Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

Makgadikgadi Salt Pans Photographed from Kubu Island in Botswana

Located in the north-east of Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve and south-east of the Okavango Delta lies a complex of huge, flat salt pans, collectively called Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. The name in the local Setswana langauge translates to “very, very dry”. The salt plans are the largest in the world and are visible from outer space.

According to Botswana Tourism, the great Makgadikgadi Salt Pans cover an area of 12,000 km² and are the remains of a once ancient lake which dried up thousands of years ago. The pans are a harsh, sparse landscape with a wealth of hidden treasures. The pans form part of southern Africa's largest remaining migration route, and when it rains, the pans come to life with water birds and great herds of game. The geology and history of the pans is fascinating and they play a vital role in the area's ecosystem, being amongst other things, a breeding place for flamingos and a major habitat for various wildlife species.

The area is scattered with a wealth of archaeological sites, yielding both fossil remains and tools from the Stone Age and Early Iron Age.

Photo credit: Andrew Ashton

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