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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.

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Map of Nxai Pan National Park

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