The Central Kalahari
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
No visit to Botswana would be complete without time spent in the mighty Central Kalahari, and given that we have both recently read the amazing Cry of the Kalahari. From $7.23 on Amazon we’re both chomping at the bit.
After again loading up on supplies we bounce along sandy and rutted tracks to find extremely friendly and helpful rangers at the entrance gate. Soon after stamping in we’re exploring extremely, extremely remote pans, sand tracks and scrub land.
There is plenty of wildlife, and we’re stunned to find to young male lions napping at a waterhole. Again we watch for hours as they doze, yawn, lie on their backs with feet in the air and behave exactly like lazy house cats.
Soon before sunset the wildlife increases a hundred fold, and we even catch some elephants right at sunset on the lookout for water.
Later the lightning is stunning, and I’m stoked to catch it with my camera.
The following morning we find a small group of lions so close to the sand track I’m actually afraid to wind my window down. They pay us little attention, though they are massive and extremely enormous. I really don’t want to find out how quickly they can lunge across about six yards.
The highlight comes when we find a pride feeding on a kill – they all have bloodstained faces and distended bellies, and virtually all pant and laze about as they focus on digestion. Each lion has many battle scars and they all look grizzled and tough.
For lunch in the intense heat we stop at the tree island where the Owens lived and work while they studied the animals way back in mid 1970s. Although there are tire tracks around now, there is absolutely nothing else, and plenty of curious animals wander close to us, making us feel exactly as they must have all that time ago.
The central Kalahari is absolutely breathtaking.
PS If you have not, I highly recommend reading the Owens’ book – you will feel exactly as I did roaming around the Kalahari.