Botswana is a country where the superlatives come thick and fast. It boasts an astonishing array of landscapes. From the otherworldly salt pans of Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans National Parks, the sands of Central Kalahari Game Reserve, to the gently flowing waters of the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta anywhere in the world.
Botswana safaris lays claim to some of the largest concentrations of wildlife anywhere on the African continent, including the Big Five. It also holds the status of Africa’s oldest continuous democracy, with history depicted in the Tsodilo Hills cave paintings that date back 4,500 years.
Of the many unmissable sites, the Okavango Delta is undoubtedly the star of the show. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this pristine watery wilderness offers the opportunity to drift silently through floating vegetation in a traditional mokoro canoe. A mokoro is a type of canoe used to get around in the shallow waters of the Okavango Delta. The oarsman stands in the stern and pushes the mokoro with a pole. Traditionally Mokoros are made from large straight trees, like ebony, and kigelia. However these days, for conservation purposes they are more commonly made from fibreglass. Alternatively, you could visit the areas of Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari, and join Botswana’s indigenous San people for a bushwalk.
Nearly three-quarters of Botswana is covered by the sands of the Kalahari Desert. And, the sheer quantities of Botswana’s wildlife species surprises many first-time visitors. Black-maned lions can be found in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. While up to 80,000 elephants come together on the riverbanks in Chobe National Park. Elsewhere, large numbers of zebra and wildebeest gather among the baobabs of Nxai Pan National Park, and the salt pans of Makgadikgadi, during their annual wet season migration.
For the best variety, the ultimate Botswana safaris include the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and Chobe National Park.