Nxai Pan National Park is effectively a continuation of the Makgadikgadi Pans eco-system, with the two national parks separated by little more than a man-made road and sharing virtually identical landscapes and wildlife phenomena. Nxai Pan Camp is set on the western fringes of the huge fossil pan itself, looking east to the open grasslands and beautiful sunrises that characterise the area. There are eight thatched chalets set either side of the main lodge, with thatched roofs, sliding doors, en-suite bathrooms and private decks looking out over the pan. The main area is also set under a thatched roof with open sides, overlooking a permanent waterhole that attracts wildlife in the dry season. There is a large dining area, plunge pool and viewing deck leading out to a firepit, which is a great spot for sundowners and bush breakfasts. As the only permanent camp within the park, there is a tangible sense of isolation and an exciting certainty that guests can have it all virtually to themselves.
Activities mainly revolve around morning and afternoon game drives, sensational when the emerald season rains bring lush grasses, migrating zebra and a steady following of opportunistic predators. Kwando Safaris operate all of their game drives with a guide and tracker, increasing the chance of animal sightings and freeing up the guide to answer questions and provide further detail. Nature walks on the pan with local Bushman trackers are another highlight, as are excursions to view the impressive Baines’ Baobabs, immortalised in a series of paintings by Victorian artist Thomas Baines and little changed a century and a half later.