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Town Small Nata

ID: w149500 View large map

Located in Botswana :: Makgadikgadi  :: Nata
Category: Places :: Town Small


Whether heading north to Kasane, west to Maun, south towards Francistown, or east to Zimbabwe, Nata is a convenient stopover at the junction of the A3 and A33. The village is situated on the main road between South Africa and Zimbabwe and is thus a popular stopover for trucks.

The road between Nata and Francistown is notoriously bad with potholes, animals, and big trucks. The road between Nata and Gweta towards Maun often got badly potholed after rains but was under construction in 2023. The road from Nata to Kasane is good, but you should be cautious of wild animals (especially elephants) and big trucks.

For travellers, Nata is of significance as it is situated on the eastern edge of Sua (Sowa) Pan, the largest in the Makgadikgadi pans series. The presence of flamingos, the biggest attraction to the pans, is seasonal and travellers are advised to enquire at Nata Bird Sanctuary or Nata Lodge about the water levels and migratory birds before travelling here for this reason. Even without the flamingos a sunset drive on Sua Pan is a magical experience.

You need a 4WD to traverse these salt pans and during the rainy season, the roads can become treacherous with black cotton soil. At this time you should rather take a guided tour of the pans or the Nata bird sanctuary from Nata Lodge.

Traveller Description

The Nata River, which runs through Nata village, is the main tributary that floods Sua Pan every year. When it rains, the dry salt pan comes to life with water birds like flamingos, pelicans, ducks, and geese.

The surrounding area features white sands, tall termite mounds, and palm-lined riverbeds. So, although Nata is generally used as a refueling point, Sua Pan with its quartz pebble beaches and water birds is well worth an overnight stop.

Nata Bird Sanctuary is a community-run conservancy, located at the point where the Nata River forms a delta before entering Sua Pan. It offers the perfect habitat for water birds, which makes it one of Botswana's premier birding destinations. The sanctuary has some antelope species and more than 165 bird species, including pelicans. It is also one of the largest breeding sites of Lesser and Greater flamingos in the world.

The elevated wooden platform in the sanctuary offers some of the best views of Sua Pan. The sanctuary offers basic camping, with running water and flush toilets. You don’t need to book in advance.

Address :  Nata, Makgadikgadi, Botswana
Cellphone Reception :  Good Main Cellular Network :  Mascom. Orange and Bemobile

Destination Information
Police Doctor Petrol Diesel Gas Refill Laundromat Shopping Mall Shopping Centre Bank ATM Lodging Camping Butchery Bakery Liquor Restaurant Airstrip Tyre Repair Mechanical Repair Towing Service
Police Telephone :  +267(0)621 1222
Doctor Telephone :  +267(0)71 771 765
Towing Service Telephone :  +267(0)76 883 333 / +267(0)72 818 687 (TUMEDISO ENTERPRISES (PTY) LTD, Located in francistown)
Petrol Type :  LRP/ ULP

Game Viewing Game Drives Quad Bikes 4WD Trails Tours and Excursions Guided Walks Fishing Swimming Bird Watching
Night Drives, Picnics

Travelling Information
Closest Main Route :  A3

Only Master and Visa cards work at the ATM, provided by Barclays Bank.

There are three fuel stops in town and they all accept Visa or Master card payments.

The contact number for the Nata Clinic is +267 621 1244. There is only one private doctor in the village - in case of emergency you can contact Dr Joseph Kaseba on his cell phone +267 71 771 765.

The Wimpy Restaurant in town has closed down but travellers can still pop into North Gate Lodge or Nata Lodge for a scrumptious breakfast.

The good tarred road between Francistown and Kazungula has been damaged during the extensive rains of 2017 and 2018, and travellers should be on the lookout for some minor potholes that have not been repaired yet.

There are no department stores like Pepstores in Nata.

The Choppies Supermarket on the A3 is well stocked with supplies and fresh meat. The Easy Tea Supermarket has some basic supplies and frozen meat, while Fourie Butchery has excellent fresh meat and biltong.

Contact James for Tow ins or Chris +267 72 198 589.
Tow-in(All over Botswana): +267(0)76 883 333 / +267(0)72 818 687(TUMEDISO ENTERPRISES (PTY) LTD, Located in francistown).

 Travel Tip!

The presence of flamingos on Sua Pan is seasonal and travellers are advised to enquire at Nata
Bird Sanctuary or Nata Lodge about water levels and migratory birds, before travelling here for this reason. But even
without the flamingos, a sunset drive on Sua Pan is a magical experience – book through Nata Lodge, this venue
also offers large, shaded campsites. There’s black cotton soil in the sanctuary, so in the rainy season, roads can be
If you prefer elephants to flamingos, Elephant Sands Lodge, 55km north of Nata, has a waterhole right in front of its
restaurant, the former is frequented daily by herds of elephant.
Travelling north from Nata, elephant are often seen crossing the tarred A33 leading to Pandamatenga - in Botswana,
wild animals really do roam free on tarred public roads!

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