The Xtractor expedition plunged deep into the Kalahari Desert today as we headed north against a backdrop of endless dunes and featureless landscapes. This vast, semi-arid region covers almost all of Botswana and a third of Namibia, with a part extending into the Northern Cape region of South Africa. The easiest way to travel here is along a straat, meaning “street” or “lane”, which refers to any of the broad depressions found between neighboring dunes. Despite its reputation as a land of “great thirst”, the Kalahari actually supports an interesting mix of plants and animals. Herds of springbok, wildebeest and hartebeest can be spotted, not to mention the unmistakable meerkat. Cacti and camelthorns also thrive here.