Botswana

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Botswana’s vast wilderness offers some of the most prolific and diverse wildlife viewing in Africa. The Okavango River feeds the largest inland delta on the planet, bringing life to the arid sands of the Kalahari Desert. And with water comes a plethora of game: impala, sable and kudu, zebra, giraffe and huge herds of elephant, with lion and leopard in close pursuit. Botswana’s long-standing commitment to conservation and carefully managed tourism ensures an African wildlife experience with few parallels. On safari in remote, untamed Botswana, the only crowds you’ll encounter are those that have been here for centuries – the animals.

Read About the Different Regions and Parks in Botswana
Photo of Kelly Dellinger

Our Expert Says

Botswana is exceedingly wild and remote, with some of the most prolific wildlife in Africa. Botswana's elephant populations are among the largest in the world, and the opportunity for close-up safari encounters with them, as well as predators like leopard, cheetah and lion, makes for extremely exciting game viewing. Birding is fantastic everywhere, particularly in the Okavango Delta. Intimate safari camps located on private concessions offer a wide range of activities, from day and night game drives to mokoro rides and boat safaris, allowing travelers to experience the wildlife and stunning natural beauty of Botswana away from large tourist crowds.

– Kelly Dellinger


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Botswana Safari Highlights

Botswana’s extensive game reserves are second to none for sheer numbers and variety of wildlife. Through our network of the country’s most distinctive camps, guests have access to private and exceptionally remote wildlife-viewing opportunities. Moremi Game Reserve, on the edge of the Okavango Delta, is an exhilarating tract of woodlands and wetlands favored by enormous bull elephants, herds of buffalo and prides of lion. Travel by poled mokoro within the delta’s maze of channels to see hippo, crocodile, water-adapted antelope like red lechwe and the rare sitatunga, and hundreds of birds. In the Savuti and Linyanti marshlands, day and night game drives are offered from isolated camps located in private concessions. Chobe National Park is famed for elephants, hundreds of which congregate along the Chobe River. And in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, observe surprising numbers of animals sustained by the waterholes that dot the vast salt pans.

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Photo: Botswana Wildlife view image gallery

Botswana Wildlife

Botswana’s extensive game reserves are second to none for sheer numbers and variety of wildlife. Through our network of the country’s most distinctive camps, guests have access to private and exceptionally remote wildlife-viewing opportunities. Moremi Game Reserve, on the edge of the Okavango Delta, is an exhilarating tract of woodlands and wetlands favored by enormous bull elephants, herds of buffalo and prides of lion. Travel by poled mokoro within the delta’s maze of channels to see hippo, crocodile, water-adapted antelope like red lechwe and the rare sitatunga, and hundreds of birds. In the Savuti and Linyanti marshlands, day and night game drives are offered from isolated camps located in private concessions. Chobe National Park is famed for elephants, hundreds of which congregate along the Chobe River. And in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, observe surprising numbers of animals sustained by the waterholes that dot the vast salt pans.

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Photo: Quick Botswana Facts view image gallery

Quick Botswana Facts

A stable and prosperous democracy, land-locked Botswana is located in the center of southern Africa, bordered by Namibia to the west, Angola and Zambia on the north, Zimbabwe to the east and South Africa on the south. At 224,652 square miles, Botswana is about the size of France or Texas. The Kalahari Desert comprises most of Botswana’s landmass, with 84 percent of the country covered by sand. The Okavango River fans into the world’s largest inland delta, bringing annual floods and permanent water into the desert. Botswana’s citizens are called “Batswana.” The national language is Setswana and the official language is English. A majority of Botswana’s 2 million people live in the east, primarily in the capital Gaborone. Mining is Botswana’s largest industry and diamonds are its primary export, while tourism, in second place, accounts for nearly 11 percent of GDP.

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Conservation in Botswana

Botswana is one of Africa’s premier conservation success stories. Strong government dedication to preserving habitat and tight limits on visitor numbers are helping to ensure the vitality of the natural resources needed for thriving wildlife populations. A global leader in national commitment to protecting wild spaces, Botswana has set aside 17 percent of its land as National Parks and Reserves and another 22 percent as Wildlife Management Areas, providing crucial buffer zones between parks and inhabited communities. Botswana employs a land-use strategy devised to allow local communities to benefit from wildlife and sustainable eco-tourism. By focusing on high-quality, low-volume tourism, Botswana hopes to protect its natural treasures for posterity. Tourism currently employs nearly 45 percent of northern Botswana’s people. World Wildlife Fund also assists Botswana’s elephants and rhinos, working to slow habitat loss, strengthen curbs on illegal ivory trade and reduce conflict between human and animal populations.

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Reviews for Botswana

(5.00)

Review Botswana
Traveled: August 2012
"Never have I been someplace with such variety of wildlife, all accessible by short flights from camp to camp. I felt like I stepped into a National Geographic magazine. Botswana was grand yet under-stated all at once!"
- J. Hammes
Traveled: July 2008
"Nothing compares to Botswana...you see stars at night that you've never seen before, but there is just no light pollution out here! The sounds are stimulating, being in a canvas tent with absolutely no noise but that of lions grunting, baboons calling, hippo grazing, zebra honking...man, it's incredible to go to sleep to this! The animal interactions are incredible, lion hunting buffalo herds, warthogs sparring, watching a leopard push out his cub because he has to find his own territory, and the stories of how the waterbuck got the ring around his bum. If you can only go one place on safari, Botswana is life-changing!"
- B. Christiansen
Traveled: November 2012
"Botswana is, in a word, wild. It's so remote and so pristine. This is one of the best wildlife experiences I've had in my life."
- G. Lowe
Traveled: December 2011
"Having been on safari in a range of African countries, Botswana stands alone in my mind for folks interested in an intimate, superlative safari experience. Bots may not have the sheer volume of wildlife found in East Africa, but the WAY you are able to experience the animals in Bots is second to none. With heavily regulated concessions, it's you and the wilderness. Only a few other vehicles are allowed in a particular region at one time, giving you and your safari group lots of uninterrupted time with Africa's incredible wildlife. And then there's the camps - amazing luxury in the middle of the African bush with barely any footprint on the environment. "
- E. Gottlieb
Traveled: February 2013
"We fell in love with Botswana! Everywhere we visited, from the Kalahari, to the Okavango Delta, the Chobe river to Victoria falls was amazing. Going in green season was such a joy. The babies! We saw adorable lion cubs, a baby elephant trying to eat a vine and getting himself all tangled up in it, a baby giraffe and lots more. I was afraid it would be rainy, but the weather was wonderful . The camps we stayed at were all so diverse -it was wonderful to go on short plane trips and be in a totally different area with different scenery and animals.I'll never forget this trip and I'm not sure I could ever outdo it! You hear the phrase "lifechanging experience"thrown around a lot, but this really is!! Pauline Harmon"
- P. Harmon
Traveled: September 2013
"Our Photo tour of Secluded Botswana was amazing! We had the very best guide, the most wonderful accommodations, we saw amazing diversity of wildlife with the ability to get close. We have traveled with other companies, but this was the best ever. I am still sorting my photos, as we saw so much and had wonderful opportunities for excellent photography. Our guide tracked leopards, we always had the golden light of morning and evening, and we traveled to many different ecosystems. It was a wonderful experience. I am looking to Natural Habitat for our next trip."
- J. utz