The Raptor Route leads to the Kalahari, an area of never-ending horizons where raptors, soaring high in the cloudless sky, sometimes cast the only shadows on the red sands. This land was designed to fool the casual observer and award the intrepid discoverer. Under its sands lie incredible mineral riches and another, even more precious treasure – water, which bursts forth joyously from the earth in clear cool springs.
Buried beneath the shifting sands of the Kalahari in the most north-eastern corner of the province, lies the legend of a lost city and the stilled voices of a past civilization. Simplicity, no frills, no fuss, this is the Kalahari and the people who call it home. Scientists, philosophers and artists alike have all come under the spell of the overpowering silence and inspiring beauty of the red-dune landscape.
The Kalahari is, for the largest part, an arid and harsh land. But if you thought that the climate would discourage animals and birds from living there, you would soon realise your error. Animal lovers and hunters are enthusiastic return visitors to the region. Animals can be seen from afar as they negotiate the dunes and look for shelter and food on the Kalahari game reserves and game farms. The Kalahari is home to over 40 species of raptors and vultures, and seven species of owls also travel the night skies.
The small towns in the Kalahari were largely established where mineral deposits, such as silver and manganese, were found. The Namakwari route (Namakwa and Kalahari) goes through the Kalahari and links the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces, affording easy access to the Kalahari’s towns.