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Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

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Space is one of the major attractions of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, with wide-open salt pans which make the sky above seem endless. These salt pans are the largest in the world and can be seen from space. The three largest pans are Sowa, Nwetwe and Nxai Pans. During the dry season, few animals can survive the harsh conditions. However, with the summer rains, the landscape comes to life and becomes the site of the largest Zebra migration in Africa.

During the dry season, quad biking is a popular activity on the dry salt pans. It is said that when in the centre of the pan, devoid of life, visitors reach a point where they can naturally hear what true silence means. The pans stretch so far and are barren that visitors can see the curvature of the Earth.

Popular attractions include visiting Kubu Island with its famous baobab trees, as well as Baines Baobabs, which were noted by explorers like David Livingstone. Stargazing is another extremely popular activity in the region, as the lack of human habitation means a vast array of stars are visible in the night sky.

When the salt pans fill during the wet season, they offer excellent bird watching safaris as many ducks, geese and great white pelicans call the shallow pans home. The pans are also home to one of only two breeding populations of greater flamingos in southern Africa at Soa pan.

Among the many things to do in the Makgadikgadi Nationals Park are safari rides, game drives, birdwatching, a tour of Gweta, as well as see wildlife like eland, lions, zebras, cheetah, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest bushbuck, giraffe, steenbok, elephants and many more.

Access: How to get to Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

The Makgadikgadi Pans are about 3 hours drive from Maun, depending on which lodge visitors stay at. During the rains from November to March, many parts of the pans can become inaccessible.


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