Botswana – the ultimate safari destination

Botswana is the ultimate safari destination – a game watchers paradise where lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, wild dog, hippo and buffalo roam free.  The quality of guiding and accommodation rates as some of the best in Africa and the variety of activities on offer suit all ages and interests.

Discover the watery channels of the Okavango Delta – the world’s largest inland delta and home to an amazing variety of wildlife and birdlife.  Explore the lagoons in a traditional mokoro or dug out canoe, cruising through the water between the reed beds, catching glimpses of hippo and crocodile and watching the elephants as they splash and play on the banks.   See the big cats and wild dogs in the Chobe National Park or spend a few days in the drier Linyanti region where mighty herds of elephant roam, gathering in huge herds during the dry season between August and November.

The Moremi Game Reserve covers most of the eastern side of the Okavango Delta.  It is an area of striking contrasts – a patchwork of lagoons and drier desert areas that supports a variety of species including elephant, cheetah, buffalo, wild dog, hyena, giraffe, leopard, lion and jackal.  Moremi also has some interested geographical features – like Chiefs Island, the largest land mass in the delta that stretches for about 1000 square kilometres from the southern Okavango to the permanent waters near Mombo. The region is best explored during the dry season between July and October when huge herds gather at the few remaining water sources.

The Nxai Pan National Park is another of Botswana’s gems waiting to be discovered.  These remains of an ancient lake bed that was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi are best explored during the months of December to April when the veld flowers are blooming and the region is teeming with an array of animal species that migrate here to graze on the fresh fertile grass.  These huge herds are followed by predators like wild dog, lion, hyena, cheetah and leopard.  The bird watching is also excellent during the rainy season.

The Tuli Block is a long, thin fringe of land to the east of Botswana.  It consists mainly of privately owned reserves offering excellent game viewing safaris.  The region is inhabited by an array of wildlife and birdlife and is also known for its unique geographical features and ancient San rock art.  The best time to visit this region is during the winter months between June and August when the lack of foliage makes for some great game viewing.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve covers an area larger than Switzerland and is characterised by vast dunes and with many different species of vegetation.  After the summer rains the northrn regions are transformed into a fertile green carpet of grassland that attracts huge numbers of plains game and predators in a migration spectacle that compares quite favourably to the great migrations in Kenya and Tanzania.  The region is also a bird lover paradise with 350 species recorded.

You can enjoy a variety of activities on a Botswana safari – all of which are focussed on the wildlife experience.  Game drives, walking safaris, mokoro trips, horse back safaris, quad biking and elephant back safaris are just a few examples.  The appeal of a Botswana safari is that you can combine luxury accommodation with an authentic wilderness experience in a vast and unpopulated country.  You will share your safari adventure with just a handful of other wildlife enthusiasts and some of the Botswana safari camps offer private game drives – exploring hundreds of square miles of true wilderness all by yourselves!

Rebecca Sparrow is Marketing Manager at Safari.co.uk.

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