Travel in South Africa - The Kalahari Desert

Kalahari Desert © Martie Coetser
Kalahari Desert © Martie Coetser

Semi-deserts in South Africa

A very large part of South Africa has a cold semi-arid climate.

A semi-arid climate receives rain below potential rainfall. While rainfall in a true desert is too low to sustain any vegetation at all, semi-arid climates support short/scrubby vegetation such as grasses, shrubs and drought-resistant trees. It also support a very large variety of animals.

Temperatures in summer are hot to extremely hot, and during winters, cold to extremely cold. Extremely hot in South Africa would be 40°C (104 °F) and up, while -4 °C (24.8 °F) is considered to be extremely cold. Midwinter temperatures in Sutherland - the coldest town in SA - can be as low as −15 °C (5 °F) during mid-winter.

Semi-arid climate (left) versus arid climate (right)

Source

Semi-arid climates can be hot or cold. Some differences between hot and cold semi-arid climates:

HOT SEMI-ARID
COLD SEMI-ARID
Type: type BSh
Type: BSk
Located in the tropics and subtropics.
Located in temperate zones.
Climates tend to have hot, sometimes extremely hot, summers and mild to warm winters.
Climates feature hot and dry, often exceptionally hot, summers, though typically not as hot as those of hot semi-arid climates. Winters are cold.
Snow falls rarely , if ever.
Some snowfall during winters.
Most commonly found around the fringes of subtropical deserts.
Subjected to major temperature swings between day and night, sometimes by as much as 20 °C (36 °F) or more in that time frame.
Experiences the seasonal effects of monsoons and has a short but well-defined wet season, but is not sufficiently wet overall to qualify as a tropical savanna climate.
Cold semi-arid climates at higher latitudes tend to have dry winters and wetter summers, while cold semi-arid climates at lower latitudes tend to have precipitation patterns more akin to Mediterranean climates, with dry summers, relatively wet winters, and even wetter springs and autumns.
Found in regions such as West Africa, India, parts of Mexico and bordering areas in Texas, parts of Southern California, and small parts of Pakistan.
Found in Asia and North America. However, they can also be found in Northern Africa, South Africa, Europe (primarily in Spain), sections of South America and sections of interior southern Australia and New Zealand.
wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-arid_climate

Two regions in South Africa have COLD SEMI-ARID climates - the Kalahari Desert and the Karoo -

martiecoetser.hubpages.com
martiecoetser.hubpages.com

The Kalahari Desert extends over South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Congo and Burundi.

Source

The Kalahari Desert in South Africa

The size of the Kalahari Desert is 930,000 km2 (359,075 sq mi). Only a very small part of it falls in South Africa. Although it has patches of arid-climates, it is mainly cold-semi-arid.

Some interesting facts about the Kalahari Desert -

  • According to scientific evidence the Kalahari came into existence approximately sixty million years ago.
  • Until about 10,000 years ago the Kalahari was a much wetter place, still evident in huge subterranean water reserves beneath parts of it, like the Dragon's Breath Cave in Namibia, which is the largest documented non-subglacial underground lake on the planet.
  • The word ‘kalahari’ derived from the San word ‘kgalagadi, meaning "a waterless place".
  • Although daily temperatures occasionally reach up to 45°C (113°F), the average temperature of the warmest month in any region of the Kalahari seldom, if ever, exceeds 29°C (84.2°F). During mid-winter the average temperature can drop to ± 6°C (42.8°F). The average temperature of the warmest month in a true desert like the Sahara is 38°C (100.4°F).
  • The driest areas in the Kalahari receive ±50mm–200 millimetres (1.9–7.9 in) rain per year, all of it during summer. However, some areas in Botswana are seasonal wetlands, receiving more than 500 mm rain per year. Also in South Africa is a region called the Green Kalahari, where the longest river in South Africa, the Orange River, and/or a fountain, provide sufficient water to support dense vegetation.
  • Beneath the surface of the Kalahari lies an amazing wealth of iron, zinc, diamonds, lead, copper, silver, and manganese. (Manganese is a hard brittle grey polyvalent metallic element that resembles iron but is not magnetic; used in making steel. It occurs in many minerals.)
  • Typical characteristics of the Kalahari are its vast open spaces, red, sandy soil, countless nests of sociable weavers (Philetairus socius) on telephone poles, Camel Thorn and quiver trees (Aloe dichotoma), low growing bushes, shrubs, succulents, windmills, sheep and ostriches, and wild animals in game reserves.

