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18-26 December: A ‘Wild’ Christmas Safari

We highly recommend Nxai pan and Central Kalahari Game reserve at this time of year when these desert areas spring to life and animals congregate on the pans for the rich grazing. Nxai pan is regarded as probably the best game experience in the whole of Botswana during the green season.  Animals congregate around the pans in the Deception Valley area of the  Kalahari. Though you’ll certainly encounter rain, showers won’t occur every day and, when they do, they’ll likely be sporadic. After an incredible experience of the desert and pan regions continue to Victoria Falls and experience a world wonder. We can assist with booking accommodation in Victoria Falls should you like us to.


Fly into Maun, Botswana where we would meet you at the airport and proceed to the Central Kalahari.

  • 3 nights Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • 2 nights Khumaga, Makgadikgadi National Park
  • 3 nights Nxai Pan

COST PER PERSON: US$2880 per person sharing fully inclusive for the 8 nights. 4 spaces left!

18th, 19th, 20th December Central Kalahari Game Reserve

On day one we drive 4 hours to Matswere Gate. We then drive another 1 1/2hrs to Deception Valley and set up camp.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the remotest and most unspoiled parts of Africa, the Northern part of this park is one of the prime game viewing areas in Botswana. This is the largest Game Reserve in Botswana covering 52,800 km2. Nothing prepares you for the immensity of this reserve, nor its wild, mysterious beauty. There is the immediate impression of unending space, and having the entire reserve to yourself. Waist-high golden grasses seem to stretch interminably, punctuated by dwarfed trees and scrub bushes. Wide and empty pans appear as vast white stretches of saucer-flat earth, meeting a soft, blue-white sky. At night the stars utterly dominate the land; their brilliance and immediacy are totally arresting. We visit at the best time during or soon after the rains when large herds of springbok and gemsbok, as well as wildebeest, hartebeest and eland gather for good grazing.

After 3 days exploring the area from Letiahau to Sunday Pan, we pack up and drive via Rakops for fuel and ice and then onto Makgadikgadi Pans.

Deception Valley CKGR Dec 2011

21st, 22nd December: Khumaga, Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve

The Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve incorporates the western end of Ntwetwe Pan, extensive grasslands and acacia woodland. At its northern boundary, it meets the Nxai Pan National Park.

The Boteti River last flowed in 1992 and started flowing again past Khumaga in early 2009. During the dry season, the Boteti River in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park thrives with activity as literally thousands of Zebra and Wildebeest vie for water.There is a small public Campsite at Khumaga, and from here we can witness the huge herds and often hear their predators (mainly lions, but occasionally Cheetah, Wild Dogs and Leopard). There is also a small group of Hippopotamus that live in the river and some crocodiles that had dug caves into the banks of the dry riverbed and are now very relieved that the river is flowing again. This is always a great area for Raptors, Owls and Vultures.

lion khumaga botswana

23rd, 24th, 25th December: Nxai Pan

Part of the great Makgadikgadi complex, Nxai Pan National Park covers an area of 2,100 km2, and comprises several larger pans which were once ancient salt lakes. These larger pans are now grassed, and are scattered with islands of acacia trees, and smaller pans that fill with water during the rainy season – thus providing rich resources for wildlife.

Seven huge, gnarled baobab trees, named after the 19th century explorer Thomas Baines, are situated on an island overlooking and surrounded by the white, crusty Kudiakam Pan. Baines stood here over a hundred years ago and painted this otherworldly scene. It has essentially remained unchanged.

Nxai Pan is at its best for game viewing between December and April when many antelope have their young. The area attracts large numbers of Springbok and Gemsbok drawn to the short sweet grasses that grow on the pan. During the dry season there is often the opportunity to witness a kill as the lions often set up at the  only pumped waterhole in this small National Park.

Nxai Pan has become famous due to the award winning IMAX film by Tim Liversedge, called Roar, mostly filmed at the pumped waterhole during the dry season, where the resident lions set up to kill the Springbok and other animals drawn to the only source of water for miles around. The extremely rare Brown Hyaena and Cheetah are frequently spotted here.

cheetah nxai pan

26th December- Safari ends. Transfer to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for a few nights at your discretion. Fly out of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe or Livingstone, Zambia.

COST PER PERSON: US$2880 per person sharing fully inclusive for the 8 nights. 4 spaces left!


  • Park fees (for non-residents)
  • All activities (unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation (unless listed as upgrade)
  • Camping equipment
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation (unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • Meals (as specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinks (as specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Bed linen
  • Bath towels


  • International flights (from/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips (tipping guideline US$10.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees