Nxai Pan

The Nxai Pan is the easiest of the pans to drive to, and the wildlife viewing tends to be the best as well. Unlike the salt-encrusted pans at Makgadikgadi, Nxai Pan is a waterless, fossil pan covered in grass with acacia islands. The area is desolate in the dry winter months. However, it comes to life after the summer rains in December, when big herds of migrating zebra and wildebeest, accompanied by other grazers, arrive to feast on the new grasses. At the right time, after good rains, this is the place to see one of southern Africa’s most amazing wildlife spectacles: the migration of thousands of zebra and wildebeest. Smaller herds of giraffe, impala, springbok, oryx and red hartebeest can also be seen. This is not a Big Five destination, but some elephants are around and lions are always on the prowl. Nxai Pan is the more accessible of the pans in the area. The scenery is quite different though. Nxai pan is older and this has allowed vegetation to take root – it is permanently covered in grass, and pockets of acacia trees also grow inside the pan. After the rains, the pans get covered in spring flowers. Between the pans the vegetation consists of scruffy looking acacia bush and mopane woodland, while some amazing baobab trees tower on the fringes.

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