Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pans in detail

Flights & getting there

The region is bisected by the paved Nata–Maun road, and most of the main access points to the parks and pans are along this road. Public transport to the park gates along this road is easy, but of little use as you'll need your own vehicle to explore beyond.

Nata Sanctuary and Nata Pan can be accessed from the Nata–Francistown road, just south of Nata. In the dry season, Kubu Island can also be reached via tracks leading north off the Francistown–Orapa road.

There is also dry-season access

Fuel & Speed Cameras

If you're self-driving between Maun and Nata, remember that there is no fuel available along the way. The only petrol stations are in Maun or Nata (100km east of Gweta), with 302km of sealed road in between, plus any detours into the pans or parks. Make sure you carry enough fuel with you in your tanks, with at least a back-up jerrycan for emergencies.

The speed limit for most of the journey is is 120km/h, but there are exceptions. Speed limits drop to 60km/h whenever the road passes through a village or a crossroads. If you ignore these, you will at some point be flagged over by traffic police, who will gleefully show you your transgression in their speed camera. The village of Phuduhudu, around 70km west of Gweta or 45km east of the Motopi turn-off, is a particular favourite of theirs (and yes, we did get stung there…).

The other major exception is a stretch of around 80km where the road either bisects the Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pans National Park, or forms its northern or southern boundary. Along this section of road, the speed limit is 80km/h and wandering wildlife is common.