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Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pans

on Chobe's western boundary lies the 275 000 acre private reserve with its abundant wildlife and renowned for its predators

makgadikgadi & nxai pans

The Kwando and Linyanti rivers rise in southern Angola flowing into a 900sq km flood plain, known as the Linyanti marshes.

The national park only touches the river for a short section on the far eastern edge of the swamp.

Secluded and uncrowded, this short strip of swampy river frontage is reminiscent of the Okavango's permanent waterways with papyrus-lined lagoons,
reed-beds and a towering canopy of trees.

Wildlife is plentiful, especially in the dry winter months when great concentrations of elephant, buffalo and zebra congregate along the river, with giraffe, impala and roan antelope being seen in the forests.

The birdlife is diverse, if not overwhelming in it's numbers. Waterbirds, including pelican, are common.

Makgadikgadi - a vast wilderness of salt pans and rolling grasslands and an ideal stop over en route bostwana national parksto the Okavango delta, Botswana

The rainy season signals the beginning of the
wildebeest and zebra migration.
As the grazing herds move north they are followed by their predators in the shape of lion, cheetah and hyena

Dry winter saltpans are transformed into a huge wetland where huge flocks of flamingoes and other waterbirds including pelicans gather on the newly formed lakes.

Formation of the pans began more than 5-million years ago and archaeological finds include stone tools dating back 300 000 years.

makgadikgadigoshawk

It is believed that the Okavango, the Chobe and the upper Zambezi rivers once flowed together across what is known today as the northern part of Botswana

Shifts in the earth caused upliftments of a ridge of high land from around the area of Harare in Zimbabwe to the southern reaches of Botswana's Kalahari.

The right angle of the ridge was to cut across the course of the ancient rivers acting like a dam wall forcing the river back to form a vast natural lake.


On the western side of the Ntwetwe Pan, adjacent to the grassland park, hundreds of small islands dot the surface of the pan.

goshawkgoshawk

Gweta Lodge

Gweta Lodge is an excellent stop over for self drive visitors en route to the Okavango.


For longer stays Gweta is well placed for trips to the Nxai and Central Kalahari pans.

 

Nata Lodge

An important refuelling and stop over for travellers to Kasane (Chobe National Park) or Maun (gateway to the Okavango), Botswana.

 

Camping
Njuca Hills have 2 camp sites which overlook the open plains.
An ideal spot for watching the wildebeest and zebra migration.

There are pit latrines at the campsite but no water.
Campers must be fully self sufficient

Kumaga is the other option - 48 kms from the main Makgadikgadi gate on the banks of the Boteti river.
There is an ablution block and water standpipe.
Visitors are advised to bring their own drinking water

Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Park - located 100 km east of Maun, these two parks effectively opperate as one park

The northern part is Nxai Pan which has an interesting complex of mini salt pan in its southern part as well as grassy pans during the rainy season that attract a huge number of game. Massive herds of giraffe, gemsbok, zebra and wildebeest can be found here along with predators such as lion and wild dog

Best game viewing is to be found at the waterhole approx. 2 2 kms from the main entrance gate.
Here there is a large grassy plain with clumps of umbrella thorn trees.

Another interesting part of the park are the Baines Baobabs, the trees that were made famous by the painter Thomas Baines as well as being one of the few places you will se bat eared fox. 

The southern area of the park is the Makgadikgadi Reserve that has beautiful savanha and grass lands which are home to a wide array of game and birds. There is also a campsite here

Campsites
There are 2 public campsites in the Nxai Pan.
One is a short distance from the entrance gate and the other is located in the mopane woodland area.
Both have ablution facilities and water.

Firewood is scarce and visitors are advised to bring small gas cookers.

Entrance to both Makgadkgadi Pans and Nxai Pan is along the Maun and Nata highways.
Fuel and supplies are available at Gweta village - 45 kms west of the Makgadikgadi gate.

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