Nxai Pan


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A terrain of extremes


The Nxai Pan forms part of the Nxai Pan National Park, an extension of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park which was created to encompass a larger protective space in this incredible part of Botswana. Although the pan stands alone in title, it actually forms part of the Makgadikgadi Pans and together they are the largest collection of salt pans on the globe.

The alternating dry and wet seasons in this area bring a stark contrast the landscape and wildlife at Nxai. The dry season sees the earth’s floor become a maze of dry, cracked puzzle pieces, its fierce white colour contrasting with the interminably cerulean sky. The rainy months between November and April turn this bare, desolate expanse into a veritable Eden which attracts hordes of kudu, giraffe, and elephants along with the lions and jackals that tail them.

Flocks of migratory birds also call the area home during the wet season, most notably flamingos that use the pans as breeding grounds. While the game-viewing is prolific at this time of year, the pan can be difficult to access due to how muddy the grounds are. The area is more easily explored between May and September.

 

Highlights

  • The Nxai Pan forms part of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, the largest complex of pans on the planet
  • The contrasting dry and wet seasons promise visitors an array of different pastimes unique to each season
  • The arid beauty of the dry season and verdant Eden that it becomes in the wet season are incomparable to one another, making them appealing in two very different ways
  • Guests can self-drive through the pans or fly in to an airstrip in the park

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