Africa Safari Travel Experts

The Makgadikgadi National Park

The Makgadikgadi Pan, Located In The Centre Of The Dry Savanna Of Botswana, Is One Of The Substantial Salt Flats In The World. The Pan Is All That Remains Of The Previously Gigantic Lake Makgadikgadi, Which Once Covered An Area Larger Than Switzerland, But Dried Up Several Thousand Years Ago.


Makgadikgai National Park in Botswana is separated from the Kalahari by the Boteti River. The Boteti River offers a unique Botswana safari experience. When water levels are low, you can cruise on a river safari or watch the wildlife pass from the sanctuary of a game-viewing hiding place.

During the October to November rains, the zebras and wildebeest migrate in huge numbers.  The migration is from the Boteti River crossing over to the Makgadikgai saltpans (said to be the largest pans in the world) . Expect to see huge numbers of elephants playing or browsing in the water when the River is full. Predators that are common here are the Lion, Cheetah and Hyena. Antelopes too are very common in this area.

On the northern border of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park lies Nxai Pan National Park . It is recommended to spend some days in the Makgadikgai as well as few days in Nxai Pan Park for a full wildlife experience.

Wildlife viewing in Nzai Pan is dependent on if and when the rains come, and when animals migrate. There are several artificial watering points. If the rains have been good, December to April is the best time to visit.

Fascinating Facts

    • The Makgadikgadi Pans is the world’s greatest salt pan landscape. It shields an area of over 30,000 km squared and is technically not a single pan, but consists of several pans – the largest of which are Nwetwe, Sua and Nxai pans.
    • The Makgadikgadi Pans were once part of the historical Makgadikgadi lake bed – a bygone lake that is thought to have covered as much as 80,000 km squared.
    • It started drying up almost 9,000-10,000 years ago, leaving behind huge salt-encrusted pans.
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