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Kalahari Red Dune Route

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This ancient and beautiful land is not only amazingly rich in diversity it also reflects an endless variety of moods, making each new encounter refreshingly different from the previous ones. The Kalahari Red Dune Route extends north of Upington into the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park that forms the shares its borders with Namibia and Botswana and is one of the largest conservation areas in the world.

The colour of the dunes in the southern Kalahari can be attributed to the high iron oxide content of the sand. In areas of higher rainfall and in shallow areas where water collects, the iron oxide is leached out, causing the sand ultimately to turn white. The gradual effect of the leaching transforms the desert into a wonderful variety of colours. 

Besides the red dunes, some of the most obvious features of the Kalahari landscape are the nests of the sociable weaver birds. The colonies have up to 50 chambers housing as many as 300 birds.

Since the Kalahari is a desert, daytime temperatures can be extremely high and in winter, night-time temperatures can drop below zero, though the days are usually warm and pleasant. Thunderstorms are common during the rainy season between November and April.

Reasons to visit:

The Kalahari Red Dune Route showcases the Kalahari through a wide range of activities including desert walks, dune-boarding, 4x4 trailing for the adventurous, game drives, guided walks, birding expeditions and other eco-inclined activities for nature-lovers. For visitors attuned to culture and history, the Kalahari Red Dune Route offers the opportunity to experience regional customs and folklore, sample traditional cuisine, and meet the warm and welcoming people of the Kalahari. Accommodation options are as diverse as the landscape, and vary from camping to homely bed and breakfasts to luxury lodges. All in all, the Kalahari Red Dune Route offers something for everyone. 

Deserts Walk / Woestyntrap
Contact Person: Betta Steyn
Mob: +27 82 093 0801
Email: bettasteyn@lantic.net 
Every July around 50 cyclists ranging in age from 7 to 75 take to the R360 road between Askham and Upington in the Southern Kalahari. For three days they roam over the dunes and through the 'hardeveld' and for three nights they sleep in tents at various spots along the road - a pan, an 'oasis' and a game farm. Woestyntrap is one in its kind as it is designed for all people wanting to enjoy nature, good kalahari food, cultural exchanges and the other bests the Kalahari can offer from the seat of a bicycle. It is not for competitive cyclists as everyone receives a medal when completing the race. 

People who have done this, keep on returning year after year and describe this event as one of the best times of their lives. It is perfect for the adventurous, not-so-fit and lazy as there is no competition or time limit. All you have to do is arrive at your destination before the sun sets.

 

Originally the resourceful hunter-gatherers known as the San inhabited the Kalahari. Experience had taught them that, though there was water in the area, it was mostly saline and thus unsuitable for agriculture. In the 1920's and 1930's, farmers from the west sought grazing permits during the winter months when there was plenty of nourishment for their livestock. The sheep could survive on just a little drinking water as they obtained most of their moisture from plants. Shepherds would lead their flocks to areas where rains had recently fallen, and they would gather tsama melons for additional nourishment for their flocks. When spring came, the animals would need more water and the herds would again be moved west.

Later the government decided that the land was arable, and had it surveyed and apportioned. Farmers who settled in the region would construct dams that supplied water for about nine months of the year. When the water ran out, the farmers either trucked in extra supplies or simply bought or rented another farm. Most chose to buy additional land, and gradually a nomadic style of farming returned to the Kalahari. Shepherds would move the animals by night and rest during the heat of the day.

In the early 1980s, the government laid on a water supply network from the Orange River. Today this scheme serves about 650 000ha, and is controlled by a Water Board and a system of flow-control valves and consumption meters designed to prevent overgrazing.

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   Accommodation

Dune Valley Farm House & Family Field Chalet
Dune Valley provides a self-catering house that sleeps eight people. It is surrounded by dunes and has a view over the o...

Kalahari Sands Guesthouse
Kalahari Sands Guesthouse offers accommodation in seven self-catering chalets. The abundant underground water sustains...

Kalahari Guesthouse & Farmstall
This is the only farmstall on the R360 from Upington towards the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park where you find Kalahari ce...

