The Nxai Pan National Park sits north of the Maun-Nata main road and borders the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park in Northern Botswana. The Nxai Pan is defined by sporadic forests of Acacia trees and mopane woodlands and after the wet season, the salt pan turns into a grassy wonderland. Unlike other national parks, the rainy season at here is probably one of the best times to visit the park, as the pan’s waterhole attracts herds of wildlife.
Entry to the National Park should be by an all-wheel-drive vehicle only. Inside the park, there are two small public campsites with modern facilities, as well as an informal camping ground at Baines Baobabs. However, this camping ground does not have any facilities.
The nearest airport to is Maun Airport, which is approximately 160 kilometres from the National Park. Additionally, visitors can fly into Kasane Airport. Self-drive tours are encouraged when exploring the area.
This national park is for everyone, but especially solo travellers and couples. For the adventurous traveller, there are various activities that offer incredible insight into the fauna and flora of the area.
Never get out of a vehicle, except in designated areas. Most parks and game reserves recommend all visitors to stay in the vehicle, even in designated areas. Always keep an eye out for dangerous wildlife.
Most safaris have an early start, so it's important to wear layered outfits. Visitors should bring along a light jacket or fleece, and ensure that they wear muted colours such as shades of green, brown, and khaki.
Natural colours ensure help visitors blend in with the surroundings and do not disturb the wildlife in the area.
Botswana is a malaria-risk area and all parks and reserves propose anti-malaria medication as a preventative precaution. Visitors should consult their doctors about the treatment at least one week before the trip.
Furthermore, visitors may come across less common illnesses such as dengue, tick-bite fever, and sleeping sickness. However, all camps and lodges stock insect repellants and mosquito nets to avoid such insect-borne illnesses.
Nxai Pan National Park is a mecca for seasonal game-viewing, especially during the wet season. November through April, visitors can expect to spot large herds of zebra, springbok, gemsbok, and wildebeest—all of which attract predators to the area. Predator sightings include lions, cheetahs, and brown as well as spotted hyenas. Nxai Pan National Park is probably one of the only Parks in Botswana that flexes its muscles during the wet season and offers an extraordinary safari experience.
Huge herds flock to Nxai's grassy pans and water hole, where staggering numbers of antelope and giraffes can also be seen. Nxai Pan is a great destination for bird watching any time of year. The wet season, from November to April, is when the Park is at its finest for bird watchers and wildlife spotting.
The wet season, from November to April, is when the Park is at its finest for bird watchers and wildlife spotting. However, the roads may be difficult to navigate. The more accessible times are in the dry season which is from May to September.
Outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife photographers can expect an unrivalled experience when visiting Nxai Pan National Park during the wet season. The National Park is on top form between November and March and offers truly magnificent wildlife sightings. Furthermore, the area is a mecca for bird watchers, with over 200 species of birds in the area. There are guided safari tours, as well as self-driving tours available.
There are two camping sites in the Nxai Pan National Park. However, visitors will find more options in the surrounding area.