Okavango Tours

Makgadigadi Salt Pans

kubu islandThe bed of a prehistoric lake, the eerie Makgadigadi Pans are a unique experience for those for whom game-viewing is not a priority. The lasting impression is of limitless space, limitless sky, limitless silence. A night spent under a clear desert sky, without a hint of light anywhere, reveals the southern cosmos in a way few people have experienced. A solitary walk out onto a salt pan robs one of references and the most extraordinary sensation of diminution can occur, so one can feel, suddenly, of Lilliputian proportions. A day’s excursion by quad-bike stretches the eyes and the mind in a way difficult to describe.

mongoose family
 
 
 
The Makgadigadi is not just salt pans. Vast areas are rolling grassland with islands of  acacia, and the desert is by no means lifeless, although large mammals are the exception rather than the rule. Several rare species are to be found, however, such as the brown hyaena and elusive aardwolf, and the area abounds with stone-age sites.
 
 
makgadigadi quad bikes
 
Several times a year the pans burst into life. Red quelea in their millions darken the sky. Huge migrations of zebra may be encountered, when the rangy lions of the Kalahari eat, for once, their absolute fill. When the pans fill with summer rain, flamingos may come to breed and feed on the brine-shrimp which burst from the previously parched silcrete of the fossil lake-bed. The pans are a rich reward for those prepared to encounter themselves on an African safari.
 
 


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