Botswana Africa – Luxury & Seclusion
In Botswana, you can fly, drive, walk with Bushmen, glide past hippos in a dug-out canoe, horse-ride, or wade through the Delta on the back of an elephant. This beautiful country has a lot to offer the visitor – the people are friendly, the landscapes are like nowhere else on earth and the wildlife is diverse and prolific.
Privacy and wilderness are synonymous with a Botswana safari, as most lodges only accommodate 8 to 20 guests. If you choose your camp carefully, you may see very few other tourists and plenty of games. Arriving by light aircraft at your lodge adds to the exclusivity and excitement of your Botswana safari.
Botswana’s growth has been carefully managed and its tourism industry has cultivated a reputation for quality, not quantity. Its official ‘low impact, high cost’ policy ensures the conservation of its natural habitat and high standards of accommodation and services.
Botswana has set aside nearly 40% of its total land surface for conservation in national parks, game reserves, and management areas (known as private reserves or concessions). This is an amazing commitment and it is rewarded by visitors coming from all over the world to experience the ‘best all-round safari destination in the world’.
- Botswana is approximately the size of France!
- Safe and secure destination
- Locals are very welcoming to tourists
- December – May is when vegetation is most lush
- Birding is best during November – March
- The summer months are November – March and some lodges close due to the muddy roads
As an African travel specialist, Close Encounters Africa has access to a range of special discounts and late availability safari packages that are not generally available through other travel companies.
These limited availability offers could save you up to £1,000 per person or more on a luxury safari holiday in Botswana.
Botswana is dominated by the Kalahari Desert, which covers 70 percent of its surface, and offers very different landscapes from those of the Okavango Delta, which is wet and green throughout the year, and the Makgadikgadi Pan – one of the biggest salt pans in the world.
The Kalahari reserve is characterized by vast open plains, saltpans, and ancient riverbeds. It is also Africa’s first ‘Peace Park’, which is home to the Black-maned Kalahari Lion and the San (bushmen) – residents for about 1000 years.
The Kalahari Desert, located in northern Botswana, is a vast and diverse region that offers many opportunities for exploration. The largest sand desert in the world, the Kalahari stretches across much of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. It is home to incredibly varied landscapes, ranging from grassy savannas to dense scrubbrushes and sandy dunes. With its lush, unique ecosystems, abundant wildlife, and breathtaking vistas, a visit to the Kalahari Desert is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
When planning a trip to the Kalahari Desert, it is important to be prepared for all sorts of terrain. The best way to experience this expansive landscape is by taking part in a guided tour. Experienced guides will help ensure you get the most out of your journey by sharing their knowledge of the area’s history and culture, as well as showing you the best spots for game viewing. You may also take advantage of camping opportunities when exploring the Kalahari – just be sure to bring plenty of water and supplies if you choose to do so!
At over 17,000 sq. km, the north of Botswana is home to its most attractive natural asset, the Okavango Delta. It never ceases to amaze visitors, as it is the only river delta that doesn’t connect with the sea. Lion, antelope, hippo, elephants, and over 400 types of birds are attracted to the lush forests and papyrus beds that are nestled amongst the lagoons, lakes, and dry land.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is truly a sight to behold. Located on the fringes of the Kalahari Desert, it is an oasis of lush green vegetation and abundant wildlife. The delta is fed by its namesake river, which flows from Angola and spreads across northern Botswana towards the Makgadikgadi salt pans. Along its course, the Okavango River creates numerous channels and lagoons, known locally as “pans”. These pans are the perfect habitat for birds, antelope, hippos, crocodiles, and other wildlife.
The Okavango Delta offers different experiences for travelers. There are plenty of game-viewing opportunities if you’re looking to see the region’s famous animals. Alternatively, you can take a boat ride on the waterways, or unwind at one of the many luxurious lodges scattered throughout the area. For those seeking a more active vacation, canoeing, and kayaking tours offer stunning views of the wetlands, while guided walking tours reveal the endemic plant life of this unique ecosystem.
Situated on the banks of the Notwane River, Gaborone’s scenic landscapes and modern infrastructure make it an ideal destination for visitors.
For anyone looking to take advantage of Botswana’s rich cultural heritage, Gaborone is home to a number of museums showcasing artifacts from across the country, including the renowned Botswana National Museum which chronicles thousands of years of history. The Museum of Natural History is another popular draw, featuring some of the region’s rarest species of animals.
