Hitting the open road is one thing. But knowing
you're going to tap into the byways and highs of Southern Africa with a
definitive plan to check off a select list of attractions and experiences -
well then - you're a savvy road-tripper on the right track.
While the Northern Cape is the biggest province in
South Africa, we make no bones about the fact that it certainly isn't the lushest.
However, it's road-trip appeal lies in the unique, almost alien-like landscapes
that stretches on for miles towards the northern expanse of this extraordinary
READ MORE: How to have a Kgalagadi bushwhacking experience on the
But what makes the Kalahari Red Dune Route
Beginning in The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, it
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.
route experts Open
Africa, a social enterprise that works with small
businesses to establish rural tourism, while offering travellers authentic
experiences defines the route experience quite simply as "a cluster of
travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and
"It brings people together from all levels of
community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a
route and create your own itinerary."
If you're wanting to experience the Kalahari and
live to tell the tale that is, read on. After all the Kalahari is a desert with
extremely high daytime temperatures and freezing night-time temperatures, often
hitting below zero in winter. Thunderstorms are quite the sight during the
rainy season between November and April.
SEE: SA Road Trips Mapped: Highlights of the Karoo Highlands
As suggested by Open Africa, the Kalahari Red
Dune Route will uncover regional customs, folklore, special heritage sites and
traditional cuisine, as you get to know the welcoming people of the Kalahari.
"Its attractions and accommodation options are
as diverse as the landscape and vary from camping to homely bed and breakfasts
to luxury lodges."
The park is unfenced and access is only possible with a 4x4 vehicle. There are
also two information centres in the park, at Twee Rivieren and Nossob, where
visitors will find brochures and travel guides, and can book night drives or
day walks with experienced guides.
Once there, keep an eye out for black-mane lion and
large antelope such as the gemsbok and eland. You will also see bat-eared fox,
black-backed jackal, cheetah, hyena and leopard, as well as fascinating small
mammals and birds, as well as scorpions and spiders.
SEE: #SAHeritage: Exploring Khoisan heritage and the ‡Khomani
Key Attractions to check off:
- Khomani Sisen Arts and Crafts
This is a living museum, allowing visitors to gain first-hand insight into the way of the Bushman. This community shares its hunter-gatherer culture and deep understanding of the natural environment, world view and spirituality with visitors. Recognised for its invaluable heritage, UNESCO declared the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape an official UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018. Check out SA's 10 world heritage sites here.
A 3 500ha private reserve situated 35km south of
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, it is a nature-lover’s paradise. You can have an
overnight stay option or a unique wildlife-rich day visitor experience. To
learn more about meerkat behaviour and their social structures, take a guided
walk on the property.
- Duration: 2 - 3 hours
- Cost: R150 per person (a minimum of 2 people)
- Bring along: Sun block, a hat,
- Email Kalahari Trails for more
WATCH: SANParks Kudu Awarded Conservationist Prof Anne Rasa on
why keeping meerkats is cruel
Visit Ant Koera se Kombuis on the R360 between
Askham and Andriesvale (near Khomani San's Bush Camp with camping facilities).
There you can tuck into fresh 'roosterkoek' and traditional cuisine before
visiting the Heritage Museum.
READ MORE: Road tripping for the hops: Craft breweries of Free State
and Northern Cape
Vinkie's Kalahari Experience is an eco-tourism
venture offering a 'bush' experience on the //Khomani farm Witdraai in the
beautiful Southern Kalahari dune belt. Tailor-made experiences include walking
tours to heritage sites Die Grotte op Witdraai, Skappie se boom and
For more route options to explore - visit Open Africa here.
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