The Green Kalahari

The Green Kalahari is the region that extends for hundreds of kilometers along the Orange River (Gariep River) - the longest river in South Africa. It has many fertile plains, flanked by vineyards. Situated in the Green Kalahari are among others Upington, the town hosting South Africa's largest wine co-operative, The Orange River Wine Cellars, the Augrabies waterfalls (inside the Augrabies Falls National Park), the Spitskop Nature Reserve (just outside Upington), the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and also the towns Olifantshoek and Kuruman. As in Namaqualand and The-West-Coast, the sandy flats of the Green Kalahari turn into carpets of wild flowers after the first summer rains in August/September.

A road-trip through the Kalahari Desert -

The red sandy soil of the Kalahari  © Martie Coetser
The red sandy soil of the Kalahari © Martie Coetser
Kalahari Desert, South Africa
Kalahari Desert, South Africa | Source
One of many nests of the sociable weavers (Philetairus socius). Due to the lack of trees they build their nests on telephone poles,
One of many nests of the sociable weavers (Philetairus socius). Due to the lack of trees they build their nests on telephone poles,
Weaver nests in a tree
Weaver nests in a tree | Source
Sociable weaver (Philetairus socius), Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa
Sociable weaver (Philetairus socius), Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa | Source
A Quiver tree also known as Kokerboom - Aloe dichotoma
A Quiver tree also known as Kokerboom - Aloe dichotoma | Source
Thorn trees growing dense in some areas in the Kalahari Desert © Martie Coetser
Thorn trees growing dense in some areas in the Kalahari Desert © Martie Coetser
Kalahari Desert © Martie Coetser
Kalahari Desert © Martie Coetser
Camel Thorn Tree (Acacia erioloba)
Camel Thorn Tree (Acacia erioloba) | Source
Male ostrich @ The African Travel Club
Male ostrich @ The African Travel Club | Source

Game Reserves situated in the Kalahari, South Africa

The Kalahari Desert accommodates thousands of wild animals in game reserves. The following game reserves are situated in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa -

  • The Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve – the largest private game reserve in Southern Africa, owned by the Oppenheimer family. Surrounded by the rugged Koranneberg Mountains, it covers 1000km2 (100 000 ha) of land. Tswalu means “New Beginning”. It is situated in the Northern Cape Province - the historical home of the San People, the original inhabitants of South Africa.
  • The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - Approximately 250 km from Upington in the far Northern Cape it straddles the border between South Africa and Botswana. It comprises two adjoining national parks – The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana. The total area of the park is 38,000 square kilometres (15,000 sq mi)
  • The Witsand Nature Reserve – This reserve's famous ‘roaring dunes’ attract tourists from all over the world. Those sand dunes emit a strange rumbling sound when disturbed.
  • Spitskop Nature Reserve and the Augrabies Falls National Park – are situated in the Green Kalahari on the banks of the Orange River just outside Upington.
  • And more!

Tswalu Kalahari

Kalahari & Kgalagadi Transfrontier Nationalpark

The original inhabitants of the Kalahari

For 20,000 years The Kalahari was the home ground of the San people - the world's most ancient people. They ate edible plants, insects and wild game, which they hunt with bows and poison arrows. They got most of their water from plant roots and desert melons, and used to store water in blown-out shells of ostrich eggs. They lived in huts built from local materials such as branches and grass. Infiltration of Africans, mostly Herero- and Tswana people, and Europeans, began in the 17th century.

