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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > July-September 2018 (83) > Regeneration of the Makgadikgadi

Regeneration of the Makgadikgadi

15 years ago, cattle were the only big animals to be seen on these magnificent saltpans in central Botswana. Yet today, you’ll find elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and wild dogs, with more animals arriving all the time. Heather Richardson tells us how it happened, and how clever management of the land could help sustain the current boom
Paint the land red. A dazzle of zebra on the move on the edge of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi saltpan after the first rains
GREG HARTMAN

Our leisurely game drive takes a dramatic turn when a new lioness shows up. We’re busy cooing over two fuzzy little cubs, the mother and her sister relaxing in a nearby thicket, when the outsider appears, cautiously. “She’s not from —” our guide Dabe starts to say, but the two lionesses have already spotted her. They give chase. We follow the felines, our vehicle careering across the saltpan. The sisters are hot on the heels of the trespasser, swiping at her haunches.

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