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Central Kalahari 

Central Kalahari is 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, salt-pans 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 mopane forests to the south and east. Rainfall is sparse and sporadic and can vary from 170 to 700 millimetres per year.

Kgalagadi meaning ‘place of thirst’ consists of red sand dunes, dry river beds, salt pans, and scattered trees in the form of camel thorn, Kalahari apple leave and a variety of acacia species. The Rainy season is one of the most spectacular times when animals comes together to celebrate the water and quench their thirst. It is common to experience thunderstorms and short heavy rain falls.

The Kalahari is home to a variety of predators, herbivores and over 200 species of bird life. What makes the park unique is the survival of wildlife in these harsh Kalahari eco system called a desert. Coloured by red sand dunes, waving grasses and extreme temperature differences the Kalahari stays one of the most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries, reserves in Southern Africa.

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Central Kalahari Formation 

A Great part of Africa was uplifted and three major basins were formed:Chad basin, Congo basin & Kalahari Basin. 40 million years ago high areas were worn down by ice, water, heat and wind and the Kalahari basin filled up with erosional debris and windblown sands. The Kalahari is the largest continuous stretch of sand in the world covering some 2500km from the Orange River to the tropical forests of Zaire.

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Protruding rocks of the Kalahari

Karoo sediments, covered by basaltic lavas underline most of the Kalahari sands. Tectonic movements and uplifting of the belt caused Tsodilo to protrude above the Kalahari basin.

Find safari lodges in the Central Kalahari National Park.