Venture into the remote and dramatic landscape of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and surrounds in northern Botswana. All that remains of an ancient massive lake in this region are the large saltpans of Sowa and Ntwetwe and a myriad of smaller pans. Lesser known than Botswana’s other main attractions, the Okavango Delta and the Chobe region, the Makgadikgadi Pans area is just waiting to be explored and experienced.
When the summer rains fall in this region bringing life to the arid landscape and temporarily obscuring the glittering salt shine from the dry pans, an entirely different aspect of Botswana can be experienced. Fish and shrimps lying dormant in the mud wake up, flocks of flamingos and pelicans head to the area and the impressive migration of large groups of wildebeest and zebra is kickstarted. Stay in luxury safari lodges in this region and allow yourself to be guided to view some of the most exciting game watching you are ever likely to see.
The black-maned Kalahari lion and leopard stalk the empty landscapes looking for the herds of antelope that are resident here. Wild dog, cheetah and both the brown and spotted hyena also form part of the impressive array of predators in this region. As the rains begin to fall at the onset of summer and the massive herds of zebra and wildebeest move further north to the Nxai Pan National Park and its extensive grass plains, the predators follow looking for easy pickings. A great way to see this annual journey is from the air so book a flight for the best views of the dramatic and vivid imagery below.
White-backed vultures, bateleurs, black-breasted snake eagles, falcons and pale chanting goshawks are just a few of the thousands of birds that are attracted by the water, fresh vegetation and new found life around the saltpans in the wet season. An excellent destination for those looking for an African birding safari, the Makgadikgadi Pans region offers a superlative experience.
Venture into the Makgadikgadi Pans region of Botswana to experience an untouched, remote and dramatic landscape and the wildlife that populates it. Contact Southern Africa Travel for luxury accommodation in the region or combine your stay here with other African safari destination.
Excellent Bird Viewing
As the pans fill up with water during the rainy season transforming the arid landscape into one of Africa’s most important wetlands, thousands of birds flock to the Makgadikgadi Pans including sandpipers, greenshanks, Wattled cranes, flamingos, eagles, kestrels and so many more. Literally a birder’s paradise the Pans are home, even during the dry season, to the majestic tawny and martial eagles, francolins, ostrich and vultures.
An Annual Migration of Game
Follow the impressive migration of zebras and wildebeest and the predators that hunt them across the pans in the south-east towards the Boteti River in the west as they follow the water and fresh vegetation resulting from it.
Head into the African bush and onto the saltpans with an experienced San tracker as your guide. Using just your eyes and his knowledge to guide you to game. Walking safaris allow you to focus on smaller features that often get missed when travelling by 4x4 vehicle.
Spend some time with the Meerkats
There is a local Meerkat population that have become so habituated to humans that you can visit and walk with them without scaring them away. These small mammals are part of the mongoose family and they are found in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana.
Visit Baines Baobabs
Look out for the seven impressive baobab trees that dominate a small island overlooking the Kudikam Pan on the south side of Nxai Pan National Park. These Seven Sisters, as they are known, were immortalised in a painting by Thomas Baines in 1862 during his travels in the region; not much has changed about this beautiful setting since.
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