Nxai Pan National Park is positioned to the north east of Botswana comprising of Nxai Pan which is one of the salt flats of Makgadikgadi Pan. The Park is 400 km from the city of Gaborone and 170km from Nat and 140km from Maun – Botswana’s 5th largest town. The Nxai Pan is to the north of Maun – Nata road and the pan itself is a notable fossil lake bed 40km2 in size. The Nxai Pan National Park stretch to 2,578 km2 with its name meaning a hooked metal rod that is used to extract springhares from their holes though others claim that is means a pan.
It can be noted that Nxai Pan was under water or at least a section of it with the ancient great Makgadikadi Lake known to have occupied the area with River Zambezi flowing through creating a ridge which would back up the river waters to create an expanse lake about 70,000 – 85,000km2. Nxai Pan National Park in Botswana was first declared a game reserve in 1970 with the gazettion of 1,676km2 and was later expanded to 2,578 km2 and declared a National Park. Interestingly, the Nxai Pan along with the Makgadikgadi Pan stand as the largest salt pans on a world scale and offer remarkable Botswana wildlife safari experience, sightseeing and birding encounter.
The Nxai Pan features a water hole that is located at 2km from the entry gate surrounded by expanse grassy plain marked with umbrella thorn trees. In this area along with the Mopane woodland, the range of wild game including the Giraffe, Lion, the Impala, Kudu, Ostrich, Springbok, Jackals along with bat-eared fox reside permanently. At the onset of the rainy season, the counts of elephants, Zebras and gemsbok migrate to this region. The zebras often leave their young ones on the salt pan presenting a remarkable fusion with the Springbok generating good wildlife views.
Nxai Pan National Park feature great points of interest among which include;
The Old trek route which was created in 1950s and put to use up to 1963 as a direct connection to Kazungula via Ngamiland and Pandamatenga on which the cattle were driven before the introduction of contemporary fences for veterinary control.
The Baines Boababs Area to the south of the park with the views of Kudiakam Pans with baobab trees that are 1000 years old and were celebrated in 1862 by Thomas Baines the Victorian painter and Explorer
Nxai National Park feature rainy season from the month of November to April and is a wet summer period when the park is at its best. Wild game is in plenty from December to April but the roads tend to be challenging. In the dry months of May to September, the Nxai Park is more accessible.
Botswana Safari attractions in Nxai Pan National Park
Wildlife as a Botswana Safari attraction in Nxai Pan National Park
The park features counts of wild game that surround the water hole including Giraffe, Lion, the Impala, Kudu, Ostrich, Springbok, Jackals along with bat-eared fox. The thousands of Springbok and Zebras also migrate to the Area at the beginning of the rain season which combines to make the park worth of visiting.
Salt Pan as a Botswana Safari attraction in Nxai Pan National Park
The Nxai Pan along with the Makgadikgadi Pan stand as the largest salt pans on a world scale becoming one of the natural wonders worth exploration. The 40km2 Pan is noted to be a fossil of an ancient lake bed.
Birds as a Botswana Safari attraction in Nxai Pan National Park
The Nxai National Park is a home to counts of bird species. During the rainy season, the birdlife is abundant including the famous Black Korhaan which is very noisy, raptors like Goshawks and Kestrel among other species.
Botswana Safari activities in Nxai Pan National Park
Game drives as a Botswana Safari Activity in Nxai Pan National Park
The game drive conducted both in the morning and in the afternoon allows any traveller on safari in Botswana to explore the myriad of wildlife including the lions, Zebras, Springbok, Giraffe, the Impala, Kudu, Ostrich, Jackals along with bat-eared fox.
Sightseeing as a Botswana Safari Activity in Nxai Pan National Park
The 1000 year old Boabab trees to the south of the park along with the salt Pans are magical to explore. The great route is also interest and worth exploring
Birding as a Botswana Safari Activity in Nxai Pan National Park
Birding is better one during the rainy season; the birdlife is abundant including the famous Black Korhaan which is very noisy, raptors like Goshawks and Kestrel among other species.
Accommodation in Nxai Pan National Park
For long, there has been no any lodge in Nxai Pan National Park as regards the policy of Botswana Parks but two concessions have already been given out to the tour operators for construction of new lodges.
Three (3) Campsites offer accommodation with in the park namely; the North Camp, Bainesa and South Camp with basic facilities. More established lodges exist in Makgadikgadi Pan.