DestinationsSouthern AfricaBotswanaKalahari Salt Pans
Explore the Kalahari Salt Pans

You would be excused for thinking you had landed on the Moon when you first arrive at the Kalahari Salt Pans. Made up of the Makgadikgadi Pan, the Nxai Pan and the Sua Pan, the Kalahari Salt Pans are all that remain of an ancient great Central Botswana lake.

The Kalahari Salt Pan region offers a host of fascinating activities, expanding considerably on the conventional safari experience. The white lunar expanse of the Salt Pans is brought to life by the annual rains which bring forth nourishing grasses to support the last surviving migration of Zebra and Wildebeest in southern Africa. This massive influx of plains game is accompanied by an entourage of predators, and, in good years, spectacular breeding colonies of flamingos crowd the shallow waters of Sua Pan.

During the dry months the plains are barren. Stark, untouched and seemingly devoid of any life the endless Kalahari Salt Pans rival any of nature’s most awe-inspiring environmental displays. Days are spent exploring the desolation on quad bikes, reveling in the sheer isolation of the area, and discovering Stone Age tools and the ancient fossils of giant hippo and zebra; while surreal sunsets usher in crystal clear night skies filled with more millions of stars than you will see from any other place on earth.

We have handpicked a small selection of superb lodges in the Kalahari Salt Pans and are firm believers that a two or three night’s stay can add so much to any Botswana itinerary. The contrasts to the Okavango Delta are so complete that one feels as though you were in another world, not merely a few hours away. You can Enquire with our Safari Experts about planning your tailor-made safari to this magical region.

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The Makgadkgadi Pans are probably the biggest and most well-known of the Kalahari Salt Pans. After the rains the Makgadkgadi Pans National Park is transformed into a grasslands area attracting thousands of animals. The park contains four main vegetation types: salt pans, scrubland, pure grassland and riverine woodland. The interior of the reserve comprises scrub and grassland with a few ‘islands’ of Real Fan Palms and Camel thorn acacia. During the dry season, animals concentrate around the Boteti River, but between February and April, huge herds of Zebra and Wildebeest migrate north to Nxai Pan and beyond, only returning to Boteti when the rains diminish around early May.

Journeying into this magical land and across the desolate pans, you somehow feel its ancient mystique. The subtle hues at sunset transform Makgadikgadi into a surreal wonderland, which is unlike anywhere else. During the day the dusty pans, with whirlwinds skirting across a seemingly endless desert, offer the best way to come face to face with true isolation.

For those looking to get well off the beaten tourist track, to experience utter escapism, to undertake adventure and to witness possibly the clearest star studded skies at night- look no further than the Kalahari Salt Pans.

Enquire with one our Safari & Travel Experts who will advise you on how best to incorporate a truly memorable stay in the Kalahari Salt Pans into your Botswana safari itinerary.

Top Destinations

Chobe

Okavango Delta

Savute Game Reserve

Moremi Game Reserve

Fast Facts

The term Kalahari is a corruption of the word ‘Kgalagadi’, the name of a black tribe who inhabit Botswana. In the Setswana language the word means ‘always dry’, although the meaning of the word has been interpreted in a variety of other ways, such as ‘wilderness’ and ‘salt pans’.

Insider Information
  • Quad biking over the Salt Pans is a must.
  • This area is a bird watchers paradise.
  • The large pans are the most visible remnants of a lake that was formed over 5 million years ago.
  • Our camps here offer a truly romantic experience – perfect for honeymooners.

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When To Travel
  • The Salt Pans Region can get extremely hot during the summer months (December- February) relieved by infrequent showers.
  • In winter, from June to September, the days are warm but the nights can be bitterly cold.
  • Arguably the best time to visit the pans is during the winter period.

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We take pride in treating you as if you were friends or family. We want to ensure that your time in Africa exceeds your expectations, and that you’ll be back a lot sooner than you expected.

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