Kgalagadi Lodge
Kgalagadi Lodge offers accommodation in 12 chalets and campsites. Situated 5km from the Twee Rivieren Rest Camp at the e...

Imbewu Camp
For those seeking a simpler interaction with the Kalahari desert and its people and that enjoy ‘roughing it’...

Erin Game Farm
A simple rustic and exclusive campsite is in the process of being established on the beautiful traditional farm of Erin,...

Inkbospan Guest Farm
Inkbospan Guest Farm is situated 90km from the Namibian border post at Rietfontein of which 70km is tar road. It is 78km...

Kalahari Info & Tented Camp
Kalahari Info & Tented Camp offers accommodation in 10 fully equipped tents. The Info Centre has a coffee shop that...

Klipkolk Guesthouse
Klipkolk Guesthouse offers a laidback atmosphere combined with friendly staff and beautiful surroundings. Services &...

Loch Maree Guest Farm
Loch Maree Guest Farm offers accommodation in a Family Suite, a Bush Camp, as well as a Field Camp. The camps are unfenc...

Askham Post Office Guesthouse
During the pioneer years, stagecoaches transported post, as well as passengers. Many guesthouses were built along the st...

Boesmansrus Grass Huts
Visit Boesmansrus Grass Huts and experience a traditional 'boesmans' sleepover  in a grass hut. Barbara Raats is yo...

Molopo Kalahari Lodge
Molopo Kalahari Lodge offers accommodation in 40 air-conditioned chalets, as well as a campsite. Accommodation is suppor...

Murray Guest Farm
Murray Guest Farm offers accommodation in fully equipped self-catering chalets, as well as a field camp (not equipped)....

Loch Broom Paradys
Their accommodation includes a lodge that can sleep up to 36 persons; two chalets sleeping eight and two chalets sleepin...

Rooiduin Guest Farm
Rooiduin Guest Farm is situated near Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - be a sport and turn in and enjoy some sand boarding...

Rea's Bush Camp and Guesthouse
Not just a staging post between destinations, but a place where you can enjoy a major part of your holiday! Rea's Bush...

Rooipan Guesthouse & Self-Catering
Rooipan Guesthouse is located on the sheep farm Rooipan, named after the striking red colour of the main pan on the farm...

Vischgat Game Farm
Accommodation: Vischgat Game Farm offers accommodation in family suite chalets. The chalets are fully equipped for self...

Witdraai Bush Camp
Witdraai Bush Camp is situated on the traditional farm Witdraai and is a rustic facility, designed to give one the feel...

!Xaus Lodge
!Xaus Lodge offers accommodation in 12 chalets. !Xaus Lodge is an unfenced luxury lodge inside the Kgalagadi Transfronti...

   Activities

!Khuin !Kwa Kalahari Experience
Fully Bushman owned and driven guiding enterprise embedded in the community and offering authentic guided experiences sh...

Khomani San
Khomani San offers guided nature and heritage trails with San guides and trackers. Traditional Bushman dancing can be ar...

Woestyntrap (Annual Cycle Ride)
Every July around 50 cyclists ranging in age from 7 - 75 years old take to the R360 road between Askham and Upington in...

   Arts & Crafts

Khomani Sisen Arts and Crafts
Sisen is a Khomani San crafts project in the southern Kalahari Desert of South Africa. Sisen, in the ancient /N’u...

   Environment

Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve
Highly recommended by Lonely Planet, Kalahari Trails is a 3 500ha private reserve situated 35km south of Kgalagadi Trans...

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is the first official Transfrontier Conservation Area in Africa. It covers an area of 3...

   Food & Drink

Diamond T Coffee Shop
The Diamond T Coffee Shop building was originally erected by the SA Railways and used as a bus stop for the big, red Dia...

Aunt Koera's Farm Kitchen
Visit Aunt Koera's Farm Kitchen on the R360 between Askham & Andriesvale (near Khomani San's Bush Camp with camping...

 

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South Africa - Northern Cape

South Africa - Northern Cape

This route is full of natural and cultural treasures and extends north of Upington, incorporating the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

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Key Contacts

Name:
Retha Stadler

Mobile: Click here

Tags

desert 4x4 wildlife birding culture

 

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