Botswana is one of the premier safari locations on the African continent, and is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, making its well stocked game reserves the principle attraction. The Okavango Delta and Chobe National Parks are filled with a wide range of wildlife. The parks are exclusive safari destinations and not easy to reach; meaning fewer people and a more intimate experience.
Botswana has good political stability, making it a great destination for families and the single traveler. The country is also a great choice for couples on honeymoon, offering a fantastic range of romantic and intimate lodges, seclusion and tranquility. This friendly country blends excellent accommodation and cultural interactions with some of the best wildlife viewing available on the continent. Botswana also boasts Africa's largest elephant population, in addition to many zebra, buffalo and numerous antelope species. Travelers interested in seeing the Big 5 will not be disappointed in Botswana.
Attractions & Activities
A closer look at what your holiday could be.
Chobe National Park is most famous for its large elephant and buffalo population. Its beautiful range of landscapes, including floodplains, marsh, grasslands and leadwood groves, host great diversity of wildlife. The best time to visit Chobe is during the dry and cool winter months (May-September). Good numbers of buffalo, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest can be found in big herds this time of year.
The Okavango Delta is a unique safari destination, plenty of which can be viewed from a traditional canoe, the mokoro. The Okavango Delta hosts great numbers of elephant, buffalo, lion, hippo, giraffe and zebra. There are numerous lodges scattered around the delta, as well as luxury safari camps; many of them offer walking safaris.
Savuti is a remote area of the Chobe National Park, and is well known for its dramatic game viewing. Its vast landscapes and teeming numbers of wildlife, predators in particular, make for incredible getaways. Lions in the Savuti are known in particular for their capacity to hunt large mammals like elephant and buffalo. This is one of the continent's best game destinations.
The Central Kalahari is one of the world's largest game reserves. Here you can find big game but due to its harsh and arid environment they occur in low densities. There is however a healthy population of cheetah who thrive on the open pans. Chances of seeing a great cheetah chase is best in the open Kalahari. A Kalahari safari also presents the best opportunity to see many of Africa's smaller and more elusive animals such as wild cat, porcupine, aardwolf, meerkat and honey badger. Visitors go to the Kalahari not just for game, but also to experience an African remoteness that is unrivaled.
When to Visit Botswana
Botswana is year-round safari destination, so it really depends on what you wish to do. Game viewing is at its peak during the dry winter months of May to October when animals are concentrated in ever increasing numbers at water sources. Wildlife tends to disperse during the rainy January to April summer but several destinations such as Chobe's Savute region and the Kalahari offer excellent summer game viewing. The wet season is also ideal for birding.
Peak season in Botswana is between July and October, with October being the hottest month of the year. April to October is the dry season, the best game-viewing as animals concentrate around permanent waterholes.
Note that Botswana can be difficult for budget travelers, since it has a 'low impact, high cost' policy which ensures conservation of its natural habitat and high standards of accommodation and services.