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.

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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

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Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts