The Kalahari desert is one of Africa’s most known deserts located in Southern Africa while stretching out to Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. The Kalahari is a one of a kind desert; the mystery lies in the fact that it accommodates a level of vegetation more than expected of a typical desert. Beats the imagination how an ideally greenery-unfriendly region could be good enough for plants and animals to be sustained in it. Ordinarily the thought of a desert gives a mental picture of sand dunes, a handful of animals and marshlands. The Kalahari has successfully given a different look to the prototype, it retains water and is endemic to a variety of plants. It could unmistakably be called a semi desert, a sandy savanna.
The Kalahari basin takes up over 2,500,000 km2 (970,000 sq mi). Botswana takes up quite a chunk of the desert followed by Namibia, South Africa; and somewhat usurping some parts of Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The world-famous 2nd largest after the Sahara desert is not completely xeric by nature, as such the ground holds a level of moisture which reflects in the unusual growth of floras in the savanna.
The red sand is the first thing you notice once you step into the bosom of this strangely beautiful desert occupying an area of 930,000 km2 (359,075 sq mi); home to a range of living organisms- lions, leopards, elephants- the largest known species in the world, cheetahs; camel thorn trees, endemic acacia trees, giraffes, reptiles and birds, most of which are migrated and then the Okavango river. The Kalahari desert favors nomadic farming with the driest areas receiving about 110–200 mm of rain per year and the wettest goes with over 500 mm.
Ever heard of the San people, these are the tribal hunters and gatherers who have originally dwelt in reasonable population size in the Kalahari basins of the various nations that the Kalahari stretches out to, for about 20,000 years. The San people are the protagonists of the San Bushmen culture, one of the remotest cultures in the continent. According to Wikipedia, “the San people are one of 14 known extant ancestral population clusters from which all known modern humans descend”, helping out in anthropological and genealogical researches.
The Kalahari location opened up doors of potentials and possibilities in the aspect of tourism. Several wildlife reserves and establishments were set up because of the semi-xeric advantage of the Kalahari. Without a region like this, some safaris will not be existing by now. In the same way the mystically beautiful desert has been used twice by Hollywood film makers in making these blockbusters- Gods Must Be Crazy and Lion King
Economically, the Kalahari desert is an incredible source of revenue. While the concerned nations benefit from the wildlife exploration, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve officially accommodates the mining of diamonds in the zone.
Good enough the Kalahari desert is still the mystical wonder it has always been. As much as the semi-arid savanna favors animals and vegetation alike, there is a worry on possible over-grazing of the animals in the zone; in the bid to check this was the construction of a demarcating fence which now adversely limits the movement of wildlife in the Kalahari zone. Illegal hunting practices are checked, thus, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the world’s second largest protected Wildlife area.