I was born in a small seaside Italian town and migrated to Australia with my family in 1986. After a trivial yet cataclysmic ‘a-ha’ moment in 2004, I left behind all that was familiar, safe and warm and embarked on a 6 year stint as an overland tour guide. My travels...
A driving and game viewing adventure of a lifetime
Written on: May 10, 2013
I visited in November 2010
The Makgadikgadi is to Africa what Salar Uyuni is to South America, an amazingly vast stretch of salt flats. One of only three major salt flats in the world (the third is in Utah) the pans are a truly remarkable sight and an unmissable attraction when travelling to Botswana.
I’ll start by saying that we were there at totally the wrong time, although I admit we’d actually planned it that way. The rains had started early in November and whilst we knew that too much water would make them impossible to cross with our Landy, just a little water would be fine AND would mean a greater chance of spotting wildlife. In short, it worked...but only just! We got stuck plenty; the tracks were pure sludge, but our Land Rover managed most of them with a little sweet persuasion.
YES we did spot plenty of furry and feathery ones, lots of zebras, wildebeest and an endless ocean of flamingos, which was just astonishing. But, to be honest, what really WOWed us was the scenery of the pans covered in water. We ended up seeing plenty of other wildlife in South Africa but THIS spectacle could not be repeated anywhere else in the world.
Driving on the pans (and their outskirts) on a gorgeous sunny day after heavy rains makes it seem as if you’re gliding on a sparkling mirror. The sky, clouds and birds are reflected in such a splendid way it makes the whole place utterly surreal.
The Makgadikgadi Pans is also supposed to be a bird lover’s paradise, so if you are that way inclined then you’ll have that to look forward to as well. We are, unfortunately, utterly ignorant when it comes to birds and can barely tell the difference between geese and ducks, so there was no hope for us! Never mind...
We stayed at Planet Baobab Camp for two nights on our way out and really digged this place, even with its dodgy showers; the pool was just an absolute dream.
Whether visiting during dry season to enjoy the splendour of the salt flats or flying over them during wet season to take in the wildlife and the astounding scenery, do make sure you add this park to your safari list, you won’t regret it.
I am an independent traveller with a passion for getting off the beaten track and away from mass tourism. I have been spoilt with all the safaris that I have had the opportunity to go on and have had some extraordinary wildlife sightings. I can often be found sittin...
Written on: Nov 25, 2013
| Visited: May 2013.
I love spending a night out on the salt pans of Botswana, it's an out of this world experience. Nothing really seems real. Imagine spinning around and around and around and the view simply not changing at all, just a white expanse of nothingness. This is what it is like out on Makgadikgadi Pan.
There are a few places in the world where you could describe the vie...
I like to drive. I've driven everywhere from remote Australian deserts to the South Pole to Madagascar.
I've been to Africa twice now for a total of around 7 months, completing an overland trip from Cape Town to Addis Ababa and north-to-south drive of Madagascar.
Written on: May 21, 2013
| Visited: Feb 2009.
We chose to drive out around 100 miles to a place called Kubu Island. The high grasses on the bottom of the hot car made me a bit nervous - you'll drive through a lot of it to get there, and stopping can be a bad idea if you don't find a bare space.
Mud and dodgy signing didn't stop us. GPS is, of course, a good idea. I'm still a map and compass guy, to the annoya...