The Kalahari Desert stretches across endless plains and paints the landscape in rusty reds, golden yellows and splatters of green. Rolling dunes dotted with patched of yellow grass gives new meaning to the phrase "middle of nowhere". The horizons are seemingly endless and incredibly beautiful. In Tswana the name Kalahari means "the great thirst" due to water being sparse with scorching temperatures during the day. Omurambas or dry riverbeds do hide sources of life giving sustenance, especially during good rains. Despite the harshness of its name and nature, the Kalahari supports scattered herds of oryx, springbok and ostrich while shepherd trees and thorny acacias add shades of green. This beautiful expanse reaches out from north eastern Namibia through to western Botswana and even extends down into South Africa to cover a total area of 900,000km². Large sheep farms and nature reserves exist within its boundaries and incredible scenic opportunities await the eager visitor. The Kalahari is regarded as the traditional homeland of the San Bushmen. They have traversed its sands and sparse vegetation to eke out an existence in harmony with the land and its animals. In seemingly inhospitable conditions, they have managed to survive and even thrive on only that which they gathered and hunted on the vast plains. Flora species have cleverly adapted to the sweltering heat and shortage of rain. Smaller leaves and thick trunks sporting sharp thorns reduce the amount of moisture that evaporates into the atmosphere. The Kiwano fruit or Horned Melon is just one of the endemic species found in the Kalahari.
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