Botswana is a country with enough outstanding safari opportunities that it deserves mention as a destination on its own. In particular, the Okavango Delta has a high degree of variety that it is best experienced by visiting a number of different, carefully selected lodges, with each complementing the overall Delta experience. Couple this with Botswana's many other safari allures, and it is easy to spend two magical weeks on safari in Botswana alone!
Here are some the top safari destinations in Botswana.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
The Okavango Delta is a marvelous, pristine wetland located in northern Botswana and is one of Africa’s most outstanding wildlife areas. Known as “the river that never finds the sea” the Okavango River enters Botswana from the north and meets the Kalahari Desert, where the water then pans out into the hot sands forming and inland delta. This delta covers nearly four million acres when the floodwaters arrive in July and August. It consists of meandering channels, lily-covered ponds, swamps, oxbow lakes, lagoons, and a maze of islands. With its huge supply of water and vegetation, the Okavango Delta attracts enormous densities of wildlife and myriads of birds from all over Africa. Unlike many other wildlife regions of Africa, however, the Okavango Delta is more difficult to access and considerably more expensive to visit. But for those with the time and resources to visit the Okavango, there is no experience on the planet quite like this one.
Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
The Moremi Game Reserve is located in the central section of the Okavango Delta and is the only part of the Delta that has been officially cordoned off for the preservation of wildlife. Established in 1963 to protect local wildlife populations from poachers, Moremi now covers over one million acres, which is between a fifth and a third of the entire Delta depending on the water levels. This reserve has an incredibly high concentration of wildlife. Chief’s Island in particular, which is the major landmass in Moremi, is considered to be the predator capital of Africa. Though there are many outstanding locations within the Delta for game viewing, Moremi Game Reserve is especially noteworthy and will delight even the most experienced of travelers.
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Located in northeast Botswana, Chobe National Park has the distinction of being Botswana’s first national park. It is known for its large herds of elephants, hippopotamuses, and crocodiles, which can all be seen along the banks of the Chobe River. The elephant population that lives here is particularly noteworthy and is thought to be the largest surviving continuous population in Africa. Currently this group covers most of northern Botswana as well as part of northwestern Zimbabwe and is estimated to be around 120,000 in size. During the summer rains, huge herds of zebras also roam Chobe, followed by an entourage of ever-hungry lions. Chobe is one of the most affordable parks in Botswana, it is easily accessible from Victoria Falls and Livingstone for day outings, and it offers a memorable variety of wildlife for the safari enthusiasts.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana
For the more experienced safari traveler, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an intriguing wilderness destination. With its remote settings and harsh climate, this region offers a look at the Land of the San Bushmen. During the Kalahari’s wet season (November to April), animals migrate here from other parts of Botswana. This reserve is best known for Deception Valley, which attracts a reasonable amount of wildlife and is home to a high concentration of brown hyenas. Although the game viewing here is not as good as in many other parts of Africa, the seasoned traveler will marvel at the open space and isolated wilderness of the Kalahari Desert.
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