Nxai Pan National Park

Magnificent scenery complimented by fantastic game viewing

Photos

The transformation from a salt pan to the garden of Eden

Similar to Makgadikgadi Pans, Nxai Pan National Park is part of the Kalahari ecosystem, yet completely different to the game reserve. Here the stretch of grassy plains is peppered with fossil beds and smaller pans that attract an array of wildlife. Perhaps the focal point of Nxai Pan is the waterhole, situated only two kilometres from the entrance gate, in the midst of verdant plain dotted with a scattering of thorn trees. Tucked away in this corner and within the mopane woodland, its permanent residents are lion, giraffe, kudu, impala, ostrich, fascinating birdlife and large numbers of springbok, together with a good population of jackal, bat-eared fox and numerous smaller creatures.

Once the rains start, gemsbok, elephant and zebra migrate to the area. At this time, zebra are present in thousands and drop their young at Nxai Pan, rivalling the spectacle of the multitude of young springbok, to further enhance game-viewing opportunities. Within the park there are points of interest worthy of mention. One is the “old trek route”, a trail pioneered in the 1950s and used until 1963, as a short cut through Ngamiland to Kazungula via Pandamatenga, along which cattle were driven before the advent of the modern veterinary control fences. Also, to the south of the reserve lies Baines Baobabs area, overlooking the Kudiakam Pans: impressive 1,000 years old baobab trees, which have been celebrated by Victorian explorer and painter Thomas Baines in 1862.

Wildlife

At Nxai Pan National Park you can expect to see lions, giraffe, kudu, springbok, impala, zebra, ostrich, together with a good population of jackal, bat-eared fox. Along with numerous smaller creatures, and an abundant array of birds are also in the region.

  • Botswana Luxury Safari Nxai Pan National Park
  • Two Giraffes
  • Botswana Safari Makagadikgadi National Park
  • Central Kalahari Game Reserve_01
  • Three zebra

Seasonal Information

Find out the best times to visit the Nxai Pan National Park.

  • Green Season
  • Mid Season
  • High Season

January is the rainy season in Nxai Pan National Park. During this time the pans are replete and, as a result, dramatic migrations of wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok, and zebra take place. They are followed by lions, cheetah, and hyenas. If the rains are strong enough, the salty surfaces of the pans fill with mirroring waters of incredible scenic beauty. This attracts flocks of up to 30,000 flamingos, the colours of which tint the water to a deep pink. It is unfortunate that this huge water spectacle becomes practically inaccessible by road at this time, but anyone lucky enough to fly over the area during the wet season will see a water wonderland.

Plan your Safari

February is the rainy season in Nxai Pan National Park. During this time the pans are replete and, as a result, dramatic migrations of wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok, and zebra take place. They are followed by lions, cheetah, and hyenas. If the rains are strong enough, the salty surfaces of the pans fill with mirroring waters of incredible scenic beauty. This attracts flocks of up to 30,000 flamingos, the colours of which tint the water to a deep pink. It is unfortunate that this huge water spectacle becomes practically inaccessible by road at this time, but anyone lucky enough to fly over the area during the wet season will see a water wonderland.

Plan your Safari

March is the rainy season in Nxai Pan National Park. During this time the pans are replete and, as a result, dramatic migrations of wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok, and zebra take place. They are followed by lions, cheetah, and hyenas. If the rains are strong enough, the salty surfaces of the pans fill with mirroring waters of incredible scenic beauty. This attracts flocks of up to 30,000 flamingos, the colours of which tint the water to a deep pink. It is unfortunate that this huge water spectacle becomes practically inaccessible by road at this time, but anyone lucky enough to fly over the area during the wet season will see a water wonderland.

Plan your Safari

April is the rainy season in Nxai Pan National Park. During this time the pans are replete and, as a result, dramatic migrations of wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok, and zebra take place. They are followed by lions, cheetah, and hyenas. If the rains are strong enough, the salty surfaces of the pans fill with mirroring waters of incredible scenic beauty. This attracts flocks of up to 30,000 flamingos, the colours of which tint the water to a deep pink. It is unfortunate that this huge water spectacle becomes practically inaccessible by road at this time, but anyone lucky enough to fly over the area during the wet season will see a water wonderland.

