Where To Go And What To Do In Botswana When On Safari
Botswana is a landlocked country located in southern Africa. It shares borders with just two nations: South Africa to the south and Zimbabwe to the north. The other surrounding countries are Namibia, Zambia, and Mozambique. With a total area of 587,000 square kilometres (226,592 square miles), Botswana is one of the world's smallest countries. However, it is also among those turning from rural economies into modern ones with each passing day.
The largest city and capital of Botswana is Gaborone. The city was established as an administrative centre for British settlers during colonial times when Botswana was still under their administration as Bechuanaland Protectorate. In 1965 however, Botswana attained full independence, and since then, it has been one of the most peaceful and politically stable countries in Africa.
Unesco World Heritage Site (s) In Botswana;
- The Okavango Delta
- And the Tsodilo Hills
Botswana is also home to some of the world's most unique landscapes and ecosystems. The country is largely covered by the Kalahari Desert, which spans much of southern Africa. The Okavango Delta is another notable feature. This is the world's largest inland delta, teeming with wildlife. The Chobe National Park is also worth mentioning. It is one of Botswana's most popular tourist destinations, and it is home to a large population of elephants.
If you are looking for a place to get away from it all and immerse yourself in nature, Botswana should be high on your list of places. So without further ado, here is our list of what to do and where to go in Botswana and where to go.
Here They Are: The 10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Botswana
1. Okavango Delta
Mokoro safaris On The Waters Of The Okavango
The Okavango Delta is one of the most beautiful places on earth and one of the top destinations to visit in Botswana. This vast delta is teeming with wildlife and is a popular destination for safaris. Visitors can explore the area by 4x4 game drive vehicle, boat, canoe, horseback, or foot. There's no better way to experience the magic of the Delta than by spending time in this awe-inspiring natural wonder.
The Okavango Delta is a Unesco world heritage site for those who did not know.
Getting into Botswana's Okavango Delta is either by a fly-in or road transfer option, depending on where one destination is. Certain lodges, camps and destinations can only be accessed via light aircraft.
2. Chobe National Park
Photograph The Chobe River On A Sunset Cruise
Chobe National Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Botswana, and for a good reason. The park is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in Africa, including elephants, lions, leopards, and buffalo. Birdlife on the Chobe river is spectacular, especially in the summer months.
Visitors can enjoy several activities in the park, including game drives, boat cruises, and sunset cruises.
Several lodges and tented camps are located in the Chobe and on the Chobe River, each offering its own unique experience.
More budget-friendly resorts, boutique hotels and safari hotels can be found in and around the town of Kasane, which borders the Chobe. All these establishments will offer a host of morning, afternoon or full-day safari activities within the park and on the Chobe River.
Getting into the Chobe National Park is easy; either enter from Namibia's Zambezi Region in the west, from the Savuti region in the South or from the town of Kasane in the east. There are direct flights from Johannesburg, Maun and Victoria Falls.
3. Moremi Game Reserve
Some Of The Best Game Viewing In Africa
Moremi Game Reserve (part of the Okavango Delta) is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Botswana. It is known for its incredible wildlife, including lions, elephants, leopards, and, if lucky, endangered wild dogs. Visitors can enjoy exceptional wildlife and birdlife and world-class safari activities and accommodation establishments.
Moremi Game Reserve within the Okavango Delta is the only protected area in the Okavango run by Botswana's park board. All other areas within the Delta are private community-run wildlife concessions.
Most areas within the Moremi are accessible via 4x4 vehicle, although the more wild and remote camps are accessible only via light aircraft. Driving to the Moremi is almost a game drive itself; you will see a lot of wildlife as you get closer to the entry gates.
4. Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Photograph And Witness Vast Herds Of Zebra As They Migrate
The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is a large, open expanse of salt flats in Botswana that make up the largest salt pan in the world. The pans are home to wildlife, including zebra, antelope, lions, and elephants.
Activities within the park visitors are limited to game drives as water is rare in this region of Botswana. On the Pans side, one has access to 4x4 and quad bike tours, sleepouts, horse riding trails, birding photography excursions and meerkat tours.
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is accessible via the Boteti River side of the park, this is the side one will enter to access the lodges, and wildlife activities are limited to game drives only.
To access the Makgadikgadi Pans, either Nwetwe or San Pan, one needs to travel further east from Maun to the towns of Gweta and Nata. Accommodation options between these two towns offer direct access to the pans' safari activities.
5. Nxai Pan National Park
Take It All In From Under The shade Of Baines Baobabs
Nxai Pan National Park is located just north of the Makgadikgadi Pans and around a two-hour drive from Maun. This park is known for its large population of elephants and is a great place for wildlife enthusiasts to visit. Lion, leopard, giraffe and general plains game can also be spotted when game viewing.
The Baines baobabs are a sight to behold and a popular tourist attraction in Botswana. These towering baobab trees are located in the north-eastern part of the country, within the Nxai Pan National Park. They are named after Thomas Baines, who was one of the first Europeans to visit the area.
