Botswana is one of Africa’s most unspoiled wilderness areas and was formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland. Here you experience a land of nature and endless horizons, blue skies, sunshine and cooling breezes. About the size of France, the human population here is particularly low with about 1.3 million people including the nomadic San or Bushmen of the Kalahari.
This low population density has protected the land and Botswana is perhaps Africa’s most pristine nation. The few people that you do meet will welcome you with friendly smiles and will enthusiastically share with you their homeland and their knowledge.
Over two thirds of the country is covered by the magnificent Kalahari Desert while in the north lies the Okavango Delta, a unique inland river system and the world’s largest inland delta. To the south-east are the vast salt pans and grasslands of the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans.
Safari Holiday Botswana
In these diverse habitats can be found all the large mammals of the continent; elephant, buffalo, red lechwe, lion and cheetah occur in good numbers and Botswana has the largest remaining population of the endangered African Painted Hunting Dog. Over 500 species of birds have been identified along with reptiles and smaller mammals.
Chobe, Chobe National Park is situated in the north-east of Botswana and combines river flood plains with open pans and riverine woodlands. The best time to visit is from May to September when you will be thrilled by the huge herds of elephant and buffalo that have made the park famous. In addition there are big numbers of hippopotamus, giraffe, kudu and impala and more than 250 species of birds have been recorded.
Makgadikgadi, Pans National Park were once a huge prehistoric lakes, they dried up only 10,000 years ago and today they are salt plains, grasslands and isolated “islands” of vegetation, baobab and palm trees. Most of the time they appear as glaring, white, endless plains but during the rainy season they are one of the most important wetland areas in Botswana. There are Bushman hunting shelters and sacred sites and the shorelines of Makgadikgadi are littered with archaeological relics including Stone Age tools.
Linyanti, Savute and Selinda, areas are home to huge quantities of wildlife including big herds of buffalo and elephant, and predators, particularly lions and hyenas. The Linyanti Wildlife Reserve is a private reserve shared by a very small number of private camps, ensuring that guests are able to view the abundant wildlife privately and exclusively. The Savute channel is a now dry “waterway” that connects the Linyanti River with the interior of the Chobe National Park, ending at the Savute marsh. The Selinda (or Magweqana) Spillway is a shallow channel connecting the Panhandle region of the Okavango Delta with the Chobe River system.
The Moremi, Wildlife Reserve on the north-eastern edge of the Okavango Delta packs acacia forests, wetlands, lagoons and swamps into 1,800 sq km (700 sq miles). As varied as the terrain is, so is the game. From lion and leopard to elephant and buffalo right down to the bird-life, even the least inspired ornithologists will be amazed.
Okavango, Rivers flow to the ocean – not so the Okavango, which originates in Angola and spills back inland to the sands of the Kalahari Desert where it fans out and forms a vast delta of wetlands and waterways. At the flood this is quite literally a land of water; lagoons dotted with lilies, narrow channels that are invaded by papyrus reeds, islands and shallow sheets of water that glisten in the sun. This bounty attracts a huge variety of mammals and bird species, though on occasion they are almost secondary to the sheer wonder of the setting.
Author: Sandra Nans