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. The game viewing is not great during this time. The best reason for visiting during this dry season is to experience the inspirational “nothingness” of the pans. From December to April the landscape springs to life as a result of the rains and enormous herds of game start moving in. It is then that the famous Zebra migration can be experienced.
The Basarwa, or San (Bushmen), have inhabited this area for thousands of years , roaming the area as nomadic hunters. However, since the mid-1990s the Botswanan government has tried to relocate the San from the Botswana National Parks, claiming it is a drain on their financial resources despite revenues increasing through tourism. Over the past few decades most of the San population have been relocated from Botswana National Parks and reserves. Subsequently a Botswana court has allowed San people to return to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
The rainy season (Green Season) also brings migratory birds to the Pans such as ducks, geese and Great White Pelicans. The Pans are also home to one of only two breeding populations of Greater Flamingos in Southern Africa and only on the Soa Pan, which is part of the Makgadikgadi Pans.