San children

Read more about the San people here -
Read more about the San people here - | Source

Towns in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa

Source

Some of the towns in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa

The Kalahari Desert in South Africa is situated in the Northern Cape Province. A number of towns have been established since 1821. Just to mention a few -

  • Black Rock - 25 km from Hotazel. Gaydefroyite, Sturmanite, and Xonotlite are only some of the minerals being mined in the Kalahari Manganese Field. This field contains around 80% of the world's high-grade manganese ore reserves.
  • Dibeng - meaning "first drinking place". Dibeng was originally a farm until a Dutch Reformed church was establish on 15 May 1909 to serve the farmers in the region. Situated on the banks of the dry Gamagara River, almost every house in this town has a windmill pumping water to the surface.
  • Kathu - meaning 'the town under the trees', as it is situated in the middle of a Camel Thorn tree (Vachellia erioloba) forest. This forest, approximately 4000 hectares in size, is one of only two of its kind in the world. Kathu, founded in the late 1960's, is the iron ore capital of the Northern Cape province. It has one of the five largest open-cast iron ore mining operations in the world.
  • Van-Zylsrus - serving the most prosperous game ranches in the region.
  • Hotazel - hot as hell, indeed. However, at 37°C (98.6°F) on the top end of the scale and 3°C (37.4°F) at the bottom, it is not the hottest place in the Kalahari. The town was established on a farm named Hotazel, to serve the manganese mines in the region.
  • Dingleton and Sishen, was founded in 1953 to accommodate miners.
  • Olifantshoek, founded in 1912 at the foot of the spectacular Lange Mountains, was originally a police post. Because many elephant bones were found in the vicinity, indicating the existence of an elephant graveyard, and the tusk of an elephant was used as payment for the farm on which the town was built, the town was called Olifantshoek (Elephant's corner). The Kalahari’s famous white ‘roaring dunes’, over 100 m high and 10 km long, is right here, protected in the Witsand Nature Reserve.

At Black Rock, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
At Black Rock, Northern Cape Province, South Africa | Source
At Dibeng, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
At Dibeng, Northern Cape Province, South Africa | Source
At VanZylsrus
At VanZylsrus | Source
At Hotazel, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
At Hotazel, Northern Cape Province, South Africa | Source
At Dingleton (Sishen), Northern Cape Province, South Africa
At Dingleton (Sishen), Northern Cape Province, South Africa | Source
At Olifantshoek, Northern Cape Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser
At Olifantshoek, Northern Cape Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser
Roaring dunes at Olifantshoek, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Roaring dunes at Olifantshoek, Northern Cape Province, South Africa | Source
At Kathu, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
At Kathu, Northern Cape Province, South Africa | Source

Kuruman

Kuruman, the main town of the Kalahari Desert, is known as the "oasis of the Kalahari". It has a permanent and abundant source of water – a mineral spring called the Eye of Kuruman. This spring is situated in the middle of the town and delivers 20 million litres (5 283 441 US gallons) of pristine water a day.

Like most of the towns in the Kalahari, Kuruman serves and accommodates miners. The richest deposits of crocidolite (a type of asbestos) in the world are found here. The town was named after the Kuruman River – a dry river except for floods after heavy rains.

Kuruman was founded in 1821 by the Scottish missionary, Robert Moffat, founder of Christianity and the Moffat church in South Africa. Moffat lived in Kuruman from 1820-1870 (50 years), and translated and printed the Bible in Setswana. His journals and letters are a precious recourse used by historians. He was a friend of Mzilikazi, the founder of the Matabele kingdom in Matabeleland-Rhodesia-Zimbabwe. David Livingstone, who also lived in Kuruman, referred in his autobiography to Mzilikazi as the second most impressive African leader after Shaka.

The Eye of Kuruman

The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Back to Kuruman's beauty!

The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
The Eye of Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
Shopping Centre in Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
Shopping Centre in Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
A guest house in Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser
A guest house in Kuruman, Northern Cape, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Upington and the Augrabies Falls

My photo tour of Upington and the Augrabies Falls will be published soon.

More by this Author


Comments 36 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

Always great information from you, Martie. I'm afraid I'm not much of a desert guy. I've seen our deserts here and once was enough for me....but I still found this interesting. It's a win-win...I can learn about your deserts and not have to visit them. :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi, billybuc, travelling through a desert can be very boaring, but not when you know more than what your eyes can see. Keep in mind that the deserts in North America have hot-semi-arid climates, while these in South Africa has cold-semi-arid climates. I honestly find all the facts about deserts interesting. Unfortunately i couldn't share all of them.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas

This enlightening information about the South African country reveals many different terrains and aspects of the culture. Thanks for the photo tour. Very interesting.


