BotswanaBotswana is regarded as having some of the finest wildlife viewing in Africa. The diversity of habitats results in a remarkable variety of wildlife – both fauna and flora. Botswana also boasts some incredible landscapes – from the harsh Kalahari and eery Makgadikgadi Pans to the lush Okavango Delta.
OKAVANGO DELTA AND MOREMI GAME RESERVEPerhaps the most famous of Botswana’s attractions, the Okavango Delta is a natural wonder, spilling out over 15000 sq km into the desert sands. Moremi Game Reserve – on the eastern side of the delta – is one of Africa’s finest wildlife areas. The western delta’s deep lagoons and riverine forests are excellent birding hotspots.
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
Chobe is famous for its elephants – and herds of 200 are common, especially in the dry season. There are three main areas of the park – Savuti is famous for its predators, Linyanti is picturesque and tranquil, and the riverfront boasts an incredible variety of game, birdlife and aquatic life.
MAKGADIKGADI AND NXAI PANSMakgadikgadi Pans are a huge expanse of salt flats, covering 16000 sq km. To the north is Nxai Pan National Park – a grassy pan, attracting large herds of ungulates in the wet season. The area has several famous baobab trees, including Baines Baobabs. To the extreme west is the Boteti River, now flowing again after nearly 40 years.
CENTRAL KALAHARI AND KHUTSEThe Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the world’s second largest. The north of the reserve features fossil river valleys, with large populations of desert species such as springbok and gemsbok. The Kalahari is home to the San people, and taking part in cultural activities is a memorable experience. To the south is the smaller Khutse Game Reserve.
KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARKThe Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was the first cross-border protected area in southern Africa. Botswana’s side of the park consists the Mabuasehube area in the east and the Swartpan northwest, both of which feature numerous pans. Between Botswana and South Africa is a 4×4 wilderness trail – something for the very adventurous.
TULI & EASTERN BOTSWANA
Perhaps one of Botswana’s most overlooked wildlife areas, the east of the country has a lot to offer. Tuli is picturesque, featuring rocky outcrops, woodland and seasonal rivers and the Northern Tuli Game Reserve has all the game of the northern areas, albeit in smaller numbers. The Tswapong Hills near Palapye are unique in having several permanent streams and endemic flora, as well as being an important breeding site for the endangered Cape Vulture. The Khama Rhino Sanctuary near Serowe is an ideal stop-over enroute from South Africa, and game viewing opportunities in this small reserve can be very good.