Nyanja Safaris - Experts in Eco-Safaris to Zambia & other African destinations
 
 

 

Botswana - Kalahari

Larger than Denmark or Switzerland, and bigger than Lesotho and Swaziland combined, the 52,800 square kilometre Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which was set up in 1961, is the second largest game reserve in the world. Situated right in the centre of Botswana, this reserve is characterised by vast open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds. Varying from sand dunes with many species of trees and shrubs in the north, to flat bush veld in the central area, the reserve is more heavily wooded in the south, with mophane forests to the south and east. Rainfall is sparse and sporadic and can vary from 170 to 700 millimetres per year.

The people commonly known throughout the world as 'Bushmen', but more properly referred to as the 'Basarwa' or 'San', have been resident in and around the area for probably thousands of years. Originally nomadic hunters and gathers, the lifestyle of the 'Basarwa' has gradually changed with the times and they now live in settlements, some of which are situated within the southern half of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

Game viewing for animals which include giraffe, brown hyena, warthog, wild dog, cheetah, leopard, lion, blue wildebeest, eland, gemsbok, kudu, red hartebeest and springbok, is best between December and April, when the animals tend to congregate in the pans and valleys. Visitors are warned that sleeping in the open without a tent is dangerous and foolhardy and that they should keep their tents fastened to prevent snakes, scorpions, etc. from gaining entry. Foodstuffs, etc. should not be kept in the tent but should be closed into the vehicle to avoid the unwanted attentions of lions and hyena's.

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