Plains of Zambia
Between the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, the northeastern plains of Zambia are home to the vast Lake Bangweulu (left of center), its swamps, and the massive floodplain that rest atop the North Zambian Plateau. The flooding season here runs from November to March, and by mid- to late-April the rising temperatures have begun to such much of the moisture from the land into the air. Many species of birds make their homes in this region for at least part of the year: white and pink-backed pelicans, wattled cranes, ibis, shoebill storks, black egrets, and the white-cheeked bee-eaters, among many others.
Scattered throughout the image, but almost completely absent in the plains-lands shown here, are a number of small fires. The fires, which are marked in bright red, are likely to be agricultural in nature, though they could develop into wildfires if they weren't properly controlled. The three largest lakes at the top of the image are Mweru (left, on the border of Zambia and the DRC) and the southern ends of Lake Tanganyika (center) and Lake Rukwa (right, in Tanzania). Far to the south in northern Mozambique is the Cabora Bassa Reservoir. Lake Kariba, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is at lower left. This is a true-color Terra MODIS image acquired on May 14, 2005.