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Makgadikgadi is famous for its blinding white expanses of Ntwetwe, Sowa and Nxai pans and as the setting of one of Africa's largest zebra migrations
While the otherworldly salt pans are the main attraction at Makgadikgadi, the park is in fact characterised by four distinct vegetation zones. The Boteti River on its western boundary gives rise to a riverine sector that is heavily utilised by elephants. These large pachyderms have transformed the wooded landscape by uprooting trees and clearing the area.
Kudu, hippos and impala are also common in this zone with zebras and wildebeest only frequenting the river during the dry season. As you move further east, the vegetation transforms to thorny scrubland before giving way to wide-open grasslands peppered with small islands of palm trees. This region is ideal habitat for cheetahs. Ntwetwe Pan then enters the furthest eastern reaches of the park, although the lion's share of this huge salt pan, along with Sowa Pan, is situated beyond the park boundary.
Popular Makgadikgadi Pans safaris
These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates
The ideal safari to capture Botswana's unrivalled beauty and abundance of flora and fauna through the lens
This Southern Africa safari adventure will take you to the tip of the African continent
Choose our Botswana premier collection and experience a traditional big game wildlife safari in one of Africa’s top destinations.
Game viewing by land and water come together at Makgadikgadi, Moremi and the Okavango Delta, treating you to a varied Botswana safari
From desert to delta, this safari will show you the two stunning contrasts of beautiful Botswana
Connect as a family while tracking wildlife and incredible landscapes through some of the most remote stretches of Botswana.
Saddle-up for a horseback riding adventure through the semi-arid thirstland of the Kalahari.
Driving across the glaring white salt pans is an amazing experience for any 4x4 enthusiast, while the elephant viewing along the Boteti River during the height of the dry-season rivals Chobe and is among the best to be found anywhere in Africa.
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When the first rains arrive in November, herds of zebras begin to trek en masse into the eastern reaches of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. Some come from the Boteti River and neighbouring Nxai Pan, while others travel all the way from Chobe in the north. The herds gather on the rich seasonal grasslands and their numbers swell as they take advantage of the rich grazing and plentiful water supply.
During the wet months, it is impossible to drive on the waterlogged salt pans. During the dry season, however, a drive across the pans is an incredible – not to mention alarmingly disorientating – experience that should only be attempted in a 4x4 equipped with GPS navigation and a back-up compass.
Makgadikgadi Pans Map
Makgadikgadi Pans's location on Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions about Makgadikgadi Pans
January to March is the best time to witness the Makgadikgadi zebra migration as well as the wildebeest. go there.
Reviews on our Makgadikgadi Pans safaris
I just wanted to thank Discover Africa and Karl Svendsen - the safari was great - we saw many more animals than expected including cheetah, leopard, many lions and even a three-day old elephant calf. Additionally, we had our own hippo…
We had the most wonderful time in Tanzania. We left yesterday and miss it already. We saw the big 5 and felt super lucky to see the lions and leopard with their kill. Our guide was also wonderful. Thank YOU for planning our trip of a…