Botswana


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An African safari paradise


A wealth of natural treasure awaits visitors to Botswana, one of southern Africa’s most prosperous countries. The glaring pans of the Makgadikgadi, parched earth of the Kalahari, teeming waterways of the Okavango, and the renowned Chobe National Park all offer something to thrill travellers.

Although landlocked, Botswana boasts the lush Okavango Delta and panhandle where the surrounding riverine forest, mopane woodlands, and savannahs are a centre of incredible biodiversity. Reserves surrounding the Delta and other game-abundant areas such as Chobe National Park give visitors a chance to get up close and personal with the country’s wildlife. The terrain of the Tuli Block, its surrounding areas rich in San rock art and the remnants of ancient civilisations will bring life to historical textbooks.

Further west, the expansive Kalahari Desert scrubland offers endless horizons and glittering night skies while the cracked, desolate splendour of the neighbouring Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pans promise peaceful isolation. Near the South African border, the international city of Gaborone comes alive with hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs ready to host savvy travellers on their way through this electrifying country.

Highlights

  • Botswana is a country abundant in ruins of ancient civilisations, wildlife, and natural wonders
  • The lush Okavango Delta, parched Kalahari Desert, and expansive Makgadikgadi Pans are some of the country’s prime attractions
  • Botswana is renowned for its array of wildlife and contrasting landscapes that result in incredible biodiversity
  • Botswana’s popular regions are all easily accessed via air from the capital, Gaborone, or Johannesburg in neighbouring South Africa

Facts and Information

The textbook post-colonial African success story, Botswana benefited from a rich natural resource base, efficient government and an extremely low population density. In contrast to some of its regional neighbours, Botswana continues to enjoy more than five decades of uninterrupted peace, sustained economic growth and progressive environmental conservation.

The country is one of the world's largest diamond producers, with annual revenue streams in the tens of billions of dollars. Mining has facilitated a modern infrastructure, including a paved highway across the vast swathe of The Kalahari Desert.

Wherever you go in Botswana, it's the limitless space that makes the strongest impression. With a population density of approximately three people per square kilometre, Botswana is defined by natural spectacles. Along the legendary riverfront of Chobe National Park, some of Africa's largest elephant herds roam unhindered alongside rare species of antelope.

We have split Botswana up into four main tourism hubs - the Moremi and Okavango Region, the Chobe, the Makgadikgadi Pans and The Kalahari Desert.

The Moremi Game Reserve attracts seasonal migrations of herd mammals and the crafty felines that prey on them. The Okavango Delta, in which the reserve sits, is an attraction in itself, an oasis of life amidst parched plains and shifting sands.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve meanwhile is one of the world's largest game reserves and protects the endangered African Wild Dogs. The Kalahari is a varied landscape of sandy plateaus, rocky outcrops and bushy trees, not to mention a healthy assortment of wildlife.

The whole of Botswana is a malaria area and you will need to take appropriate precautions while visiting this amazing country.


When to visit and book a Botswana holiday

JANUARY (Green Season)

The height of rainy season; hot and humid with thunderstorms. Low water in the Delta. Considered the poorest time for game viewing but best for birding. Amazing great green season specials available.

FEBRUARY (Green Season )

The height of rainy season; hot and humid with thunderstorms. Low water in the Delta. Not great for game viewing but best for birding. Amazing green season specials available.

MARCH  (Green Season) 

Game viewing better as the rains ease and animals return to more accessible dry season areas. Vegetation is  thick and temperatures are hot though not as bad as earlier in the year. Lots of bodies of water  everywhere although delta not in flood yet. March and April have highest malaria risk.

APRIL (Shoulder Season)

End of rainy season. April and May are the best months to visit Botswana as rates are still lower and there are fewer visitors than peak season. Most days are warm and nights cool as the rain disappears for the next four months. Landscape still green but seasonal waterholes are rapidly drying up and animals are arriving at permanent water sources like the Chobe River, Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve. The game viewing is often as good as prime time.

MAY (Shoulder Season)

Same as above. Water reaches the panhandle of the Okavango Delta and starts flooding. Game viewing is at its peak.

JUNE and JULY (High Season)

Okavango in full flood. Warm days and cold nights. Night time temperatures can dip below freezing. No rain and very few mosquitoes. Game viewing in most areas is excellent.

AUGUST (High Season)

Temperatures rise as do visitor numbers. Peak game viewing season. Vegetation thinner and less lush for better viewing. Big herds of antelope, elephants and buffalo begin to crowd the banks of rivers and permanent waterholes. Land-only camps and Okavango Delta camps on the dry-land fringes such as Moremi and adjoining private reserves are very good for game viewing. 

SEPTEMBER and October (High Season) 

End of Botswana's cool dry winter. September and October deliver some of the hottest weather of the year. It's classic dry season: baked and leaf-stripped landscapes; hot days. Food and water becomes harder to find so animals concentrate around watering holes and along rivers. Game viewing is excellent. Best time to visit Chobe (massive herds along the river) and Linyanti, Kwando and Selinda reserves and migratory birds start arriving.

 NOVEMBER (Start of Green Season) 

Unpredictable month. Could be wet or dry, depending on the timing of the rains but it will be hot. A dry November makes for excellent waterhole game viewing. If there is early rain, many animals disappear en masse into the backcountry. Game viewing still good but concentrations of animals may be lower. Green season specials start.

DECEMBER  (Green Season  except 20 Dec – 10 Jan)

Summer time and raining season starts in earnest. Botswana turns green and impalas and springboks all drop their lambs. Lots of baby animals around. Best month for bird watching. Spectacular thunderstorms. Prettiest time to be there but not necessarily the best for game viewing.

For more information about Botswana and planning your trip to this part of Africa, feel free to chat to one of our friendly consultants.

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