Witsand Nature Reserve, Northern Cape
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 buried beneath the dunes.
Ordinary Kalahari sand was caught by the koppies (hillocks) and the action of water springing from the rock below (the white sand overlies a natural reservoir) gradually removed the red coating of iron oxide from the grains. The dunes are up to 100m high and 10km long, and emit eerie roaring sounds when disturbed by man or wind, especially in hot dry weather. The dunes generally only roar in the months from September to April because of the hot and dry conditions at that time of the year. Rain mutes the dunes for several days but increased moisture is not thought to be the only reason.