Makgadikgadi National Park is a giant flatland of salt pans and grasslands, which is part of the Kalahari Desert. During May to November this area is dry and the game viewing is not great during this time. The best reason for visiting at this time is to experience the inspirational “nothingness” of the pans. From December to April the landscape springs to life by the rains and enormous herds of game start moving in and the famous zebra migration can be seen.
The Basarwa, or San, have inhabited the lands for thousands of years since they roamed the area as nomadic hunters. However, since the mid-1990s the Botswanan government has tried to relocate the Bushmen from the reserve claiming it is a drain on financial resources despite revenues increasing by tourism to the reserve. In 1997, three quarters of the entire San population were relocated from the reserve, and in October 2005 the government had resumed the forced relocation into resettlement camps outside of the park leaving only about 250 permanent occupiers. But in 2006 a Botswanan court proclaimed the eviction illegal by allowing people to return in Central Kalahari Game Reserve. A huge bush fire destroyed large parts of the reserve by mid of September 2008. The origin of the fire remains unknown.