Kalahari Desert in pictures
The elusive black-maned lion is among the most eye-catching of sightings in the Kalahari
The dark mane is the result of a genetic mutation
At Tswalu Kalahari, guests have the benefit of a private guide and vehicle
Tswalu is home to a pack of African wild dogs, among the rarest carnivores on the continent
Visitors to Tswalu often have the chance to follow the dogs as they go out to hunt
Wild dogs hunt in packs, chasing down warthogs...
...as well as young oryx
As the dogs tried to bring down the baby oryx, its mother arrived...
... and chased away the dogs. The baby was unharmed
Tswalu is also home to a huge range of birdlife including the southern yellow-billed hornbill, othewise known as the flying banana
Feline Fields, in Botswana, is a luxury retreat in the northwest Kalahari
The residential ‘suites’ are equally stylish
Driving out into the bush for sundowners is one way to enjoy your stay
Guests are invited to spend time with a community of San people, the first inhabitants of the Kalahari
The San share stories of their life in the desert and demonstrate their bushcraft
They also demonstrate the ‘trance dance’, a traditional ritual of healing or celebration
The Kalahari sunset is a memorable experience
The Makgadikgadi salt pans, further south and east, are the remnants of a vast lake that once covered much of Botswana and Namibia
When herds of zebra and wildebeest congregate on the pans, the carnivores aren’t far behind
The animals converge on the few sources of water in the dry pan
Lions have recently returned to the Makgadikgadi pans after an absence of several decades due to cattle ranching
Dawn on the salt pans is a bewitching time, when the early birds come out in search of breakfast
San Camp, on the edge of the salt pan, is a model of elegant simplicity
Six beautifully furnished tents look out over the salt flats
The white canvas camps blends harmoniously into the landscape, and the wildebeest pay it no attention...
...although they themselves are under close observation.
These male lions killed a zebra just a few hundred yards from San Camp
They soon attracted the attention of a hyena...
... and several vultures
After a few hours guarding their kill, one of the lions retreated to the shade of a nearby bush
This wildebeest has resorted to a mudbath to keep cool
Meerkats spend the hottest part of the day in their burrows. This baby was on one of its first forrays above ground
The meerkat on sentry duties uses my head as a look-out point
Both Jack’s Camp and San Camp offer a prodigious afternoon tea
During the dry season, guests have the opportunity to travel out into the heart of the salt pan, first in 4x4s...
... and then on quad bikes
The salt flats are a strange and silent place
It’s one of the few places in the world in which you can experience true solitude