Where can I see the Zebra Migration?

September 28th 2016  |   Botswana, Travel, Wildlife Safaris, Countries, Experiences, South Africa  |  by   Alice Gully
Where can I see the Zebra Migration?

The wildebeest migration is the famous one, but it’s not the longest animal migration in safari Africa.  That accolade goes to the zebra that travel some 350 miles across Botswana from parts of the Okavango Delta to the Makgadikgadi grasslands in search of fresh grazing. Like the short grass plains in the Serengeti, the grass in the Pans is nutrient rich, unlike that in the Delta. This makes it ideal for producing milk for zebra foals. It’s also a place with better visibility of predators than in the Delta.

Meno A Kwena game drive on the salt pans Makgadikgadi, Botswana

Game drive on the Makgadikgadi salt pans, Botswana, Meno A Kwena

During the dry season, the Makgadikgadi Pans are chalky white and almost devoid of vegetation.  It’s a spectacular, haunting, landscape and in complete contrast to the watery wonderland of the Delta; just mile upon mile of shimmering white stretching endlessly towards the horizon.

When the first drops of rain fall, the zebra throng together and start to move south, in their thousands, across the scrub-lands.  As the summer rains increase and fresh grass begins to coat the surface of the pans some 30,000 zebra will congregate to give birth and graze.

Zebra herds in the green season Makgadikgadi, Botswana

Zebra herds in the green season, Makgadikgadi, Botswana

It is extraordinary viewing and perhaps one of the more engrossing migrations to witness.  As ever, with such a great gathering of herbivores, there are plenty of predators in attendance too so a great opportunity to witness the reality of Africa’s wildlife in the raw.

Meno A Kwena elephants drinking in the river, Makgadikgadi, Botswana

Elephants drinking in the river, Makgadikgadi, Botswana Meno A Kwena

Pair of cheetah at Naxi Pan, Botswana, African Bush Camps

Pair of cheetah at Naxi Pan, Botswana, Kwando Safaris

With the onset of the dry season, the herds make their way to the Boteti River where they can graze the lush riverbanks from April/May until November when they migrate back north again.

Jacks Camp tents in the desert Makgadikigadi Botswana

Jack’s Camp – a wonderfully stylish camp with fabulous views over the pans, Uncharted Africa

Among the places to stay to witness this extraordinary event are Jack’s Camp, a wonderfully stylish tented camp with fabulous views over the pans; Nxai Pan in the heart of the migration country; or Meno a Kwena on the banks of the Boteti River.

Naxi Pan Lodge Makgadikgadi Botswana

Naxi Pan Lodge, Makgadikgadi, Botswana, Kwando Safaris


Meno A Kwena on the banks of the Boteti River, Botswana

Any questions?

If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have that we should have included, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to reply and may amend the article to include our answer.

What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris.  If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.

2 responses to “Where can I see the Zebra Migration?”

  1. Roger says:

    Fabulous post.
    Would April be a very good time to visit the Naxi Pans, the Makgadikgadi Pans and the Boteti River?
    Do you do mobile tours of this region as interested in seeing migrations / large herds of African herbivores?
    Went to northern Botswana in May – blown away by the experience.

    • Renate says:

      Dear Roger,
      Your enquiry has been passed on to a Botswana sales expert who will be in touch to help plan your Botswana family safari. Best regards Renate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.