Nearly 70 percent of Botswana consists of the Kalahari desert, and mixed right in the middle are several salt pans. Home to the rare and unique meerkats as well as many other animals, the salts pans offer a unique overnight experience. A meerkat adventure in the salt pans will be to sure leave lasting memory of Botswana.
The salt pans are located in central Botswana. The Nwetwe Pan, Sua Pan, the Makgadikgadi and the Nxai Pan are all neighbors, yet distinct in their own way. The Makgadikgadi Pan and Nxai Pan National Parks, can be visited by 4×4, where large game can be sighted. The Sua Salt Pan can be visited to explore Kubu Island. This unique island is situated in the middle of the pan and is a great place to camp overnight.
How to Get There:
Gweta is the base to most of the salt pan activities. We stayed at Gweta Lodge, where the owner’s son James and his team will make you feel right at home. Gweta Lodge can arrange for private or group tours. They have excellent prices and have a fun team. Prices for camping start at 90 Pula per person and rooms start at 500 Pula.
Nwetwe Salt Pan Tour:
Gweta Lodge arranged an awesome tour of Nwetwe Salt Pans for us. It included personal time with the local meerkats, Yana’s all time favorite animal. This tour starts in the afternoon with a quick stop at a large baobab tree.
The meerkat colony, a group of around 10 meerkats, is tracked daily. We were able to get up close to the meerkats, as they do not see humans as predators. One meerkat will always be on the lookout for land and air predators and the rest of the colony scavenge for food. They continue this while switching roles and roaming the prairie until nightfall, where they burrow in a hole and call it a day. Witnessing their unique and adorable tendencies was our favorite part of the tour.
Afterwards, we walked from the edge of the salt pan to your camp setup for the evening. The crew set up a campfire and already arranged your bedrolls for the evening. We enjoyed drinks around the campfire before an excellent 3-course meal was served by the team.
Following dinner, we slept under the stars in our personal bedrolls. Due to the reflection off the salt pans, the sunrise with incredibly bright. We enjoyed some last minute photography on the salt flat before heading back to Gweta.
The overnight Salt Pan Tour is 1200 Pula per person with Gweta Lodge.
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Visited in May 2016.