Why visit Botswana
Botswana is one of the greatest safari destinations in Africa blessed with some of the most dramatic wildlife spectacles on earth; wild and organic without fences. Approximately 40% of the land falls within a wildlife protected area and these areas offer a sanctuary for the world’s largest concentration of elephant, and other endangered mammals such as the black rhino and African wild dog. Botswana is also home to the world’s largest inland Delta – The Okavango Delta – a place of incredible beauty and diversity where the waters are swallowed by the Kalahari Sand after passing through the system. Botswana lies at the heart of the Kalahari Desert with most of the country covered by desert sands. Another unique aspect of Botswana is the presence of rivers attracting large quantities of different wildlife in what is effectively a desert. Some of the rivers interconnect whilst some simply dissipate. Central Botswana was once part of a massive inland lake, the remnants of which are still visible in the unique geological features such as the largest salt pans in the world, the Makgadikgadi, a place of fascinating wildlife and endless horizons.
Where to go in Botswana
Chobe National Park
The Chobe National Park is in the Northern part of Botswana and lies along the Chobe River, which borders Botswana and Namibia. Chobe National Park is the second largest park in Botswana and home to Africa’s largest elephant population. Chobe is undoubtedly the best place in Africa to view herds of elephants, particularly in the water. Chobe is rich in ecosystems, diverse landscapes and an abundance of wildlife and birdlife all find refuge around the Chobe River. There are equally large herds of buffalo and zebra to be found here. The park also offers great lion and leopard sightings, while the river has a thriving colony of hippos and crocodiles. The park also hosts more unusual antelope species such as Roan and Sable, Puku, Tsessebe, Eland, Red Lechwe, Waterbuck, and the rare Chobe Bushbuck.
The Okavango is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. The Okavango Delta is a unique labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels. The Okavango Delta – a phenomenon that can be observed by astronauts in space – is the largest inland delta in the world and a magnet for the wildlife who depend on the permanent waters. On the mainland and among the islands in the delta, lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a variety of antelope and other smaller animals. The Okavango’s water is remarkably clean since it passes through very sparsely populated areas on its journey from Angola.
Moremi and Savuti
Moremi consists mainly of the Okavango River Delta where makoro (dug out canoes) trips can be taken through the labyrinth of reed channels offering a unique experience viewing wildlife from the water.
Savuti is a drier with huge Baobab trees. There is a large floodplain with size depicted by the quantity of water pushing through from the delta. Home to large herds of elephants, wild dog, leopard and large numbers of plains game.
The salt pans of Botswana provide some of the most dramatic scenery in Botswana. The salt pans of Makgadikgadi along with the Nxai Pans are considered the largest in the world. One of Africa’s biggest zebra populations makes this vista of white sand and salt their home. In Winter, when it is dry, the entire surface dances with mirages, while in the summer months, pale green shoots appear, and more than 50 000 wildebeest and Zebra migrate here. When rains fall during the wet season, the pans are filled with water and attract large flocks of flamingos, as well as big herds of zebra, springbok and wildebeest, followed closely by predators, making for fantastic game viewing.
When to visit Botswana
During the dry season and winter (May to October), the vegetation is less and animals concentrate around waterholes and rivers, making wildlife sightings easier. The skies are clear, rainfall is rate and there are fewer mosquitoes. It gets cold at night and in the mornings – pack warm clothing during June, July and August for morning game drives.
During the wet season and summer (November to April), the scenery is greener. Wildlife is easier to spot in the dry season, there will be plenty sightings of newborn animals and birds migrating. Rains are mostly short afternoon showers, except for January and February when the rain can continue for days. It gets very hot in October and November.
For updated weather forecasts across Africa, please visit www.africanweather.net