Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is a large arid to semi-arid sandy area in southern Kgalagadi Africa extending 900,000 km² (562,500 sq. mi.), covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The Kalahari Desert is in Africa at the southern part and the desert is a portion of desert and a plateau. The Kalahari supports some animals and plants because most of it is not true desert. There is small amounts of rainfall and the summer temperature is very high. It usually receives 5-10 inches of rainfall per year. The surrounding Kalahari Basin covers over 2.5 million km² extending farther into Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, and encroaching into parts of Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The only permanent river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in the northwest, forming marshes that are rich in wildlife. Ancient dry riverbeds—called omuramba—traverse the central northern reaches of the Kalahari and provide standing pools of water during the rainy season. Previously havens for wild animals from elephant to giraffe, and for predators such as lion and cheetah, the riverbeds are now mostly grazing spots, though leopard or cheetah can still be found.

Derived from the Tswana word Keir, meaning the great thirst, or the tribal word Khalagari, Kgalagadi or Kalagare (meaning "a waterless place"), the Kalahari has vast areas covered by red-brown sands without any permanent surface water. Drainage is by dry valleys, seasonally inundated pans, and the large salt pans of the Makgadikgadi Pan in Botswana and Etosha Pan in Namibia. However, the Kalahari is not a true desert. Parts of the Kalahari receive over 250 mm of erratic rainfall annually and are quite well vegetated; it is only truly arid in the south-west (under 175 mm of rain annually) making the Kalahari a fossil desert. Summer temperatures in the Kalahari range from 20 to 40 °C. In winter, the Kalahari has a dry, cold climate with frosts at night. The low winter temperature can average below 0 °C. The kalahari desert is a harsh place and has of 2 seasons, a dry season and a rainy season.

 

JOURNEYS trips that include the Kalahari Desert:

Botswana Overland Adventure

 

Information based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalahari_Desert

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