A tree among the rocks looking onto the endless dry pans of the Makgadikgadi.

Makgadikgadi Pans

overview
Botswana
Makgadikgadi Pans. Something different. Often left out in the feverish rush between the Okavango Delta and Chobe, the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is an amazing place that rewards the intrepid traveller willing to head off the beaten tourist track.
A mob of meerkats on a sand hill. A man standing on a rock looking out over the endless landscape of the Makgadikgadi Pans. A picture over granite rocks onto a Baobab tree on the edge of a salt pan in the Makgadikgadi. Three people riding quad bikes on a quad bike excursion on the Makgadikgadi Pans.

On the northern edge of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the Makgadikgadi, Sua, Ntwetwe and Nxai pans are remnants of a super-lake that once covered the area and supported long extinct monsters of a forgotten world.

Summer rains transform the pans into shallow lakes upon which hundreds of thousands of flamingos, waders and migrants descend. Endless herds of wildebeest and zebra form the second largest mammal migration in Africa and life in the Kalahari is good - but for those pesky lions, hyenas, jackals and foxes who keep disturbing the peace.

In winter, the ancient past and immediate present dance on the shimmering horizon of the vast salt pans; the desolate silence tingles with electricity and the strange world around you teeters between eerie and comforting. This land has remained unchanged for thousands of years and local San hunter-gatherers work with exclusive lodges to offer you an insight into their ancient ways and ingenious means of survival.

The terrain varies from powder-soft sand to crust-topped marshland making access into the Makgadikgadi National Park a treacherous expert-only affair. Facilities - in the form of water, shops, fuel stations - are none and accommodation options in and around Makgadikgadi are few. The ingredients for a sensational Kalahari break are thus assembled making your experience of this wilderness area all the more exclusive.

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