Kalahari, Northern Cape
Once you've booked your hotel or Kalahari accommodation explore our destination pages below for info on attractions and what to do in the Kalahari Region.
The portion of the great Kalahari desert that lies in the Northern Cape is but part of a large arid to semi-arid sandy area known as the Kalahari Basin, covering 2.5 million square kilometres that stretch from the Orange River to cover most of Botswana and parts of Namibia. It evokes a picture of never ending red sand dunes, big, blue skies and a scorching sun that shimmers unrelentingly on ancient dry riverbeds, known as omuramba.
The Kalahari, derived from the Tswana Kgala, which means ‘great thirst’ or ‘waterless place’ is a vast area of red sand dunes, the southern part of which dominates the Northern Cape. Yet set along the border with the North West province are the mostly unfamiliar mining towns and villages of Black Rock, Dibeng, Kathu, Van Zylsrus, Hotazel, Dingleton, Olifantshoek and Kuruman. The Kalahari is both deceptive and alluring. Deceptive because beneath the surface of apparent desert lies an incredible wealth of iron, manganese and other precious ores, which explains the mining towns, and alluring for visitors because of the many game farms and nature reserves to which the Kalahari is home.
Despite the wilderness, the Kalahari is not true desert in the sense of being unable to support life. Parts of the Kalahari receive as much as 250 millimetres of rainfall, albeit erratically, throughout the year, and grasses and acacias easily support large species of antelope, hyenas, lions, meerkats, giraffe, warthogs and jackals.
Nature Reserves like the beautiful Witsand Nature Reserve, with its famous ‘roaring sands’ of the Kalahari - dunes that emit a rather uncanny rumble when disturbed – and Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, surrounded by the beautiful Koranneberg Mountains on the edge of the Kalahari, one of the largest private game reserves in the country, are part of the allure of the Kalahari.
Destinations / Town & Suburbs of Kalahari
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Kathu
There are two reasons why you might visit the rather remote and dusty town of Kathu. One is to marvel at the huge open case iron ore mine - Kathu has one of five of the largest iron ore mines in the world. And the other is the incredible... Kathu information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in McCarthys Rest
McCarthy’s Rest lies snug up against the border with Botswana, just outside the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - its name something of a misnomer, for, whilst it is a border post, there is no town here called McCarthy’s ... McCarthys Rest information
Featured and "Must See" Attractions in Kalahari
Africa's first formally declared trans-border conservation area, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, on the border of South Africa and Botswana, was officially launched on May 12, 2000. The combined land area of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is +/- 38,000 km² of which 28,400 km² lies in Botswana and ... more information
Recently inscribed as the eighth World Heritage Site in South Africa, the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a remarkable mountainous desert in the north-west of the country that is uniquely owned and managed by the Nama community, descendents of the Khoi-Khoi people. The Richtersveld Cultural and ... more information
North west of the town of Kakamas and bordering the Augrabies National Park is the Riemvasmaak Community Conservancy - 75 00 hectares of land between the flowing Orange and dry Molopo rivers. Pronounced 'reem fuss mark', meaning 'tighten the strap', the conservancy is the very first land restitution story ... more information
Surrounding the rugged Koranneberg Mountains in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve covers 1000km² (100 000 ha) of land on the edge of the mysterious desert wilderness that is the Kalahari. In the Kalahari, the thornveld and sweeping sand dunes are home to some of the ... more information
The Witsand (White Sands) Nature Reserve is a 2 500 hectares island of brilliant white sands surrounded by a sea of regular Red Kalahari sand. Also known as Brulsand, or Roaring Sands. Geologists who have studied the region claim that the white sand owes its existence to an isolated range of hillocks that lie ... more information
Holiday Accommodation in Kalahari
destinations / attractions in the northern cape