Part of the great Makgadikgadi complex, Nxai Pan National Park covers an area of 2 100 sq kms, and comprises several larger pans – Nxai Pan, Kgama-Kgama Pan and Kudiakam Pan, which were once ancient salt lakes. These larger pans are now grassed, and are scattered with islands of acacia trees, and smaller pans that fill with water during the rainy season – thus providing rich resources for wildlife. Wildlife viewing is seasonal, and dependent on if and when the rains come, and when animals migrate. There are several artificial watering points. If the rains have been good, December to April is the best time to visit. Common species to be sighted are zebra, wildebeest, springbok, impala, gemsbok, hartebeest, giraffe, lion, cheetah, wild dog, brown hyena, bateared fox, and sometimes elephant and buffalo. The park is one of the more accessible areas of the Makgadikgadi, a mere 50 kms from the Nata-Maun Road.
If you like baobabs, Nxai Pans is the place to visit. The park has a group of magnificent baobabs of over a thousand years old and more than 20 meters high. Nineteenth-century traveler/artist Thomas Baines encountered these in 1862, and his color drawings publicized the baobabs to the world. The Park is a short drive north of the A3 highway, halfway between Maun and Francistown. Nxai-Pan National Park (2,578 km2) is among the lesser-known destinations in Botswana. It has a system of salt pans that adjoin the Makgadikgadi Pan system south of A3.