Kalahari Desert

Experience the rugged beauty of the Kalahari Desert: the vast expanses, wide open sky spattered with more stars than you could imagine, and the silence. The Kalahari Desert is sparsely populated and huge - it crosses the borders of several countries. Contrast your visit to the Kalahari with a visit to the lush and green Okavango Delta, and each enhances the beauty of the other.
The Kalahari Desert is a vast expanse, crossing the borders of multiple Southern African countries including Angola, Namibia, the DRC, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. A visit to the Kalahari is recommended mainly for seasoned travellers to Africa - people who've already fallen in love with the rugged wild, with the wide expanses and amazing scenery. Due to its arid nature, you won't see wildlife in great numbers, as you will in Chobe and the Delta, but if your desire is to get as far from civilisation as possible,  to experience wild heart of Africa, then a trip to the Kalahari may be just what you are looking for.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (the CKGR) is the most commonly visited area of the desert, with most visits centered around the Northern part of the park, where there is a little more variation in vegetation and scenery due to the salt pans found there, including the Letiahau Pan and Piper Pans, where water is pumped in by the park.
At one time, the San people populated most of Southern Africa in high numbers. Then, over centuries, the Bantu Migration occurred: the migration of people who spoke Bantu languages from Western Africa and spreading down through Southern Africa, starting in about 1700BCE and continuing until the beginning of European colonisation. As the Bantu peoples grew in numbers, the numbers of the San people diminished, as their villages were either engulfed by the Bantu, or were forced ever deeper and deeper into the wilderness to maintain their hunter-gatherer way of life.

The CKGR was originally established shortly before Independence as a means of protecting the lands of the San people from development, and the destruction of their hunter-gatherer way of life and the culture that comes with it. It was established as a Game Reserve so that the San people would not be set apart, and division along racial lines would not be encouraged. This has made the legislation and culture around the CKGR complicated, as the people it was originally meant to protect have at times been 'resettled' outside of the Park. It is only in recent years that tourists have been allowed to visit this park, and they do so in small numbers, making the CKGR about as untouched as a wilderness can get.
In the summer, the temperatures in the Kalahari soar to over 40º, and with an average annual rainfall of less than 100mm, sometimes much less, there is not much to break the heat of the day. When it does rain, it rains a huge amount in a short time, transforming the dry and arid desert into a blooming green oasis almost before your eyes.

In the winter months, daytime temperatures reach around 25º, and the nights are bitterly cold, often below 0ºC. This is the best time for game viewing, as the animals gather at water sources to drink.