Makgadikgadi Pans safaris, tours and holiday packages | Discover Africa Safaris
Tourist Route Botswana

Makgadikgadi Pans safaris, tours & holiday packages

Home to sprawling salt pans and migrating zebra

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

Makgadikgadi Pans and Okavango Delta safari

Encounter the best Makgadikgadi Pan National Park and Okavango safari has to offer

$ 3,780

£ 2,858

R 53,875


per person

7 days

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

$ 6,895

£ 5,213

R 98,272


per person

14 days

Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa safari

This Southern Africa safari adventure will take you to the tip of the African continent

$ 5,775

£ 4,366

R 82,310


per person

19 days

5-day Okavango Delta and Nxai Pan safari

Encounter Botswana's widest range of safari activities and some of Africa's most luxurious wilderness accommodation

$ 2,435

£ 1,841

R 34,705


per person

5 days

8-day Botswana premier safari collection

Choose our Botswana premier collection and experience a traditional big game wildlife safari in one of Africa’s top destinations.

$ 4,140

£ 3,130

R 59,006


per person

8 days

Horse Riding Safari on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

Saddle-up for a horseback riding adventure through the semi-arid thirstland of the Kalahari.

$ 4,180

£ 3,160

R 59,576


per person

6 days

Affordable Makgadikgadi Pans and Okavango Delta Safari

Game viewing by land and water come together at Makgadikgadi, Moremi and the Okavango Delta, treating you to a varied Botswana safari

$ 3,880

£ 2,933

R 55,301


per person

7 days

Classic Botswana family safari

Connect as a family while tracking wildlife and incredible landscapes through some of the most remote stretches of Botswana.

$ 6,590

£ 4,982

R 93,925


per person

11 days
Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts

Stephen Michael Cunliffe says

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.

More on Makgadikgadi Pans holidays

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

When is the best time to see the Makgadikgadi Zebra Migration?

January to March is the best time to witness the Makgadikgadi zebra migration as well as the wildebeest. go there.

What kinds of animals will I see on safari?

Whether you are in the Southern or East Africa you will generally be able to see the big five. The difference really comes in when considering antelope as they are based on your chosen location. go there.

What vaccinations should I get?

This is all dependant on the countries that you will be visitng and due to the status of certain vaccinations changing at times, please consult our experts before getting vaccines. go there.

Is it okay to drink the water?

In some parts of Southern Africa it is safe to drink the tap water, however it is highly recommended to stick to bottled water (mostly supplied) during your trip as even drinkable African water is completely different in taste and… go there.

Makgadikgadi Pans - Africa Wildlife Safaris

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…

Margaret Dean

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…

Debbie Wei

Related Articles

Luxury Camp: Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp

Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp is a deluxe camp with 12 beautiful tented suites set within the game-rich Seronera Valley in a secluded part of the Central Serengeti. The Seronera valley is renowned for its year-round game viewing due to its… read more

A short guide on choosing between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti

Each year, millions of wildebeest and plains game journey in a circular route from the north of the Serengeti in Tanzania to the south of Kenya’s Masai Mara. Considered the most spectacular of Africa’s natural phenomena, the wildebeest are… read more

Camps and Lodges closest to the herd right now

Spend some time in the Serengeti and unwind. Relax to the rhythm of an African day as a myriad bird calls herald the rising sun. The wildebeest migration is one natural wonders of the world. If you are thinking of travelling to the… read more

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… read more

Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts