STS066-122-91

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Spacecraft nadir point: 17.8° S, 20.5° E

Photo center point: 20.0° S, 22.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Southeast

Spacecraft Altitude: 160 nautical miles (296km)
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Image Caption: This view looking south-southeast shows clouds over the Okavango Delta area of northern Botswana. The Okavango is one of the wilder, less spoiled regions of Africa. The area still supports great herds of wild animals such as elephant, zebra and the cape buffalo. Despite conservation efforts from the stable government of Botswana, delta habitats are pressured. The Okavango River (lower left of view) brings water from the high, wet plateaus of Angola into the Kalahari Desert, and enormous inland basin. As a result of a series of small faults (upper center of the view) related to the African Rift System, the river is dammed up in the form of swampy inland delta. Here, water is consumed by evaporation, infiltration, and the swamp forests. Late summer floods take six months to slowly penetrate the 160 kilometer (95 miles) to the other end of the Delta. The visual patterns of the area are strongly linear: straight sand dunes occur in many places and can be seen across the bottom portion of the photograph. Numerous brush-fire scars produce a complex, straight-edged pattern over much of the lower portion of this view. Lake Ngami (upper right of view) was once permanently full as late as the middle 1800's. Changes in the climate of the area over the last 100 years has changed the size and shape of the inland delta.


This November 1994 view looking south-southeast shows clouds over the Okavango Delta area of northern Botswana. The Okavango is one of the wilder, less spoiled regions of Africa. The Okavango River (lower left of view) brings water from the high, wet plateaus of Angola into the Kalahari Dessert, and enormous inland basin. As a result of a series of small faults (upper center of the view) related to the African Rift System, the river is dammed up in the form of a swampy inland delta. The visual patterns of the area are strongly linear: straight sand dunes occur in many places and can be seen across the bottom portion of the photograph. Numerous brush-fire scars produce a complex, straight-edged pattern over much of the lower portion of this view. Lake Ngami (upper right of view) was once permanently full as late as the middle 1800s. Changes in the climate of the area over the last 100 years has changed the size and shape of the inland delta.