Nxai Pan is an ancient fossilized lakebed in the Kalahari Desert comprising 40 square kilometers and it is the centerpiece of Nxai Pan National Park.
Nxai Pan is a large salt pan topographic depression which is part of the larger Makgadikgadi Pans in northeastern Botswana. This landform is a major part of the Nxai Pan National Park, and is a seasonal home to large herds of zebra. The Nxai Pan was added to the National Park System to augment the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, thus providing an enlarged contiguous area of natural protection.
Much of the habitat is open grassland with clusters of umbrella acacia trees and permanent herds of springbok, forming ideal cheetah habitat and indeed this is one of the best locations in Botswana for spotting cheetah.
Giraffe often congregate in large numbers with journeys of more than 30 individuals common and this is a dramatic place to witness bull elephants. Very occasionally white rhino are seen, a real rarity in Botswana.
Nxai Pan can be included as part of any itinerary. To learn more about our itineraries, click on one of the sample itinerary links below:
Of course, we also create custom Botswana itineraries so you can create your own trip that best meets your needs.
Best Times to Go
May to November is ordinarily the long dry season although in a very wet year June could still provide rich grazing drawing larger herds of grazing animals. Hardy desert adapted animals somehow make a go of it throughout the year. The springbok can survive the harsh conditions are the key food source and are enough to support cheetah and lion year round. As the dry season progresses water in a vast area is reduced to a couple of small waterholes in Nxai Pan and the stage is set for some of the most dramatic action on the continent.
Below are some of the accommodations we recommend for Nxai Pan. Click a link below for more information.