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3rd Southern Deserts Conference – Kalahari 2008

January 28, 2008


Climate change and the peopling of the Southern deserts

16th-19th September 2008 – Molopo Lodge, Northern Cape, South Africa

Scientific Focus
Some of the great deserts of the world lie in the southern hemisphere. This is the third conference that brings together research from the desert regions of South America, Southern Africa and Australia focussing on the history of desert landscapes, desert people and their future, as well as the history of ideas that have shaped eremology in the southern Hemisphere.

Conference Themes
Southern desert science: a history of ideas.
Environmental responses to global Quaternary changes.
Evolution of southern desert environments.
The peopling of the deserts and the development of desert societies.
Southern desert futures.
Scientific Committee
David Thomas, Oxford University, UK
Mike Smith, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Michael Meadows, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Calogero Santoro Vargas, Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile

Persons interested in attending the conference are kindly asked to fill in the first circular reply form and return it as an email attachment to:

You are advised to return this form prior to the 31st January 2008 (As spaces are limited early registration ensures participation).

Conference Reply Form [Microsoft Word: 31KB]
Conference Reply Form [PDF: 21KB]
If you are having trouble accessing the above forms, alternative formats are available on request from

The Conference will be held at the Molopo Kalahari Lodge. Named for the currently dry river the Molopo, the lodge is situated in the southwest Kalahari, 200km (90 minutes) north of Upington, 5km from the Botswana border and 60km from the world famous Kalahari Trans Frontier Park.

Accommodation costs will be contained within the Conference Fee. There are daily flights between Johannesburg or Cape Town and Upington. Transfer to and from the Lodge will be arranged at an additional cost.

Organising Committee
David Thomas
Sallie Burrough
Contact email:
Optional Post Conference Excursion
20th-28th September 2008: Archaeological and Palaeoenvironmental sites of the Kalahari (Namibia/Botswana)
This eight-day post conference fieldtrip will take in the red dunes of the Western Kalahari on the Namibian side of the border before heading into Botswana and visiting the relict shorelines of Lake Ngami ‘discovered’ by Livingstone in 1849. It will then head north towards the Panhandle of the Okavango Delta and the Tsodilo Hills, now with World Heritage status and the site of one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the world. The trip will finish with a stopover in the Makgadikgadi basin and an excursion to examine the rich archaeology and bleak landscape of the the largest salt flat complex in the world, once one of the biggest lakes in Africa.

Excursion Details
Start: Molopo Lodge, South Africa 19th September 2008
Finish: Maun, Botswana 29th September 2008

There will only be limited places on this fieldtrip. Express your interest early to avoid disappointment. To register your interest please return the Fieldtrip reply form: to: before 31st January 2008.


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