The Makgadikgadi and the Nxai Pans are dry Savannah river beds in the North-East of Botswana. These pans are the largest salt flats in the world. The pans were once the enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, it was bigger than the entire Switzerland, the Lake dried up thousands of years ago. The pans are dry-salt deserts and nothing grows here except a paper-thin layer of blue algae. The pans are surrounded by marshland and grassland and a little further savannah. The gorgeous Baobab trees can be found in the area and are local landmarks. One Boabab tree is the unofficial post of 19th-century explorer James Chapman. The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park gleams with wildlife. In the dry season, Wildebeest & Zebras call the pans and the surroundings home. The most common wildlife here is the Antelope, lions, cheetahs, and Hyena also roams here.
The surrounding game reserves offer a host of activities from Bird watching and game viewing. Game viewing is best done in the wet season when animals play and drink at the nearby watering holes. The pink flamingos that visit here are not to be missed. Why not take a historical tour and learn about the connection between the land and the Busman who inhabited these areas, the tours are guided! Quad Biking on the salt pans is a tourist favourite.
The famous top Gear motor television show filmed a series of episodes on these salt pans. Salt pans are also used for speed tests on supersonic cars that can go up to 1000km per hour.
Many lodges are situated near the pans and tourists are encouraged to visit the local villages, accompanies by a tour guide. Helicopter flights are another way to experience the beauty of the pans.
Traveling to Botswana you will require a valid passport but a visa is not necessary. The local currency is Pula, 1Pula = $0.91 or R1.37.
Accommodation around the pans is pricey as the reserves are dependent on tourism, but you can experience the luxury of a private reserve and the experience is worth the cost.
The local cuisine surrounding the pans caters to worldly tastes from curries to steak and fine dining, there is something for everyone.