The Nxai Pan National Park is situated on the northern fringes of the ancient Makgadikgadi Lake basin. The park covers a vast area, comprising Nxai Pan itself, Kgama-Kgama Pan to the northeast, and the Kudiakam Pan to the south.
The pans themselves are ancient salt lakes, ringed to the south and west with thick fossil dunes of wind-blown Kalahari sand. The park itself is very flat, huge open grasslands with the famous Baines Baobabs being the most striking landmarks.
Wildlife of Nxai Pan National Park
After good rains in the area, Nxai Pan is covered in lush green grass. This attracts huge concentrations of Burchell's zebra, blue wildebeest and springbok, while healthy numbers of other grazers include gemsbok, eland and red hartebeest. Large giraffe herds move across the pans between the acacia islands, which they prune into characteristic hourglass shapes.
The mopane woodland shelters browsers such as impala and kudu, which often venture out onto the pans for the permanent waterholes and rich mineral salts.
In summer, small herds of breeding elephant can sometimes be seen as well as the occasional tsessebe. In winter the great herds disperse from the pans, leaving few grazers except the hardy springbok, and a few timid steenbok that find shelter in the thickets.
Predators are well represented with lion, cheetah, hyena and wild dogs at sporadic intervals. A particular delight are all the smaller animals such as honey badgers, bat-eared foxes, African wildcats, banded mongoose, spring hare and porcupines.
Suggested itinerary featuring Nxai Pan National Park
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Nxai Pan National Park, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Nxai Pan National Park
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Nxai Pan National Park
- Makgadikgadi Pans, Kalahari 70 kilometers away
- Chitabe Concession 134 kilometers away
- Chobe National Park 142 kilometers away
- Maun 149 kilometers away
- Stanley's Concession 149 kilometers away
- Khwai Concession 151 kilometers away
- Kwara Concession 160 kilometers away
- Gunn's Concession 172 kilometers away
- Shinde Concession 172 kilometers away
- Xudum Concession 184 kilometers away
- Savuti Area 184 kilometers away
- Linyanti Concession 187 kilometers away
- Nxabega Concession 188 kilometers away
- Moremi Wildlife Reserve 196 kilometers away
- Chief's Island 198 kilometers away
- Linyanti Wetlands 198 kilometers away
- Xigera Concession 203 kilometers away
- Selinda Concession 207 kilometers away
- Vumbura Concession 209 kilometers away
- Abu Concession 214 kilometers away
- Central Kalahari 217 kilometers away
- Jao Concession 222 kilometers away
- Kwando Concession 225 kilometers away
- The Okavango Delta 236 kilometers away
- Duba Concession 265 kilometers away
- Sepupa 307 kilometers away
- The Panhandle 325 kilometers away
- Ghanzi 391 kilometers away
Photos of Nxai Pan National Park
Accommodation choices for Nxai Pan National Park
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Nxai Pan National Park. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.