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Lake Kariba and Flooded Grasslands of Zambia – May 2nd, 2011

15.4S 28.2E

May 2nd, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Wetlands

Zambia and Zimbabwe - April 15th, 2011

Lake Kariba’s irregular shoreline stands out thanks to its dark waters in contrast with the green of the surrounding landscape. The lake is located on the Zambezi River on the border between Zambia (above) and Zimbabwe (below).

The bright green area in the upper part of the image is part of two national parks: Blue Lagoon National Park and Lochinvar National Park, separated by the Kafue River. The northern side of the parks is in the Zambezian and Mopane woodlands ecoregion and the southern parts  are in the Zambezian flooded grasslands ecoregion.

Also visible near the top edge in the upper right quadrant is Lusaka, the capital and largest city of Zambia, appearing here as a tan circular area. It is located in the southern part of the central plateau, at an elevation of about 1,300 metres (4,265 feet).


Lake Kariba, Zambia and Zimbabwe – January 9th, 2010

16.9S 27.9E

January 9th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Zimbabwe and Zambia - December 16th, 2009

Zimbabwe and Zambia - December 16th, 2009

Lake Kariba, the largest man-made lake and reservoir in the world by volume, appears silvery white due to sun glint. It lies along the border between Zambia (above lake in upper left quadrant) and Zimbabwe (remainer of image). The lake is located on the Zambezi River, about halfway between the river’s source and mouth, about 1300 kilometers upstream from the Indian Ocean.

Lake Kariba was filled between 1958 and 1963 following the completion of the Kariba Dam at its northeastern end, flooding the Kariba Gorge on the Zambezi River, also displacing large numbers of the local Tonga people. The Zimbabwean town of Kariba (at northeastern end of lake) was built for construction workers on the lake’s dam, while some other settlements such as Mlibizi in Zimbabwe and Siavonga and Sinazongwe in Zambia have grown up to house people displaced by the rising waters.

Before Lake Kariba was filled, the existing vegetation was burned, creating a thick layer of fertile soil on land that would become the lake bed. As a result the ecology of Lake Kariba it is vibrant. A number of fish species have been introduced to the lake, notably the sardine-like kapenta (transported from Lake Tanganyika), which now supports a thriving commercial fishery. Other inhabitants of Lake Kariba include Nile crocodiles and hippopotamuses.

Lakes, Rivers, Deltas and Floodplains Around Caprivi Strip, Africa – May 8th, 2012

18S 21.9E

May 8th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers, Salt Flats

Botswana - April 28th, 2012

Many bodies of water, different in size and hydrology, can be observed in this image of Angola (upper left), Zambia (upper right), Botswana (lower left) and Zimbabwe (lower right).

Visible by the right edge is the dark blue Lake Kariba, located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is the world’s largest artificial reservoir by volume. Southwest of the lake is the Makgadikgadi Pan, in Botswana, the world’s largest salt flat complex.

In the center of the image is the Caprivi Strip, a narrow protrusion of Namibia eastwards about 450 km (280 mi), between Botswana to the south, Angola and Zambia to the north, and Okavango Region to the west. Caprivi is bordered by the Okavango, Kwando, Chobe and Zambezi Rivers.

To the west is the Okavango Delta, formed where the Okavango River empties onto the Kalahari Desert. To the north is the Barotse Floodplain, which begins by the Zambezi River’s confluence with the Kabompo and Lungwebungu Rivers in the north. The region is a flat plateau at an elevation of about 1000 m tilting very slightly to the south.

Channels of Okavango Delta and Colors of Makgadikgadi Pan, Botswana – August 24th, 2010

20.4S 25.5E

August 24th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers, Salt Flats

Botswana - July 17th, 2010

Botswana - July 17th, 2010

The area with branching green lines on the left side of this image is the Okavango Delta, in Botswana. It is situated at the end of the Okavango River, where the river empties its waters onto the desert floor of the Kalahari. Also visible near the right edge is Lake Kariba.

Upon opening the full image, a stream can be seen connecting the inland delta to the Makgadikgadi Pan, a large salt flat.  Although the salt flat appears bright white in the thumbnail, in the full image various colors can be observed: different shades of white and green, greenish areas where water is present, and red patches that probably indicate where salt is being extracted.

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