Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

The sheer magnitude and empty, endless expanse of the Makgadikgadi Pans’ surreal landscape dwarfs everything else into insignificance. Makgadikgadi is not somewhere that can be easily described – it is something that must be experienced.

This is as close as it comes to encountering an Africa unchanged since the series of saltpans (including Ntwetwe Pan, Sowa Pan and Nxai Pan) that make up the 3 900km² Makgadikgadi was formed two million years ago, when a gigantic inland superlake evaporated.

In the dry winter season, Makgadikgadi resembles a vast lunar landscape, with shimmering mirages in every direction. It is difficult for large mammals to survive here for much of the year, although you are likely to see a variety of desert-adapted animals, including aardwolf, African wildcat, cheetah, kudu and meerkat.

The wet summer season sees the last great migration that still occurs in southern Africa. As the pans fill with water, one of Africa’s largest zebra populations and huge herds of wildebeest and antelope flock from the Boteti River across to Ntwetwe Pan to graze on the sweet young grass. Hot on their heels are large predators, including the magnificent black-maned Kalahari lion. A remarkable array of waterbirds flock here from all over Africa in the wet season, and spectacular breeding colonies of flamingos make for outstanding viewing and striking photographs.

Highlights In Makgadikgadi Pans National Park​

  • Explore the mesmerising and evocative pans on horseback, quad bike or from the luxury of a game-viewing vehicle
  • Watch the sunrise with a local meerkat colony during an up-close and personal meerkat encounter
  • Experience the unique landscape through the eyes of the local San Bushmen on an unforgettable guided walk