About the size of France, Botswana has a sparse population is only 2 million, so many of the camps and lodges used on Botswana holidays are remote and best reached by light aircraft. On Botswana safari holidays, game viewing is done both on land in open-top safari vehicles, and on water by canoe and riverboat. You can also overnight on a houseboat on the Chobe River, which is especially popular for tiger fishing after safaris in Botswana.
The waters of the Okavango Delta flow south from Angola but they never reach the sea as they are absorbed into the parched desert sands of the Kalahari, creating a vast, pristine inland delta with seasonal flood plains. This beautiful and unique region attracts great flocks of birds and herd upon herd of plains game and their predators. Lion, leopard, cheetah and elephant can be seen on the delta islands on Botswana holidays, as well as many species of antelope and buffalo, while pods of hippo make their home in the deeper, permanent water channels. Recorded bird species number almost 600 and include the much sought-after Pel’s fishing owl. On Botswana safari holidays you can explore the tranquil waters of the Okavango Delta by traditional mekoro canoe to get up close to the wildlife.
In the Central Kalahari, the Bushmen are ancient hunter-gatherers who are survivors of the indigenous San of Southern Africa, although very few still live entirely by traditional skills. On Botswana safari holidays, Bushman guides at the camps in the Kalahari offer guests the unique and fascinating opportunity to learn the survival techniques that have enabled them to live in this harsh semi-desert environment. The Kalahari Desert is one of the largest unbroken stretches of sand in the world and its arid scrubland, saltpans and seasonal rainfall support a surprising amount of wildlife. On Botswana holidays, the rains come between December and March, transforming the parched landscapes. The sweet grasses grow and the saltpans fill with water, triggering an extensive migration to the region of thirsty wildebeest, zebra and antelope.
To the north east of the country, the stark and fragile pans of the Makgadikgadi and Nxai National Parks provide breeding grounds for huge flocks of flamingo and pelican on Botswana holidays. In contrast to the lush and verdant Okavango Delta, the extensive flat moon-like vistas here stretch for miles and you feel you can almost see the curvature of the earth on safaris in Botswana.
In the northeast of the country Chobe National Park is famous for its huge river-based migrating herds and the largest concentration of elephant and buffalo found in Southern Africa. Together with the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, Chobe National Park creates an extensive conservation area rich in wildlife, especially in the dry season which is the best time for Botswana holidays. The permanent Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the park and offers water-based safari activities as well as leisurely river cruises, during Botswana safari holidays.
Within Chobe National Park, the Savuti Plains are another prime safari destination that has been the location for many wildlife documentaries and Botswana holidays. The seasonal Savuti Channel flows intermittently from the Linyanti River into the Chobe River, turning the Savuti into a marsh. When dry, the expansive grasslands are rich with nutrients and many herds of plains game pass through on their annual migrations on safaris in Botswana. Lion, hyena and elephant can be seen regularly on Botswana safari holidays, as well as the elusive leopard.
The Chobe River eventually flows into the great Zambezi and it’s here that one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders is found, the Victoria Falls. A short overland transfer from northern Botswana takes you over the border to either the Zambian or Zimbabwean side of the falls and is truly one of those lifetime experiences that travellers should not miss on safaris in Botswana.
To the northwest of Chobe, the Linyanti River marks the border of Botswana and Namibia’s Caprivi, and here river valleys and more open grassy plains are typical of the terrain. Lion, leopard and cheetah as well as many plains game and buffalo make their home here. This is one of the best places to see the endangered African wild dog on safaris in Botswana, and you may catch sight of an exciting hunt as a pack tries to chase down its dinner.
Botswana safari holidays offer a wide range of tented lodges and hotels. It is a world-class safari destination that offers a true wilderness experience and the prices in high season will reflect this.