The great grass plains of Makgadikgadi and the associated pan complexes of Sowa, Makgadikgadi Pan Ntwetwe and Nxai are scenically stunning and a first time traveller to Africa will be struck by the enormity of sky and horizon.
The large pans of Makgadikgadi are the most visible remnants of a lake that has been formed more than five million years ago. From May through to November the region is home to herds of zebra, springbok and wildebeest. As the rains fall, so these grazing herds, accompanied by their predatory followers in the shape of lion, cheetah and hyeana, move north, across the Maun to Francistown road, into the extended Nxai Pan National Park.
Nxai Pan itself is an extensive grass plain, part, once again, of the old lake bed, which is rather more generously covered with acacia trees. At its best, Nxai Pan can offer the most spectacular game viewing. In addition to the more common species such as zebra, springbok, wildebeest and their predators, there can be exhilarating sights of large herds of giraffe, gemsbok and eland.
Safaris are far from the norm here; guides range from PhD scientists to Kalahari San bushmen who unveil the paleontological past whilst tracking down unexpectedly diverse desert game on low impact quad bikes. Another highlight is spending time with the many characters of a Meerkat family.