Nxai Pan National Park
Travel to Nxai Pan National Park – Seasonal Grasslands of the Kalahari
One of Botswana’s lesser-visited protected areas, Nxai Pan National Park lies just north of the Maun to Nata road and adjoins the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. The main feature of the park is the pan itself – an ancient lakebed that provides rich grasslands for wildlife during the November to April hot summer rains. During this period large concentrations of antelope, such as springbok and oryx are prey to predators such as lion and leopard. Large numbers of elephant and zebra also migrate to the pan and surrounding area at this time and are easy to spot on safari.
‘Nxai’ is often claimed to be the San Bushman word for a type of hooked springhare trap.
Unlike other parks, game viewing is particularly good during the rainy season as multitudes of zebra and springbok drop their young, tracked by predators. Giraffe, kudu, wildebeest, eland, red hartebeest, cheetah, spotted hyena, buffalo, impala, ostrich, jackal and bat-eared fox are permanent residents here. In the north, the landscape is adorned with majestic umbrella acacia trees and mopane woodland.
In 1861, the famous artist Thomas Baines arrived in the area and painted an unusual group of Baobab trees. A visit to these remarkable trees, known as ‘Baines Baobabs’, is highly recommended. Another local point of interest is the ‘old trek route’, a trail pioneered in the 1950’s and used until 1963 as a short cut through Ngamiland to Kazungula. 4WD transport is essential due to sandy track conditions.
Fully equipped expedition-style 4WD vehicles are essential to get around.
- Large concentrations of seasonal and permanent wildlife
- Remarkable baobab trees, ‘Baines Baobabs’
- Wide variety of raptors (birds of prey)