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Situated to the northern edge of the Makgadikgadi, Nxai Pan National Park is a stunning area with great vistas of vast open plains, islands of acacia, all fringed by Kalahari scrub-land, and overseen by ancient, stately baobabs at the periphery; many describe it as the Africa they always imagined.

One of Botswana’s smallest National Parks, Nxai Pan is an amazing place to view exceptional game, and is the only place in Botswana where one can view impala side by side with springbok. It is a draw to many animals in the rainy season, seeking fresh grazing, and water.

The mighty zebra migration from the Linyanti, Chobe and Okavango pulls through here during the rainy season on its way south to the Makgadikgadi, for the fresh grazing towards the edge of the salt pans. The Best time to visit is February to April.

With such an array of plains game, including wildebeest, gemsbok, giraffe and elephants, there is also the draw of the predators. Nxai Pan stands alongside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve as being one of the best places in Botswana to see cheetah. Drawn by the huge herds of springbok, these athletic predators ensure only the fittest and strongest of the springbok and impala survive in this corner of the Kalahari. But just on their heels are the ever-present lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and jackals.

In recent years, there have been a few sightings of wild dog and rhino in the area, however, one is more likely to have the pleasure of seeing the quirky bat-eared fox, persistent honey badger, inquisitive brown hyena, and perched on many trees in the area, the common pale-chanting goshawk. Nxai Pan National Park is a great birder’s retreat, offering many desert species often seen in very few other places. From seasonally migratory eagles through to several species of resident kestrel, it is a great place to tick off many new birds.