Nxai Pan National Park
Size: 257,800 ha / 2,578 km2
Species Numbers: *51 Mammals *255 Birds *43 Reptiles
Big Five: Yes - rhino are scarce
* The main waterhole attracts gemsbok, elephant and zebra in their thousands during the rainy season (Nov-Mar)
* The famous Baines Baobabs – a National Monument
* "Bushman pits" near the edge of a small pan area – small pits were dug by the Bushmen in which they could hide whilst hunting the wild animals that came to drink
Nxai Pan National Park is a national park in north-eastern Botswana, consisting of Nxai Pan, which is one of the Makgadikgadi Pan salt flats. It is the sister park to the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.
Originally State Land, an area of 1676 km2 was declared a game reserve in 1970 and then in 1992 the boundaries were extended to include Baines Baobabs to give the present total area of 2578 km2 and National Park status was granted.
Perhaps the focal point of Nxai Pan is the waterhole, situated only 2 km from the entrance gate, in the midst of a large grassy plain. Here, lion, giraffe, kudu, impala, ostrich and large numbers of springbok, together with a good population of jackal and bat-eared fox, are permanent residents. Once the rains have started, gemsbok, elephant and zebra migrate to the area. At that time, zebra are present in their thousands and drop their young at Nxai Pan. Whilst many other parks and reserves are not considered to be at their best during the rains, Nxai Pan becomes a genuine Garden of Eden.
The main gate is 136 km out from Maun on the Maun-Nata road, or 65 km from the Gweta turnoff if travelling from the east. Gweta 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. Road conditions can become difficult during times of heavy rain
* Carry water and travel in tandem with a second vehicle in case of a breakdown
* The only accommodation in the park are two campsites with ablution facilities
* No petrol, diesel or food supplies available in the park
* The park is in a malaria area so take the necessary precautions