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Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pans

Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pans image

Situated in the Kalahari Desert, home to the San people, lies the world's biggest salt pan, the Makgadikgadi Pan, which is all that remains of an ancient inland sea.

Over the years it has become lots of smaller pans, some huge, some just the size of a garden pond, all glistening with salt. During the rains water lies on the pans attracting huge numbers of flamingos and other migratory birds and it is the only place in Southern Africa that you find the migration of thousands of wildebeest and zebra and, as always, their predators are not far behind. 

Did you know?

  • A fun way to explore the pans is on quad bikes (dry season only), where relics of ancient man can be found at archaeological sites, and you camp out under the stars with a 360-degree vista of emptiness.
  • The dry season is a complete contrast and only the animals and birds which have adapted to these harsh conditions can survive here.
  • Planet Baobab is a funky little place on the road between Maun and Francistown offering an affordable, family-friendly option for experiencing the Makgadikgadi Pans.
  • Nxai Pan is famous for the Baine’s baobabs which is an unusual cluster of 7 ancient baobab trees.
  • Chapmans baobab made up of 7 huge trunks was one of the world’s oldest and biggest trees and an iconic part of the area but it sadly fell in 2016.
  • A highlight of the pans is a visit to one of the enchanting meerkat families.
African sun symbol

Area highlights

Sleepouts on the pans
Baines baobabs
Wildebeast and zebra migration

Let’s plan your trip together
Please contact Vicky at or call +44 (0)131 315 2464

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