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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Kalahari

   

The Kalahari Desert (Dorsland in Afrikaans) is a large arid to semi-arid sandy area in Southern Africa extending 900,000 square kilometers (350,000 sq mi), covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains.

The Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert. There are small amounts of rainfall and the summer temperature is very high. It usually receives 3–7.5 inches (76–190 mm) of rain per year. The surrounding Kalahari Basin covers over 2,500,000 square kilometers (970,000 sq mi) extending farther into Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, and encroaching into parts of Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The only permanent river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in the northwest, forming marshes that are rich in wildlife. Ancient dry riverbeds—called omuramba—traverse the Central Northern reaches of the Kalahari and provide standing pools of water during the rainy season. Previously havens for wild animals from elephant to giraffe, and for predators such as lion and cheetah, the riverbeds are now mostly grazing spots, though leopard or cheetah can still be found.

   
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