Page 60 - Discover Botswana 23rd Edition 2023
P. 60

Thankfully, extensive areas of the Kalahari have been included in protected nature reserves. These areas are so large and relatively free from human interference and man-made barriers that they still allow migratory movements of wild ungulates, and the associated predation by large carnivores, most notably the famous Kalahari Black-maned lion...
Defining Icons
The Kalahari Lions are iconic. It is said these are the biggest of all lions, and males in their prime the most handsome, featuring thick black/ blonde manes. For many decades, and still today, large male lions remain the biggest tourist attraction in sub-Saharan Africa.
These resourceful carnivores, as well as leopard, cheetah, and many of the Kalahari’s other predator species, can survive without drinking water, provided they manage to make regular fresh kills. To minimise evaporative water loss these predators will therefore not unnecessarily exert themselves, and spend the hot days sleeping in the shade as a crucial survival strategy.
Undisputedly one of the most awe-inspiring destinations is Kubu Island, situated on the Makgadikgadi Pans. This other-worldly granite rock island, strewn with ancient baobabs and star-chestnut trees in the middle of the flat, open, seemingly endless salt pans, is truly unique.
 The magnificently shaped giant baobab trees scattered all over the Makgadikgadi area are a truly magic sight. They are often called “up- side-down trees”, and many would be hundreds of years old.
Previous pages: Seeing an electric Kalahari lightning storm unfold in the distance over the open Kalahari landscape, mostly in the late afternoons, is a sight to behold.
Previous pages: The 2022 Lunar Eclipse as seen over the surreal landscape of the Makgadikgadi’s Lekhubu Island.

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