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 13 months ago from United States

I enjoyed this photographic trip through South Africa. Thank you so much for enlightening us in the true beauty there. whonu


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 13 months ago from South Carolina

Hi Martie,

Thanks for this informative and fascinating article about South African desert land. I enjoyed learning about it, and also watching the videos and viewing the photos you took, but I wouldn't want to visit (nor do I have any interest in visiting deserts in the USA). Mainly, it's because I fear the car breaking down and getting stuck in the middle of the desert.

The only safari I went on was in a small wild animal preserve in the USA which visitors drove through. We were half-way through our self-guided "tour" when the animals all around us started acting very nervous. Turned out they were reacting to a fire that had started in the park. We got out okay and the fire was extinguished by staff before any of the animals got hurt.

Came to this hub through Maria's FB link to it and am glad I got a chance to read it. Gave it a "Like" on FB and I thank you for sharing this information. Thought it was good that along with all the positive things you wrote, you also included a few things that might be an unpleasant and unexpected surprise to visitors.

Hugs,

Gail


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Peg, whonunuwjo and Happyboomernurse,

Thank you so much for your encouraging comments. Stick to the main roads between towns, is advice I would give to all. Being stranded in a broken car on a deserted road is definitely not a joke in the desert, where farms are very big and far apart, and cellphone signals may just be absent. I appreciate your comments tremendously!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 13 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Martie,

You are a thoughtful and generous tour guide with your wide array of information, photographs and videos.

I think the original inhabitants of Kalihari had the right idea. We can learn so much from the animal kingdom.

Beautiful and realistic work. Love, mar


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

BTW, Nellieanna, keep in mind that the deserts in North America have hot-semi-arid climates, while these in South Africa have cold-semi-arid climates. I stressed some of the differences in this hub smile emoticon

Nellieanna Hay: How interesting! Dry cold is surely quite penetrating! I hadn't thought of that. "MY" desert in SW Texas is only semi-arid, as well as semi-hot and semi-wet. We don't get a lot of rain and most of it quickly drains off via a network of canyons cut by the racing rain-waters over eons, and into the Rio Grande River, separating the US & Mexico. It's never really humid in the area, even in rainy times, which aren't plentiful, averaging about 11 inches rainfall per year. But it is something. There are NO natural permanent surface waters on my land. The one well (which my Dad drilled back when he was THE well-man for the almost unsettled area & my parents were saving to buy a place) - is 723 feet deep, encountering the underground source at 600 feet down. It has to provide water for the whole ranch, which is done by miles of pipe pumping from the well and storage to, at present, 6 troughs located around the ranch, so the deer and other wildlife can survive. Of course, when I've had livestock, it was vital for them, too. My area down there can get quite cold in the relatively short winter season, though. It can freeze up solid and stay frozen for awhile. There are even rare snows.

The elevation is relatively high, so the air is a bit thin. The skies are usually clear and the sun is very direct. The wind never stops, at quite a clip- can cause wind-burn, along with sun-burn if one is out in it very long during the prolonged heat of the day, even in non-summer times. I am always covered when there and outside.

Martie Coetser Pozyn: Interesting! I'm going to copy your comments and paste them in the comment section of this hub.

Nellieanna Hay: How thoughtful!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear marcoujor, I honestly wish I could see the same kind of hubs from other countries. I actually wish I can find a site that focus on travelling. Thanks again for your excellent editing services :)


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 13 months ago from Taos, NM

Yet another wonderful travel article. I never knew the Kalahari desert went as far south as S. Africa. Apparently I need these geography lessons! Lol! Love the photo of the toilet! Lol! Definitely need to know this . The rest of your fotos are wonderful too. So sad to see litter. I am surprised that S Africa doesn't have litter laws. But the rest of the photos are beautiful .


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 13 months ago from Orlando, FL

Wow, what a very impressive tour and free of charge! I would like a few Quiver and Camel trees in my community, we just have boring Oak trees, but they do serve a purpose. The littering was a sad sight. Fabulous article, SAA!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 13 months ago from The Caribbean

Yes, you are in a very privileged position as I can tell from the pictures (excluding the toilet and the litter). Thanks for taking us with you on the tour and teaching some geography along the way.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Martie. You as a tour guide has pulled me right out of this little town and brought me to South Africa to enjoy both the wildlife and the topography. The photographs are excellent, the videos intriguing and the presentation enlightening. You have shown us the vistas and some of the littered streets. Seems as groups we still have not learned how to take care of our environs.

