• Jul 9th 2007 at 12:29PM
  • 24
Top Gear has earned the ire of environmentalists yet again, this time for driving cars over the Makgadikgadi salt plains in Botswana. All three presenters of the British car show drove across the plains while filming a segment, leaving trails that could remain there for decades. Usually, you are only allowed to go over if you're on a quad bike and must still remain in single file.

The region is home to the largest salt pan in the world (take that, Bonneville!) and covers an area of 16,000sq km. Though there was some concern about the damage they caused directly to the salt plains, environmentalists are more worried about the example their drive will set for other visitors.

A BBC spokesperson said the ecology of the area was taken in to account when filming and no conservation areas were touched.

Jeremy Clarkson and his team have always disliked environmentalists and this latest run-in isn't expected to change anything.

[Source: Metro UK]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah. well that precendent thing is valid - but only if anyone cared... How many foreigners are going to go Botswana and drive on the flats? This isn't going to turn into the next Bonneville Salt Flats people.

      And how many locals even have cars? let alone the time, inclination, or money to blow on the fuel for such a run.

      • 8 Years Ago
      The environmentalists don't give a shit about Botswana. They hate TG and Jeremy Clarcson in particular and use everything they can find to try and get them off the air. We can't have some guys on TV (let alone the NeocoM BBC!) who disregard political correctness and may actually trick people into committing thought crimes! Horrible!
      • 8 Years Ago
      you're a bigoted jackass. why don't you think before you speak next time and please spare us the qualifiable example of your near retarded IQ.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Apparently, they consulted experts, who told them where it was OK to drive. Seems to me, that everyone has it in for Top Gear. There are bigger eco-criminals in the world than Clarkson, May and the Hamster.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I really wish this show was on American TV (I can't find it on Directv, anyway;) it really is the most entertaining auto-themed show I've ever seen, and since it's auto-themed, that makes it the most entertaining show, period.

      Those trails will buff right out...just get a steamroller or something.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It won't be long until flushing your toilet will be illegal because your s**t would go land into some wasteland and kill some bacteria with an unpronounceable name.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Right on! When they film in the US again I hope they trash some of our national parks.
      • 8 Years Ago
      One would wonder why these salt flats of all the places on earth they could have shot the segment, then the quote: "Jeremy Clarkson and his team have always disliked environmentalists...."
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's a freakin' salt flats. A few tire tracks won't hurt it.

      I do agree with the "what precedent does this set" though. If everyone went out there and drove around it would cause problems.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes many other visitors will now rush in flocks to Botswana and drive their sports cars in a ruthless fashion. As a consequence, local environment will never be the same. I was being sarcastic...
      • 8 Years Ago
      home to the near-extinct salt lizard and its ecological predator, the white vulture. Without these two to purify the salt flats, McDonalds will run out of salt for its fries in the next two hundred years.

      And w/o the salt to sell, how well Botswana support its gun habit?
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's just like when Clarkson drove a Land Rover up a mountain in Scotland and envirotwats claimed that the tyre-tracks of one car had destroyed the heather and all the wildlife on the mountain.

      On a related note, nice to see that Top Gear WILL be coming back!
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