Botswana. A Country of Contrasts

Experience the Okavango. Lee KempOkavango morning bush-walk
Botswana is renowned among safari aficionados for its wildlife and pristine wilderness but one of its most dramatic attractions is the contrasts in the seasons where the dry season is also the flood season. To say Botswana is a country of contrasts is an understatement for it is here where there are pristine waterways covering the desert sands and where animals that do need to drink water to survive live in close proximity to water dependent animals.

Contrasting Landscapes

Botswana is a flat country when it comes to topography, and as such the contrasts are more vividly noticeable on the landscapes. Along the permanent waterways such as Chobe, Linyanti, Savuti and the Okavango the dry winter months show a dramatic contrast between the green fringes of the waters and the dry barren Kalahari sands all around.Animals concentrate along the waterways in the dry season due to the lack of water in the interior and the immediate vicinity of the water is trampled and stripped by the thousands of thirsty creatures desperately searching for life-giving water.

Contrast Between the Wet and Dry Seasons

The contrasts between the wet and the dry season are depicted in many wilderness areas of Africa but nowhere is it so dramatically etched on the landscape as in parts of Botswana. In the dry season the landscape is barren and brown save for the fringes of the permanent waterways whereas in the wet season the whole wilderness is lush and green.The Makgadikgadi Pans area is one of the more dramatic examples of contrasting landscapes between the seasons with the white light intensity of the dry season giving way to an amazing transformation of rolling lush green that attracts herds of grazers in their tens of thousands.The dramatic contrasts of the dry season in Botswana have been discussed but in the Okavango Delta there is a happening which creates one of the wonders of the natural world - this is the time when the water in the delta is at its highest. This contradiction comes about due to the fact that the water that fills the delta comes from a place more than 2000 km away in the highlands of Angola.The water takes 4 - 6 months to reach the delta resulting in the floods happening in the dry seasons, months after the last rains have fallen in Botswana. This phenomenon creates one of the most amazing dry season contrasts on earth where the barren earth is encircled by lush and pristine waterways.
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