“land of great thirst”....
The sun-drenched Kalahari is an often forgotten corner of South Africa. The Kalahari region of Southern Africa is the dry heart of the sub-continent, lying roughly over the three way junction of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, and extending south as far as the Northern Cape. This is the arid northwest of South Africa, almost entirely desert or semi-desert, but also a landscape of enormous material wealth and variety.
This is a vast, ancient landscape of misty horizons that reminiscent of the beginning of time. A journey from Gauteng to Namibia, or the Cape, via Upington, brings unsuspecting travellers to the gateway of this mysterious land.
Amid its deceptive desolation, the Kalahari is a richly vegetated desert area which is home to a large verity of African wildlife. The Oasis of the Kalahari, Kuruman, is the main town and its wonder fountain, the Eye, has been known as the fountain of Christianity since it supplied water to the renowned Moffat Mission from where the Gospel was spread deep into Africa.
Further North-west, on the gravel road to Van Zylsrus and the internationally famous Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park you will encounter the hunting centre of the region. Off the beaten track are mining towns of Hotazel and Black Rock where modern technology has only begun to scratch at the surface of the manganese ore wealth.
Forty-five kilometres south-west of Kuruman, on the national road, you will find the picturesque town of Kathu on the fringe of the Kathu Forest Reserve with its majestic camelthorn trees. The town owes its existence entirely to the exploration of iron ore deposits by Iscor.
At the foot of the Langeberg lies the beautiful village Olifantshoek, or often called the "Gateway to the White and Roaring Sands". The white sand has a loose granular texture which does not mix with the surrounding red sand and any disturbance of the 100m high Roaring Sands, particularly in hot dry weather, produces a weird roaring sound.
This is a wonderful part of the country for motor touring, as the roads are good, the distances wide and the countryside expansive and variable. Small towns dot the landscape and in most places a fair selection of accommodation options exist on the usual scale of B&B up to luxury lodges and private game reserves.