The Makgadikgadi Pans

our destination expert

Meet Nico Heath

or

The Makgadikgadi Pans

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 favourite hotels