The Kalahari is the largest sand basin in the world, stretching 1,560 miles (2,500km) from the northern part of South Africa, through Namibia and Angola and ending in the DRC (Congo).
It may have no permanent surface water, but unlike the image of most deserts, the Kalahari is well vegetated with a wide variety of habitats including acacia trees and areas of flat grasslands that seem to stretch forever.
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest game reserve in the world, and has until recently been closed to the public. Its remoteness, unforgiving climate and harsh terrain have kept it pristine and only the fully self-sufficient traveller would venture into the reserve alone.
After the summer rains arrive in the northern section of CKGR, from Deception Valley to Piper Pans, the vast plains burst with sweet grasses and it becomes one of the prime game-viewing areas in Botswana. Not many people seem to be aware of this and visitors are few.
The clear blue sky fills with gigantic clouds and the stage is set for an amazing transformation. Into the scene enters thousands of gemsbok, springbok and wildebeest, with plentiful lion, cheetah and jackal in attendance.
This gathering of animals is a sight to behold and can be compared with the Serengeti/Masai Mara migrations of Tanzania and Kenya.
Out in the bush, the ceaseless daytime call of the Black korhaan is replaced at night by the continuous loud cough of the male barking gecko, and under the cover of darkness scorpions emerge.
Those with thick tails and small pincers are the most dangerous, while the ones with small tails and big pincers give a painful but harmless sting.
Summer rains are expected to fall on northern CKGR between November and March, but as rainfall is erratic this is by no means certain.
Rainstorms are frequent but fast and roads can become very muddy and a fully equipped 4×4 vehicle is essential.
May to October is hot, dry and dusty in the Kalahari with little water and limited animals. October is the hottest month.