Once part of a giant super lake, the Makgadikgadi Pans is a place not to be missed on any trip to Southern Africa. Spanning some 12 000 square kilometres the Makgadikgadi Pans is one of the largest saltpans on earth.
Riding in such a vast and horizonless place is something one can only describe as 'spiritual'. With no other sounds but the crunching of the horses hooves on the salty pan's crust, and the constant light breeze blowing across your skin, it is like visiting another planet.
We use an area to the north-east of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park which includes Ntwetwe Pan. The Pans are surrounded by semi-arid Kalahari savannas, and we at times get to see ostrich, wildebeest, zebra, black backed jackel, brown hyena and elephant.
As the pans are covered in water during the rainy season (December to March), we only conduct our trips in winter, when it is cool and dry. Between May and August there is no rain, and the days are sunny and cloudless. Midday temperatures are usually around 20 degrees C, whilst night time temperatures can drop as low as minus 8! From September onwards temperatures start to climb again, until the rains begin, usually towards the end of October.
All through the Makgadikgadi Pans are signs of ancient civilizations and stone tools can be seen almost everywhere. There are still small communities farming cattle and horses on the grasslands surrounding the Pans, and we actually base ourselves out of one such cattle post.