Nxai Pan National Park Tours and Safaris

A sister to the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park of safari in Botswana, and positioned nearby, is the 2,578 square kilometre Nxai Pan National Park. An unremarkable turnoff, 136 kilometres out from Maun on the Maun-Nata road, or 65 kilometres from Gweta turnoff if roaming from the east, leads for an added 37 kilometers above a deep sandy track to the Nxai Pan entrance gate. The sandiness of this track should not be underrated and only 4×4 vehicles should try the journey, appealing 4-wheel drive prior to negotiating the deep sand – taking a spade is also sensible. There are no supplies of fuel obtainable in the park – the nearby being in the village of Gweta.

In the park there are two small open camping grounds with ablution services; one in the south on the border of the plain, less than 2 kilometres from the doorway gate, and the additional one in the north, 8 kilometres from the gate, inside the mopane woodland. Campers must note that firewood can regularly be a crisis in this park and it is suggested that small gas cookers must be used. Water standpipes are accessible at both sites, safaris in Botswana.

On top of this, comfortable camping is acceptable at Baines Baobabs, even if no facilities are obtainable and the close water supply is at the Game Scout Camp located near the entrance gate.

First state land, an area of 1676 square kilometres was confirmed a game reserve in 1970 and after that in 1992 the boundaries were unlimited to include Baines Baobabs to give the present total area of 2578 square kilometres and National Park status was approved

possibly the focal point of Nxai Pan is the water hole, positioned only two kilometres from the opening gate, in the center of a large grassy plain which is scattered with a few clumps of short umbrella thorn trees. Here, and inside the mopane woodland, lion, giraffe, kudu, impala, ostrich, fascinating birdlife and large numbers of springbok, together with a good population of jackal, bat-eared fox and abundant smaller creatures, are everlasting residents. Once the rains have begun, gemsbok, elephant and zebra migrate to the area. At that point, zebra are there in thousands and drop their young at Nxai Pan, rivalling the display of the large number of young springbok, to additionally improve the game-viewing chances. At the same time as many other parks and reserves are not well thought-out to be at their greatest during the rains, Nxai Pan becomes a true Garden of Eden.

Nxai Pan, the name of which is thought by some to be that of a captivated metal rod used to take away springhares from their holes, and by others to merely mean a pan, is free to visitors throughout the year, even if the road conditions can turn out to be hard during times of serious rain.

Inside the Botswana tour park there are spots of importance worthy of mention. One is the “old trek route”, a trail pioneered in the 1950s and used until 1963, as a short cut through Ngamiland to Kazungula passed the Pandamatenga, along which cattle were driven prior to the advent of the recent veterinary control fences.
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A several of boreholes, used to give water for the cattle and men on their lengthy trek, were capped when this trail had to be forsaken, but are said to be still capable of supplying abundant water supplies if re-equipped. One more point of interest, which pre-dates that of the trek route, is referred to as “bushman pits”. Here, close to the edge of a little pan area, small pits were excavated by the Bushmen, in which they may well hide even as hunting wild animals that came to drink, giving earlier range for the use of their bows and arrows. At the moment there are the leftovers in the area of an old cattle post, linked with the trek route, but the bushman pits can still be viewed.