Makgadikgadi & the Kalahari

A vast swathe of sand, dotted with sparse scrub and the fossilised remains of a long forgotten river-bed: it’s easy to conjure an image of Botswana’s far-stretching desertscape. 

Dominating the country’s central belt, the Kalahari desert is a sight to behold. Having gazed out at its endless horizons and wandered through its harsh environments, you’ll be able to marvel at the scant wildlife that has evolved to survive it, which includes solitary black-maned lions, ostrich, and meerkats – the latter characters not only dwelling here but making it look like a veritable playground! You’ll also be astounded by the Basarwa or San Bushmen who have been resident in this region for thousands of years. 

Our favourite place to meet the fascinating San people is on the moon-like saltpans of Makgadikgadi National Park. The Makgadikgadi pans are situated between Maun and Nata, in northern Botswana, and form a great thirstland of some 4,900 square kilometres of lifeless land, which transform when the rains come in mid-November. During the rains, the Makgadikgadi pans are filled with huge herds of zebra, wildebeest, and other wildlife whilst dry season sees you quad biking across an endless expanse of silver salt. Don’t rely on our description though- meet the legendary bushmen who stride across the pans each day, and discover how they live in this inhospitable environment.

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