Finding the Lost City of the Kalahari
“There!” said Daan, pointing to ‘n cross he drew on a map, indicating wherehe believes the Lost City of the Kalahari lies buried under centuries old sanddunes.That was three months ago. The group gathered around his dining table werehand picked friends; friends he decided were the most suited for an expeditionof finding the Lost City. For more than two years he had been intensivelystudying all kinds of maps, he visited several places in the Kalahari such asMier, and spoke to old folks.He studied all kinds of satellite images as well, including infra red.He sometimes called one of us in or dropped in at our offices to assist him ininterpreting some of these maps. Being a geologist, I received many of hisvisits. Much of these were directed at trying to establish how far lime stone or dolomite formations stretched into the Kalahari.This, I realised, was because he believed that if a city indeed existed in thedesert, it would have needed an ample water supply. And the only way wassubterranean, such as the eye at Kuruman or in the Wonderwerk Caves.He also spent hours with Carien, a geomorphologist, mostly spending ours oncontour maps. Carien’s husband, Jakes, is a well known photographer.Ken and his wife, Sandy, are archaeologists, and have also receivednumerous calls and requests to follow up on leads he received from people hespoke to during visits to the Kalahari.Three months ago we, joined by my wife Marié and Daan’s wife, Magda, andCarien’s husband Jakes, our eyes were fixed on the map, fascinated as Daanexplained how he came to the conclusion of where the city was hidden. Marié,an established reporter, had her laptop open and was typing as thediscussions followed. She was to be the official narrator of the expedition.“But I thought what Farini saw was already found to be natural rockstructures,” I said at last. Daan looked at me, smiling: “I deliberately did nottake any of Farini’s reports on the matter into account. The folklore on the lostcity predates Farini probably by three centuries or more. I believe he onlyreacted on existing tales, and built a story to bolster his career. Also, he cameout with this story soon after the Zimbabwe ruins were found, and people hadmajor speculation on the origin.We again followed Daan’s explanation.“For a city to develop in the middle of a desert there must be a very goodreason. Probably something like gold or diamonds. I believe, in this case, itwas diamonds”, and he took out a satellite image and pointed to a spot. Irecall that I received a visit on the matter.“Nico confirmed that this round dot probably represents the surfacing of adiamond carrying pipe.”Those were not my precise words, but I let it be.