Nxai Pan trip: Part 4

Camping Nxai PanAfter a long day of bouncy roads we climbed into our tent early and decided that there would be no early morning game drive, we would just get up when we felt like it.

The night was filled with the beautiful sounds of lions roaring, jackals howling and the lovely “good lord deliver us” call of the Fiery-necked Nightjar {a nocturnal bird}.

camping Nxai PanSue and I got up the following morning and pottered around camp after a cup of coffee. When Tristan got up a bit later than us, he said that it was already 11h30. It seemed impossible Sue and I are early rises, up at 5 most mornings, so it was hard to believe we had slept so late. Breakfast had just turned into lunch.

Relaxing around camp was just what we needed and we were amazed at how quiet it was out here. As we moved out of the “heat of the day” it was now time to see Nxai Pan.

Nxai PanThe surface of Nxai Pan was hard, hence no soft sand driving, but the only problem was ruts in the road caused by people driving here when the pans were wet. So you had to try and drive between the ruts or bounce over them.

Nxai Pan is an extension of the Makgadikgadi Pans and was part of the ancient Lake Makgadikgadi. This area has however been drier for longer than the Makgadikgadi Pans and hence it is covered with miles and miles of grasslands with thick tree islands, dotted all around which is extremely beautiful.

During the dry winter months there is only one waterhole where the animals can drink from, so it was the best place to start.

Nxai PanWe were warned that game viewing was not great at this time of the year, the best time being just after the rains when the grasslands are green. Being apprehensive of wet muddy pans, I guess we just had to put up with lesser game viewing season.

The Nxai Pan is also the end point / starting point of the longest known terrestrial migration of wildlife in Africa – up to several thousand zebra cover a distance of 500km (more than 300 miles). From Salambala communal conservancy in Namibia, across the Chobe River and down to Nxai Pan, where they spend about 10 weeks before heading back again. Obviously we were out of that 10 week window as we didn’t see a single zebra.

That afternoon we were treated to, at the waterhole, by a large herd of springbok, with a few coming to drink. Two large herds of giraffe converged at the same time, giving wonderful photographic opportunities. A secretary bird wandered in whilst the giraffe were drinking, which upset a few giraffe and caused the bird to dance back on occasions with its wings wide open.

We had two different elephant visits, whilst sitting patiently at the waterhole, the second occurred with the fading evening light, it was a wonderful sight.

Part 5 to follow…

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7 Responses to Nxai Pan trip: Part 4

  1. Anonymous says:

    hi guy,
    this all look awesome, especially this breakfast hmmmm!

  2. Bridgette & Geoffrey Flint says:

    Tough life bro!

  3. Suki says:

    Loving the breakfast!! What a huge incredible place, hardly touched by humans. What is mobile/cell/satellite phone coverage like? If help was needed – where would it come from? Do you travel with a large first aid kit? Love the elephant pictures.

    • PeteMorrie says:

      Hi Suki – thanks for all your comments. No mobile contact, if help was needed there are other tourists and a wildlife office at Nxai Pan – getting there, there was nothing and as mentioned it was not a well used road. The only back-up we had is that friends knew where we were going – so when they realised we were not home they would have come to look for us a few days later.

      Sat phones are available, but very very expensive.

      We do carry a first aid kit, and I do have formal 1st aid training behind me, a bit rusty, but I get by.

      • Suki says:

        Thanks for the reply. We are enjoying glorious summers days here. Heat waves of 32 degrees C. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Gweta Trip: Part 2 | Pete & Sue's Botswana

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