The network of salt pans found in Botswana’s eastern regions are a striking physical feature and some of the largest of their kind in the world. The pans, huge, flat expanses of hot, sun-blasted terrain and fringed by vegetated islands and peninsulas, were once part of a great super lake that covered much of northern Botswana. This desolate landscape offers nothing but sand and sky yet its eerily silent fossil beaches and stunted red baobab trees leave an impression on every visitor. This area offers a unique wilderness experience full of adventure. Do not expect huge herds of animals but rather expect the unexpected, everything is interesting here especially when interpreted by the local Bushmen guides of the area. The night skies are breathtaking during the winter months with stars from horizon-to-horizon. Following the summer rains, the area is host to a spectacular migration of zebra and wildebeest.
Although Nxai Pan was also once part of the great super lake, it is quite different in character to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. It consists of a series of grass covered fossil pans dotted with islands of umbrella acacia, supporting a good variety and density of game and birdlife. In the drier months, the desert landscape is dry and harsh. Game viewing at the waterhole is excellent where you can see a range of both predators and grazers alike. After the summer rains from December to April, the landscape changes: colours are bright and vivid as the dust is washed away and hundreds of wild flowers begin to appear and the bush turns a brilliant green. The pans are once again filled with large grazing herds and, as always, the predators are nearby and thrive in this time of plenty. An additional attraction in the area are Baines Baobabs, a cluster of Baobabs on the shores of Kudiakam Pan, a photographer’s paradise offering a visually stunning sight with the vast pans contrasting against the giant ancient trees.