About the size of Texas, Botswana has a population of nearly 2.5 million people. From the country’s southern border with South Africa, the dry grasslands of the Kalahari extend northward for more than 800 miles, eventually meeting the waters of the Okavango and Cuando rivers flowing down from the rainy highlands of Angola. The Kalahari Desert encompasses much of Botswana’s arid terrain, the most striking anomaly of the landscape being the Okavango Delta in the northwest corner. This vast oasis of lush grasslands, flood plains, riparian forests and papyrus-hugged channels harbors the greatest collection of wildlife species in southern Africa. The annual flood, which arrives in April/May, inundates a wilderness area nearly 250 miles across. The delta’s crown jewel is the 1,200-square-mile Moremi Game Reserve, home to an abundance of predators such as lion and leopard as well as unbelievably prolific birdlife. To the northeast lie equally famous wildlife areas such as the Selinda Reserve, Savuti Marsh and Linyanti Swamp.

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