The Kalahari: A Desert to be Preserved
A "desert" is defined by Random House Webster's Dictionary as "an arid, sandy region capable of providing life for only a few specialized life forms."There are several different areas that fit this description; however, each of these vicinities present unique obstacles and fascinating knowledge and information within their sand.A particularly interesting desert covering approximately 450,000 square kilometers in Africa is called the Kalahari.It stretches over most of Botswana and throughout some parts of Namibia and South Africa.The simple fact that this region is considered a desert is not what the Kalahari is admired for.Besides being distinctive in its geographical features, the Kalahari houses a variety of animal species and actually provides a dwelling for a primitive human population (Allan/Warren 110).
The Kalahari, which extends from the Orange River to the Congo, is the largest continuous stretch of sand in the world ("Kalahari: Game Reserves in South," par. 1).Though it does receive a rainfall ranging from 6 to 20 inches a year, surface water in the area is extremely rare.Fortunately, the Kalahari Desert has pans, which allow seasonal rainfall to accumulate (Allan/Warren 110).Pans, or natural depressions in the ground, are located in other deserts as well.However, Botswana contains the greatest number in the world.The fact that pans are dominant in this country is vital to the maintenance of the Kalahari's plant and animal life.Pans are not only important due to their water accumulations; they are also considered necessary for a resource for food ("Kalahari:Game Reserves in South," par. 8)."The largest of these Pans are the Etosha Pan and the Makgadikgod Pan" (Allan/Warren 110).It is near these sources of life where animals and humans are able to survive.The Kalahari is also home to two Nati…