At first glance the Kalahari is harsh and hot, but once it gets under your skin it is hard to forget the beautiful scenery that was etched into your memory on your first visit.
To make a visit to the Kalahari easier and more enjoyable I am sharing a short packing list for your visit:
1. The number one slot is filled by a good body lotion. The air is dry in the Kalahari and the water do not treat your skin gently either. Unless you want to look like the dry riverbed of the Nossob river, pack enough of it. You will certainly need it.
2. And while on the lotion and potions pack the sunscreen, especially during the summer. You will spend most of your time in your vehicle, but even then make sure you cover up with suntan lotion to protect you from the African sun.
3. Lip balm and eye drops. Like I said when discussing body lotion the air is dry, you do not want your lips to be cracked and your eyes red and irritated.
4. Of course if you wear a hat a lot of the sun will not get to your face. It is still an important item whether it is summer or winter in the Kalahari.
5. Pack the bug spray. This is a malaria free area, but flying insects can be annoying and you do not want to swat them the whole time. This might just chase away that beautiful cheetah that you were watching through your binoculars.
6. Speaking of which – binoculars and cameras. A binocular is an important item as you can see far and wide here. The animals are not always close to the road. And the possibilities to capture “star trails” on a cloud free night is big.
7. Bird and animal books. That is what you will be doing here – spotting animals. You will be amazed at what you will learn when looking up even the ordinary animals.
8. Fill up your water bottles in the morning before you leave camp. There are no kiosks selling water and cold drinks as this is one of the less developed parks in South Africa.
9. An item for the ladies: Wear a sports bra … At times with all the vibrations on the corrugations, your bones, and more, will rattle and roll. (Read this one with a bit of humour, please).
10. At last something to pack for the men. It is a good idea to fit a seed net for your vehicle especially when you plan to drive the 4×4 trial. The grass is high and dry and the slightest of heat friction can set your vehicle alight. Get into the habit of checking regularly underneath your car for dry grass that are stuck … and deflate your vehicle’s tyres, it makes the ride easier. To monitor the correct pressure you will obviously need a tyre pressure gauge!
I hope that this will add to you being a happy camper in the Kalahari and remember to enjoy your visit and the sunsets.
To gain some more insight into the Kalahari also read the Red Dune Route post at Kalahari Red Dune Route