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Makgadikgadi Pans

Charming and magical are two words often used to describe this vast open area in Botswana, where the land can change as fast as the waters come. Loneliness takes on a whole different perspective here as one contemplates the existence in the vast nothingness, changed by the sunset into a work of surrealistic art.

The Pans History

A large part of Central Africa was once covered in a vast inland lake, but the climate and the land changed. Today, the only remnants of this lake are the Okavango Delta and the Makgadigadi Pans. The furthest point that the water of the Okavango River reaches is the Makgadigadi Pans, where it forms a vast morass. The water, natural salts, soda and plankton then combine to create a natural haven for aquatic birds. Birdwatchers come from all over the world to enjoy the sight. The smaller pans which make up the Makgadigadi are dotted with rock formations which, during the wet season, form islands in the water. During drier times, these pans are only muddy puddles and often, they go completely dry. Visitors who want to experience the magnificence of the blue water and its multi-coloured feathery inhabitants, therefore need to make sure that they visit during the rainy season. The Makgadigadi pans often fill with water during the rainy season and becomes home of thousands of migrating flamingoes. Driving along the Makgadigadipans during rainy season can be extremely challenging during the wet season.