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Geography of Botswana

Nature

Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Botswana forms part of the South African plateau and is therefore largely a flat area. From a rock point of view, tertiary sedimentary rocks dominate the large central area; only east of 25 east longitude are Precambrian bedrock and younger intrusive. The land area is an average of 1,000 m above sea level. except in the southeast, where there is a nice terrain type of 1,400 meters above sea level. A slight ridge divides the country into an eastern landform region, which is cool and grassy (veld) and is transposed by periodic watercourses, as well as a western one with the Okavango swamps and the Kalahari desert; the latter is mostly a semi-desert with grass and acacia bushes and only in the far southwest a real sand desert. The only permanent major rivers in Botswana are Chobe, Okavango and Limpopo; the latter is in the south-eastern border with South Africa.

Geography of Botswana

Climate

The climate is characterized by the high pressure belt around the South tropic. The temperature differences are large between summer and winter and between day and night. In summer (October – March) the temperature can reach up to 38 C and during winter (April – September) down to 0 C. The rainfall is on average about 600 mm per year in the north, about 400 mm in the east and 250 mm in Kalahari in the southwest. Dry periods of several years are not uncommon.

Plant-and animal life

The land is covered by dryland vegetation which corresponds to the rainfall pattern. In the southwestern parts there is a semi-desert grassy vegetation with thorny bushes, which in the central parts of the country turns into a dry snow or tree water with acacia and Commiphora trees. In the river valleys, as well as in the far north-east, there are tree saws with acacias, monkey bread trees and tree-shaped scallops.

Wildlife is strikingly rich, with several species of antelope, including springbuck, oryx (formerly common, now crowded to a few areas), impala, streaky wildebeest and common elk. Furthermore, there are common zebra, elephant, lion, leopard, hyen dog, giraffe, hippopotamus and chacmababian. Bird life is also rich, especially in the Okavango swamps.

Nature conservation

Botswana had four national parks in 2010 and another four major nature reserves. The largest is the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (55,000 km2), which has a rich, migratory mammal fauna during parts of the year.

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