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Explore the Makgadikgadi

Makgadikgadi Pans / Boteti

  • Zebra and Wildebeest migrations
  • Flamingoes and other birds
  • Massive baobab trees
  • Quad-biking trip
  • Lodge options available

Formerly a lake covering a vast area of the Kalahari, today these flat, desolate pans support a surprising variety of life, especially in the wet season.

Depressions collect and hold rainwater for many months and help the Makgadikgadi area to be home to one of the last remaining substantial zebra and wildebeest migrations in Southern Africa.

The zebra are highly nomadic and their dry season range is concentrated on the Boteti River, where natural seeps and pumped water holes sustain them for months.

When the Boteti riverbed is dry, its steep banks attracts many other animals including elephants, hippo and even crocodiles. But for the first time in two decades, the waters are now flowing freely, drawing wildlife to the Boteti in numbers.

Wet season birding in parts of the Makgadikgadi is incredible. The Nata river mouth is an important breeding ground for many bird species.

Possibly the most impressive spectacle is the arrival of tens of thousands of flamingos after good rains have fallen on the pans. The shallow waters contain a rich soup of algae and brine shrimp – vital sustenance to the breeding birds.

For even more extraordinary adventures, we can head out to the middle of the salt flats on quad bikes and sleep in the open under a blanket of stars. The area is surprisingly rich in history. Stone age ruins yield arrowheads and pottery pieces to sharp eyes.

Recent explorers have used the massive Baobab trees in the area as landmarks and staging posts. Chapman’s Baobab still bears the scars from bullet holes where hunters used to sight their rifles. It also houses a large cavity, visitors are asked to check if anyone has left post to be returned back to the coast!

If you have any ideas you’d like to discuss about what you’d like to see in this area, or any questions to ask us about Makgadikgadi and Boteti, please email us at and we’ll see if we can help.

You may enjoy visiting to learn more the migration and enjoy some excellent wildlife photography taken in the Makgadikgadi area.

James Haskins takes a personal approach to introducing you to the splendors of wild Botswana with the care and attention of a true owner/operator. James comines the skills of a great game guide with a profound appreciation for his homeland – he makes a safari a truly intimate adventure.
Jason Mortimer
Giraffe seen whilst on safari in Makgadikgadi Pans with Wildland Safaris