Chapmans’ Baobab is widely labelled as the largest tree in Africa, with an enormous circumference of roughly 25 metres. It certainly makes for an impressive sight, shimmering in the heat haze against a backdrop of endless white saltpans and desert grasslands on the Ntwetwe Pan. Easily accessible during a stay at one of the three Uncharted Africa Makgadikgadi camps, the sheer scale of the tree against the flat landscapes meant that the area was used as a navigation point and camping ground for some of Southern Africa’s legendary explorers, including Livingstone himself.
Further north on Nxai Pan are the famous Baines’ Baobabs, brought vividly to life in a series of works by Victorian painter Thomas Baines. Virtually unchanged since his day and instantly recognisable to anybody who has seen the paintings, visits to this remote, scenic slice of art history are included during stays at Kwando’s Nxai Pan Camp. The pans surrounding these baobabs are dry for most of the year, but during the wetter months pools can develop around the trees, creating a beautiful and un-earthly spectacle that’s a photographer’s dream. These landscapes are studded with intriguing baobab formations, and visits to these two renowned spots will be combined with a more generalised nature drive in the vicinity.