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The Salt Pans of Botswana

Information for visitors to the vast salt pans area Located in the Northern Kahalari Desert area of Botswana. The area is wild and desolate but it has a few isolated lodges for adventurous travelers, with amenities from basic to luxurious. Attractions in the Kahalari salt flats include two national parks, a rocky outcropping known as Kubu Island, the Nata Bird Sanctuary, and a Baobab grove known as Baines Baobabs.

Dry Season Salt Pan Activities
Wildlife viewing is the most popular activity in the pans during the dry season because animals congregate around the pools remaining as the water supply decreases.

Wet Season Salt Pan Activities
Between January and March the salt pans flood if there has been a good amount of rain. When the pans are full of water they attract flamingos and migrating zebra and wildebeest.

Salt Pan National Parks in Botswana

Two national parks have been designated within the vast salt pan area of Botswana. They are Located between the town of Maun and the city of Francistown. Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and Nxai Pan National Park are adjacent to each other and together they are about 3000 square miles in size. Attractions inside the parks include the Makgadikgadi Pans, Nxai Pan, Ntwetwe Pan, Kudiakam Pan, and Baines’ Baobabs.

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
National park surrounding one of the largest group of salt pans in the world. The area features huge grass plains and palm islands and it is all that remains of Africa's largest inland sea.

Nxai Pan National Park
National park with a permanent waterhole and permanent wildlife. The area is lsuh with vegetation during the wet season and dry except for the waterhole during other times of year. The Nxai Pan Park is about 2100 square kilometers in size and

Other Salt Pan Attractions

Nata Bird Sanctuary<
Community based conservation project managed by the Nata, Maphosa, Sepako and Manxotae local communities. Those communities voluntarily moved their cattle herds out of the area and opened it to the public as a sanctuary in 1993. The sanctuary is about 250 square kilometers in size and it includes both grasslands and pans. When the pans are flooded thousands of flamingos, pelicans, ducks, geese and other water birds congregate in the sanctuary.

Kubu Island National Monument
Granite rock outcropping featuring ancient ruins and giant baobab trees. The crescent shaped island (actually a rocky hill) is about one kilometer long and it rises about 20 meters above the salt pans. Kubu Island can be accessed by 4 wheel drive vehicle from Mmatshumo, a town in the Boteti Sub-District. Located in the Makgadikgadi salt flats, outside the national parks, east of Ntwetwe Pan. It is surrounded on three sides by the Sowa Pan (it is on the southwest shore of the Sowa Pan). It is not far from the diamond mining towns of Orapa and Letlhakan.
- Kubu Island Dot Com Web Site
- Wikipedia "Kubu Island" Article
- Wonder Mondo "Kubu Island" Article

Baines Baobabs
Grove of seven huge baobab trees anmed after explorer Thomas Baines who made paintings of the baobabs during his two year journey from Namibia to Victoria between 1861 and 1863. The grove is situated on a hill overlooking the crusty white Kudiakam Pan. The Baines Baobabs are ocated about 30 kilometers from Nxai Pan National Park.

Sowa Pan
Located outside the national parks, east of Ntwetwe Pan.

Other Salt Pan Area ATtractions
- Orapa Diamond Mining Town
- Letlhakane Diamond Mining Town

About the Salt Pans of Botswana

Expert Africa "Kahalari's Salt Pans" Article
Article with general information about the pans area of Botswana, descriptions of various pans and places to spend the night in the salt pans areas.

Other Attractions in Botswana

Botswana Travel Guide

See also
Destinations in Africa
Pictures of Africa
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