The Nxai Pan was once and ancient lakebed. Over the eons the water receded and it is now a grass pan dotted with small islands of trees. Depending on the time of year game viewing can be quite prolific. At night, with the enormous sky overhead, you’ll understand why Bushman say that the stars are so close that you can hear them whisper. And witnessing the rising of the full moon over the pan can be an other worldly experience.
Nxai is a much smaller depression than Makgadikgadi. Down in the pan small clumps of trees dominate a sea of grass cropped short by the game. There are nearly always giraffe, springbok, bat-eared foxes and hartebeest in the area. In the rainy season migratory herds of gemsbok, wildebeest, buffalo, eland, zebra and elephant swell the numbers and as many as 5, 000 head of game have been seen in the pan at one time. Near Nxai is another pan, Kgamakgama, where there are baobab trees and palms.
Park Size: 4,000 sq. miles – 6,500 sq kilometers
Ecosystems: Salt pans, mopane forest, savannah woodlands, open grassland
Wildlife: Gemsbok, wildebeest, buffalo, eland, zebra, elephant, lion, cheetah, hartebeest, kudu, hyena, ostrich
When to go: March through September
Highlights: Game drives, walking, moon rise