If you are looking for something off the tourist route in Botswana, check out the Baines Baobabs. These massive trees are an impressive sight and, when combined with the excellent wildlife that surrounds will surely leave you with lasting memories.
Getting into Nxai Pan National Park is 4x4 only, while the entrance gate is within a 2 hours drive from Maun. Nxai Pan and Baines Baobabs are the perfect self-drive destination if you are confident enough.
6. Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Sunset Drinks At The Waterhole At Pipers Pan
Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the world's second-largest game reserve and is located, as the name suggests, in the centre of the Kalahari Desert. The reserve is known for its desert-based wildlife, including lions, hyenas, wild dogs, elephants, and plains game. Visitors can enjoy wild and remote safaris in the park with only 4x4 game drives.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve is a fantastic safari destination and is a firm favourite here at Uyaphi, especially Pipers Pan. The Pipers Pan area is probably as wild and remote a destination that one can find in Africa today.
Getting to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is via light aircraft if you stay at one of the tented camps and lodges within the reserve or bordering the reserve. Other than that flying, it is strictly 4x4 with low range gearing only; the Kalahari Desert sands are challenging to drive through.
7. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Experience The Wild And Remote Southern Kalahari Desert
Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park (formerly the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park) is shared between Botswana and South Africa. It is situated in an area where the two countries borders meet, and it covers an area of 38,000 square kilometres.
There are no lodges or camps on the Botswana side, only remote campsites with the bare basics in facilities at best; long drop toilets are part and parcel of the experience.
To access the Kgalagadi from the Botswana side, one has to be skilled in sand 4x4ing and knowledgeable in map reading. This side of the Kgalagadi is one of those places to visit that is not for the faint-hearted.
8. Tsodilo Hills
Stand Next To Rock Art That Is 24 000 Years Old
Tsodilo Hills is an important archaeological site in Botswana, with the site being home to over 4 500 San Bushmen rock paintings and carvings. Proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, a few of the rock paintings were dated back to 24 000 years ago; yes, that is 24 000 years ago (8 760 000 million days ago). For us, that is a mind-blowing number.
Certainly not a popular destination but an exceptionally important one in terms of Botswana and the human race's culture.
Other than a few nearby Okavango Delta Pan Handle lodges, only camping is available at Tsodilo Hills.
Getting to the Tsodilo Hills is relatively easy, simply jump in a high clearance vehicle and drive for approximately 6 hours and you are there. Or better still, splash out on a helicopter tour from Maun; yes expensive, but the sights you will see from the air will wow you in every way possible.
9. Linyanti Wildlife Reserve
Live The High Life Surrounded By Wildest Africa
The Linyanti is a 9,000 square kilometre reserve located in northwest Botswana's Chobe and Linyanti river systems. The reserve is known for its large population of elephants and its wildlife diversity, including predators such as lions, hyenas, leopards, African wild dogs and cheetahs, as well as a large variety of plains game.
Visitors can enjoy activities such as game drives, night drives, mokoro expeditions, and walking options.
Both wildlife and birdlife are exceptional in the Linyanti and Selinda regions, and this can be seen in the rates that the lodges and camps charge. It is quite simple; the better the game viewing, the more it costs to stay for a night.
When on safari in the Linyanti area, we highly suggest that one fly-in on a light aircraft; a fly-in transfer is by far and away the best option. Road transfers are available but they will be between 8 to 10 hours long depending on the condition of the roads.
Photograph The Lions And Elephant Of This Famed Wildlife Region
Savuti is one of the must-see, must-experience and must-visit in Botswana wildlife destinations. Savuti is a beautiful and serene area located in the Chobe National Park and should be included on all itineraries. It is well-known for its large populations of lions, elephants herds, hyenas, leopards and buffalo.
There is a range of safari lodges and camps to choose from in and around Botswana's Savuti region. The main safari activity offered by a whole host of safari lodges and tented camping in the Savuti region is, of course, game drives.
Depending on one's safari itinerary, a road transfer from the western regions of the Okavango Delta and the Moremi Game Reserve would be a viable option, probably 4 to 5 hours in a 4x4 safari vehicle (game viewing the whole way). Should one be looking at getting to the Savuti region from either Maun or Kasane, we would highly recommend a light aircraft or helicopter transfer.
And that is that, the end of our list of the best Tourist Attractions In Botswana.
Hope you enjoyed :) Please do not forget that there are options: the Tuli Block, Khama Rhino Sanctuary (save Botswana's endangered rhinos), the Selinda region, and numerous small yet amazing attractions.
If you're looking for an unforgettable African wildlife experience, be sure to add Botswana to your travel bucket list. With its many parks and reserves, there is something for everyone who loves nature and animals. You can explore the Okavango Delta by mokoro (dugout canoe), go on a safari in the Chobe, or visit the Makgadikgadi Pans.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Botswana adventure today!