‘The Makgadikgadi, a vast salt pan deep in Botswana, must be what the planet looked like before humanity appeared, and what it will look like after we’re gone.’ This is how Todd Pitock, from National Geographic Traveller, describes Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, one of the largest salt flats in the world.
Here are three reasons to visit this lesser-travelled, yet intriguing location:
The Salt Pans
Walking or driving though this expansive wilderness area is a surreal experience. With nothing but silence around you the Makgadikgadi is like something from another planet. When the sun has descended and the nocturnal Botswana greets you there is nothing quite as overwhelmingly beautiful as seeing the explosion of stars filling the skyline.
Nata Sanctuary, which is part of the Sua Pan, is a community-run wildlife haven that protects a variety of bird species and wildlife. The sanctuary, situated close to Under One Botswana Sky’s Natal Lodge, is a breeding ground for a host of water birds, including pelicans and flamingo. Watching thousands of birds blend into a pink haze reaching as far as the eye can see is a magical sighting.
A great way to get to know the Makgadikgadi and its history is to visit one of the local villages. Cultural visits give insight into the lives of the Bushmen and discover how they have learnt to survive in this arid destination with close to nothing.
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