POSTED ON 11th November 2015 BY Ollie Blackwell
Imagine a land of unspoilt wilderness, where huge game herds roam freely across a spectacular landscape…
Sound like the safari holiday destination you’ve always dreamed of?
Then good news: this place exists.
Considered to be a top-class safari destination, Botswana is home to spectacular scenery, and breathtaking wildlife. .
Intrigued? Then let me tell you more…
Botswana is an exceptionally beautiful country, full of magnificent and unique landscapes, and the exciting wildlife that lives there. The land is breathtakingly beautiful and features everything from the scorching deserts of the Kalahari, to vibrant and lush waterways of the Okavango Delta. It’s safe to say that this country is unlike any place on earth.
It also boasts some of the most exciting opportunities for safaris that you’ll find, and rest assured, the country is safe, with no political unrest, and very little crime.
Botswana has developed a reputation as one of the top-level places for safari-seekers to visit. It has a long history of wildlife conservation and its diverse, unspoilt natural beauty, rich cultural history, friendly people, and exciting game-spotting opportunities make it a must-visit destination for any safari enthusiast.
If you’re interested in an African safari, Botswana is one country that you won’t want to miss. Let’s explore seven attractions that make it an excellent destination for your African safari.
The Makgadikgadi salt pans are in the middle of the dry desert in North-Eastern Botswana.
The salt pans restrict anything from growing and during certain seasons appear to be completely devoid of anything living. Once the wet season arrives though, the lands become an entirely new place. The barren desert becomes lush and green, and a vast sheet of water appears.
This wet oasis becomes a destination for thousands of animals, which trample through in search of fresh water and food, making it an ideal location for game spotting.
The Okavango Delta, recently named UNESCO’s 1000th world heritage site, is located in the north of Botswana, and is one of the few wetlands in the area.
This delta is fed by the Okavango River which flows in from the Angolan highlands. The Okavango is produced by seasonal flooding on the otherwise flat land. Due to the gentle slope of the delta, it takes around six months for the flood waters to make their way down from Angola. The Okavango Delta has many different islands, lagoons, and mainland areas. The water level reaches its maximum in July and August, just as the dry season hits Botswana, making it a popular gathering place for wildlife.
The Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta is one of the most diverse habitats in Botswana and is home to wild dogs, cheetahs, lions, elephants, buffalo, hippos, and the rare sitatunga. All of the classic African safari animals can be found at this reserve.
Chobe National Park, located in the north-east of Botswana, is home to one of the three largest parks in the country. The Chobe River, one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers, is responsible for keeping the park well-watered.
The landscape at Chobe National Park is nothing short of spectacular. It is also one of the most populated areas for elephants, and is home to over fifty thousand of these beautiful creatures. If you are looking to get up close and personal with these gentle giants, the Chobe National Park is for you.
In the southern banks of the Linyanti River is the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, arguably one of the best game viewing areas in Botswana. Whether you are hoping for buffalo, zebras, or elephants, you’re sure to spot your favourites here. There is also a wide variety of predators that roam through the area, making for an exciting viewing experience. This location is especially popular during the winter months when water is scare. During this season, large groups of animals can be seen congregating at the river.
The Kalahari Desert a large semi-arid savannah that’s both vast and beautiful. This desert covers much of Botswana, and stretches into Namibia and South Africa.
Contrasting with the Okavango River, the only river to run through this desert, the Kalahari Desert is a vast wilderness that stretches 360,000 square miles. The name of the desert, Kalahari, means “large thirst” in the Tswana language, and features a mixture of salt pans, riverbeds, and brush. It’s also home to big cats including cheetahs, leopards, and the Kalahari lion, famous for its beautiful black mane.
This desert is home to three parks and reserves, one of which happens to be a reserve for rare and endangered species such as lions, African wild dogs, and cheetahs.
Camping in the Kalahari Game Reserve, you will be overwhelmed by its vastness. Listening to nothing but the sounds of roaring lions, hyenas, and other wildlife is an experience that’s truly remarkable. (tweet this)
Located in the north-west of Botswana near the Namibian Border, the Tsodilo Hills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of rock art and caves.
There are estimated to be over 4500 rock paintings at the site, and an estimated 500 individual sites which represent thousands of years of human habitation. It is believed that the San people, or bushmen created the rock art, as they at one time inhabited the caves and rock shelters. Exploring the three hills is a journey into antiquity, as this site is thought to be one of the world’s oldest historical sites.
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a reserve that allows for an exclusive wildlife viewing experience.
Located in the southwest corner of Botswana and adjacent to South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, this park is a transfrontier reserve that is run as a single ecological unit. Together, Botswana and South Africa have joined forces to protect the wildlife found in this reserve. To maintain the wilderness, there are strict limits on the number of tours allowed into the park. For this reason it’s important to book early to avoid disappointment.
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Since the park receives few visitors, it’s ideal for those who are in search of an exclusive game viewing experience. Springbok and gemsbok antelope, hartebeest, brown hyena, as well as the black-maned Kalahari lion, jackal, and wild cats can all be seen here. This reserve also offers an excellent bird viewing experience. Over 170 species of birds have been recorded in this reserve, and there’s a good chance that you’ll easily see over 30 different species within a few kilometres outside of camp.
Moremi Wildlife Reserve is a true gem of a reserve, located in in the central and eastern areas of the Okavango. This reserve offers spectacular game viewing and bird watching opportunities, including opportunities to spot the “Big Five.”
This reserve stretches for approximately 3900 square kilometres, and features picturesque floodplains, waterways, lagoons, grasslands, and mophane forests. The vast and varied terrain makes this an especially desirable destination for self-drive tours, with many visitors opting to combine this reserve with Chobe National Park to the northeast. A tour through this park will feature terrain and wildlife so phenomenal that at times, it will be nothing short of awe inspiring.
As you can see, this beautiful country has so much just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re looking for breath-taking scenery, exotic animals, or spectacular photo opportunities you’re sure to find all of this and more on a Botswana safari.
While a Botswana safari can be expensive, it’s an experience that’s truly second to none. The reserves are exclusive and the accommodation luxurious. The wildlife viewing experience is also exceptional.
After the rains, massive herds of grazers migrate to the deserts of the Kalahari the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, allowing you the chance to experience one of the biggest migrations in the world. If you want to have a first-rate safari experience, a trip to Botswana certainly won’t disappoint.
If you’re ready to discover the excitement of a safari in Botswana, or if you just want to find out the best times of year to visit Botswana, get a free consultation with one of our team of experts right here. We’ll help you map out a plan that will ensure you get the most out of your trip.
Or if you’d prefer to do some more research on your own first, then get yourself a free copy of the African Safari Field Guide next. It’s a 37-page guide on the subject written by our expert team here at Safari Drive HQ, and includes on all sorts of safari advice like how to camping safely, cross rivers, and spot wildlife.