Nxai Pan National Park is set on the northern fringe of the Makgadikgadi basin and includes Nxai Pan, an ancient lake bed that was once part of the vast Lake Makgadikgadi. At roughly 2,580 km² (996 m²), this incredible destination offers stark contrasts between its dry and wet seasons. Unlike the salt-encrusted pans at Makgadikgadi, Nxai Pan is a waterless, fossil pan covered in grass with acacia islands. The area 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.
After good rains in the area, Nxai Pan is covered in lush green grass. This attracts huge concentrations of Burchell’s zebra, blue wildebeest and springbok, while healthy numbers of other grazers include gemsbok, eland and red hartebeest. Large giraffe herds move across the pans between the acacia islands, which they prune into characteristic hourglass shapes. In the rainy season, it is home to the seasonal zebra migration, where vast herds (accompanied by a slew of predators) can be seen on open grasslands, amidst the mottled shade of acacia trees.
During the dry season, visitors to the Nxai Pan National Park will be treated to sightings of wildebeest, springbok, impala, gemsbok, hartebeest, giraffe, lion, cheetah, wild dog, brown hyena, bat-eared fox, and occasionally elephant and buffalo.