Makgadikgadi Pans

Overview

The Makgadikgadi Pans is a colossal network of saltpans in the epic Kalahari Desert. A few millennia back, Lake Makgadikgadi completely dried up leaving behind a shimmering white, horizonless landscape nearly the size of Switzerland. Our Africa specialists always recommend visiting the Makgadikgadi Pans as part of a tailor-made trip to the Kalahari. We’ll have you staying in the top luxury lodge or tented camp in the region, with all the additional luxury amenities.

Bolivia may lay claim to the largest single saltpan in the world, but unlike Salar da Uyuni, Makgadikgadi is a series of many connected saltpans – making it far larger. Occupying an area of around 10,000 sq. km in the heart of Kalahari savannah, the Makgadikgadi Pans feels like the edge of the known world, an extraordinary wilderness. It’s hardly changed since 19th century explorer Dr. David Livingstone traversed it, or indeed the 65 million years preceding that. It remains one of the great natural habitats of Africa.

The memorable sunsets see a pink and purple sky reflected by the cracked white saltpans. While on the outskirts large clusters of baobab trees congregate, casting a shadow over seemingly hundreds of kilometres of formless terrain. Flanked by vital water sources Makgadikgadi is a haven for migratory birds, particularly flamingos that gather in tens of thousands.

Our specialist luxury wildlife tours will get you up close to some of Botswana’s famous inhabitants including zebra, wildebeest and their pursuing lions and the remarkably sociable Makgadikgadi meerkat – a surprising highlight for many of our clients!

Contact our Africa specialists to find out more about a tailor-made tour of the Makgadikgadi pans.

Makgadikgadi Pans Itineraries

Makgadikgadi Pans Properties

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Camp Kalahari

Botswana, Makgadikgadi Pans

Once upon a time, the legendary hunter and crocodile catcher, Jack Bousfield set off on one of his regular walkabouts through the Botswana bush. Armed with a tattered sketch-map of an ear…

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Jack’s Camp

Botswana, Makgadikgadi Pans

While on a trapping expedition in the Makgadikgadi Pans during the 60's, Jack Bousfield stumbled upon a site that so captured his imagination, he set up camp under an acacia with the unshake…

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Nxai Pan Camp

Botswana, Makgadikgadi Pans

This luxury safari camp lies on the western edge of Nxai Pan, a grass-covered fossil lakebed, in Botswana. Despite the arid environment, it is home to a surprising array of animals, birds an…

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San Camp

Botswana, Makgadikgadi Pans

San Camp is situated on the edge of the vast and mysterious Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the remnant of an extinct super lake that once covered most of Botswana. Turn 360° and nothing crosses th…

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