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Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

20.4S 24.8E

April 27th, 2011 Category: Rivers, Salt Flats, Wetlands

Botswana - April 15th, 2011

The green, broom-shaped Okavango Delta, the terminus of the Okavango River and one of the world’s largest inland water systems, can be observed on the left side of this image.

Millions of years ago the Okavango river use to flow into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi. This lake has now dried up and become the Makgadikgadi Pans, a large series of salt flats. The pans appear whitish grey and can be seen at the lower right.


Okavango, Cuando and Zambezi Rivers in Angola and Zambia

16.2S 21.9E

April 4th, 2011 Category: Rivers, Wetlands

Angola and Zambia - March 31st, 2011

Several rivers can be seen flowing southeastward across Angola (left) and Zambia (right). The man ones are the Okavango (left), the Cuando (center) and the Zambezi River (right).

The thicker green area at the center right is the floodplain of the Zambezi River. Today it is about half as broad as it was before the construction of the Kariba and Cahora Bassa dams, which control the seasonal variations in the flow rate of the river.

Namib Desert, Etosha Pan and Okavango River, Namibia – March 16th, 2011

17.9S 19.7E

March 16th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Image of the day, Rivers, Salt Flats

Namibia - February 17th, 2011

The Namibian landscape consists generally of five geographical areas: the Central Plateau, the Namib Desert, the Great Escarpment, the Bushveld, and the Kalahari Desert.

Much of this image is occupied by the Namib Desert. The sandy portion of the desert is visible along the coast in the lower part of the image. In the full image, many high rows of orange sand dunes can be observed.

To the north is the Etosha pan, a large endorheic salt pan forming part of the Namib Desert in the north of Namibia. The pan is mostly dry but after a heavy rain it will acquire a thin layer of water.

At the top of the full image, the Okavango River can be seen, marking the border between Namibia and Angola. The city of Rundu, the capital of the Kavango Region in northern Namibia, can be seen on the banks of the river near the upper right corner.

Vegetation Index of Land Around Barotse Floodplain and Okavango Delta, Central Southern Africa

20.6S 25.6E

March 14th, 2011 Category: Vegetation Index

Angola, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe - February 18th, 2011

The full version of this FAPAR image stretches across parts of Angola (upper left), Zambia (upper right), Botswana (lower left) and Zimbabwe (lower right). The land shows a generally good vegetation index, indicated by the mostly green false-color of the image.

However, several areas of high activity (rusty red) and low photosynthetic activity (yellow) can be seen across the image as well. The less active areas can be noted southeast of the Okavango Delta (bottom center of thumbnail) as one moves towards the Makgadikgadi Pans, and to the west of the Barotse Floodplain (above center).

Namib Desert, Etosha Pan and Okavango Delta in Namibia and Botswana

25.4S 18.3E

October 6th, 2010 Category: Deserts, Rivers, Salt Flats

Namibia - August 27th, 2010

The Namib Desert is visible as an orange, sandy area on the west coast of Namibia in this image of the southern part of the African continent. The desert actually extends further north than the sandy, orange area, but it is more difficult to identify as it is composed of tan bedrock that blends in with the rest of the terrain.

Moving northwards, the Etosha Pan,  a whitish salt pan in northern Namibia near the border with Angola, and the Okavango Delta, the inland terminus of the Okavango River, in Botswana, can be observed. Upon opening the full image, the southwestern coastline of South Africa can also be seen, appearing greener and more fertile than the terrain to the north.