Botswana is a small country with a big heart. The population is very sparse and most of the country is semi-desert but Botswana sports a gigantic array of wildlife. If you are thinking about taking a safari in Botswana you are really in for a treat. The country boasts some of the best game parks and nature reserves in the world.
How to travel
The magnificent scenery of Botswana is gorgeous from any angle. Whether you soar over the thundering herds in an aeroplane or drift along in a dugout canoe, the sweeping beauty of your surroundings is sure to take your breath clean away.
- The moroko is a dugout canoe which is ‘poled’ along, much like a gondola in Venice. Unlike a trip through the ancient city though, there is no traffic or pollution and you are surrounded by unspoiled African wilderness. If you are in more of a hurry though you can take a motorboat along the main waterways and lagoons but only the moroko can slide silently through the quiet backwaters of this wild watery wonderland.
- 4X4 adventures are a fun way to explore the main islands and you can even take night drives through private concession areas if you want to experience something a bit more unique.
- There is always more than a hint of romance to the idea of flying; the sweeping views you have always seen in the cinema but never imagined you could do in real life. The Game Viewing flights over the parks of Botswana are every bit as exciting and romantic as you could hope for. Helicopter flights are a really wild adventure while light aircraft sweep over the massive herds of migrating animals and off into the sunset.
- If you are in need of a taste of something truly exotic then an Elephant Ride Safari may be the only way for you to travel. This is a truly original and quite unforgettable experience since the gentle sway of the elephants walk and your height above the ground will give you a view that is unparalleled by anything else in this world.
- The traditional way to go on safari is of course to trek on foot. You will have the unique opportunity to track and stalk live animals with the help on an expert guide. Of course, unlike in the old days, the favourite kind of shooting done nowadays is with a camera so be sure to pack plenty of extra film and memory cards! Getting up close to nature in this way is an old-fashioned, grass-roots, real adventure.
The primary attraction of Botswana safari expeditions is the Okavango Delta. This, the largest inland delta in the world is a treasure trove of scenic waterways, romantic lagoons, forests and plains that stretch to the horizon. Nature has her playground here with thousands of species of birds and animals all sharing the magnificent landscape under the enormous African sky.
The delta is only about five thousand years old. Formed when the great Okavango river was blocked from the ancient Makgadigadi lake, the delta is the site of the slowest moving flood in the world. The flood begins in Angola during April and it only reaches the bottom end of the delta during July. This strange, leisurely flood is the result of the flatness of the landscape. In fact, the entire landscape only drops 60 metres over the course of 450 kilometres!
Chobe National Park
The Chobe National Park is the second largest national park in Botswana. It is world famous for its abundant elephant population. The Chobe elephant is, in fact, the largest of the entire species. The Chobe National Park also contains an enormous variety of wildlife, some of it completely unique to the park.
Moremi Game Reserve
If you visit Africa to see her beauty, then the Moremi game reserve is an essential stop. Besides the variety of birds and animals, here you will witness some of the most breathtaking landscape in Africa. No photographer (no matter how amateur) could miss the opportunity to capture the lily-covered valleys or the infinitely photogenic forests and plains of Moremi.
The largest game reserve in Botswana is the Kalahari. This enormous stretch of wild countryside is completely arid during the dry season but is flooded with life-sustaining water during the brief rainy season. The rains bring all manner of wildlife to drink and romp in the refreshing ponds and lakes that form in the pans and valleys.
Makgadigadi Pans National Park
On these, the largest saltpans in the world, immense herds of game migrate for the rainy season while flocks of water birds fill the skies and waters. The waters that fill the normally arid pans are a mere hint at the massive lake that covered the entire area five thousand years ago. The animals that fill the plains though are as magnificent now as there ancestors were when the great lake was filled by the ancient Okavango River so long ago.