Makgadikgadi the name of which implies a vast open lifeless land, is not without its folklore. There are stories of people setting out from Gweta to explore the land that lay between them and the Boteti River to seek a favourable environment in which to settle. They entered these great thirst lands at the driest time of year, drawn by what they perceived as large lakes of sparkling water on the horizon. Sufferin badly from thirst, the lakes kept drawing them hurriedly on in their attempts to reach the life-giving water that always remained just ahead of them. Gradually, one by one, they fell and died.
But Makgadikgadi is not always dry. The pans, which are situated in half the south, east and north eastern areas of the park, fill with water during the rains from mid-November and mostly retain their water into April or May. The “thirst lands” are then transformed into great sheets of water, which attract a spectacular array of water birds and trigger dramatic migrations of wildebeest and zebra. It is unfortunate that this huge water spectacle becomes practically inaccessible by road at this time, but anyone fortunate enough to fly over the area during the wet season sees a water wonderland of incredible scenic beauty.
The Makgadikgadi is also one of the most important wetland sites remaining in Africa. In the wet season, the Makgadikgadi’s Pans fill with water attracting flocks of flamingo and other migratory birds. The area is also the only place in Southern Africa where one is able to see a migration of tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra followed by predators. Although migrations do occur elsewhere in Botswana, the tree cover prohibits a view of the magnitude that we are able to see due to the exposed nature of the surrounding grasslands.
The Makgadikgadi, a relic of one of the world’s largest super-lakes, dried up thousands of years ago as a result of the continued shifting of the earth’s crust. When the Pans are dry, to travel where conventional vehicles cannot, and to guard against scarring the Pan’s crust, we utilise four wheel drive quad bikes. Venturing far into the middle of the Pans, we are able to explore remote archaeological sites, periodically discovering sites never before documented such as fossil beds of extinct giant zebra and hippo.
Please use the list below to view information about the destinations we travel to and our recommended lodges and camps. For further details or booking enquiries please contact us.
Jack's Camp & San camp
The first permanent camps in the Makgadikgadi. Both camps are renowned for their style and and hold true to traditional ideals of 'Safari'.Read more