The Nata Sanctuary is situated 170 kilometers northwest of Francistown and 20km south of Nata on the eastern tip of the Makgadikagadi Pans. This area provides visitors with an opportunity to view birds and other wildlife in a truly pristine environment.
In 1988, the Nata Conservation Committee recognized a need for a conservation area near Nata. Upon request, the Kalahari conservation Society assisted the committee with expertise in the development of such an area. Many organizations from within and outside Boswana contributed funding and other services to the project. Two U.S. Peace Corps volunteers also contributed their expertise in the early years of operation.
A large herd of springbok
The Sanctuary is a unique undertaking in that it is a community operation. Management of the Sanctuary is the responsibility of a Board of Trustees. These trustees are selected from the four area villages of Nata, Maposa, Mmanxotae, and Sepako. Surplus revenue from the Sanctuary will be used for capital development within the four villages. The success of the Nata Sanctuary will pave the way for further community involvement in environmental projects throughout the country and meet the growing need for conservation.
The Sanctuary covers approximately 230 square kilometers of which 55% is land surface and 45% is pan surface. The pans were once the site of the largest inland lake in southern Africa. The abundant numbers of game and fish from the lake supported the many people who lived along the lake’s shore until the lake dried up about 10,000 years ago. Today, the plans are filled only when the Nata River flows with the summer rains of Zimbabwe. This river fills the pans with a broad sheet of shallow water which attracts thousands of birds every year as they migrate to the pan to nest and breed.
The Nata Sanctuary affords varying habitats and therefore attracts a wide variety of birds. While birds such as the korhaans and bustards inhabit the open grassland, other species reside in the adjacent woodlands. There are also several resident riverine species such as the teals and ducks which survive on the few permanent pools found in the Nata river bed. During seasons of good floods, the pans are an important breeding site for large flocks of flamingos and pelicans. Nata Sanctuary is one of only three breeding sites in Africa for the greater and lesser flamingo. When the flamingos arrive in the thousands it is a virtual pink tide. The Sanctuary falls in the path of several of the Steppe eagles and the European and Carmine bee-eaters. Representatives of most of the large and small raptors can also be seen. The Sanctuary is also home to the rare crowned crane.
The Nata Sanctuary provides affordable camping in the Mophane woodland near the entrance of the park. Enjoy a private campsite complete with braai place and table. Ablutions consist of hot showers and flush toilets.
Spacious campsites at Nata Sanctuary
FEES ENTRY CAMPING
Citizens of Botswana P10 P20
Residents of Boswana P20 P25
Non-residents P25 P30
Children 10 years of age and under are admitted free if accompanied by an adult.
The Sanctuary is open from 7am to 7pm daily. However, special arrangements may be made with the management to enter the Sanctuary during early morning or late evening hours.
The Nata Sanctuary
Private Bag F198
MANAGER’S PHONE: 267 71544342