One of the few remaining remnants of the once great, ancient Central Botswana Lake, the Makgadigadi Salt Pans are the most well-known of the Kalahari Salt Pans, and one of the largest in the world. For much of the year the pans resemble another planet with the dry, salty clay seemingly devoid of life, but the annual rains transform the pans into areas of lush grass and water that attract a variety of exciting bird and animal life.

Consisting of four main vegetation types – namely the saltpans, scrubland, grassland and riverine woodland – the animals are concentrated along the Boteti River in the harsh dry months when food is scare. During the rains between February and April however, Makgadigadi witnesses a majestic migration of Wildebeest and one of the largest populations of zebra in the world. This migration of course brings the predators too, and game viewing is plentiful during this extraordinary time.

For the traveller looking to experience something unique and exotic, the Makgadigadi Salt Pans are perfect for you. The isolation of the desert provides the perfect space for quiet reflection, with spectacular sunsets and a sky full of stars. The quiet of the pans is great for bird watching too, especially during the summer months when the shallow lakes are teeming with pelicans, cranes and the famous pink flamingos.

Enjoy 4×4 drives with expert guides or try your hand at some quad biking at Jacks Camp to experience the wildlife close up. Explore the seven famous baobab trees called Baines Baobabs – a photographer’s dream – then end the day sipping on sundowners overlooking the pan as the animals come for their evening drink. The Makgadigadi Pans are truly Africa at it’s most untouched.

Our Favourite Makgadikgadi Pans National Park Accommodations