MAKGADIKGADI

& NXAI PANS

Click On The Camp To View In Detail

FULL OF HIDDEN TREASURES

Imagine – if you will – an area the size of Portugal, largely uninhabited by humans. Its stark, flat, featureless terrain stretches – it would seem – to eternity, meeting and fusing with a milky-blue horizon. This is the Makgadikgadi – an area of 12 000 sq kms, part of the Kalahari Basin, yet unique to it – one of the largest salt pans in the world.

 

For much of the year, most of this desolate area remains waterless and extremely arid; and large mammals are thus absent. It's a harsh, sparse landscape, not to everyone's taste, but it offers an isolation as complete as anywhere in Southern Africa, and a wealth of hidden treasures for those prepared to make the effort.

The Makgadikgadi is in fact a series of pans, the largest of which are Sowa and Ntwetwe, both of which are surrounded by a myriad of smaller pans. North of these two pans are Kudiakam pan, Nxai Pan and Kaucaca Pan. Interspersed between the pans are sand dunes, rocky islands and peninsulas, and desert terrain. Their geology and history are fascinating; they play a vital role in the area's ecosystems. During and following years of good rain, the two largest pans – Sowa to the east and Ntwetwe to the west – flood, attracting wildlife – zebra and wildebeest on the grassy plains – and most spectacularly flamingos at Sowa and Nata Sanctuary. Flamingo numbers can run into the tens – and sometimes – hundreds of thousands, and the spectacle can be completely overwhelming.

 

The rainwater that pours down on the pans is supplemented by seasonal river flows – the Nata, Tutume, Semowane and Mosetse Rivers in the east, and in years of exceptional rains, the Okavango via the Boteti River in the west. During this time, the pans can be transformed into a powder blue lake, the waters gently lapping the shorelines, and flowing over the pebble beaches – a clear indication of the gigantic, prehistoric lake the Makgadikgadi once was. Research suggests that the Makgadikgadi is a relic of what was once one of the biggest inland lakes Africa has ever had.

 

Africa’s most famous explorer, Dr. David Livingstone, crossed these pans in the 19th century, guided by a massive baobab, Chapman’s Tree – believed to be 3 000 to 4 000 years old, and the only landmark for hundreds of miles around. Seeing this amazing tree today, you are transported back to an era when much of the continent was uncharted, and explorers often risked their lives navigating the wilderness on oxcarts through rough and grueling terrain.

View our safaris that include the Makgadikgadi & Nxai pans

 
 

MAKGADIKGADI & NXAI PANS GALLERY

Show More
 

WHY TRUST US WITH

YOUR BOOKING?

We know that you have the choice of thousands of providers, especially through the internet, and that there is a great deal of trust required in order for you to choose our company over others. Your trust in us is something we take very seriously and our reputation hangs on our ability to deliver. We are totally confident that we can provide the highest level of service to you and every client that chooses to trust us with their booking.

 

Here's why you should trust us;

  • Knowledge

  • Support

  • Price

  • Conservation

  • Let us do the legwork

  • See what our clients say

  • We are SATSA Bonded

Stay in touch and get our Newsletter

Many of the images on this website are supplied by the lodges featured and the copyright belongs to them, we have used them with kind permission of; Wilderness Safaris, AndBeyond, Great Plains, Desert & Delta, Uncharted Africa, Desert & Delta and Kwando and others.

 

©2016 Botswana Safari Company
A division of Thom Media and Travel Pty Ltd