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Destination Details

Maun, Botswana

Stretching around 360,000 square miles across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, the Kalahari Desert is not a desert in the strictest sense of the word. It receives too much rainfall, between 5 and 10 inches annually. Only its vast expanses of sand, through which precipitation filters rapidly, leaving nothing on the surface, have made the Kalahari into the "thirstland" that early European settlers described. The desert is part of the 970,000-square-mile Kalahari Basin, which includes the Okavango River Delta and other wetter areas. The basin encompasses virtually all of Botswana and more than half of Namibia. The Kalahari sand dunes, some of which stretch west to the Namib Desert, compose the largest continuous expanse of sand on earth. That is because although the Sahara Desert is larger overall, sand dunes make up only about 15% of its area.

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