Botswana's Safari Spots

Contributed By John BerryPopular Safari Destinations
Safari Seasons
Getting Around

Arguably southern Africa's most popular safari destination - a hugely unpopulated territory that enjoys political and economic stability and is blessed with impressive wildlife and wilderness areas.

Botswana is well suited for both first time African visitors and safari specialists seeking remote and secluded safari getaways. Botswana's prized safari destinations include the Okavango Delta and Moremi; Chobe National Park and Savuti; the remote Linyanti/Chobe river system; the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pans.

Popular Safari Destinations

The Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is unquestionably Africa's finest wetland and is one of the great natural wonders of the world. Although the Delta's wildlife diversity and concentrations are modest by comparison with some other safari destinations in the region the Okavango offers a truly rejuvenating experience.

Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi, located in the north eastern Delta including Chief's Island and the private concessions on its fringe is a prime attraction - its game, birdlife and scenery is spectacular. The area contains some of Botswana's finest small and seasonal safari lodges and is favoured by us on our safaris. Moremi is subject to significant seasonal variation and this needs to be considered quite carefully when planning a safari.

Chobe National Park
Chobe is arguably Botswana's finest destination for game viewing particularly on the Chobe riverfront and in the Savuti area. Unfortunately it tends to be a bit crowded and the solution is often sought in some of the remoter and more exclusive concessions to the west. Chobe is a prime destination for first time visitors to Africa and provides some excellent opportunities for specialists.

The Kalahari
The Kalahari, broadly encompassing the Makgadikgadi and Nxai pans is not a conventional safari destination. It is however an absolutely fascinating ecological habitat heavily influenced by larger geological factors and seasonal water. A safari in the Kalahari is a truly rewarding experience.

Safari Seasons
Botswana has a long and dry winter period from May to December, January to April is the wet season. Safaris in Botswana can be very sensitive to seasonal changes depending upon what you'd like to see.

The following are rough guidelines but we strongly recommend that you obtain local advise during safari planning:

Okavango Delta: The floods arrive at Mohembo in December with a peak between January and March (sometimes as late as May). The flood in Maun usually reaches its peak in July or August (sometimes as late as September). Best game viewing is generally July to October. Some areas of the Delta experience heavy winds during August and September and some of the seasonal camps are closed during the wet season.

Moremi: Good all year but best during the dry months from May to October.

Chobe: The riverfront at Kasane and Linyanti is good all year - best from May to October. The Savuti area is best from November to May - if the Savuti channel floods or water remains in the Mababe Depression then May to October is excellent. Mid-winter can be very cold and the worst heat is encountered from September until the rains start.

Kalahari: During winter, the days are hot (mid 30's) with night-time temperatures at sub-zero. Summer temperatures are scorching. Best tackled March to October.

Getting Around
By Air:
Maun is the primary international link with Botswana via Johannesburg and Harare and secondary links through Gabarone, Windhoek, Victoria Falls, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, Lilongwe, Lusaka and a few other regional airports. Light aircraft charters are a common feature of safaris in Botswana, Maun and Kasane are the main internal hubs, with most of the camps having their own airstrips.

By Road:
Botswana's infrastructure on the ground isn't easy - some of the best safaris will entail various combinations of vehicle, light aircraft and boat usage in order to complete. If you're undertaking a self-drive safari then make sure that you plan it well. In all cases accept that even the best laid plans sometimes unravel at the edges - if and when this happens, take it in your stride and smile!

Provided By: The Zambezi Safari And Travel Co. Ltd.

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