The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, located between Maun and Nata along the Francistown Road in north-central Botswana, is a vast expanse that undergoes dramatic seasonal changes.
The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, located between Maun and Nata along the Francistown Road in north-central Botswana, is a vast expanse that undergoes dramatic seasonal changes. From November through March or April, the rainy season transforms the area, causing flooding that makes it mostly inaccessible by vehicle. This period draws spectacular flocks of flamingos, witnessing the greatest migration of Zebra and Wildebeest outside the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem. As the dry season sets in, the pans become arid and windswept, especially from August through October. Sometimes, the anticipated rains don’t arrive, leaving the pans dry throughout the year.
While salt pans dominate the landscape, there are rolling grassland plains and riverine vegetation along the Boteti River. This area becomes a hub for wildlife during the dry season due to the presence of permanent water sources. Abundant shorebirds, particularly during the palearctic winter, thrive here. The birdlife includes species typical of arid grasslands like Common Ostrich, Wattle Crane, Black Bustard, Burchell’s Sandgrouse, Rufous-naped Lark, Cape Clapper Lark, Eastern Clapper Lark, Sabota Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, Gray-backed Sparrow-Lark, Desert Cisticola, and Southern Anteater-Chat. Pockets of permanent water attract various wetland birds such as Red-billed Duck, Hottentot Teal, and African Spoonbill. Additionally, diverse mammals like Meerkat, Bushbuck, Springbok, Steenbok, and some predators call this area home.
The Sustainable Birding Company is a subsidiary of Far and Wild Travel, a tailor-made tour company based in Cumbria, UK. Far and Wild Travel offer sustainable, luxury, tailor-made tour itineraries throughout Africa and around the world.