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

Three things that define a luxury safari in Botswana

Not everyone can afford a luxury safari, but those who can will attest to the quality and elite service they received on their African safari. Contrary to assumptions about Africa in general, it is possible to experience five-star accommodation and service in the middle of the wilderness. Botswana is a great luxury safari getaway for its degree of warm hospitality, international service…

Ten reasons why an Okavango Delta safari should be on your bucket list

One off Africa's most popular safari destinations is Okavango Delta. Every year, thousands of wildlife enthusiasts flock to Botswana to witness the world's largest inland delta, which is home to a massive variety of wildlife. If you want to experience an authentic African safari, here are ten reasons why an Okavango Delta should definitely be on your travel bucket list.     A…

A traveller’s guide to the Chobe National Park

The ‘Land Of The Giants’ is home to Africa’s largest elephant population - comprising more than 10,000 kilometres square. The park has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa, making it an ideal location for an African safari and it is the third largest park in Botswana - after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The park is located in…

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…

10 reasons why you should explore Moremi Game Reserve

Moremi Game Reserve covers most of the eastern side of the Okavango Delta - and combines permanent water with drier areas. It was rated one of the most beautiful games reserve in Africa. However, Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve is ideal for travellers looking to experience an authentic African safari experience. Game viewing is excellent year-round, expect to encounter and sight the…

Discover the beauty of Selinda with Motswiri Camp

Enviably located on the banks of the game rich Selinda Spillway in northern Botswana, Motswiri Camp offers its visitors an exclusive safari experience. Known for their intrepid horseback safaris, Motswiri offers exclusive access to 120 00 acres of Selinda Game Reserve in a stunning setting.  The offer: Book a stay at Motswiri for two nights and stay for three; your extra night will be…