Makgadikgadi Pans National Park comprises nutritious grasslands, attracting thousands of animals. It is, however, an area of low rainfall and the Boteti River rarely flows to capacity – but often has everlasting pools that attracts waterbuck, bushbuck and hippos.
Journeying into this magical land and across the desolate pans, you will somehow feel its ancient glamour. If you’re planning a Botswana safari – a traveler’s guide to the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is definitely what you need.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, depends on the kind of experience you’re looking for. The pans itself is only accessible during the dry season – from March to October. When the glaring white surface spreads so far that you can see the curvature of the earth. This season includes peak winter days with sunny and warm daylight hours, but the nights are extremely cold. However, from August to November – windy weather sets in, with October being the hottest month – the wildebeest and herd of zebra migrates slowly towards the Boteti River in anticipation of the rains.
Meanwhile, the wet summer season of November to March. Road become impossible – but the Pans usually retain water into April or May. Which is great for birding and game watching.
Games such as springbok, gemsbok, wildebeest and zebras move slowly from the pans in the South East of the park, to the Boteti River on the Western side of the park. Animals accumulate in their thousands during this migration – one can also see shy antelope such as duiker and bushbuck in heavily wooded areas beside the river.
The main objective in visiting the Makgadikgadi National Park is not to view games only, but to experience true remoteness and absolute isolation. However, the best way to view the pans during this season is to fly over the pans. You will then also see the spectacular flamingo flocks.