Glad to participate in this edition of your South African journeys.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Suzette, we had litter laws until 1994 when the ANC took over. Maybe we still have them, but the members of law-enforcement are too busy handling uncontrollable criminals to bother about litter? Or perhaps rubbish and dirt don't bother the ANC and their followers at all? I have no clue! I must add, we have smart restrooms (toilet facilities) on the main roads and most of our tourist attractions, established and maintained by private companies. It is only the government who doesn't take care of their responsibilities. Really, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that excuse-of-a-restroom at Kuruman's main tourist attraction. I cannot wrap my mind over the deterioration of towns since 1994, all of it due to incompetent and incapable municipal workers on all levels - from mayor to street-cleaners. They will have to privatize everything, including the management of rubbish. In the meantime I try my best to focus on the good and the beautiful, and to ignore the bad and the ugly.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi, dear Sunshine :) Sorry I had to spoil the tour with pictures of a littered park, streets and pathetic toilet facilities. But that is exactly what the tourist will see at Kuruman's main tourist attraction. Not mentioning the negative would be so wrong. If my photo tours encourage anybody to visit the Eye of Kuruman, I don't want them to see me as a deceiver. I will remove the pictures and also the rant the day no tourists will be shocked with that kind of bad realities. If I am not mistaken, Florida is too wet for Quiver and Camel trees. Oh, Sunshine, I would so much like to see a photo tour of Florida :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

MsDora, I'm so glad you enjoy my photo tours. I see you are from The Caribbean - a beautiful place I will never be able to visit. What about taking us on a photo tour of your region?


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

mckbirdbks, I am honestly so glad you enjoy my travel hubs. By now you know a lot about the bad and the good in SA, and I'm sure you are able to comprehend my sadness because this beautiful country of mine is presently in even a worse condition as it was during Apartheid. When, I wonder, will we ever get a wise government that will truly take the interests of ALL citizens to heart?


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 13 months ago from TEXAS

Wow! Martie! The thoroughness of your research, first-hand descriptions, illustrative photos and and impressions of each place and area you've visited is incredible. I'm bowled over! If I thought for a moment that I could drop by, read & see your hub and go away shortly, feeling fully informed with just one 'read', I definitely have to think again. My appetite for getting into it more fully will need more visits and reads!

I agree that more such travelogues & history written & compiled by our people from various places on the Earth who are part of our Hubpages would be so valuable and inviting, especially if they poured forth from them with such deep involvement and understanding as yours do!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Thank you so much, Nellieanna. Your comment means a lot to me :) Thanks to movies we have an idea how other countries look like. But how many movies were/are made in South Africa? So, I believe my travel hubs have a purpose :)


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

Like all your virtual tour hubs, this article is very enjoyable and informative, Martie. Thanks for showing us some beautiful and some not-so-beautiful scenes from your country. I always appreciate learning about the true situation in an area!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Alicia. The not-so-beautiful spoils the beauty. I'm glad you enjoy my travel hubs :)


drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida

Excellent photos again, Martie - more compelling than those I have seen in travel brochures. Trust me. I learned a lot about the Kalahari I did not know - especially the fact that some deserts can have very low temperatures.

Your toilet photo did catch my eye, too. I've visited a few primitive spots in the world where the facilities consisted of two painted footprints with a deep hole in front of them.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 13 months ago from Victoria, Australia

Thank you for a reminder of a lovely visit to South Africa. Your photos are great. We went for a drive north from Cape town one day to see those beautiful pink water birds (sorry, can't remember what they are called, all I can think of is our Australian brolgas), but they had gone away. However, we did see a Secretary Bird and he was very impressive.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

drbj - Always good to see you in my corner :) You may as well write a hub about what the tourist have to endure in the restrooms of other countries. The worse for me was on Kairo's airport. No seat, no paper! Only a thin little pipe spurting water.... WTH? But really, this little private space we need in order to meet a call from nature is one of the most important on a tourist, and also on a local traveller's agenda. Municipalities and filling stations should see them as guest rooms. However, this was my first visit to the Kalahari. I have learned a lot.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi Blossoms :) Those pink birds are flamingos. Our national bird - the blue crane - is also a large, impressive and very elegant bird. Ostriches, too, are native to Africa. I'm going to add a photo of them in the hub :) Thanks for reading and commenting :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 13 months ago from The Caribbean

