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Makgadikgadi Pan and Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana – May 3rd, 2012

20.6S 25.3E

May 3rd, 2012 Category: Lakes, Rivers, Salt Flats

Botswana - April 15th, 2012

The large white area near the center of this image is the salty surface of the Makgadikgadi Pan. Located in northern Botswana, it is the largest salt flat complex in the world, covering approximately 16,000 km2.

Visible to the northwest of the pan is the Okavango Delta, also in Botswana. It is the world’s largest inland delta, formed where the Okavango River empties onto the terrain of the Kalahari Desert.

Visible to the northeast of the pan is Lake Kariba, the world’s largest human-made reservoir by volume, with a storage capacity of 185 cubic kilometers (44.4 cu mi) and covering an area of 5,580 square kilometers (2,150 sq mi) and . It is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Okavango Delta and Lake Ngami, Botswana – January 22nd, 2012

20.4S 22.7E

January 22nd, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers, Wetlands

Botswana - January 6th, 2012

The Okavango Delta (or Okavango Swamp), in Botswana, is the world’s largest inland delta. It is formed where the Okavango River empties onto a swamp in an endorheic basin in the Kalahari Desert, where most of the water is lost to evaporation and transpiration instead of draining into the sea. Each year approximately 11 cubic kilometres of water irrigate the 15,000 km² area.

The Okavango Delta is produced by seasonal flooding. The Okavango river drains the summer (January–February) rainfall from the Angola highlands and the surge flows 1,200 kilometres in approximately one month. The waters then spread over the 250 km by 150 km area of the delta over the next four months (March–June). The flood peaks between June and August, during Botswana’s dry winter months, when the delta swells to three times its permanent size. Some flood-waters drain into Lake Ngami, which is visible here at the center of the bottom edge.

Lake Ngami is an endorheic lake in Botswana north of the Kalahari Desert. It is seasonally filled by the Taughe River, an affluent of the Okavango River system flowing out of the western side of the Okavango Delta. It is one of the fragmented remnants of the ancient Lake Makgadikgadi. Although the lake has shrunk dramatically beginning from 1890, it remains an important habitat for birds and wildlife, especially in flood years.

Geographical Features Near Zambezi and Okavango Rivers, Botswana and Zambia

17.8S 23.9E

August 30th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers, Salt Flats

Botswana and Zambia - July 17th, 2010

An interesting range of colors and geographical features can be observed in this image of central southern Africa. The branched green area left of the center is the Okavango Delta, at the end of the Okavango River.

To its east is a bright white area of salt flats called the Makgadikgadi Pan, in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana.

The dark blue, elongated lake on the right side is Lake Kariba, on the Zambezi River along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Also situated along the Zambezi River is the Barotse Floodplain, in Zambia, an important wetlands area. As it blends in with the surrounding landscape, this feature is best observed in the full image. There, it appears as a long, golden green area west of Lake Kariba and north of the Okavango Delta.

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.

Okavango Delta, Lake Kariba and Makgadikgadi Pan in Central Southern Africa

19.5S 24.8E

August 15th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers, Salt Flats

Botswana - August 5th, 2010

Botswana - August 5th, 2010

The upper half of this image has a greenish tone, in contrast with the brown hues of the Kalahari Desert. The Okavango River empties its waters onto those desert sands towards the center of this image, creating a green inland delta known as the Okavango Delta, in Botswana.

East of the delta are two other interesting features: the Makgadikgadi Pan, a large salt flat in Botswana that appears bright white, and Lake Kariba, a dark blue on the Zambezi River that lies along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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