Southern Africa's Deserts Expedition Route
We will explore of the deserts of Southern Africa, discover unique and wonderful naturalistic sceneries, be enchanted in front of nature's spectacle, admire wildlife, and visit local populations to find out how they have been surviving in such a difficult and inhospitable environment for millennia.
Our journey will start from Johannesburg, the African metropolis showing a thousand contrasts, that played a key role in the recent history of South Africa; from here we will head North and enter the territory of Botswana, a land of wild nature and endless spaces.
After a visit to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, to admire these wonderful animals that conservation projects are trying to save from extinction, we will start exploring the immense Kalahari basin; our itinerary will take you to the discovery of the unspoilt salty slopes of the Magkadigkadi Pans, the Sowa Pan and the Nxai Pan National Park, remote and isolated places where on a travel day we will hardly find other travelers but we can appreciate the silence and the reverberation of the sunlight on the vast expanse of salt, interrupted only by ancient islets where there are millennial and solitary baobabs that fascinated explorers like Livingstone and that are the background of fiery sunsets.
We will continue to the remote Central Kalahari Game Reserve and its sandy slopes that make up the perfect terrain for those who love to drive off-road; here, around the few water puddles, that can withstand the torrential climate, the focus is on local wildlife and, striving to admire animals in the total silence of the desert, will be a worthwhile experience that we are looking forward to live.
Leaving the Central Kalahari behind us, we will continue Northwards and reach the legendary Okavango Delta, the only "green" parenthesis of this trip and one of the most spectacular spots in the world for its particular conformation, the Okavango River, in fact, instead of reaching and flowing into the ocean, is dispersed in this immense plain, due to the high concentration of animals and the lush landscapes; here we will explore both the Moremi Game Reserve and the highest part of the Delta, known as the Okavango Panhandle.
From here we will reach the border of Namibia and, once crossed, we will find ourselves in the Western part of the Caprivi Strip; we will continue Westward heading towards the Etosha National Park; along this route we will make a detour to see one of the greatest meteorites that have precipitated on our planet.
Once over the gate of the Etosha National Park, a salty and semi-desert depression, rich in wildlife, we will begin exploring it and sticking to the water sources where there is a high chance of sightings.
Then we will continue toeards the Namib Desert and the infamous Skeleton Coast, terror, yesterday as today, of ships floating in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean along the Namibian coast; still today it is possible to see what remains of the shipwrecks that have been here over the centuries.
Driving South along the only existing road, we will arrive in Swakopmund, this town looks more like a Bavarian village than an African place; the architecture of the buildings and most of the inhabitants in fact betray the recent colonial past of Namibia. From here, along one of the few paved stretches across the country, we will arrive in Windhoek, Namibia's capital city.
After a few days spent in the two unique Namibian towns, the journey will continue to the border with South Africa and the Kgalagadi Transfontier National Park, a desert, inhospitable and lonely place, characterized by sandy dunes ranging from yellow to red; this cross-border park between South Africa and Botswana, in contrast to what is expected, encloses a considerable amount of animal species inside it.
We will head South and cross the arid Namaqualand, that, only at this time of the year, becomes an immense and colorful garden of wild flowers.
Our trip will end in Cape Town and with the exploration of the Cape Peninsula, a wild place beaten by winds coming from both the ocean and the Antarctic; here, if we are lucky, we could observe the whales that this time of year go to False Bay with their puppies looking for nourishment and hot water.