botswana side, and what was once the Mabuasehube Game Reserve, now incorporated into park at the far most northeastern reaches.
These places offer a first class experience which leave one fulfilled and refreshed due to their beautiful and enchanting flora and fauna.
Wildlife found in the park is species of antelope, hartebeest, springbok, gemsbok, eland jackal, brown hyena, and wild cats and the catch to this park is spotting the known Kalahari-black maned lion, which rules the Kalahari. I was lucky to come face to face though at a distance with the king of jungle.
The animal might be dangerous and very intimidating but it is quite a marvel to look at it. What makes it different from the other commonly seen lions is that as its name says its half black and half brown.
For bird lovers, over 170 bird species are found in the park and their noise is no doubt good music to the ears. So it’s not only the eyes which will be feasting on the beautiful, colorful creations but the ears will be listening to ‘soothing music’ as well.
Developments within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve also make it a major tourist attraction and shift the masses from the mighty Okavango have seen an establishment of a luxury lodge operated by Wilderness Safari. May you be warned though that the lodge is not for those with shallow pockets!
However this does not mean those with tight purses cannot enjoy the beauty the desert. Self drives and camping are allowed, one of course needs a four wheel drive due to sand roads which characterize the park.
Sand dunes rule the Kalahari and they make it an ideal spot to watch the sunrise and sunsets. Public campsites can be found within the park. Game viewing is at its best between December and April, making it an alternative to the Okavango delta where game viewing is ideal in winter.
Not that I have anything against the delta, it’s just to show that Botswana offers a wide choice for travelers and those who from time to time like to take some time away from the hustle and bustle of the cities to be close to nature at its best.