5 Top Things To Do In Botswana

Botswana is a truly fascinating country, a land-locked country dominated in geographical terms by the Kalahari Desert. The country is deceptively large, at approximately 581,730 square kilometres it is roughly the size of France. With a troubled past, yet rich heritage and amazing culture, there is always something that will entice and amaze you whilst visiting Botswana.

Chobe National Park in northwest Botswana, has one of the largest game concentration in Africa and is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population. It is the second biggest National Park in Botswana, covering an area of 10566 square kilometres. At the park you can see 4 of the Big 5: elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino on occasions. Chobe also has a multitude of antelope including the rare sable. The area is best visited in the dry season between April and October when game concentrations are at their highest.

Okavango Delta is the worlds largest inland delta and the largest freshwater wetland in Africa. The Okavango is home to an abundance of wildlife and provides seasonal habitat to numerous different species including elephants, buffalos, red lechwes, crocodiles and wild dogs. The delta also has over 400 species of birds, including the African Fish Eagle, the Crested Crane and the Hamerkop. The channels and floodplains are best viewed by mokoro (a dugout canoe moved by pushing a long stick against the bed of the river), or by taking a flight over the delta.

Moremi Game Reserve, situated to the northeast of Maun, lies within a wildlife management area that is strictly controlled, allowing the animals in the reserve to move freely throughout the seasons. The reserve enjoys a wide diversity of habitats including elephants, buffalos, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, jackals, red lechwes and a variety of smaller mammals and birds. It is also well known for the height of the trees in the mopane tongue, which covers the central area.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the second largest game reserve in the world, even larger than Denmark or Switzerland. Situated right in the centre of Botswana, this reserve is characterised by vast open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is a natural habitat to wild animals that can be seen on safari, including warthog, giraffe, cheetah, lion, leopard, wildebeest, eland, and kudu to name a few.

Gaborone, the capital and largest city of Botswana, is a contrast to the natural environments of the game reserves and parks. It is one of the fastest growing towns in the southern hemisphere with a population of over 208 000. Situated on the Notwane River in the south eastern corner of Botswana, Gaborone is a vibrant and colourful city with plenty to see. The National Museum & Art Gallery, located in the centre of the city, holds regular exhibitions; day trips are also offered to Kolobeng, the site of David Livingstones mission station which was built in 1847.

One of the most striking buildings in Gaborone is the Orapa House where Botswanas diamonds are sorted and dispatched to markets around the world. The old part of the city, known as the Village, is where you will find remnants of Botswanas colonial history, such as the remains of the old Government Rest House, where the infamous Jameson Raid was believed to have been planned and where Cecil John Rhodes sometimes stayed.