Berna's travelblog Marco Bernasocchi's adventures blog

Kalahari desert

Since 6 years ago, when Sarah and I discovered the BBC planet earth series of documentaries, our travels have been strongly influenced by Sir David Attenborough’s narrations. Whenever we were close to some amazing thing we had seen on the series, we would try go see it our-self. Some were easy targets like the Proteus in the Slovenian caves of Postonia or the Gunung Mulu caves in Borneo. Some others were way more trickier to get to like the razor-sharp limestone pinnacles of the Gunung Mulu national park or the Atacama desert and the Uyuni salt flats and some were a royal PITA to get to, like getting to the amazons from La Paz.

Unfortunately, since almost a year a I travel alone. A very different experience, but nonetheless a very interesting one.
Where travelling in couple gives the opportunity to share your discoveries with the one you love and create lifelong memories, travelling alone makes you think a lot. Sometimes the travel is action packed and you have no time but most of the times there are a lot of empty moments in which a lone traveler is confronted with himself, his past and his future.

A trip to the Kalahari desert definitely has a lot of quiet times, be it the 14h bus ride from Cape Town to Upington, the 300Km from Upington to the entrance gate, the many Km you game drive looking for animals or and foremost the sunsets and the nights under the most beautiful star dotted sky you can imagine. Wonderful occasions to spend time with yourself and try to understand what is going on. Definitely something I’ll try to do more often hen I’ll be back in our beautiful alps.

But now lets tell a bit about the actual trip…

The Kalahari desert, is a large semi-arid sandy savannah. To myself, it is an amazing place. Wild, cold, hot, windy, beautiful, harsh, fascinating and with some really really cool animals.
Guided by Maureen and Thys a wonderful couple married since 30 years that still ties each-other’s shoelaces and feels like has been married since 30 minutes, I stayed 3 days in the Kgalagadi transfrontiernational park, a 3.6 millions hectares National park in Botswana and South Africa. We slept both night in an unfenced campsite on the Botswana side of the park called Rooiputs. In the park there are any number of accommodations ranging from where I was to super nice lodges. Most of them are fenced, but staying in an unfenced camp was much more interesting I think.
Before going to bed in my tent, I would sit on top of the little wooden sun shade and dream. Then a lion roar would wake e up and I would shine my torch around to see if it maybe was visible. Then I would stay there a bit more just to make sure he wouldn’t be too close to walk to my tent :) I might be braveish at times but only when I’m in control of the situation :)

During the days we would drive around to spot animals and to witness the wonderful scenery around us but for this I’ll let the pictures talk…

As a final note, if you’d like to visit the park, I would suggest to stay at least 4 nights so you get to go further north. As for doing it without guide, it is no problem, you just need to book your camps in advance, and absolutely get a 4wd, not because the road is bad (beside the 4×4 roads only) but because the road is low and you’ll just see grass. As well having a guide will allow you to enjoy the scenery much more since you don’t have to drive. I can highly suggest to hire Maureen and Thys directly without going through a company that will just charge you more and pay them less for the same service since they own all their gear. You can find them at:
KalahariTau on facebook or per email at debelta __AT__

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