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Five reasons why you have to explore the Makgadikgadi Pans

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Devryn Panaino

Safari Travel Planner

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 Devryn Panaino

Author: Devryn Panaino - 12 June 2017

Last Update: 30 January 2024

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 ➡ http://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 ➡ http://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 Sep 27, 2016 at 1:44pm PDT

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 Mar 8, 2017 at 2:21pm PST

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.


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