Botswana has diverse ecosystems, amazing wildlife and it’s friendly nature. It has become one of the jewels of Africa. Below are some of the reasons why Botswana should be found on your travel list.
1. The Okavango Delta
This is one of the major tourist attractions that Botswana possesses. It is fed by the floodwaters of central Africa and covers an area of approx. 16,000 square kilometers. These waters fan out into the Okavango Delta forming a wetland system of beautiful palm-fringed channels, lagoons and islands that support a wealth of fauna and flora alike. The Okavango is a myriad of meandering papyrus filled waterways and palm-fringed islands where herds of elephants come to drink. There is nowhere on earth that comes remotely similar to this wonderful ecosystem, so much so that it became the 1000th site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014. The best way to explore the delta is by dugout canoe, locally called a mekoro, where you are gently propelled through this magical wonderland by your own knowledgeable guide. As the water ripples past you and the hippos chomp through the undergrowth, let time slowdown in this serene environment. This is the ultimate laid back approach to wildlife spotting whilst having an opportunity of seeing this unique environment from a different perspective.
2. Elephants at Chobe and Linyanti
The elephants one will see at Chobe National park are just spectacular. It was the first national park to be established in Botswana in 1968 and has the largest concentration of elephants in Africa. It is not only a haven for elephants but for buffalo, antelopes and the associated predators. The Chobe Riverfont and Linyanti waterways attract enormous herds of Elephant, in the tens of thousands, during the dry winter months when water is scarce elsewhere – it is truly an amazing sight.
3. The Desert Experience
The Kalahari is immense and silent but also intensely beautiful with many remarkable features – a Kalahari safari is a wild and remote experience for the adventurous at heart. You’ll be surprised at the wildlife and flora here and how each species has adapted to survive in such arid conditions. Year-round game drives and walks with Bushmen are top attractions in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
4. The Makgadikgadi Salt pans
For the adventurous, the Makgadikgadi salt pans provide a perfect platform for quad biking. They provide a pleasant viewing sight, and one that is memorable.
5. House Boats
The Chobe river safari is one of the best things you can do in Botswana.Watch hippos and crocodiles jostling for a riverside spots and elephant swimming with their trunks held high as snorkels, simply from your bedroom. Birdlife is bountiful; pied kingfishers suspended over the water, fish eagles calling plaintively and herons pirouetting through the water. Witness these spectacular sightings by boat and watch the world drift by.
6. Walks with Bushmen
The Bushmen (San) are an ancient race that have lived in the heart of Southern Africa for thousands of years. You can learn about their unique way of life and amazing survival skills when you visit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans where you can be guided by their renowned animal tracking skills.
7. Genuine commitment to conservation
The Botswana Government recognises the economic importance or ensuring game reserves remain protected and local communities benefit through conservation and good tourism practices. Tourism is a growing sector due these to conservation practices and the knowledge that as a tourist you can assist with these conservation programs is also an attractive bonus to anyone’s holiday.
8. Zebra migrations
Most people are aware of the Serengeti migrations, but the zebra migration in Botswana is spectacular. This migration is incredible and the surrounding scenery makes an inspiring backdrop for any budding photographer or simply for memories. In November, at the beginning of the rainy season, up to 25,000 zebra start their migration through the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks in search of water and lush grazing grounds.
9. Wild dogs and other rare wildlife
Moremi Game Reserve and adjoining private land concessions in the Okavango provide the perfect environment in which to see endangered Wild Dogs in their natural habitat. Botswana has a number of other rare species which can be seen on safari in various areas, such as Black-maned Kalahari Lion, Sitatunga, Puku and Red Lechwe antelope, Brown Hyena, the African Skimmer and Aardvark.
10. Tsodilo Hills
Visit this untouched area in the Central Kalahari and see thousands of Bushmen (San) rock paintings at about 500 different locations. This is a site of huge archaeological importance and also a sacred area for the San people. The area is remote but the journey is so worthwhile for the palpable ambiance and spiritual atmosphere.