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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > July-September 2019 (87) > SHAPED BY WATER

SHAPED BY WATER

Botswana’s enduring appeal is rooted in the striking landscapes that provide its endless horizons and nourish expansive wildlife populations – the unique features of the Okavango and Makgadikgadi in particular. This land has endured a simple but fascinating geological history over many million years, which has delivered to us the amazing country that we have today.
Looking out across the Makgadikgadi Pan, once a massive lake created by an uplift in the land surface
JAMES GIFFORD

It is now widely accepted that the continents that populate our planet are in constant motion, slowly drifting across its surface. Some 300 million years ago Africa was near the southern pole, part of Gondwanaland, and glacial conditions prevailed. As it moved north and warmed, the ice cover and glaciers melted to form swamps, lagoons and rivers and the exotic vegetation of those times accumulated to form our massive coal deposits of today. Gradual drying over millions of years, and slow but continual movement north, turned swamps to mudstone to shale and in the depressed centre of the sub-continent vast quantities of sand collected, forming over time great depths of sandstone.

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