Nxai Pan National Park is located on the Northern fringe of the Makgadikgadi basin and includes Nxai Pan, an ancient lake bed that was once part of ancient Lake Makgadikgadi. The pan itself is a fossil lakebed about 40 square km in size.
The National Park is also home to the cluster of millennia-old baobab trees, which owe their name to Thomas Baines, the man known to have discovered them. Baines’ Baobabs, as they are known today, are a sight sought by many travellers venturing into this untamed terrain of Botswana.
The landscape is largely covered by grassland and dotted with clusters of umbrella acacia trees and mopane woodland to the north. During the rains, from November to late March, the landscape changes to lush green, the pans become covered in succulent grasses which attract large herds of antelope. Bird life during this period is prolific, many species being different to what one would see in the Delta – it is definitely a birders paradise.
The area is well known for large numbers of springbok and elephant and during rainy season zebra migrate to the region. Giraffe and oryx are also often seen in the area in large herds with up to 30 in a group. These large herds attract many predators – lion, cheetah, jackal, spotted and brown hyena and sometimes the endangered wild dog and the secretive leopard.