Known to be the driest region in all of South Africa, the Kalahari Desert is the largest sand basin in the world, extending over 362,000 miles across Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. South Africa’s portion is situated in the heart of the Northern Cape Province and has transformed into an unlikely source of desert luxury, one where vast, arid plains mingle with sparse grass, thorny trees, and scars of dried up waterways. To the untrained eye, the Kalahari would simply be a barren waste of time, but those who are able to see beneath the surface will find one of the premier wildlife destinations in Africa—a place that resemble the heart of a real Africa as nature itself intended.

The Kalahari is where the real wild and rare reigns. Some 80 species of game are found here including all of the Big Five and a treasure trove of plains game and predators such as black and white rhino, zebra, springbok, and much more. But the most coveted animal to behold in this region is most certainly the pangolin, a shy and mostly nocturnal mammal that is one part anteater and one part battle tank. Legends abound regarding the pangolin: a sighting is a sign of prosperity and good fortune, while actively pursuing or capturing these creatures is said to lead to extremely bad luck. Regardless, the pangolin appears only when he wishes and is most often spotted in this little corner of the world.

Guests of the Kalahari are treated to the finest in wildlife, biodiversity, and extraordinary luxury in special lodges such as Tswalu Kalahari. There are plenty of horses and game vehicles for exploration along the sandy plains, rocky paths, and mountain cliffs, all of which lead to incredible game and cave etchings left behind by the native San people. The ancient San people have inhabited this region for thousands of years and evidence of their life can be found in and among the ancient rock paintings found scattered throughout the region. Closing out each day is the opportunity to experience an authentic African sleep-out, sleeping under the immense Kalahari night sky above you and enjoying the panoramic views of the sunset across the arid plains.

Discover South Africa’s Northern Cape region and the Kalahari for an exclusive and unique safari experience. Ask your Ker & Downey travel expert to recommend luxury safari lodges and experiences for an especially unforgettable stay.