The Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari spans much of Northern and Eastern Namibia and stretches to Botswana and South Africa as well. It is actually not a true desert, but a “semi-desert”, i.e. it hosts a lot of vegetation, but is too dry to be fully covered with grass or forest. The entire Kalahari used to be home to lots of wildlife, including elephants, cheetahs and lions. Nowadays, at least in South-Eastern Namibia, most of the land is cut into fenced farmlands (usually for cattle), which inhibits the mobility of these large animals and caused them to remain in the other parts of the Kalahari.
How to get there from Windhoek
We had a bit of respect of the 250km drive from Windhoek to the Kalahari. Even though our plane landed early in the morning, we had to wait 1.5 hours at immigration, then get our rental car and shop for supplies. It was already 2:30PM when we left, so we had to hurry to get to our destination before sunset. Fortunately, the road from Windhoek to Stampriet (where most of the Kalahari resorts are) is a well-developed tar road, so you can easily do the tour in 3.5 hours.
On the way, we already spotted some wildlife on the way: A group of baboons crossed the highway just out of Windhoek, and from the C20 road, we spotted some antelopes and a family of warthogs (including cute little piglets).
Gondwana Kalahari Farm House
We arrived just before sunset at Gondwana Kalahari Farm House. The campsite is located underneath a row of large palm trees; with a grill, water, and electricity at each site. We quickly made acquaintance with our new neighbors: A flock of birds nested in the palm trees, two lizards were running up and down the stems, and a colony of meerkats had its home just 5 meters away from our breakfast table. It was amazing how trusting the animals were. The birds and the lizard came so close to us that we could have easily caught them with our bare hands.
The farm house itself was surrounded by a beautiful palm garden and some lodges for more luxurious visitors. As campers, we were also allowed to use the pool, the bar, and the wifi at the farm house. We spent the entire day relaxing at the pool, taking care of some last tasks for work, and getting organized for our next parts of the trip. If you’re also planning to stop at the Kalahari, we can definitely recommend Gondwana Kalahari Farm House.
What we’ve learned today:
- Check the length of your extension cable before you park your 4×4 camping vehicle and build the tent
- Always bring firewood if you want to have a barbeque
- Duct tape and tin foil are really useful to seal opened food canisters
- The desert can get really cold at night
- Even if your car has Bluetooth and a USB slot, it doesn’t guarantee that it works. Next time, we’d bring some CDs or a portable speaker for the car.
Our Travel Route for the entire Trip
If you want to learn what else we experienced in Namibia, check out our travel route for the entire trip – including reviews of the most exciting places!