Five reasons why you have to explore the Makgadikgadi Pans

12 June 2017
Part of the Botswana Safari Collection
Back to the Our Blog

Lying south-east of the Okavango Delta and surrounded by the Kalahari Desert, Makgadikgadi is technically not a single pan but many pans with sandy desert in between - the largest being the Sowa, Nwetwe and Nxai Pans. The largest individual pan is about 4,921.0 kilometres square. The Pan is part of the Kalahari Basin and is one of the largest salt pans in the world and stretches away from the banks of the Boteti River, through its hinterland of scrub and grassland.

 

Home to the second largest zebras migration in the world, where over 25,000 zebra migrate to the Boteti River in the dry winter months from their summer grazing ground along the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans.

 

The Makgadikgadi is a harsh, dry environment - suited for oryx and kudu, but the river provides a life-giving source of water for the zebra and wildebeest utilising the eastern grass plains. After the start of the rainy season, the desert area teems with wildlife as herds of zebra and wildebeest graze to their heart's content on the wide-open green grassland plains of the Makgadikgadi and the large predators that prey on them.

 

The wet season also brings migratory birds such as ducks, geese and Great White Pelicans. The pan is home to only two breeding populations of Greater Flamingos in southern Africa, and only on the Soa pan, which is part of the Makgadikgadi pans. However, during the wet season, there is an influx of migratory bird species - while resident desert species welcome their visitors by showing off their breeding plumage.

 

 

���� In a near future this beautiful scene may cease to exist. Every day about 100 elephants are killed for their ivory. Extinction is forever. Take action ➡ https://iworry.org ���� Em um futuro próximo esta bonita cena pode deixar de existir. Todos os dias aproximadamente 100 elefantes são mortos pelo seu marfim. Extinção é para sempre. Faça sua parte acesse ➡ https://iworry.org �� Young male elephants - Makgadikgadi - 08/2016 #makgadikgadi #botswana #africa #ciaeco #africanamazing #wwf #nationalpark #elephant #elefante #nationalgeographic #natgeo #natgeotravel #natgeotravelpic #travel #instatravel #fodors #leroolatau #lonelyplanet #nature #savana #savannah #wild #wildlife #animals #animal #botetiriver #stophunting #stoppoaching #savetheelephants #dswt

A post shared by Eduardo Alves Maria (@edualvesam) on

The Boteti River system is another unique ecosystem in Botswana and like other east flowing water sources in the country has a reputation for drying up for many years before it commences to flow again. Animals in this area are dependent on the Boteti River for their daily sustenance.

 

 

It was a day where the heat absorbed every last ounce of resistance to the wilderness.

A post shared by Kelsea Lee (@kelsealee) on

Among the many things to do in the Makgadikgadi Pans are safari ride, game drives, bird watching, tour the Gweta and bush walks. A Botswana safari will give you the opportunity to spot eland, lion, zebra, cheetah, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest, bushbuck, giraffe, steenbok, elephants and many more.


Some related info

A short guide to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (referred to as CKGR) is the second largest reserve in the world and by far the most remote reserve in Southern Africa. The CKGR covers an area of 52000 square kilometres and it is home to rhino, black-maned lion and desert-adapted elephants among other striking game species. As testament to the Central Kalahari’s old age, it is home to the San people,…

The ultimate guide to Botswana’s Green Season

Home to some of the most prolific wildlife on the African continent,  very few countries can compare with Botswana's sheer numbers and variety of wildlife. The best time to visit Botswana is during the dry season months of May to October. Game viewing is at it’s peak during this period, as the vegetation in the area thins out considerably, making it easier to spot wildlife gathering…

Five of the most memorable experiences on the Chobe

Africa is blessed with an abundance of wildlife, great rivers, lakes and other topographical features. The Chobe River, a tributary of the great Cuando River brings three African countries together. A vacation on the Chobe River gives you an opportunity to experience what Botswana and Zambia have to offer from different perspectives. The Chobe river culminates into the incredible…

Five great walking safaris to go on in Africa

Safaris are a great way in which to get back to nature, tranquillity and adventure. The modern world often denies us the opportunity of being more in tune with these undeniably important aspects of life. People find themselves becoming too involved in work denying themselves opportunities of exploring the abundance of wildlife which is all over Africa.  Yet there are those who spend as…

Where to eat in Maun

If you’re going on a Botswana safari chances are you will end up in the tourist town of Maun. Situated in northern Botswana, this bustling hub sees thousands of travellers each year due to its proximity to Moremi Game Reserve, the Okavango Delta and Chobe river, all prime safari destinations. Whether you’re stopping over before your transfer flight to your luxury lodge, or simply…

Seven questions you may have about a Botswana safari, answered

There is no such thing as a stupid question. As a premium safari company, we receive plenty of FAQs each month, either based on the destinations we offer, or some key safari tips that travellers can use. These can vary from what to pack on safari, which destinations require anti-malaria medication or whether there are vegetarian options at any of the lodges or camps included in your…

You Might Also Like

 | Two weeks in Botswana - a luxury safari itinerary

Two weeks in Botswana - a luxury safari itinerary

The ideal safari to capture Botswana's unrivalled beauty and abundance of flora and fauna through the lens...

 | 10-day wild Botswana and Zimbabwe safari

10-day wild Botswana and Zimbabwe safari

Tour the pristine habitats of Botswana and Zimbabwe's finest wildlife-rich assets with the twist of refined luxury...

 | Pangolin photography tour of Botswana

Pangolin photography tour of Botswana

Immerse yourself in the wildlife and stunning natural beauty of the Chobe riverfront and pristine Okavango Delta as you capture nature's most spectacular beauty...