Centred around the world-famous Makgadikgadi Pans and nearby Nxai Pan, this National Park provides a truly unique wilderness experience, with its famous meerkats, and opportunities for unparalleled stargazing, and viewing the renowned flamingo migration. Visit Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pans National Park, and check off a visit to the largest individual salt pan on Planet Earth.

MAKGADIKGADI & NXAI PANS NATIONAL PARK
LOCATION

Found in the central, northeast of Botswana, Makgadikgadi Pan and Nxai Pan are large salt-pans, bordering the savanna and grasslands of the northern Kalahari Desert region. Known for the desolate open landscapes, with vast vistas and huge skies, the Makgadikgadi Pan and Nxai Pan National Park provides a surprisingly wide variety of wilderness experiences and activities. Home to a diverse host of game and predator species adapted to survival in this forbidding landscape, this park offers a genuine departure from the typical bush safari experiences found elsewhere in Africa’s Eden.

An iconic feature of the Makgadikgadi Pan and Nxai Pan National Park is the ancient baobab tree. The park contains some of the oldest examples of this aged species anywhere in the region. Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pans National Park is accessible by road – preferably 4×4 – from Kasane (via Nata) and Maun, and by air to Maun, with light aircraft transfers to some camps. A day’s journey from Livingstone and Victoria Falls, Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pans National Park offer compelling and varied experiences for a visit to Africa’s Eden.

MAKGADIKGADI & NXAI PANS NATIONAL PARK
SIZE & MAIN ATTRACTIONS

The National Park covers an area of over 16,000 sq km and includes Nxai Pan in the north and Makgadikgadi Pan to the south, divided by a long tar road connecting Nata in the east and Maun in the west. The Boteti River marks the western border of the park, an ephemeral river that forms a focal route for several migratory species, including elephant herds. During the wet season, when some of the pans fill with shallow water, flamingos and other aquatic bird species can be found in immense numbers.

With a dry season stretching from May to October, day time temperatures reach mid- to high-twenties, and nighttime temperatures can be low, sub-zero in July and August. The dry season is an excellent time to witness the second largest migration of zebra and wildebeest in Africa, as they make their way from the Okavango Delta. Rains fall during the summer wet season in sudden and intense downpours, usually starting in November, and sporadically running through to April. These rains accompany higher temperatures, which can reach 40 deg C during November and December. Rainfall brings the grassland and savanna landscape back to life, with flowers blooming and grasses rapidly thickening.

The amount of rain can vary greatly, determining the extent of surface water that accumulates on the salt pans. Larger volumes of rain can result in limited access to certain parts of the park, especially some of the remote islands that include stunning clusters of baobab trees. These locations are truly unique, and if access is possible, are an absolute must-see part of any trip to the pans.

Gate times: Sunrise to Sunset

Fees Local (per day):

  • Citizen BWP 10
  • Resident BWP 30
  • Non-resident BWP 120

MAKGADIKGADI & NXAI PANS NATIONAL PARK

SAFARI LODGES, CAMPSITES, SELF-CATERING & MORE

MAKGADIKGADI & NXAI PANS NATIONAL PARK
PARK, CAMPS & WILDLIFE

Photographs taken of the national park, wildlife camps and their facilities. Explore the Chobe National park through a variety of images below.