See a whole new side of Botswana at Nxai Pan National Park, home of huge salt pans, prides of lions and some seriously impressive baobab trees.
The park is located north of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, and spans a huge 2,578 square kilometres. Nxai Pan was declared a game reserve in 1970, before becoming an official National Park in 1992. It’s named due to its shape, which resembles the ‘Nxa’ curved stick used by the native San (Bushmen).
The landscape of the Nxai Pan National Park is one of the most fascinating in Botswana, with huge salt pans dominating the area. This includes the main Nxai Pan, a fossil lakebed that was once part of a superlake stretching across much of the area.
Many magnificent animal species are drawn to the salt pans, particularly during the rainy season. This makes it the perfect spot to see large prides of lion, along with giraffe, jackal, ostrich, kudu, zebra, wildebeest and gemsbok. The animals in Nxai Pan also love the acacia islands which break up these grassy pans.
The waterhole should be your first port of call while out on safari here, as it’s where many animals congregate. But take a little more time to explore and you could even spot rarer creatures, including the charming bat-eared fox, brown hyena, hartebeest and elusive cheetah.
Another must-visit if you’re on safari in this part of Botswana are the famous Baines Baobabs, so-called because they were immortalised on canvas in 1862 by the English painter and explorer Thomas Baines. These gnarled, ancient trees sit overlooking the Kudiakan Pan, standing out proudly from the landscapes. It’s one of the most iconic sights in Botswana.
Plan your trip to Nxai Pan National Park today.