Botswana is in every respect a wildlife mecca. Aside from its impressive mineral reserves and farming wealth, the Botswanan administration has made a total commitment to tourism and the preservation of its wildernesses. Tourism is extremely well organised and well structured, and it is a pleasure to travel here.
Botswana has a population of only around 2 million people, and is sparsely populated outside its urban areas, leaving its wildlife areas in pristine condition.
Botswana has such a variety to offer that one could spend a lifetime exploring, and never grow weary of it.
Its wildlife reserves are immense, and since hunting in any form has been banned as of 2014, most of the old hunting grounds are also being converted into photographic safari areas, expanding these already huge conservation ranges.
Botswana is landlocked, bordered by Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, Namibia to the north and west, and South Africa to the south and southeast. At Kazungula in the Caprivi strip, four countries - Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia - meet at a single point midstream in the Zambezi River. The Kalahari Desert covers 84% of the country, then continues west far into South Africa, Angola and Namibia. But do not be fooled into thinking that the country is a dry desolate wasteland. Seasonal rains, enormous floodplains and vast rivers make many parts of this country the perfect habitat for a wide assortment of creatures.
In the Southern section of the country lies the capital city, Gaborone. This international gateway into Botswana is where guests can spend time appreciating the culture and history of the country before heading off on their safari adventures.
The heart of Botswana is dominated by the sprawling Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a remote desertscape, harsh and dry during winter, and renowned for shifting sand dunes and night skies filled with a panoply of stars. The rainy season transforms the land into lush rolling grasslands filled with abundant herds of pronking springbok and regal oryx, together with ostrich and the ever graceful giraffe.Cheetah thrive on the flat open ground, and the world famous Kalahari black maned lions roar their authority into the night.Due north, the Okavango river spills its life-giving waters into the would-be aridness, creating an inland delta that attracts one of the largest concentrations of animals on the continent. Together with the adjoining Moremi Wildlife Reserve to the east, this is by far the most popular and geographically intense tourism region.
East of this wildlife wonderland lie the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and Nxai Pan National Park. This is the biggest salt pan in the world. During the wet season the pans fill with warm saline water, and migrations of flamingos stain the waters pink as they flock here in their thousands to feed and breed in the shallows. Along the edges of the pan, the grasslands attract one of the biggest migrations of zebra known in Africa. It has a stark and deeply mysterious beauty that you will find nowhere else. It is a completely untameable wilderness.
In the northern reaches of the country, along the border with Namibia, lies the Chobe National Park. Chobe is renowned for its huge population of elephants as well as a plethora of bird and animal life. The Chobe River is a powerful attraction for most visitors to Botswana, while the Savuti and Linyati areas of the reserve are a hotspots for great predator viewing. Its sheer diversity and proximity to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe makes it one of Botswana’s top destinations.
The people of Botswana are cheerful and welcoming, transport is well organised and safe, and the accommodation and hospitality in all of the game reserves are superb. Botswana has employed a strategy of low tourism capacity at higher prices, but it is certainly worth the extra Pula (the local currency).