Martie, thanks for the suggestion. Great idea! I hardly get out (homebound mostly as a caregiver) but perhaps I"ll get the chance one day to take some pictures.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

That will be wonderful, MsDora! I hope than 'one day' will be soon :)


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 13 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Sorry for my late comment, we had internet problems again. Martie I’m so very impressed with the in-depth information you share in your travel hubs. Great photos especially the Weaver nests in a tree and A Quiver tree also known as Kokerboom . I’ve never been at Olifantshoek in the Northern Cape Province or the Kalahari Desert for that matter.

You are doing a great job for our tourist industry and I will share this post on several Facebook pages. Now must see how much time is left for me to post a hub before the month is past.

xxx

Nadine


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 13 months ago from USA

As fascinating as the first part was (I'm amazed at how plants and animals withstand such conditions) the second part that detailed and displayed the littered streets was disturbing. How can people allow this?


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

@ Nadine - Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. I honestly enjoy the preparing of these travel hubs - the travelling, taking the pictures, and also collecting the most relevant facts. Good luck with all your endeavours!

@ FlourishAnyway - I have finally decided to delete that disturbing capsules. They are spoiling the entire hub. Absolutely shocking! I will soon publish a separate hub about littering. Thank you so much for your comment.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 13 months ago from Central Florida

There really is a lot of beauty in the desert, isn't there? I'm fascinated by the weaver's nests. It seems they build little colonies in the trees on on power poles. Very interesting!

I find it a bit sad that the wildlife seems to be so comfortable around humans. I thought of poor Cecil as I watched the video of lions lying so close to the touring vehicles.

Your photos are magnificent, Martie. You captured nature's beauty in all its glory.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear bravewarrior, I would not describe those colonies of the weavers as "little". They are massive and able to pull a telephone pole to the ground. The pictures I have taken of those poles with nests on the ground are not clear enough to give you an idea of the size of those nests. Amazing!

Re wildlife: During early times - before cattle - wild animals and wild plants were the only available food. During the 18th and deep into the 19th century dangerous carnivores and also beautiful herbivores like the elephant and rhinoceros - were killed on sight, or hunted by the rich who could afford a trip per boat to SA. European kings and princes and the aristocracy regarded hunting in SA and elsewhere as marvellous recreation. Eventually people started to care about nature, and that was the beginning of nature reserves where wildlife are free and save and happy. The world's first modern nature reserve was established in 1821 by Charles Waterton around his estate in Walton Hall, West Yorkshire. South Africa only followed suit in 1898. Today we are well known for our many reserves, currently 20 of them covering 3,700,000 hectares (37,000 km2), about 3% of the total area of South Africa.

Game ranches - where hunting is allowed to keep the numbers of the animals in accordance with the available pasture on the ranch - don't accommodate carnivores like lions and leopards. Here hunters are the carnivores. (Exploitation of nature? Another topic!)

Thanks for the encouraging comment, dear Shauna :)


Mr. B 13 months ago

Beautiful hub Martie. Thanks for being my oasis during our trip and the past 45 months.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa Author

Barend, good to see you have made time to read my travelogue of the Kalahari. Thanks to you I have seen the most fascinating regions in South Africa during the past 45 months :) Love you lots!


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

Such beautiful pictures. We have only traveled to the Western Cape so next time, we'll take on the Kalahari. I've read so much about it that I just have to visit it.


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MartieCoetser 10 months ago from South Africa Author

Aesta, the Western Cape is, for sure, the most beautiful province in SA. Coming all the way from Canada, one has to have enough time to also enjoy the beauty of other provinces. I suggest a road trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg/Pretoria via the Karoo and Kalahari. But then, here is Kwazulu Natal, with Durban - another beautiful province also not to be missed. Thanks for your lovely comment :)

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