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Makgadikgadi Pan - Botswana

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Reflections on Makgadikgadi Pan Tutume  Botswana

Reflections on Makgadikgadi Pan

Africa is full of small - and large - wonders. The Makgadikgadi Pan in northeastern Botswana is one of the latter.

A giant salt flat - one of the largest in the world - in the middle of the dry savanna and surrounded by the Kalahari Desert, the Makgadikgadik Pan is all that remains of the enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, which once covered an area larger than Switzerland but has since evaporated.

Not much survives on the Pan. The only plant life is a thin layer of blue-green algae, and the strong winds and briny water make it difficult for wildlife to thrive. Still, there has been an effort to protect the area as the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve is the scene of large annual migrations of zebra and wildebeest.

When we arrived, the sun was just setting. As the sky lit up in brilliant colors, I noticed that the film of water that stretches across the Pan was refracting the light in much the same way as does a mirror.