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The Zebra Migration of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans

Botswana's best-kept secret - every year up to 25,000 zebra move in herds across the plains from the Okavango to the Makgadikgadi Pans

During the a few short months at the beginning of each year, the second biggest migration of zebra and wildebeest (and the only one in southern Africa) occurs at the great Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana's Kalahari Desert; an arid and untouched place of absolute beauty. The Botswana zebra migration was discovered by accident when a research team noticed that some of the GPS-collared zebra migrated from parts of the Okavango all the way to the Makgadikgadi Pans, a distance of 150 miles, and back again. 

You can safely assume that few others have also heard about this spectacle and it remains a deliciously well-kept secret for now, travelers to this area always comment on the sense of isolation here being complete and overwhelming.  At this time of the year, the desert landscape turns lush and green under the dramatic thunder-clouds, and thousands of animals gather from the arid south to feed.  Very often predators and scavengers are in attendance, and very few other people.  In terms of wildlife, this is the absolute best time to visit the Kalahari.

There are some simply unique camps here that are worth visiting in themselves, or for a truly exhilarating adventure, you can think about joining the herds on horseback. The Makgadikgadi Pans are a veritable treasure trove of stone age tools and it is possible to sensitively and sympathetically observe the ways of the San Bushmen here, as well as spend time with the one-and-only Meerkat up close and personal, making for a truly multi-faceted safari - which may be somewhat surprising for a desert n'est pas?

Posted by: Rod Tether

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