All that remains of a super lake once the size of Switzerland, the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are a fascinating link to the past. Beautifully remote, Makgadikgadi is rich in archaeological sites. Ancient animal fossils of giant hippo and zebra and stone-age tools used thousands of years ago litter the glaring white salt pans. A seemingly inhospitable environment, the huge flat pans are strangely alluring with sweeping vistas and an uncompromising sense of escape.
In-spite of its reputation as an arid landscape, during the wet season (Jan - April) the Makgadikgadi becomes a wildlife haven as the landscape transforms. Clouds of flamingo, numbering up to 30,000, and other migratory birds descend from the heavens to decorate the watery grasslands. Herds of zebra and wildebeest materialise, drawn by the lush grass, and for several months the desert is teeming with game and predators.
Embark on an exciting excursion across the pans to the fabled Kubu Island: a large plateau of thick granite rock and thought to be around 2.7 billion years old. The island is a curious break in an otherwise flat landscape. Camps in this part of the world are unsurprisingly remote but offer a back to nature experience like no other. Holidays to the Makgadikgadi offer a range of thrilling activities through which to explore the vast 10,000km² area; game drives are an exciting option while quad bike rides across the pans are particularly exhilarating.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Makgadikgadi
Show more itineraries
From its base on Brown Hyaena Island and with authentic colonial charm, Camp Kalahari is a fantastic property from which to explore the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.
Set on the edge of the otherworldly Makgadikgadi Pans, Jack's Camp provides a stunning oasis of tented luxury in the vast desert-scape of the surrounds. From this unique camp meet wild meerkats and embark on quad bike rides across the pans.
An odd break in an otherwise flat landscape of empty pans, Kubu Island is estimated to be 2.7 billion years and old considered sacred by locals. This unique slice of Africa offers complete remoteness in the vast infinite of the surrounding pans.
San Camp is found on the edge of the stunning Makgadikgadi Pans, a charming property run almost entirely on solar energy. Watch out for habituated meerkats and the elusive brown hyena.
Leroo La Tau is an intimate lodge found on the banks of the Boteti River, which proves a huge attraction to local wildlife. The lodge is raised 10 metres above the river so casual game viewing is assured.
All Botswana accommodations