Nxai Pan NP comprises several large pans. Nxai Pan is the easiest of the pans to drive to, and the wildlife viewing tends to be the best as well.
Unlike the salt-encrusted pans at Makgadikgadi, Nxai Pan is a waterless, fossil pan covered in grass with acacia islands. The area comes to life after the summer rains in December, when big herds of migrating zebra and wildebeest, accompanied by other grazers, arrive to feast on the new grasses.
Nxai Pan is not a conventional safari destination. The arid environment doesn’t support a huge variety of animals. Small groups of springbok are resident throughout the year, as are lion.
After the rains, large herds of herbivores arrive at the scene, many of them giving birth. Burchell’s zebra and blue wildebeest are the most numerous, but others include eland, red hartebeest and oryx. With all the new borns around, cheetah are sometimes spotted as well. Occasionally a pack of wild dog also turns up.
Nxai Pan is a very good destination for safari-goers interested in birding. More than 200 bird species have been recorded here. The different habitats – ranging from grassland, mopane woodland and acacia scrub – ensure a wide range of species.
On the open pan, kori bustards and secretary birds mingle with the visiting white storks. Many migrants are added to the mix in the wet summer months, from November to April
Nxai Pan can be visited year-round. It’s a seasonal park and wildlife migrates to the park in the wet, summer months – but the exact timing is erratic and depends on rainfall. Little wildlife is left in the dry months, from June to September.
Where to stay
AVANI Gaborone Resort & Casino
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