What’s Kalahari?

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The Kalahari is a grassy savanna that spans across Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Botswana. It is not a desert, but a sand basin that supports trees, grasses, and wildlife. The region has designated wildlife parks to protect migrating species and is home to a variety of animals and plants that have adapted to extreme conditions. The Kalahari also supports human life, including nomadic groups such as the San. It is a popular tourist destination and a well-balanced ecosystem that has been conserved since the 1930s.

The Kalahari is a huge grassy savanna that stretches from Namibia to Zimbabwe, also covering parts of South Africa and Botswana. While the area is often called a desert, this designation is incorrect. Although a sand basin, it supports trees, grasses and wildlife. Parts of the Kalahari have been designated wildlife parks, to protect species that migrate across the savannah.

The Kalahari covers 100,000 square miles (259,000 square kilometers) and has rainfall ranging from 5 inches (13 centimeters) to 20 inches (51 centimeters) in various regions. A variety of animals and plants can be found there, which were formed over 60 million years ago. The Kalahari began life as a sand basin filled with water. Over the millennia, the area dried up, leaving behind a legacy of red sand formed into fantastic dunes. Plant life began to appear, stabilizing the dunes and providing habitat for the animals. Parts of the region have salt flats, which have extensive deposits of white salt.

Kalahari plants include camel thorn trees, shepherd’s tree, black thorn, desert melon, ghaap, devil’s thorn, and a variety of herbs. Most plants are extremely drought tolerant and capable of living in very extreme conditions. The camel thorn tree is probably the most famous plant in the Kalahari and appears in many films about the region. Many hoofed animals including eland, springbok and gemsbock roam the region, preyed upon by lions and cheetahs. Hyenas, meerkats and, in some regions, elephants and rhinos also share this space. Numerous bird species also call the Kalahari home.

The Kalahari also supports human life. Several nomadic groups live in the region, including the San, also known as Bushmen, and Kanembu. The San are well known for their distinctive language, which incorporates whistles and clicks. Living in the Kalahari can be extremely difficult. Most food is hunted or gathered, and people move with the seasons or changes in animal migration routes and weather.

The Kalahari is a popular tourist destination for safaris. It is an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty and isolation which has captivated many visitors. It also represents a well balanced ecosystem of plants, animals and people living together in a harsh and arid region. The establishment of conservation areas in the 1930s by forward-thinking conservationists ensures that the region will be enjoyed by visitors and locals alike for years to come.

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