Plan your Safari

May brings the dry season to Nxai Pan National Park. The glistening surface of the pan turns into an expanse of salt and sand under the hot sun rays. As such, the vegetation, particularly in the eastern grassland region, begins to dry up which makes it is easier to drive in the park. The vast Boteti River and its lush vegetation provide a haven that attracts a large number of herbivores, particularly wildebeests and zebras. During the day temperatures are mild, around 28°C, but once the sun goes down temperatures can drop, sometimes to below zero.

Plan your Safari

June is the dry season in Nxai Pan National Park. The glistening surface of the pan turns into an expanse of salt and sand under the hot sun rays. As such the vegetation, particularly in the eastern grassland region, begins to dry up which makes it is easier to drive in the park. The vast Boteti River and its lush vegetation provide a haven that attracts a large number of herbivores, particularly wildebeests and zebras. During the day temperatures are mild, around 25°C, but once the sun goes down temperatures can drop, sometimes to below zero.

Plan your Safari

July is the dry season in Nxai Pan National Park. The glistening surface of the pan turns into an expanse of salt and sand under the hot sun rays. As such the vegetation, particularly in the eastern grassland region, begins to dry up which makes it is easier to drive in the park. The vast Boteti River and its lush vegetation provide a haven that attracts a large number of herbivores, particularly wildebeests and zebras. During the day temperatures are mild, around 25°C, but once the sun goes down temperatures can drop, sometimes to below zero.

Plan your Safari

August is the height of the dry season in Nxai Pan National Park. The glistening surface of the pan has turned into an expanse of salt and sand under the hot sun rays. As such the vegetation, particularly in the eastern grassland region, has dried up which makes it easier to drive in the park. The vast Boteti River and its lush vegetation provide a haven that attracts a large number of herbivores, particularly wildebeests and zebras. During the day temperatures are mild, around 25°C, but once the sun goes down temperatures can drop, sometimes to below zero.

Plan your Safari

As we slip into September, we draw to the end of the dry season in Nxai Pan National Park. The glistening surface of the pan has turned into an expanse of salt and sand under the hot sun rays. The vegetation has dried up, the landscape is parched, and wildlife viewing is at its prime. The vast Boteti River and its lush vegetation provide a haven that attracts a large number of herbivores, particularly wildebeests and zebras. During the day temperatures are mild, around 25°C, but once the sun goes down temperatures can drop, sometimes to below zero.

Plan your Safari

October marks the end of the dry season in Nxai Pan National Park. The glistening surface of the pan has turned into an expanse of salt and sand under the hot sun rays. The vegetation has dried up, the landscape is parched, and wildlife viewing is at its prime.  The vast Boteti River and its lush vegetation provide a haven that attracts a large number of herbivores, particularly wildebeests and zebras. During the day temperatures are mild, around 25°C, but once the sun goes down temperatures can drop, sometimes to below zero.

Plan your Safari

Only days after the first November rains, Nxai Pan transforms from a dry salt-crusted pan to a kaleidoscope of colours, as lush green grass form around the clustered islands of acacias scattered across the landscape. This magical transformation causes wildlife in the Okavango Delta and Linyanti Marshes to migrate downwards across the plains of Nxai Pan. During this time zebra, gemsbok, springbok, and giraffe can be seen moving in large numbers attracting a following of carnivores including lion, leopard, and both brown and spotted hyena at night, and cheetah and wild dog during the day.

Plan your Safari

December is the rainy season in Nxai Pan National Park. During this time the pans are luscious and as a result, dramatic migrations of wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok, and zebra take place. They are followed by lions, cheetah, and hyenas. If the rains are strong enough, the salty surfaces of the pans fill with mirroring waters of incredible scenic beauty. This attracts flocks of up to 30,000 flamingos, the colours of which tint the water to a deep pink. It is unfortunate that this huge water spectacle becomes practically inaccessible by road at this time, but anyone lucky enough to fly over the area during the wet season sees a water wonderland.

Plan your Safari