Makgadikgadi Salt Pan, Botswana, Africa

A desert landscape photograph shows the massive Makgadikgadi Salt Pan with vehicle tracks leading to the horizon meeting the clouds. The tracks are creating leading lines through the desert photograph.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 23 September, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark III and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/14
  • Exposure time: 1/400s
  • ISO: 200
  • Focal Length: 17mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 2546 by 3819 pixels (WxH).

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You see the giant vastness of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan. Only a few clouds are scattered in the blue sky leading the way of the vehicle tracks. The stream of clouds is meeting at the same point at the horizon with the tracks. They are creating leading lines through the photograph to guide the viewer’s eye. The crisp white pan matches nearly with the white clouds.

The Makgadikgadi Salt Pan is the largest expanse of salt pan terrain in the world. Technically, it is not one large pan but consists of many flat pans forming together. The largest of which is Sua, Nwetwe, and Nxai flat pan. The gorgeous Makgadikgadi Pans were once part of the old Makgadikgadi lake.  It was an ancient lake that we believe in having covered an area of 80,000 km². It started drying up around 10,000 years ago, leaving behind a vast salt-encrusted pan. Unbelievably, during the dry season, when the flat pan is dehydrated, it hosts the world’s most massive zebra migration. The wet season is from January to march. The salt pans then transform into lush wetlands. A significant contrast, indeed.

It is also home to the massive flamingo migration. The first satellite tracking of flamingos in southern Africa revealed that these bright pink birds migrate from many places in Southern Africa to Makgadikgadi for breeding.

Please explore more landscapes like the Makgadikgadi Pans in our landscape photography portfolio.

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