Okavango Delta, Botswana
Southern Africa’s Okavango River spreads across the landscape of northern Botswana to become the lush Okavango Delta seen in this Landsat 5 image from 2009. The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland water systems, draining an area that ranges from 9,000 square kilometers (May–October) to 16,000 square kilometers (November–April). Millions of years ago, the Okavango River flowed into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi. Today, the delta forms where the river empties into a basin in the Kalahari Desert, creating a maze of lagoons, channels, and islands. This unique water system supports a vast array of wildlife, and vegetation flourishes even in the dry season.