Tailor-made Kalahari Travel Experiences

Makgadikgadi Pans

The Kalahari takes up almost the entirety of Botswana and yet is at the same time the most thinly settled area. The enormous dry savannah region displays an amazing variety of vegetation zones and offers a home to countless different animals and plants. The adaptations these animals display to the extreme conditions is simply fascinating. The Kalahari’s rhythm of life is set by the wanderings of the animals. Because of the very limited rainfall, grazing animals wander vast distances in search of food, closely being followed by their predators. As the seasons change, one can witness the cycle repeating itself once again. Next to the Okavango Delta, which transforms the Kalahari into a watery paradise when the Okavango River floods, and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are one of the region’s highlights. Around 500,000 years ago, this area was an enormous lake, the remains of which today form the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Some 60,000 square kilometres in size, the lake did not drain into the sea and therefore had a high concentration of salt. Climate changes and movements in the earth’s crust about 10,000 years ago caused the lake to dry up and form the saltpans we can see today. Stretching out over some 12,000 square kilometres, the Makgadikgadi Pans are the largest saltpans on the planet – and about three times larger than the Etosha Pans in Namibia. The largest individual pans are the Ntwetwe Pan, under the care of Wilderness Safaris, and the Sowa Pan. The Sowa Pan was once fed by the waters of the Boteti River, which was blocked by the Mopipi Dam to provide water for the Orapa diamond mine. Nowadays, the pan is almost completely dry. The exception to these harsh climatic conditions is the rainy season. From around November to April, the Makgadikgadi area receives plentiful water and becomes the site for an impressive show. The salt pans are then transformed into great sheets of water, which attract a spectacular array of water birds such as Flamingos, Wattled Cranes and Pelicans. Furthermore, the arriving water triggers dramatic Zebra migrations. The herds move in from the Boteti River in search of rich grazing grounds. In the dry season, or wintertime, many animals again leave for the Boteti River. Others however have adapted to the desert-like conditions and are resident year-round. Brown Hyenas, Meercats, and Aardvarks are just some of the animals to be found here. Makgadikgadi is a destination for passionate wildlife lovers keen to see the amazing survival strategies of the desert wildlife and to witness the explosive flowering of the Kalahari Desert after the great rainfalls.
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good to know

Best season

November until April


Light aircraft


Huge dry savannah with different types of vegetation and numerous animal and plant species


Jeep or walking safaris, stargazing


Magic of solitude, silence, endless space and starry nights

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Intosol promise

  • Consulting by Kalahari Region experts
  • We know hotels personally and we advise you competently
  • Appropriate offices/ hotel products in Kalahari Region – "we are close"
  • Constant control of our service by own local employees
  • High quality service before, during and after your journey
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* price per person/week including flight

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