Botswana is one of Africa’s top game viewing destinations and with good reason given its expansive game parks, high concentration of game and untapped natural wonders. An African success story, Botswana is a politically and economically stable country adding to its allure as an ideal destination for the African Safari adventure of a lifetime.
Nearly three quarters of this prosperous landlocked country is covered by the Kalahari Desert, into which the Okavango River flows in the north forming the world largest inland delta, the lush Okavango Delta.
Botswana owes its strong economic position to its diamond industry, service sector, tourism and manufacturing. The major tourist attraction in Botswana is its game parks, being home to some of the most pristine game reserves in Africa. This country of contrasting landscapes, from desert to delta and woodlands, covers an area of 600 370 sq km’s. The sheer size of Botswana, about the size of France, has resulted in large areas of land not having roads and therefore remaining unspoilt by mass tourism. The game reserves of Botswana allow for secluded safari experiences, where you can drive for hours without seeing another vehicle.
Botswana Travel Choice Locations.
The Okavango Delta – Botswana’s Jewel:
The Okavango Delta is a lush oasis of permanent and seasonal waterways and lagoons inhabited by an abundance of birds and other wildlife, such as hippos, giraffe, elephant, buffalo and crocodile. Other wildlife includes wildebeest, lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena rhinoceros, zebra and various antelope species. The delta also boasts one of Africa’s highest density populations of the endangered African Wild Dog. The Okavango Delta is home to more than 400 bird species among them the Crested Crane, Hammerkop, African Fish Eagle, Sacred Ibid and ostrich.
The winding channels of this unique delta are best explored by traditional dugout canoes, known as Mokoros. A popular activity is a scenic flight over the delta water system, which can be easily arranged. The wildlife-rich gem of Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a must see visual feast consisting of crystal clear waterways dotted with remote islands of thick vegetation.
Moremi Game Reserve – Beautiful Wilderness Area:
Moremi, one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the world, covers much of the eastern side of the Okavango Delta. This game reserve consists of a wide variety of habitats that support one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife including one of the largest populations of the endangered wild dogs in Africa. The park offers stark contrasts in its landscapes consisting of permanent waters, thick mopane woodlands and dry floodplains. Chiefs Island and the Moremi Tongue are the two most prominent land features lying within the waterways of Moremi. The Moremi Game Reserve is teeming with wildlife, including lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and jackal, as well as buffalo and giraffe. Antelopes such as impala and red lechwe can also be found in Moremi and an African Wild Dog research project is centered in the park. Almost 500 bird species can be found in the reserve, ranging from forest to water birds, with the lagoons being excellent sites for bird watching. In addition to the wide variety of lush and watery ecosystems, Moremi also offers superb 4×4 game viewing on its open savannahs.
Chobe National Park – Elephant Country:
Chobe National Park, considered the most diverse of Botswana’s game parks is famous for its large population of African elephants, boasting the highest concentration of African elephants in the world. The park stretches from the Chobe River to the Savute Channel and on to the borders of Moremi Game Reserve on the Okavango Delta, covering about 10 566 sq km’s. Botswana’s first national park, Chobe is home to huge herds of buffalo and zebras, as well as a variety of antelopes and predators. Lion, leopard, lechwe, Chobe bushbuck, hyena and cheetah are also found in Chobe National Park. Chobe is also an excellent birding destination with about 350 bird species, including Pel’s Fishing Owl and the African Skimmer. The park can be divided into three ecosystems, namely the Serondela area in the northeast on the Chobe Riverfront; the Savuti Marsh area in the west and the Linyanti Marsh in the north-west the hot dry hinterland lying between the Linyanti and Savuti Marshes. These areas differ in vegetation and water availability attracting different wildlife species, which allows for different game viewing opportunities from season to season as well as between the different sections of the diverse Chobe Park.
Kalahari Desert & Makgadikgadi Salt Pans:
The flat plain of the Kalahari Desert stretches north from South Africa through Namibia to Angola and Zambia, covering almost 70% of Botswana, in what is one of the most extensive sand basins in the world. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) in Botswana’s Kalahari is the world’s largest game reserve.