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Gaurdians of the Dawn (BT11-3420)

A pair of Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) stand on the vast white of the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana.

The Makgadikgadi Pan is a large salt pan in the middle of the dry Kalahari of northeastern Botswana. It is one of the largest salt flats in the world. The pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi that dried up several thousand years ago.

Very little wildlife can exist here during the harsh dry season of strong hot winds and only salt water, but following a rain the pan becomes an important habitat for migrating animals including wildebeest and one of Africa's biggest zebra populations, and the large predators that prey on them.

The wet season also brings migratory birds such as ducks, geese and Great White Pelicans. The pan is home to the only breeding population of Greater Flamingos in southern Africa.