Nxai Pan National Park
The Nxai Pan National Park is an extensive grassy plain dotted with acacia trees on the northern edge of the Makgadikgadi Pan. Unlike in other areas of Botswana, the wet season is the ideal time to visit Nxai Pan when huge herds of zebra migrate here to give birth. During these months the area is also good for predators like cheetah for whom the flat open grassland makes an ideal hunting ground. It is however far trickier to navigate as the roads can be wet and troublesome to use at this time.
About Nxai Pan National Park
Nxai Pan gained national park status in 1992 and today extends across 2,578 km² near the Makgadikgadi. One of the most popular areas to visit on a tailor-made safari in Nxai Pan is the southern part of the park where the famous Baines’ Baobabs are located.
This impressive group of large baobabs was once painted by Thomas Baines who was a member of the Livingstone expedition. A comparison of the baobabs today and the painting of 1862 show almost nothing has changed. It’s definitely a must-visit on any Nxai Pan safari holiday.
Nxai Pan Wildlife Safaris
During Botswana’s wet season huge herds of blue wildebeest and zebra migrate to the Nxai Pan National Park, whilst oryx, eland and red hartebeest have adapted to live year-round in the harsh conditions. Predators such as lion and cheetah are seen relatively frequently in the Nxai Pan area too, and leopard can also sometimes be spotted in the woodland that borders the pan. Other common sightings include elephant, giraffe and hyena.
Activities in Nxai Pan typically include game drives, walking safaris, birding safaris and of course a visit to see Baines’ Baobabs. Bushman experiences are also a lot of fun, giving an insight into traditional tracking and hunting techniques passed down through the generations. As there is no light pollution here stargazing is phenomenal, so make sure you gaze skywards at night to really experience the magic of this vast wilderness.
Birding in Nxai Pan
The number of recorded bird species in the Nxai Pan National Park exceeds 200. When flooded, large flocks of greater and lesser flamingo and pink-backed and great white pelicans can often be found on the pan.
Best Places to Stay in Nxai Pan National Park
There is a selection of Nxai Pan safari camps and lodges to choose from, suitable for most budgets and tastes.
Best Time to Visit Nxai Pan National Park
Whilst there is more wildlife between January and April, access to Nxai Pan National Park is much trickier at this time of year due to the wet dirt roads. The pan itself is only accessible from June to October.
During these months the blinding white, seemingly endless pan and the glittering ocean of stars offer more of an aesthetic prize than an animal one.
Weather During the Year
How to Book a Nxai Pan Safari Holiday
To discuss your Botswana safari holiday, Nxai Pan safari packages and tailor-made itineraries, speak to one of our Botswana experts today by contacting us.