Although Botswana is a diamond-rich country, she highly values her second-greatest national asset, namely wildlife tourism. An amazing 25 per cent of the country has been set aside for conservation, in the form of National Parks and Game Reserves. The country is home to one of Africa’s greatest natural wonders, the Okavango Delta which remains one of the most popular places in Africa to visit for a unique Safari experience. Here you can take to the waters in a Mokoro (a traditional dug-out canoe) and drift silently along the hidden channels passing a multitude of wildlife, drinking, wallowing and basking in the shallows. In magical Chobe National Park you can enjoy one of Africa’s highest concentrations of Elephant, while the arid Nxai Pan will enchant you with solitude, starry skies, Baobabs and excellent Cheetah sightings.
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The jewel in Botswana’s tourism crown is undoubtedly the magnificent Okavango Delta which turns part of the arid Kalahari Desert into a lush and delightful oasis. Although the Delta is not a National Park, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa – an absolute “must see” destination in Botswana. The waters that form the Delta flows south for over 1,000km from the Angolan mountains before reaching Botswana where they fan out to form lakes, inlets, streams and lagoons – a veritable paradise for both man and beast.
The Moremi Game Reserve encompasses about 30 per cent of the marvellous Delta and, together with the adjacent Chobe and Savuti National Parks is home to about 130,000 Elephant along with all the other members of the Big Five and huge numbers of birds, both local and migrants.
Chobe National Park is world-famous for its huge population of Elephants, but this Park also has one of the densest concentrations of general game in Africa and many predators, making it great for traditional land-based safaris.
Further south the landscape changes dramatically and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks offer a completely different arid desert landscape with very little water or vegetation. But don’t’ be fooled – when the summer rains come the dry salt pans become covered in sweet green grass and the animals arrive in their numbers…
At the border of Botswana and South Africa is the enormous Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which covers over 30,000km sq. This is the place to go for star-gazing, peace and solitude and to see the Black-maned Kalahari Lion and many other large predators around the flood-lit permanent water holes. The very dramatic landscape will surprise you, as will the number of animals who make their home in this parched corner of the planet.
Botswana is situated adjacent to Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and Namibia, which means that multi-park and multi-country Safaris are easy to arrange. There is so much to see that choosing the right combination can be a little overwhelming. Read all about each of Botswana’s Parks and give us your short-list – our experts will do the rest!