The city is also a great place for shopping, with a variety of apparel, jewelry, and souvenirs available from the local markets. Outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking are also popular, as Gaborone is within close proximity to parks and nature reserves like Maitisong Game Park and Nxai Pan National Park.
No visit to Gaborone would be complete without trying some of the local cuisine. From traditional African dishes to international favorites, there are plenty of mouth-watering options available throughout the city. And if you’re looking for a night out, Gaborone has plenty of lively bars, clubs, and restaurants offering an array of entertainment.
Chobe National Park
If it’s sunset safari skyline you see in your dreams of Africa, the Chobe National Park is where you can find herds of migrating antelope, elephant, and zebra, which draw attention from the big cats – cheetah, leopard, and of course the mighty lion.
Chobe National Park is one of Botswana’s most impressive natural wonders. Located in the northern part of the country, it is renowned for its exceptional wildlife and diverse landscape. Home to over 120,000 elephants, Chobe is the only place on Earth where such a large number can be observed. There are also large populations of lions, hippos, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras, and numerous bird species.
With vast savanna plains, lush riverbanks, open forests, and rugged mountains, Chobe features breathtaking landscapes that provide an amazing backdrop for its abundant wildlife. Its remote and untamed beauty makes it the perfect spot for game drives, safaris, and river cruises. The park is also known as a great destination for birdwatching and fishing.
The largest saltpans in the world are about the size of Portugal. During the rainy season, they attract thousands of flamingos to the shallow lakes which are rife with birds and other wildlife such as springbok, zebra, and wildebeest.
As one of the largest salt pans in the world, Makgadikgadi Pans offers a truly unique experience for visitors to Botswana. Located in the northeastern region of the country, the Makgadikgadi Pans stretch out across an impressive 12,000 square kilometers and boast some of the most striking landscapes in the entire continent. The white crust of the salt pan is broken up by shallow seasonal lakes that are scattered throughout the area, providing breathtaking scenery for visitors.
The amount of wildlife in the area is also something to behold – zebras, wildebeest, springbok, and other species can be spotted in the distance, making it a prime destination for safari lovers. Furthermore, the vast open space makes it ideal for hot air balloon rides, giving visitors the chance to catch a glimpse of the panorama with unrivaled 360-degree views of the horizon.
When to visit
Botswana is a very popular safari destination, not only because of the masses of animals and untouched wilderness but also because there are areas that are permanently covered in water. This means that whatever time of year you visit Botswana, you are sure to have a varied and exciting range of landscapes and terrain.
From September to April, Botswana transforms into a vibrant and colorful paradise with wildflowers and lush greenery. This is also an ideal time for bird-watching, as many migratory birds flock to the area.
The summer months of December and January are hot and dry, making it ideal for camping and hiking in the bush. The nights are cool and comfortable, perfect for stargazing under the clearest night skies.
A year-round destination
The best time for the game is July through to November when it is dry and hot and the game is concentrated on permanent water. The Moremi, Savute, Linyanti, and Chobe were prime game viewing areas during this period. The Okavango Delta is a wetland area, and as such does not have masses of game. However, later in the season, the game does move in.
For birders, the months of September to March are when all the resident birds are starting to nest and breed, and the migratory birds arrive around October.
In December through to May, the bush is lush and green, a complete contrast to the dry, bleak month of October. All the wildflowers come out in the rainy season and the bush is fresh and alive. The whole of northern Botswana is a paradise during this period for the birds and the bush.
In March and April, thousands of zebras and other animals migrate towards the Savute area of Chobe National Park.
Botswana’s popularity as a destination is gaining in leaps and bounds. The peak season is from July through to November and the middle season is from April through to June. Note that availability is at a premium during these seasons, so you will need to book well in advance.
Botswana is a country full of fascinating and diverse cultures that offer visitors the chance to experience something unique. With its beautiful landscapes, rich wildlife, and vibrant cities, it’s easy to understand why Botswana has become such a popular destination for adventurers and sightseers alike. From the hustle and bustle of the capital city Gaborone to the tranquil beauty of the Kalahari Desert, there is something for everyone in Botswana. Whether it’s an outdoor excursion or a cultural immersion, a visit to this captivating African nation is sure to provide travelers with an unforgettable experience they’ll cherish for years to come.