Endless Horizons of Makgadikgadi
Discover the vast open space of the Makgadikagadi Pans in Botswana, and experience a silence so complete that you can hear your own blood flowing. This series of large salt pans are all that remain of a vast ancient super lake that dried up around 10,000 years ago.
The Makgadikagadi may appear to be just arid and inhospitable, yet it is home to many desert adapted species, such as Aardvaark, Gemsbok, Springbok, Cheetah, Brown Hyena and of course, Lions.
And, when the summer rains eventually appear, and the grasses sprout accross the Makgadikgadi, this is when you can witness large herds of Zebra and Wildebeest migrating into the area.
When to Visit
The best time to visit the area for game viewing is from April to November when great numbers of Antelope, Wildebeest and Zebra move from the south-east pans towards the Boteti River in the west, where rain is expected to fall in November.
The rainy season attracts a spectacular array of water birds and dramatic migrations of Wildebeest and Zebra. The rains usually begin in November and end in about March. The pans can retain water until April or May. The area is transformed as grasses sprout and the salt pans fill with algae soup. Large breeding flocks of Flamingo congregate here.
Makgadikgadi Pans Highlights
Highlights of the Makgadikgadi include a famous group of baobabs called Baines Baobabs which stand as sentinels in this flat landscape. After the rains birdlife is spectacular and flocks of flamingos in their thousands descend upon the pans. Bushmen interactions where you learn how to survive in this desolate landscape are also truly memorable experiences.
The Makgadikgadi Pans are the remains of an ancient super lake, and their surface glistens with salt. Some of the largest salt pans are found outside the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park boundaries. These include Ntwetwe Pan and Sowa Pan.
Sowa is renowned for its rainy season Flamingo population and abundance of other water birds, which can be seen from the Nata Bird Sanctuary in the north of Sowa Pan.
Adventures out on the Salt Pans
Despite being a desert, Makgadikgadi Pans activities are exciting and include game drives and amazing star-gazing experiences. A quad-biking expedition, where you speed across the salt crust of the pans for an age, and seem to get nowhere provides one of the greatest thrills of a Makgadikgadi holiday.
Bushmen of the Makgadikgadi
The Bushmen of Botswana, also known as The San people, have inhabited the Kalahari for thousands of years. They have adapted to life in this desolate landscape. A highlight of any Botswana safari is learning about their way of life. Let them teach you their strategies for survival.
Planning a Makgadikgadi Pans Safari
Contact our expert Botswana safari travel consultant to assist in creating a personalised Makgadikgadi Pans Safari just for you.