Five reasons why you have to visit the Nxai Pan National Park

07 July 2017
Part of the Botswana Safari Collection
Back to the Our Blog

Taking a Botswana safari through the Nxai Pans National Park will introduce you to many sights and sounds of the true African wilderness. Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi Pan, are the largest salt pans in the world, offering unique safari experience, with great game viewing and bird watching challenged by spectacular scenic views and natural isolation this African safari is well worth the cost! Open all year round, these parks offer rare safari opportunities particularly in the green season.

 

Most African game parks are at their best during the dry winter months (June to September) when short grass makes game viewing easier. At Nxai Pan it is quite the opposite; when the first summer rains start to falls in November and December - this part is transformed from an acid wasteland to a veritable Garden of Eden. The dry salt becomes covered with grass and scrub as well as the animals arrive in their thousands.

 

The Nxai Pan is a breeding ground for herds of zebra, wildebeest, gemsbok, eland, making it an important nature reserve for any African wildlife enthusiast.  However, spot other wildlife such as lion, giraffe, kudu, impala, ostrich, fascinating birdlife and large number of springbok, together with a good population of jackal, bat-eared fox, spotted hyenas, hartebeests, raptors and cheetahs.

Nxai Pan also has great bird watching opportunities, especially in the wet months. There are many raptors in the area and Kori bustards, Korhanns and Red necked falcons can all be spotted. Once the pans fill up after the rain - there is a huge influx of Flamingo.

Nxai Pan is one of the best places in Botswana for excellent cheetah sightings. The flat expensive landscapes is perfectly suited to these swift animals which can outrun any prey in these conditions. There are regular good sightings all year around, but cheetah activity also reaches a peak during the green season.

 

However, during the dry winter, months most of the game activity at Nxai Pan is centred around the permanent waterhole and the lions are regular visitors. There are several prides of lion in the park and they are regularly spotted out in the open - due to the stark landscape which does not offer too many hiding places. There are also good regular sightings of leopard.

The world’s second largest zebras migration take place here every year. When approximately 25,000 zebra migrate south from the Okavango Delta to Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan and back. The distance of nearly 600 kilometres. They reach Nxai around the same time as the summer rains (November to December) and this is where the latest batch of baby zebra is born.

Yet, this huge maternity event coincides with all of the thousands of Nxai Pan springbok and the plains are filled with baby zebra and springbok for several months - a feasting time for predators.

 

Here you will go on a walking trail with one of the local San Bushmen who will give you an insight into the harsh life in this arid land, plant gathering, fire making, hunt and trap setting as well as other survival essentials are all on the agenda.

 

 

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

A post shared by irisbreeman (@irisbreeman) on

The best way to experience this remote park is by organised safari. The terrain is only situated for high-clearance 4x4 vehicles and you really need an experienced guide to make sure you get the best out of your visit. However, quad biking across the endless dry salt flats, which can range from a few hours to a few days - are available in Makgadikgadi Park.

 

Baines’ Baobabs are thousand of years old and form a dramatic and unusual sight in the middle of the dry saltpan. They are at their best in the green season, when they form a small island of vegetation in the middle of the water-filled pan - an absolute must for photographers.


Some related info

11 Facts about the Chobe National Park to share around the campfire

Impress your friends and family with these interesting facts about one of the most famous national parks in the world. 1. Chobe National Park is divided into four different areas, each with distinctly unique geographical landscapes. They are as follows; the Savuti channel, Linyati wetlands, Serondella and Nogatsaa. 2. In 1888, the Savuti channel dried up completely and only flowed again…

Four Must-Visit Game Reserves in Botswana

A game reserve is just a game reserve, right? Actually, each reserve has its own special character, landscape and wildlife. Whether private or government-owned, Botswana game reserves are vital in sustaining the natural bounty of flora and fauna in a country. Botswana in particular is well known for its efforts in protecting the earth’s natural heritage. By offering travellers a haven in…

Eight reasons why Botswana is the destination for your next African safari

Famous for its spectacular natural beauty, amazing wildlife and rich lineage to early African anthropology and culture makes Botswana a must for all African safari enthusiasts. If you’re planning a Botswana safari, here are eight reasons why it’s well worth the trip. Its close proximity to South Africa makes getting there a breeze   #flysaa #a320 #ortamboairport #gauteng…

10 reasons why you should visit the Mashatu Game Reserve

Mashatu Game Reserve comprises of 29,00 hectares of privately owned land in the conserved wilderness area known as the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. However, Mashatu is one of the largest privately owned game reserve in Southern Africa, that provides a sanctuary to the largest herds of elephant. Mashatu Game Reserve is home to more than 350 birds species - including the enchanting…

Five reasons why you have to visit the Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is an oasis that offers travellers an immersion into a world of wetland island and waterways, which are teeming with wildlife and luscious vegetation. The Okavango is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. The delta covers between 6,000 and 15,000 square kilometres of the Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana and owes its…

A traveller’s guide to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve

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 the largest animal population, including rhino, black-maned lion and desert-adapted elephants and is the original home of the San poeple, an ancient hunter-gatherer society…

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...