Nxai Pan is a large salt pan topographic depression which is part of the larger Makgadikgadi Pans in northeastern Botswana. The area is speckled with umbrella acacias and is said to resemble the serengeti in Tanzania.
This landform is a major part of the Nxai Pan National Park, and is a seasonal home to large herds of zebra and wildebeest. In the rainy season between December and April the pan becomes grassy and attracts these animals in their tens of thousands, along with smaller numbers of gemsbok, eland and red hartebeest.
The National Park is also home to the cluster of millennia-old baobab trees, which owe their name to Thomas Baines, the man known to have discovered them. Baines’ Baobabs, as they are known today, are a sight sought by many travellers venturing into this untamed terrain of Botswana. These age-old trees were immortalised in paintings by the artist and adventurer Thomas Baines in 1862. If you were to compare Baines’ paintings to the scene today, you would find that after 150 years, the trees are nearly identical – testament to the age of these magnificent giants.
The biggest draw to Nxai Pan National Park are the zebras that migrate by the thousands to the area – the second largest land animal migration in Southern Africa.