Botswana, one of Africa’s most prosperous countries, is very much also one of the best countries to go to for a safari. Of course there is the Kruger Park and Kenya’s Maasai Mara to see a lion, but do bear in mind that on these locations there will be at least another 10 or 20 or even more vehicles watching a pride of lions with you. Botswana however would never have this picture, because each concession is only allowed a certain amount of beds. This results in minimal manipulation of the surrounding nature and is therefore less intrusive to the animals. The camps are intimate, mostly tented and are far away from eachother. The prices tend therefore to be quite steep, but you will notice the difference the moment you are there. It is an out-of-this-world experience.
A Botswana safari is one of Africa’s top experiences. Vast tracts of wilderness in pristine condition are home to huge herds of game, roaming unrestricted between the Kalahari’s plains and the waterways of the Okavango Delta.
The small and well designed lodges all offer exclusivity since it is controlled very well. Whether you are watching a pac of wild dogs following their potential prey, or taking a mokoro trip along narrow, reed-lined channels, you are very unlikely to come across any other visitors. The game hardly disappoints and birdlife is spectacular since there is a lot of water in the Delta.
Botswana’s popular regions are all easily accessed via air from Cape Town, Johannesburg and Gabarone.
When to go
Botswana in winter (northern hemisphere’s summer)—after the rains, when the delta floods and springs to life—is the best time to see the north: The savanna’s grasses are low, while growth along the waterways attracts tons of wildlife. Central Botswana is at its best in Africa’s summer, when the region’s desert and salt pans turn to grassland, drawing parades of animals. Due to dense vegetation, February through April is generally considered the most challenging time for viewing creatures who tend to stay close to the shrubbery, including leopards and rhino.
A timeline can be seen in the overview below. The greener the box is by the month, the better it is to travel to this country in that period!