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Botswana

About Botswana

Botswana is often thought to be one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. Amazing areas like the Okavango Delta, the Chobe National Park and the Moremi Game Reserve all sit within its borders, and they all house a significant number of game. Botswana has purposely aimed for and achieved, a policy of high-income, low-volume tourism, and as a result, it is now home to some of the world’s finest safari camps and lodges. This ensures that all Botswana holidays are truly unforgettable experiences. 

There is an array of amazing activities for visitors to enjoy during their holiday in Botswana, including the chance to walk with elephants, ride a quad bike on the Makgadikgadi salt pans, and even to go on a cruise on the Chobe River.

Lovers of nature and wildlife should ensure that they visit Chobe National Park during their trip to Botswana. It is a vast, 11,700 km² national park that acts as home to over 100,000 elephants, giving you a great chance to see a large herd of these large, fantastic animals in their natural habitat. 

As well as elephants, numerous other animals freely roam the park, with regular sightings of Botswana’s most precious animals, such as lions, leopards, zebras and antelopes. It is located in the North-East of Botswana, bordering both Zimbabwe and Namibia as well as the Chobe River, where you can enjoy fascinating boat safaris and majestic sunset cruises.

Those looking to see Botswana’s most fascinating wildlife up close should also consider visiting the Moremi Game Reserve. The Moremi Game Reserve offers superb conditions for game viewing throughout the year, as the park has many permanent sources of water, which help attract the animals to the area. 

In keeping with Botswana’s tourism approach, the density of lodges in the reserve is low, giving you a magical, highly private and highly personal game viewing experience that allows you to get up close and personal to some of the biggest animals in the reserve. Moremi Game Reserve is also renowned for being only one out of two places in the country to be populated by wild rhinos. Other animals which are regularly sighted at the reserve include elephants, buffalos, lions and leopards.

In contrast to this, Botswana is also home to the vast Makgadikgadi salt pans. These salt pans cover an area of 6,200 miles and previously were occupied by an enormous lake. It is thought that the lake (known as Lake Makgadikgadi) formerly covered an area larger than Switzerland. During the dry season, the conditions of the area make it uninhabitable for most life forms. However, these conditions also produce opportunities to experience a multitude of unique activities. These include sleep outs in the pans as well as quad bike trips to Kubu Island. Guided trips to do these and other activities can be arranged.

The Makgadikgadi is equally as spectacular to visit during the rainy season, at which point, lush green grasses re-emerge and the pans refill with water, replicating their appearance from nearly 3 million years ago when they were occupied by Lake Makgadikgadi. At this time of the year, wildebeest and Zebra return back to the area. Flamingos can also be seen here at this time of the year.

In addition to being a place of forests, deserts, and wetlands, Botswana is also home to Africa’s third-largest river, the Okavango, which creates the Okavango Delta; the largest inland delta in the world. Here, a warren of lagoons, streams, channels and islands provide one of the finest game-viewing regions in the world, and also one of the best for bird life. The finest way to explore the Delta is by mokoro, a type of dugout canoe, which is both a magical and near-mystical journey, especially at sunrise or sunset. One of its more astonishing elements is that it eventually disappears into the vast drylands of the Kalahari Desert, where the original bushmen still live.

Interesting things to do in Botswana

A mokoro boat cruise is every bit as romantic as a gondola ride down the canals of Venice. A two-person canoe, piloted by a local guide, takes you down the tranquil waters of Botswana and allows you to sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, at possibly the most picturesque time of day. Enjoy one of Botswana’s signature experiences on a boat cruise on the majestic waters of the Chobe River.

For a more intense yet equally fantastic experience, why not embark on a guided bush walk? Spot some of Africa’s most stunning wildlife, guided by experienced bushmen who know the best places to spot them by focusing on animal tracks and can tell you all about the uses of various plants and bushman culture.

Don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime, to walk alongside elephants at Stanley’s Camp. This private wildlife concession has just 8 rooms for visitors, enhancing the true safari experience. Watch as a range of big game animals march past, take a mokoro cruise down the river or simply sit beside the campfire and while away a pleasant evening chatting with other guests.


For more information, why not speak to one of our experts on +44 (0) 20 7843 3500 or email info@africatravel.co.uk

                                                             

Experiences

  • Take a sunset mokoro cruise
  • Cruise the Chobe River
  • Track with the bushmen
  • Walk with the elephants at Stanley’s Camp
  • Quad-bike on the Makgadikgadi Pans

Wildlife

  • Hippo, Elephant, Wildebeest, Cheetah, Hyena, Wild Dog, Lechwe

Seasons

  • Dry season – April to October
  • Green season – November to March
  • To experience the Okavango Delta in full flood travel from June onwards
  • Game-viewing in the Kalahari is best in December
  • The mass zebra migration in the Makgadikgadi Pans occurs during the first few months of the year

In The Know

    • Capital – Gaborone
    • Currency – Botswana Pula
    • Point of Entry – Gaborone, Maun, Kasane
    • Airlines – Air Botswana via Johannesburg, SA Airlink via Johannesburg, 
    • Flying Time – 1 hour 40 minutes from Johannesburg
    • Time Zone – GMT +2
    • Visa not required
    • Medical Requirements – Malaria prophylaxis recommended


Insider Tips

    • If you want to stay at the famous Mombo Camp try to book at least 9 months in advance
    • Excess luggage can normally be stored in Maun if you advise us in advance
    • In Chobe National Park avoid the day-tripping crowds by staying at Muchenje Safari Lodge
    • If on a budget consider travelling in the green season (Jan-March) when prices are slashed
    • Make sure a mokoro excursion is part of your trip – it is the ultimate experience in Botswana

Regions

Africa Travel Latest

Botswana is a beautiful country, full of breath-taking scenery and wildlife.

Felicity Balcomb Sales Advisor, London

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