User Reviews – Makgadikgadi Pans NP

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One of the most magical places on earth
Overall rating
5/5

We drove into Makgadikgadi NP, in a hired 4x4, from the south (from Lethakane) on a spur of the moment decision, we had an extra two days to get to Maun and thus decided to take the detour. Probably one of the best decision ever made. After a small town (I think it's called Mmatshumo) the road gradually gets narrower and after reaching the salt plains it now and then was completely gone. The salt plains give a tremendous feeling of freedom, but don't wander of too far from the tracks, because your vehicle will get stuck if you crack the crust of the salt and you'll probably damage the landscape.
We camped at the campsite at Kubu Island, a rocky outcrop just east of the central grassy peninsula. Although the "island" is rather small, it's full of Baobabs, a rather strange sight if the surrounding area is only salt plains and grassland. Watching the sun set from the top of the island was beautiful, the moment the last part of the sun sinks behind the horizon, absolute darkness engulfs the plains. During the five minutes walk back to our tent we lost our way in the darkness, ending up at someone else's camping spot.
If you've got the choice, try to make it to Kubu Island on a night, or at least evening, without a moon. The night skies were some of the best of seen in Africa.

Overall rating
5/5

A huge salt pan...did not view a lot of wildlife but the scenery went on forever...so beautiful.

Overall rating
4/5

The Makgadikgadi pans are an unearthly, perception-bending stretch of cracked gray flatness like the bottom of an evaporated ocean.

It was here where I got my first wildlife sighting. In the late afternoon I noticed two figures in the distant, quivering heat. When I raised my binoculars, I was astonished to discover these weren't a couple of wayward campers, but two gigantic, shoulder-tall maribou storks foraging along a muddy break in the pan. The sight of the huge birds moved me with a peculiar, disarming force: as if to remind me, suddenly and wholly: this is Africa!

Overall rating
4/5

To be seen

Overall rating
5/5

It was winter so that may have impacted the "beauty" a little but getting to see the nesting vulture community was awesome. The way out was very bumpy but it's the bush of Africa and I wouldn't expect, nor want, anything else.

Overall rating
5/5

Large variety of animals and limited amenities.

Worth going, but plan your trip carefully.
Overall rating
4/5

The places is beautiful, and the scenery depends so much on the season. We visited the place in late Oct, and our planned camping in the salt pans was canceled last minute due to the rain. From what I heard, the wet season is full of migratory animals. In the dry season, you can ride out in the pans on dirt bikes, which we did for a only a few minutes until the rain hit. So go there during either season, but not during the transition season or else your trip may not turn out as planned. The meerkat colony is a must see!

Overall rating
4/5

Stay at Planet Baobab, one of the quirkiest hotels anywhere and take an organised trip on quad bikes out onto the pan, where you will camp overnight sleeping under the stars. There is absolutely nothing there, but never has nothing been so magnificent as sunset or sunrise on this massive pan.

Overall rating
4/5

In the dry season, the pans are accessible, but wildlife viewing is difficult. In the wet .... be ready to dig in the mud.

Overall rating
5/5

Amazing scenery, feeling of complete isolation.

Average User Rating

  • 4.5/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 15
  • 4 star 12
  • 3 star 1
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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