The Makgadikgadi Pans are the largest salt pans in the world. Surrounded by the Kalahari Desert, it features its own unique ecosystem which attracts a diverse range of wildlife to be spotted on your holiday to Botswana.
Geology and landscape of Makgadikgadi Pans
Lying southeast of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the Makgadikgadi Pans consist of a handful of pans with Sua (Sowa), Nwetwe and Nxai being the largest. The main water source is the Nata River while a smaller amount of water is supplied by the Boteti River from the Okavango Delta.
The pans cover around 16 000 square kilometres in the Kalahari Basin and archaeological recoveries of stone tools have revealed the presence of prehistoric man in the area. It is considered to be the site of one of the largest inland seas on earth. These salt pans are rivaled in extent only by the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, making it one of the biggest attractions on a Botswana vacation.
Wildlife to spot on a safari to Makgadikgadi Pans
A Botswana wildlife safari to the Makgadikgadi Pans will bring about abundant sightings of a variety of animals and birds. The wildlife has specially adapted to this arid environment with food and water more of a challenge than in other areas. Some resilient animals include springbok, red hartebeest, zebra, bat eared-fox, cheetah, black-maned lions, and meerkats.
The yearly zebra migration between the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Pans showcases the best of a safari to Botswana. The animals are in search of fresh grazing as well as being drawn to the higher mineral content in the grass near the salt pans. At a total of 600 kilometres, this migratory route is one of the longest recorded mammal migrations in Africa, indeed an incredible safari spectacle.
In the summer months and during the rainy season, from December to April, many species of birds flock to Makgadikgadi Pans. It is a prime destination for a Botswana bird safari where avid birders can bear witness to the flamingos during mating season, the pans being one of the most important breeding sites in the world. Thousands of iridescent flamingos journey from as far as the Great Rift Valley, partaking in one of Africa’s largest avian gatherings.
A safari to Makgadikgadi Pans with Jenman African Safaris
Take your Botswana safari experience to the next level with the 9-day Botswana Sensations package that includes a stop in the Makgadikgadi Pans and observation of the second largest zebra migration in the world. You will also have the chance to explore Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve and the Kazuma Forest Reserve.
The 15-day Intimate Botswana and Zimbabwe Encounter will make your holiday to Botswana a once-in-a-lifetime experience as it brings you up close and personal to the herds of zebra and wildebeest as well as predators like lions and hyenas around Makgadikgadi Pans. Also included in this Botswana safari package are the Nata Bird Sanctuary, Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta as well as Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.
Jenman African Safaris have a range of popular 2022 Africa safari packages that allow you to experience the very best of Botswana and the rest of the continent.