Nxai Pan reviews
Safari suitability: 7/10Write a review
Lions, elephants and leopards are common. Sightings of rhinos and buffalo are rare.
We drove from the Maun Airport to the park, I think about the best part of 4hrs. It was the rainy season and was surprisingly dry for the most part. The camping areas are well shaded, private and clean. We spent the better part of 2 days exploring and photographing. We pretty much had the park to ourselves only for meeting one other tour company. Not as impressive as the Serengeti plains with the taller grasses. More open, flat terrain and less trees. Animals for the most part were spread out, not easy to find and a lot of long distance viewing. The Baines Baobab trees are impressive and worth the extra drive time.
We visited Nxai Pan (pronounced n (click tongue) ai in January, when it is supposedly peak season. The rains had just begun, which meant mainly dry and sunny skies interrupted by 2-3 hours of torrential rains. Although there were a smattering of herbivores around, and a few lions spotted in the distance, it was underwhelming. We did camping here and it was quiet and secluded. We only saw one other vehicle here our entire time. Baines Baobab was a nice treat at the end, but nothing compared to the baobabs of Madagascar. All in all, my least fave park that we visited in Botswana.
We like to add Nxai Pan in the green season when the zebra migration is in place. In this period we have had several fantastic safaris in Nxai Pan, with good sightings of lion and cheetah, and of course thousands of zebras and giraffe. Nxai Pan brings diversity to your safari itinerary and is like no other place. We also love to go to Baines Baobabs for a different experience. If you do a longer safari in green season we recommend you add Nxai Pan as it makes your safari richer and more diverse.
Was so glad we decided to visit this park. The cool salt pans and funky baobabs alone were worth it. We were there during the rainy season, which made all the different, or so I'm told. I saw so many zebra, it was crazy. For me, it was the scenery that made it worth-while. I'd love to return!
I absolutely loved the Nxai during dry season, although thats probably because by the time we got there we were well and truly saturated with game viewing. Its the deserted scenery which is just awe-inspiring. Cold nights, bright starry skies and absolutely desolate bush camps is what I enjoyed the most. Granted, if youre after lots of animal viewing best you time with your visit with the rains and the zebra migration, but wed seen it all in the Masai Mara so were more than happy to have this desert experience instead. The water holes were bone dry, but the sunsets were just magical. We did score ONE amazing sight here, which is something not even the Mara or Ngoro ever gifted us: a live hunt. Guess the few animals that remain really struggle for survival, so perhaps if youre going to see any game here it will likely be a hunt. Witnessed a cheetah stalk, hunt and eventually gobble down a zebra, which was just amazing to say the least. The park is, of course, home to the thousand year old Baines Baobab trees and this is where youll find all the tourists congregating...almost like a human watering hole! Pick wet season for animals but, if you want something utterly spectacular, experience the deserted park in dry season, it will be an experience not easily forgotten.