Botswana is an excellent tourist destination with a landscape which is defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta which becomes a lush animal habitat during the seasonal floods. The massive Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with its fossilized river valleys and undulating grasslands, is home to numerous animals including large herds of gemsbok, eland, springbok and the predators that follow them. It surrounds the fascinating Makgadikgadi Pans which, when flooded is a sanctuary for many bird species and enormous herds of migratory zebra. The Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana is the world’s largest inland delta, formed by the Okavango river flowing inland from Angola and never reaches the sea.
Botswana has a fascinating geographic history, much of which is rooted in the creation of the world’s largest stretch of sand, the wild Kalahari desert. 85% of the country is covered in this huge, dry expanse and its history is fundamental to Botswana’s current population distribution. The main source of income is diamonds. It’s a huge country with a small population who enjoy political and economic stability offering a successful wildlife safari and unspoiled wilderness areas for safari tours. Botswana can be expensive but it is worth it. Massive herds of big game move freely between the watery Okavango Delta and the dry but seasonally rich Kalahari plains. This results in large migratory movements as the seasons change, the rains come and go with predators active. You might see big cats such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and leopards, giraffes, zebras and antelope. Botswana is suitable for both first time African safari visitors and safari specialists seeking remote and secluded safari getaways.
July to October marks the high season when game concentrates at permanent water sources. The Okavango Delta and Chobe area attracts a lot of wildlife during this time of the year. Migrant birds in the region gather during the green season in the quieter months from November to April. For many travellers to Africa this is the time to explore remote safari gems in the Kalahari.
The ironic Okavango Delta, Makgadikgadi Pans and Linyanti Swamp, which collectively cover about 30,000 km² are all part of a Botswana Safari.
The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta – an incredible oasis in the middle of the Kalahari desert. It gives habitation to some of the best wildlife in Africa. Huge herds of elephant and buffalo roam the paradise, including a plentiful collection of browsers and grazers – and predators naturally flock to where food is so plentiful.
Moremi Game Reserve is located within the Okavango Delta, and occupies about a third of its total area. Moremi is great for water-based activites and offers traditional mokoro trips and top game-viewing.
The Makgadikgadi Pans are remarkably scenic, and is perhaps surprisingly to some, only one-fifth covered in salt pans – there are three other habitats – riverine woodlands, scrubland and pure grassland. Thousands of animals flock to the area for the nutritious grass, and most of the animals typical of African safaris can be found here including the very entertaining Meerkats.
The Linyanti is a great alternative to the Okavango Delta – remote bush camps that are only accessible by air have privileged access to an African swamp that simply teems with wildlife, luxurious and private.
Savute is a remote corner of Chobe National Park renowned for its explosive big game viewing and strangely unpredictable water channel.
The best time for big game viewing is during the drier, winter months (July, August, and September). For bird watchers, November to March is the best time.
If you want to escape the main rush of tourists then we recommend May and June when skies are clear and the bush is greeny with nourished animals at the end of the rainy season.