Zebras are one of Africa’s iconic animals and they make a striking sight when they migrate in high numbers through Botswana’s picturesque Linyanti and Savute areas. During December and January, the summer rains turn the normally dry and arid Makgadikgadi Pans into lush plains of abundant green grass, dense with fresh nutrients. An irresistible destination for plains animals.
Around 40,000 zebras migrate in a virtually straight line from Namibia across Botswana’s Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari Desert, culminating in monochromatic splendour at the Boteti River in April. A distance of over 500 kilometres, making it the longest land migration in the world.
The distinctive zebra honking, thundering hooves and playful antics all add to the display. But to make it even more exciting, lion, leopard and cheetah are also in abundance, taking advantage of the vast herds to stay well fed. They are all trailed by hyena and vultures that finish off the remains.
Botswana’s zebra migration is still a bit of a well-kept secret, only for those lucky few in the know. Partly because it was only discovered recently and entirely by accident – through GPS tracking of zebras for unrelated research.
In addition to the wildlife spectacle, the scenery is exquisite. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pan is one of the largest salt flats in the world and stretches out for kilometres, providing a unique feeling of isolation and an experience you’ll never forget.