Nxai Pan National Park lies just north of the Maun-Nata main road and adjoins the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park on its northern border. The pan itself is a fossil lakebed about 40 square kms in size.
The landscape is dotted with clusters of umbrella Acacia trees and Mopane woodland in the north. During the rains from November to April, the pans become covered in grass. Nxai Pan, the name of which is claimed by some to be that of a hooked metal rod used to remove springhares from their holes, and by others to simply mean a pan.
Roving Wildlife in Nxai Pan National Park
The pan is open to visitors throughout the year, although road conditions can become difficult during times of heavy rain.
Perhaps the focal point of Nxai Pan is the waterhole, in the midst of a large grassy plain which is dotted with a few clumps of short umbrella Thorn trees. Here, and within the Mopane woodland, Lion, Giraffe, Kudu, Springbok, Impala, Ostrich, together with a good population of Jackal, Bat-eared Fox and numerous smaller creatures, are permanent residents.
Whilst many other parks and reserves are not considered to be at their best during the rains, Nxai Pan becomes a veritable Garden of Eden
. Once the rains start, game viewing can be good and the birdlife is excellent.
The noisy black Korhaan, who rises with a squeak when flushed out by a vehicle, is a hallmark of Nxai Pan and small raptors such as Kestrel and Goshawks abound. Keep your binoculars handy
as there are many bird species to spot at Nxai Pan National Park.
Best Time to Visit Nxai Pan National Park
The rainy season which is from November to April is the hot wet summer season and the time when Nxai Pan is at its best
. Game is abundant from December to April but if the rains have been heavy the roads may be difficult to negotiate. The more accessible times to be in Nxai Pan are in the dry season which is from May to September.
Closest Safari Lodges and Camps
In the past there were no lodges in the Nxai Pan National Park as per Botswana Parks policy but today two concessions have been granted to safari companies and new lodges are due to open shortly. Speak to our friendly Destination Specialists for options.