Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Desert walk at Jack's Camp. Makgadikgadi. Ian MichlerDesert walk at Jack's Camp. Makgadikgadi
A safari in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is recommended in both the dry and wet seasons in order to experience the remarkable transformation when the rains appear around late November.

Migrations, Predators and Flamingos

The pans become vast lakes humming with a huge variety of animals. Flamingos and other water birds fly in to feed on the algae and crustaceans that spring to life in the water. Zebra and Wildebeest migrations are triggered, followed closely by a number of predators. This spectacle can be seen from the fringes or by aircraft.

A variety of wildlife is present around the Park, predators such as Lion, Cheetah, Leopard and Hyena amongst other hunters can be seen on the outskirts as well as many antelope species. In the region of the dry Boteti River and waterholes (south west) rare White Rhino may be spotted. Other Makgadikgadi wildlife which has survived in this region under difficult conditions includes Hippo and Crocodile.

Meerkats of the Kalahari also inhabit various areas of the Makgadikgadi - these social and resourceful creatures are a delight to be around and have been known to escort visitors on wilderness walks.

On the western border is Kumaga Village on the banks of the now dry Boteti River. This once beautiful river fed by the draining waters of the Okavango ceased to flow in 1992. There are some remaining waterholes which provide relief for the wildlife and other inhabitants in this area.

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park Attractions

  • Zebra and Wildebeest migrations with the rains
  • Ntwetwe Pan
  • Boteti River waterholes in the dry riverbed
  • Walks with Bushmen (identify and track animals)

Makgadikgadi Pans Accommodation

There are 2 public camping sites within the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana.

Njuca Hills Camp is situated 26km (16 miles) south of the main entrance gate. It is extremely rustic and there is no water, only fully self-sufficient and experienced travellers in convoy 4x4 vehicles should make use of this camp.

Kumaga Camp, (Xhumaga) is 48km south-west of the main entrance, situated on the banks of the currently dry Boteti River across from Kumaga village. The camp is rustic with an ablution block and borehole water which has a sulphurous smell - the water becomes palatable on standing but it is advisable to have an independent supply. Only limited and basic supplies are available in the village.

There are also Makgadikgadi Pans safari lodges nearby which venture into the park on game drives and guided game viewing activities.

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park Attractions

If you plan on driving here, plan on driving a 4x4 vehicle.
The main entrance to the Park is about halfway between Maun and the town of Nata on the Francistown road.
There is an unobtrusive turn off to the main entrance.
Travelling east from Maun to the turn off is 160km (99 miles).
Travelling west from Gweta to the turn off is 45km (28 miles). There is another entrance at Kumaga (Xhumaga), which is about 48km (30 miles) south-west of the main entrance (toward the Central Kalahari Game Reserve).

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