Nxai Pan, Botswana

Nxai Pan was proclaimed as a conservation area in the 1970s. It comprised only of 1 676km2. In 1992 it was declared a national park and enlarged to include Baine’s Baobabs. Today it comprises an area of 2 578km2.

Nxai Pan National Park consists mainly of a series of fossil pans, all of which are covered in short, nutritious grasses. On the pans are islands of Acacia trees that form shady spots in which the animals rest during the day. This makes for beautiful scenery and is unique to Nxai Pan.

Baines Baobabs

The famous Baobabs are situated 31 km from the old official entry gate and 15 km from the new gate. They were painted by early explorer missionary Thomas Baines in the late 1800s. They are really a group of gigantic trees that stand on the edge of a huge salt pan, in the same shape and form of the original painting from Thomas Baines.

Best Time to Visit

December to April: In contrast to its neighbors in the north, Nxai Pan is a destination for migrating Zebras from both the northern parks and Makgadikgadi National Park to the south. These migrations are in peak here during the rainy months of December to March. At the peak, there are estimated tens of thousands of Zebras in Nxai Pan during this time.

Expected Wildlife

Outside seasonal rains, the only source of water is a one-man made waterhole with water pumped from underground. Springbok and Impala congregate around this waterhole and occasionally attract Lion, Cheetah and sometimes even Leopard. Bull Elephants and Giraffe track between Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi and they too are common residents at the waterhole.

Ostrich, Kori bustard and Secretary birds are quite common here too. It is a common site to sit at the water hole in the evening and enjoy the flapping of Sandgrouse drinking and taking water home to their babies.

Our Safaris in Nxai Pan

We currently don’t have any scheduled departures to Nxai Pan. It is a place we suggest and include into the program for tailor-made trips only. It also works well as an extension to the scheduled safaris. For Guests coming to Botswana in the wetter months of December to March, it is one of the best places to visit.