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MAKGADIKGADI PANS (Botswana)

These vast salt pans were once the floor of a giant inland lake and now form part of the Kalahari, a semi desert area that is nevertheless rich in wildlife.

The table-flat 10 000 sq kilometre pans, they are more than twice the size of greater London in Britain, seem to stretch to the end of the earth.

Watching the sun rise here, and the moon too, is a remarkable experience because, due to an optical illusion and the flat landscape both celestial bodies seem far larger than usual.

Lodges scattered around the perimeter of the pans offer day trips around the pans, stopping for picnics, and at the edges, for game viewing. In very wet years water gathers in pans attracting tens of thousands of flamingos.

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