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A traveller’s guide to the Nxai Pan National Park

Lana Goodwin

Author: Lana Goodwin - 18 January 2017

Last Update: 30 January 2024

Part of the Safaris In Botswana & Botswana Tourism & African Safari Collection

Did you know that Nxai Pan National Park is part of the great Makgadikgadi complex? The pans are the largest salt pans in the world – offering a unique safari experience, with great game viewing. These parks offer rare safari opportunity in the green season. However, Nxai Pan National Park c
overs 2,100 square kilometres.

Taking a Botswana safari through the Nxai Pan National Park will introduce you to many sights and sounds of the true African wilderness.

When to go

Nxai Pans National Park is open to visitors throughout the year, although road conditions can become difficult during times of heavy rains. The best time to visit the national park is during the cold winter months – when the wildlife gathers around the waterholes. However, from mid-November to March – Nxai Pans becomes a veritable Garden of Edens. The more accessible time to be in Nxai Pan is in the dry season, which is from May to September.

Where to stay

Nxai Pan

Nxai Pan is located on the western edge of the fossil pan from which the camp takes its name. The camp faces east over the open grasslands of the pans and the accommodates to a maximum of eighteen guests in thatched units specially designed to provide a constant and comfortable temperature throughout the year.

Excellent game viewing is possible from the comfort of your room as the waterhole in front of the camp draws a multitude of mammal species. However, expect activities such as a day trip to the famous Baines Baobabs and Kama Kama Pan, stargazing, nature walks as well as Bushman tracker.

What to see

Wildlife viewing is seasonal. Common species to be sighted are zebra, wildebeest, springbok, impala, gemsbok, hartebeest, giraffe, lion, cheetah, wild dog, brown hyena, birdlife, bat eared fox and sometimes elephants and buffalo. However, once the rains have started, gemsbok, elephants and zebra migrate to the area. Zebras in their thousands drop their young at the Nxai Pan – rivalling the spectacle of the multitude of young springbok – to further enhance game viewing opportunities.

What to do

Ploughing through the sand! #roadblock #nxaipan #lions #lostinbots

A photo posted by irisbreeman (@irisbreeman) on Oct 24, 2016 at 1:12am PDT

Explore Nxai Pans grasslands on morning and afternoon game drives – in search of the plentiful wildlife that the area is known for. However, highlights are horse riding safari on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, a historical tour of the nearby Baines Baobabs as well as exciting guided nature walks – to discover the Kalahari close up. When you are not out adventuring, relax beside the swimming pool – or grab a lounger and watch animals at the camps permanent waterhole.


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Copyright © Discover Africa Safaris | A traveller’s guide to the Nxai Pan National Park | Last Updated: 30 January 2024