Travelling around Botswana | Nata

Front view of a famous bar in the Salt Pans.Makgadikgadi Salt Pan Bar - the last pub at the edge of civilization
The route south to Nata is often referred to as the ‘game drive route', as there is always the chance of seeing wildlife of some sort along the way. North of Pandamatenga, elephants are common, and buffalo, sable and giraffe can be seen, but less regularly.

By Ian Michler

The Kasane-Nata Route

The route south, from Kasane to Nata is often referred to as the 'game drive route', as there is always the chance of seeing wildlife of some sort along the way. North of Pandamatenga, elephants are common, and buffalo, sable and giraffe can be seen, but less regularly.On the Nata-to-Maun stretch, particularly in the region of the Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pan turnoffs, ostrich, impala, giraffe and steenbok are common, while elephant and zebra can be seen during the summer months.Nata. Ian MichelerIn both of these sections, keep eyes peeled for the occasional predator early or late in the day. The village of Nata is another crossroads town, lying at the junction of the roads to Maun and Kasane.Nata. Ian MichelerIt's a grubby place, with more fuel stations than food shops, and an inordinate number of trucks that loiter along the main road.Nata. Ian MichelerIf you're using it as a halfway stop you should avoid the town itself and stay at Nata Lodge, about 10 kilometres further along towards Francistown.During the summer months after the first rains, the Nata Sanctuary can be a surprisingly rewarding stop for keen birders. This community project is on the northern edge of the pans, and gets flamingo and pelican from time to time, along with another 200 other species that have been recorded here.

The Myth of the Ant Bear

Nata. Ian MichelerThe ant bear "Thakadu", is the totem of the Batlokwa clan. The myth goes that the Batlokwa were in the wilderness where they became thirsty and hungry, and discovered that the holes dug by the ant bear would catch of the day-water over night. This is why today the ant bear is protected.
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