Makgadikgadi Pans

A Traveller's guide to the salt flats of Botswana

Grahame McLeod

Lying between the Okavango Delta and the arid Kalahari are the legendary Makgadikgadi Pans, among the largest salt complexes in the world - Botswana's best-kept secret and one of its fastest-growing tourist destinations. This first, fully illustrated guidebook explores the varied landscape and its geology, wildlife, vegetation, climate and its dive
Date Published :
September 2019
Publisher :
Penguin Random House South Africa
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781775845577
Pages : 140
Dimensions : 9.64 X 7.48 inches
In stock


Lying between the perennial waterways of the Okavango Delta to the northwest and the arid Kalahari to the south are the legendary Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the largest salt complexes in the world. Some 12,000 square kilometres in extent, these salt flats – consisting of two large pans, Sowa and Ntwetwe, and a myriad smaller ones – are Botswana’s best-kept secret and one of its fastest-growing tourist destinations.

In this first, fully illustrated guidebook on the pans, Grahame McLeod explores this fascinating region, revealing its varied landscapes, geology, wildlife, vegetation and climate. Along the way he uncovers its diverse attractions: Nata Bird Sanctuary, Lekhubu Island, the Boteti River, Mosu Escarpment, Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans National Park, and the small towns and villages along the pans’ fringes.

An inspiring read and packed with more than 200 photographs, this guide also includes:
• detailed full-color maps
• advice on where to stay
• activities and events throughout the year
• travel details, including contact information

Informative, practical and user-friendly, this is an invaluable on-the-spot guide for all visitors to Botswana and the alluring salt sea of the Makgadikgadi Pans.

About The Author

Grahame McLeod was born in Malaysia and educated in Wales. He worked as an exploration geologist in Botswana before completing an MSc degree in Agricultural Economics at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. Since then he has taught agriculture at secondary schools and colleges of education in Botswana and authored a number of textbooks and resources on geography, agriculture and the environment. Currently living near Francistown in Botswana, he works as a freelance travel writer, author and editor.


Preface 4
Chapter 1 6
Introduction – The Makgadikgadi Pans
Chapter 2 8
Geology – Landscape of salt, sand and sea
Chapter 3 20
Climate – Seasons of extremes
Chapter 4 26
Vegetation and wildlife – A system of mutual dependence
Chapter 5 44
The local economy – Living o the land
Chapter 6 52
Towns and villages around the pans – From Gweta to Khumaga
Chapter 7 70
Mosu/Kaitshe Escarpment – A window on the past
Chapter 8 78
Nata Sanctuary – A haven for waterbirds
Chapter 9 90
Lekhubu Island – Refuge of granite in a sea of salt
Chapter 10 112
Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Park – A wilderness of hidden treasures
Travel advisory 124
Contact information 134
Further reading 140

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