Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Size: 490,000 ha / 4,900 km2
Species Numbers: *51 Mammals *255 Birds *43 Reptiles
Big Five: Yes - rhino are scarce
* The rainy season (Nov-Mar) attracts a spectacular array of water birds and dramatic migrations of wildebeest and zebra
* The impressive and ancient baobab trees
* An exciting range of activities including quad-biking, star-gazing and learning the Bushman way of life in the Makgadikgadi
The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is situated on State land and was declared a game reserve in 1970 and in December 1992, the boundaries were extended and National Park status was attained. No vegetation can grow on the salty surface of the pans, but the fringes are covered with grasslands. Massive baobab trees populate some fringe areas – and their silhouettes create dramatic landscapes against a setting sun.
Both dry season and wet season visits to this park are recommended in order to witness the dramatic appearance of the pans at their driest, to experience the transformation to a water wonderland and see the wildebeest and zebra migrations, in the wet season. Linking a few days in Makgadikgadi with a similar period of time in its nearby sister park, Nxai Pan, will give visitors a distinctly different experience.
The Makgadikgadi, a total area of 12,000 km2, is part of the Kalahari Basin and one of the largest salt pans in the world. It should be noted that of the two largest pans – Sowa and Ntwetwe – only Ntwetwe falls inside the park’s borders.
The main gate is 160km east of Maun and 45km west of the small village of Gweta which has the nearest lodge accommodation, fuel and supplies.
* All roads within the park are rough gravel and in most cases very sandy, so it is essential to have a 4x4 vehicle
* Carry water and travel in tandem with a second vehicle in case of a breakdown
* The only accommodation in the park are two campsites – Njuca Hills and Kumaga. Note there is no water at Njuca Hills
* No petrol, diesel or food supplies available in the park
* The park is in a malaria area so take the necessary precautions