Member Steve P. asked about the colour of the sands. This is the Kalahari:
Typical ranch scene in the Kalahari. Note the many game tracks.
Driving ever further west by north-west from Pretoria the traveller leaves the closed Savannah of the Magaliesberg Range behind and eventually traverses a huge depression of grassland - the remains of a massive ancient lake and now home to mile upon mile upon mile of corn fields. Towns with historical importance are passed - Potchefstroom, Reivilo, Marico, and later a slow climb (not unlike the last ten miles miles from Craig, Colorado to the Wyoming border), into Sishen - from where the USA imported its strategic stockpile of iron ore in the 1970-1990s. Mostly a dry, very open Savannah with long views will meet the eye on the plateau above Sishen.
A stop in the oasis town of Postmasburg where suddenly the soil has become sandy and a red rusty colour - the wind-eroded remains of the massive geological deposits of iron. Trees are suddenly big and bountiful - crowning Acacia erioloba (Camel thorn) dot the landscape with nutritious high grass in between completing the park-like landscape. Kudu will be seen, as well as wildebeest, giraffe and springbok.
Then comes Hotazel where the summer heat is fierce and challenging - but heck, so what - people live there.
Suddenly the road gradually winds down into another depression with wavy shapes shimmering in the afternoon heat. A sea of dunes of impossibly changing shades of almost, but not quite the same base colour, and with troughs of shiny "bushman grass" between them. You are entering the Kalahari Desert.
Enjoy the few snaps culled from the internet, even though they can not in the minutest way convey the experience of being there:
Springbok viewed from a hot air balloon
Gemsbok on the run. Ground level scenes like these are common for the visitor to the Kalahari
Kalahari lion by Africa Geographic.
Kalahari dune after a brief thunderstorm
Also blending in but leaving his unmistakable trail, a sidewinder adder walks himself up a steep dune
A different shade of dune and the ubiquitous sidewinder assuming the same olive palette number
His home turf. "Colour me dusky"
The new day rapidly obliterates the night's story written in the Kalahari sand.
The keen artistic eye of photographer Roxanne Reid composed her photo around this caricature on the sand created by grass and sun and shade.
Last rays of the sun on the sudden dune of white sands amongst the ochre
and then the destination: Zoutpanputs - old Dutch, meaning "salt lake well" - or: well dug by the salt lake.
The salt lake - one of many in the area
Springbok rams - centre one is big
Cool shades of the very sand blend the homestead into the surroundings.
A herd of gemsbok crossing the lake.
Many months after your visit you will still experience the soul touchings of the Kalahari.