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Makgadikgadi Pans

Listed under Natural World in Central Botswana, Botswana.

Photo of Makgadikgadi Pans
Photo by flickr user MauritsV
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Botwana’s Makgadikgadi Pan is the largest complex of salt flats in the world; in total, it covers 16,000  (6,177.6 les). The pans are large, flat expanses of mineral-covered ground, created by the evaporation of an ancient lake. Each pan is covered with a deceptively solid-looking layer of white salt, but don’t be fooled – even a car’s weight can break through the crust to release viscous mud, infused with several thousand years worth of decomposing lake-life. It’s possible to cross the flats by quad-bike, allowing a few intrepid visitors the chance to experience this supremely desolate place. When the pans are flooded, the area comes alive with migrating birds, wildebeest and zebra; if you can manage it, the best way to witness this remarkable spectacle is from the air.

Written by  Eleanor Dean.

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