Page 75 - Discover Botswana 2022 ONLINE
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  Facing page: Leaving the scene: The sun sets at the
end of a dirt track somewhere deep down in the endless Kgalagadi. The summer wet season is the time for dramatic and colourful skies at sunrise and sunset.
Above: Seeing a massive, one meter plus long, rock monitor lizard (Varanus albigularis) in this arid semi-desert habitat
is somehow always a bit perplexing, as if it doesn’t belong here at all. Apparently, however, it does!
further south in the park, with their mineral- rich, moisture-retaining clay soils, these pans are the key to survival in this harsh ‘thirst- land’, as animals congregate here for fresh water. Critical to the diets of many animals are the salts and other substances that have accumulated close to the pans’ surfaces over time, through the evaporation of rainwater. Large antelope like gemsbok, eland, wildebeest, red hartebeest, kudu and springbok dig into the clay floor of the pans to reach these minerals.
After the rains this semi-desert swiftly transforms into a green oasis with nutritious grasses providing a vital source of sustenance. Due to the moisture just beneath the surface, the animals enjoy better grazing for longer here than anywhere else.
Exploring these remote parts of the Kgalagadi is not for the faint-hearted. Roads are long, rough and sandy. There are no fuel 75

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