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Stretching across Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, this vast region is characterised by red sand dunes dotted with grass clumps and camelthorn trees. The Kalahari is technically not a true desert as its rainfall is too high and some parts are quite well vegetated, so it is actually referred to as a semi-desert or ‘fossil desert’ (a true desert receives under 175 millimetres of rain annually). Its endless grass plains interspersed with acacias and shrubs support specially-adapted wildlife such as oryx, springbok and ostrich. The Kalahari has more than 150 bird species. The Kalahari has been inhabited by the San (Bushmen) for 20,000 years, who refer to this area as the ‘Soul of the World’.

Game drives and walking trails have helped the region to grow as a tourist destination. Visitors can walk amongst the quiver trees and dolerite rock formations, or take part in a fossil tour. The region is also home to striking salt pans (in the middle of the dry savannah of north-eastern Botswana, the the Makgadikgadi Pan is one of the largest salt flats in the world) which form the bed of ancient lakes, making for incredible views and photo opportunities. 

The main lodge on the Namibia itinerary is the Bagatelle Game Ranch which is found on the edge of the southern Kalahari, where species include springbok, wildebeest, gemsbok, eland and kudu. It is very remote, surrounded by red dunes and arid landscapes. During the evening you will have the chance to go on a sundowner game drive, which is a great introduction to Africa. This late-afternoon drive through the desert gives you the chance to observe diverse animals and birdlife, stopping to enjoy refreshments as you watch the sun set over the dunes.