Andre van Vuuren Safaris did a short safari in December 2019 to Khumaga in the Makgadikgadi National Park as well as the Nxai Pans and Sowa Pan. The purpose was to learn more about the Zebra Migration in Botswana.
We spend the first night at Khama Rhino Sanctuary nearby Serowe. The Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a community based wildlife project, established in 1992 to assist in saving the vanishing rhinoceros, restore an area formerly teeming with wildlife to its previous natural state and provide economic benefits to the local Botswana community through tourism and the sustainable use of natural resources.
Covering approximately, 8585 hectares of Kalahari Sandveld, the sanctuary provides prime habitat for white and black rhino as well as over 30 other animal species and more than 230 species of birds.
From here we we moved camp to the Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pan National park. The park extends over 12 000 square kilometre. It is a huge area of large salt pans that are found within the semi- arid Kalahari Desert. These pans are the remnants of an enormous lake that emptied and dried thousands of years ago. The largest op the pans is the Nxai Pan, and there are several other unique pans spread throughout the desert.
The Makgadikgadi Pans lie roughly 240 km south of the grazing lands around Chobe and the Okavango Delta, and this is as far as the zebra will migrate each season in search of fertile grounds and abundant vegetation.
This region was for decades surrounded by fences that halted the migrations, but in the early 2000’s, these fences were removed. It was only after this that the zebra could resume their migrations an incredible feat, considering none would have ever made a similar journey within their lifetime. It was then when the migration began again, that researchers began to record this as the longest mass movement of African animals
From November to April, the wet season, the park is home to herds of zebra, wildebeest and springbok – and their predators, thousands of flamingo and other waterfowl. In the dry season, between May and November, the waterfowl disperse and the herds move to wetter and greener pastures to the north and the west. As many as 25 000 zebra embark on a trek to the north-west, through the heat and dust to spend the dry season on the Boteti River and Okavango Delta. The herds will move back to the Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pan National park following the rains.