Kalahari, meaning ‘Land of Great Thirst’ in Tswana covers an area of 2.5 million km2, most of Southern Africa surrounded by two oceans, The Atlantic and The Indian… It is one immense size of depression land where once these two oceans reign as Botswana’s Makgadikgadi, Nxai and Sua Salt Pans are in the center together with Central Kalahari Zone. Although Kalahari has always been associated with the word ‘Desert’, well true as being one of the driest lands on Earth, in fact, embodies a wide variety of Flora and Fauna.
The wet lands
The alive rivers, Kavango, Chobe and Zambezi turn Northern Kalahari Basin into lush wetlands of Okavango and Chobe Delta where mammals and birdlife congregate all year long while ancient dry river beds, in other words ‘fossil rivers’ or omuramba in local dialect of the Herero Tribe are believed to still be running underground. During rainy seasons (December to May), the region gets more of its water sources by daily rainfalls in short-timed showers with thunderstorms close to sunsets. It is one of the great displays of Mother Nature as open blue skies suddenly generates big bundles of white clouds; white clouds give way to dark grey colours; fertility comes down with rainfall; multiple rainbows occur; and the show ends with yellows and orange colours as the day turns into a wide spectrum of pinks and reds as the night rapidly falls.
the arid lands
It is not a surprise to see natural springs or human-made boreholes significant with windmills in and around nature reserves where animals congregate. Water is mostly salty which gives the members of fauna in this land the description “Desert-Adapted” as none of their cousins living in other regions of Africa can cope with these harsh conditions.
Africa is not for the hurries they say. This is mostly valid for the flora, since they grow split inches by split inches year by year, waiting for the annual rainfalls while preserving their energy in the rest. Ancient Baobab Trees stand tall and wise with their multiple thousands of years in age. Acacia Thorn Trees are no younger, are smaller in size, but their roots go very deep underground to reach those fossil rivers. Even a patch of colourless shrub is more than 100 years old. Kalahari Basin is in fact a fertile land where Survival of the Fittest or Survival of the Adaptive prevails…