N64 Kalimari Desert

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This article is about the race course from Mario Kart 64. For the reroute of this course introduced in Mario Kart Tour, see N64 Kalimari Desert 2. For the location in Paper Mario with the same Japanese name, see Dry Dry Desert (Paper Mario). For the race course from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! with the previously mentioned name, see GCN Dry Dry Desert.
Kalimari Desert
Appearance(s) Mario Kart 64 (1996)
Mario Kart 7 (2011)
Mario Kart Tour (2019)
Cup(s) Mushroom Cup (64)
Leaf Cup (7)
Tour(s) Tokyo Tour
Halloween Tour (2019)
Winter Tour (2019)
Holiday Tour
Ice Tour
Baby Rosalina Tour
Hammer Bro Tour
Yoshi Tour (2020)
Trick Tour (2020)
Cooking Tour
Peach Tour
Wild West Tour
Los Angeles Tour (2020) (Challenge only)
Halloween Tour (2020)
Mario vs. Luigi Tour
New Year's 2021 Tour
Snow Tour
Yoshi Tour (2021)
Trick Tour (2021)
Los Angeles Tour (2021)
Toad vs. Toadette Tour
Staff Ghost 2:01.932 by Nin★Nishim (7)
(Shy Guy with the Cact-X, Wood tires, and Swooper)
Expert Staff Ghost 1:48.707 by Nin★KOZ★ (7)
(Shy Guy with the Bolt Buggy, Red Monster tires, and Beast Glider)
Distance 753 m
Wi-Fi Available (3DS)
Mario Kart 64
Course map
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart 7
<small>N64</small> Kalimari Desert bottom screen map
Mario Kart Tour
Map of N64 Kalimari Desert from Mario Kart Tour.

Kalimari Desert (named Kara Kara Desert on a few occasions[1][2]) is a racecourse in Mario Kart 64. It is the fourth and final race of the Mushroom Cup. The name of the course is a portmanteau of "Kalahari," which is a real-life desert in Africa, and the word used for squid-based food, "calamari." It is the only track to have originated from the Mushroom Cup to later return in the Leaf Cup.

In Paper Mario, a train known as the K64 is based on the train in the course, and when riding on it, it plays a rearrangement of the course's theme.

Course layout[edit]

The race starts out next to a large cliff formation. Upon the first turn, racers see how empty the desert really is. At the end of the turn, the racers encounter the train for the first time. After passing the tracks, the players race alongside the track of the train (though it is in a cave and not visible), eventually running into it a second time. After this encounter, the racers race along the edge of the map and eventually advance back to the finish line.

If the player drives over the sand, their kart will move slower, and if they enter the darker portion of the sand, Lakitu will pull them out, as it is an out-of-bounds area.

The course's most notable feature is the two trains that go through a mesa. The trains constantly move around the track, often crossing through the racers' path. Depending on what mode is being played, the trains may or may not have coaches attached to it. If the player runs into one of them, they will be thrown in the air. It is possible to drive on the train's track; however, this costs the racer time. It is possible, but very difficult, to cross the train track while the train is there by driving through the gap between the coaches. If a player travels through the train tunnel, they typically bypass the finish line, not moving on to the next lap as the other racers. However, if the player has a Star and activates it just before entering the tunnel, they move on to the next lap, effectively shortcutting ahead of the others. This trick only works during the first two laps.

Mario Kart 7[edit]

The course in Mario Kart 7

Kalimari Desert returns in Mario Kart 7 as the first course of the Leaf Cup. There are now two shortcut ramps near the end of the first corner and before the third corner of the track to accommodate the new gliding feature, allowing racers to glide over the trains. The players can also use mushrooms to gain easy access to these ramps. Several wooden ramps also litter the inside and outside of the track, and as always, can be tricked to gain a small boost. However, the train tunnel can no longer be entered because it is now an out-of-bounds area, making the lap glitch impossible in this game. The trains are also shorter: they have three wagons while they had five in the original version of the track, and they now seem to ride more slowly.

Much like in Mario Kart 64, two trains are present, but only one train is present when doing online multiplayer races.

In this game, the mini-map of this course does not show the path of the train track while in Mario Kart 64, it did.

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

The course in Mario Kart Tour

Kalimari Desert reappears in Mario Kart Tour starting in the Tokyo Tour. This time, since racers are always moving forward, colliding into the train causes them to launch over it unharmed while they perform a trick. The train can also be knocked into the air with a Super Horn, a Mega Mushroom or a Bowser's Shell. This course is a favorite of Ludwig, Morton, Hammer Bro, Green Shy Guy, Peach (Explorer), and Shy Guy (Pastry Chef). It can also be a favorite of Mario (Halloween) if he is at level 3, and Waluigi and Lakitu (Party Time) if they are at level 6.

Kalimari Desert also has a Reversed variant, a Trick variant, and a Reversed/Trick variant, referred to as Kalimari Desert R, Kalimari Desert T, and Kalimari Desert R/T, respectively. The former two were introduced along with the normal variant in the Tokyo Tour, while the latter was introduced in the Holiday Tour.

Starting from the Wild West Tour, a rerouted version of this track known as Kalimari Desert 2 is featured. It has two sections: one that starts on the main route but switches to the railroad section at the second intersection, and the other that starts in the tunnel and goes back to the main route again at the second intersection, after which it continues on like normal.

For this course's tour appearances, see List of N64 Kalimari Desert tour appearances in Mario Kart Tour.


Mario Kart 64[edit]

  • Instruction manual bio: The trick is to time it so that the steam locomotive that crosses the course won't block you. If the train is crossing in front of you, you should temporarily stop. It's very dangerous to enter the train tunnel, even if it is a shortcut...
  • Webpage bio: A desert race with frequent run-ins with a old-fashioned iron horse.[3]


Mario Kart 64[edit]

Mario Kart 7[edit]

Mario Kart Tour[edit]


Mario Kart 64[edit]

Mario Kart 7[edit]

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

Course icons[edit]


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese カラカラさばく
Karakara Sabaku
Dry Dry Desert
Chinese (Simplified) 干旱沙漠
Gānhàn Shāmò
Dry Desert
Chinese (Traditional) 乾旱沙漠
Gānhàn Shāmò
Dry Desert
Dutch Wildwestwoestijn Wild West Desert
French Désert Kalimari Kalimari Desert
German Kalimari-Wüste Kalimari Desert
Italian Deserto Kalimari Kalimari Desert
Korean 바싹바싹 사막
Bassak-bassak Samak
Dry Dry Desert
Portuguese Deserto Kalimari Kalimari Desert
Russian Пустыня Калимари
Pustynya Kalimari
Kalimari Desert
Spanish Desierto Kalimari Kalimari Desert


  • Although the instruction manual implies that going through the train tunnel is a shortcut, it takes longer to go through the tunnel to the other end of the course than it does to go on the main road, although the manual might be referring to the above mentioned Super Star shortcut.
  • The railroad crossing sounds in Mario Kart 64 were taken from real Japanese National Railway railroad crossing signals with electronic bells. The Mario Kart 7 version has more appropriate American-style mechanical crossing bell sounds.
  • In Mario Kart 64, the railroad crossing signs' lettering appears to be mirrored. The signs in the Mario Kart 7 iteration are unlettered.


  1. ^ Nintendo Magazine System (UK) issue 51, page 28.
  2. ^ Nintendo Magazine System (Australia) issue 49, page 40.
  3. ^ Mario Kart 64: Mushroom Cup. nintendo.com. February 5, 1998, 06:51:49 UTC snapshot on Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. Retrieved December 21, 2019.