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Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pans

Makgadikgadi - a vast wilderness of salt pans and rolling grasslands and an ideal stop over en route to the Okavango delta, Botswana

walking

The rainy season signals the beginning of the - worlds second longest zebra migration 25 000 zebra and Wildebeest move from Okavango to the Makgadikgadi a journey of more than 242 km

As the grazing herds move north they are followed by their predators in the shape of lion, cheetah and hyena

special icon Summer Migration Tours

Dry winter saltpans are transformed into a huge wetland where huge flocks of flamingoes, pelicans and other waterbirds gather on the newly formed lakes.

Formation of the pans began more than 5-million years ago - archaeological finds include stone tools dating back 300 000 years.

It is believed that the Okavango, the Chobe and the upper Zambezi rivers once flowed together across what is known today as the northern part of Botswana

Shifts in the earth caused upliftments of a ridge of high land from around the area of Harare in Zimbabwe to the southern reaches of Botswana's Kalahari.

The right angle of the ridge was to cut across the course of the ancient rivers acting like a dam wall forcing the river back to form a vast natural lake.

Accommodation

Gweta Lodge

Gweta Lodge is an excellent stop over for self drive visitors en route to the Okavango. For longer stays Gweta is well placed for trips to the Nxai and Central Kalahari pans.

Nata Lodge

An important refuelling and stop over for travellers to Kasane (Chobe National Park) or Maun (gateway to the Okavango), Botswana.

Camping (book direct with Botswana National Park
Njuca Hills have 2 camp sites which overlook the open plains.
An ideal spot for watching the wildebeest and zebra migration.

There are pit latrines at the campsite but no water.
Campers must be fully self sufficient

Kumaga is the other option - 48 kms from the main Makgadikgadi gate on the banks of the Boteti river.
There is an ablution block and water standpipe.
Visitors are advised to bring their own drinking water

Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Park - located 100 km east of Maun, these two parks effectively opperate as one park

The northern part is Nxai Pan which has an interesting complex of mini salt pan in its southern part as well as grassy pans during the rainy season that attract a huge number of game. Massive herds of giraffe, gemsbok, zebra and wildebeest can be found here along with predators such as lion and wild dog

Best game viewing is to be found at the waterhole approx. 2 2 kms from the main entrance gate.
Here there is a large grassy plain with clumps of umbrella thorn trees.

Another interesting part of the park are the Baines Baobabs, the trees that were made famous by the painter Thomas Baines as well as being one of the few places you will se bat eared fox. 

The southern area of the park is the Makgadikgadi Reserve that has beautiful savanha and grass lands which are home to a wide array of game and birds. There is also a campsite here

meercat

On the western side of the Ntwetwe Pan, adjacent to the grassland park, hundreds of small islands dot the surface of the pan

Campsites
There are 2 public campsites in the Nxai Pan.
One is a short distance from the entrance gate and the other is located in the mopane woodland area.
Both have ablution facilities and water.

Firewood is scarce and visitors are advised to bring small gas cookers.

Entrance to both Makgadkgadi Pans and Nxai Pan is along the Maun and Nata highways.
Fuel and supplies are available at Gweta village - 45 kms west of the Makgadikgadi gate.

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Camping Safaris List
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