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CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE :: CHOBE NATIONAL PARK :: MOREMI WILDLIFE RESERVE ::
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve was originally established to help the San people continue their traditional hunter/gatherer way of life. Today it is the largest, most remote reserve in Southern Africa, and the second largest wildlife reserve in the world. The landscape is dominated by Kalahari sand acacias and dotted with grasslands, occasional sand dunes, and pans (dry lake beds). During and immediately after the summer rainy season, the grasslands of the reserve's northern reaches teem with wildlife, which gather at the best grazing areas.
Botswana's first national park, Chobe National Park is the second-largest in the country and home to one of the greatest game concentrations on the continent. The park is divided into four distinct ecosystems: lush plains and dense forests in the northeast; the marshland of the west; the northwestern swamps; and the hot, dry grasslands in between. Chobe features a huge elephant population, as well as large numbers of giraffe, zebra, impala, sable, wildebeest, buffalo, warthog, lion, hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox, cheetah, and African wild dog. Each of the park's main areas also provides idea habitat for a wide range of birdlife, including raptors, owls, vultures, storks, cranes, and pelicans.
Designated a reserve by the BaTawana people in 1962, the Moremi Wildlife Reserve rests on the eastern side of the famed Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. This patchwork of floodplains, grasslands, and acacia woodlands make for some excellent game viewing, with the opportunity to encounter elephant, buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, and African wild dog. Dugout canoe trips are popular ways to spot some of the 550 species of birds and see hippos and crocs along the sandy riverbanks.
Botswana's game-rich Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world, is a maze of lagoons, islet-filled lakes, grasslands, and wooded glades. Covering over 10,000 square miles and surrounded by the scorched Kalahari Desert, this life-sustaining oasis is a primary water source for lion, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, wildebeest, elephant, giraffe, zebra, crocodile, hyena, hippo, black and white rhino, warthog, African wild dog, and baboon. Over 400 species of birds, such as eagle, crane, ostrich, and ibis, congregate among the papyrus and willowy phoenix palms, while the Okavango's waters are home to 35 million fish of almost 80 species.
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