There is something soulful…an indescribable yearning that seems to encapsulate any engagement with the horizons of Kgalagadi…that great thirstland that covers so much of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. The sense of loneliness is exquisite and is not at all the negative connotation so often ascribed to being lonely. It beckons one to explore…to seek her beauty and to linger in the stillness…the grandeur…of her never ending, undulating dunescapes.
Life abounds here in this arid wonderland…it’s not that obvious at first but increasingly visible as the observer slows down, dawdles even and applies a full battery of senses to the task at hand. The desert whispers on tepid breezes and carries the sound of sandgrouse on pinioned wings descending onto a waterhole to drink…or the defiant bellowing of an enormous Kalahari lion as he claims his sandy domain and implores the universe to obey. It is found in the musty smells of falling camelthorn pods or the heartbreaking beauty of a scene where gemsbok gallop over a bronze infused dune…and smoke like tendrils of talcum fine dust explode with each footfall.
Meerkats, Cape Fox and Bat eared Fox are common and are among the most delightful of desert denizens as are the enigmatic Brant’s Whistling Rat and the ever-present Black backed Jackal. Large birds of prey adorn the bigger trees and hunt their myriad prey…impossible murmurations of quelea or the always-alert Ground Squirrel. Cheetah…often seen in the early morning…glide through golden desert grasslands all rippling muscle and sleek, spotted splendour. They often appear ethereal in the dawn’s early glow as they drift wraith like across the desolate plains.
It is a region of absolute remoteness where time seems to stand still and a primeval sense of wilderness is so quintessentially present. A visit to this most exquisite space will change you…because the desert is more than just a destination or experience…it is a state of mind…an immersive act that will leave you yearning to return.