Experience the Big game in the Okavango Delta
Botswana is among Africa’s top safari destinations and a safari there is one of the most amazing safari experiences visitors have gotten while in Africa. It being a landlocked country doesn’t take away the fact that fantastic experiences of viewing lots of the big game, large tracts of Savannah, the waterways in Okavango and the Kalahari plains are unforgettable and breathtaking.
The country lies the southern part of Africa bordered by Zimbabwe in the Northeast, South Africa to the southeast and the south, Namibia to the North and West and to the north at Zambia’s border near Kazungula the border is poorly defined; above all around 70% of the country is the Kalahari desert therefore visitors have a true wilderness experience.
During the safari what you get is greatness as you will be able to watch some predators hunting down their prey such as lions at a closer range; basically there rare disappointments of not viewing wildlife; the birds are spectacular as well as an extra game viewing done on the night game drives. There are available accommodation facilities from the well-designed luxurious lodges to safari camps; so no worries of where to stay and what to eat while on holiday.
This is important to note since most areas in Botswana are divided into two; the wet areas and the dry areas and because of this travelers are advised to mix up these areas as they plan their trip such that they have a full experience of all the flora, fauna and safari activities.
The wet areas are classified with shallow waters and others very deep; they are best enjoyed while using motorboats, the shallow ends can best seen on a dug-out cane or a Mokoro. These areas are the best for birding though most of the game is less viewed.
The dry areas have the most amazing big game and some bird species and hence are easily explored using a 4WD safari guided by a skilled guide, here also different vegetation types are clearly seen.
When to Visit
Botswana can be visited any time but like earlier said it has dry and wet areas of which a mixed trip of them is advised. The best time for game viewing is from May and November. And the famous national parks such as Moremi, Okavango delta and Chobe are best explored during the dry season from May to September. In fact game drives are enjoyed also during the winter season, and the rains are received from November to around March. Also note that in most cases the Okavango floods in the months of June through to October.
Where to go
The number one place that comes to everyone’s mind when they talk of a Botswana safari is the Okavango Delta; It is a very spectacular destination with over 444 species of birds, 122 mammal species, 1,300 species of flowering plants, 71 fish species, 64 reptiles among others and most amazing the River Okavango one of the highlights in this park floods during the dry season which is between June and October. Animals like lions, wildebeests, elephants, cheetahs, rhinos, wild dogs, giraffes, waterbucks, kudus, buffaloes, zebras among others are a must see! The best time to visit this area is from May to September.
Still within the Okavango there is a lot for the visitors to explore. To mention the Moremi Game Reserve; this area offers exclusively great game viewing safaris; it is a small reserve with a high concentration of wild animals and amazing views of the Savannah grasslands, thick woodlands, lagoons and other features like the Linyanti and Kwando rivers, these areas provide great opportunities for game viewing of animals like the hyenas, impalas, black rhinos, jackals, hippos, cape buffaloes, and many more and bird watching.
As you are still amazed of what is in Moremi, there is the Okavango River on the western perimeter of the Delta; as it flows it is widened into a deep and huge River well-known as the Okavango Panhandle. This area can be visited by even those on self-drives through Namibia. It is an amazing place with great history and views of the famous Tsodilo hills that are eye catching at a distance, the area doesn’t have as many numbers of wildlife like the others in the Okavango but it is worth visiting!
A safari to Botswana without visiting the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is a bit lacking as you cannot miss out the big herds of game; it lies in the Kalahari Desert and endowed with the huge, flat saltpans, sand dunes, river valleys, open skies, rolling plains, big numbers of game among others. On top of this a visit to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park would do you good as you will observe the migration of wildebeests, antelopes, Kalahari lions, black hyenas, hartebeests among others; this lace can also be visited by one who is on holiday neighboring South Africa.
As if all is said but no; a lot more is there to see and visit; the Chobe National Park; it is a very nice place with diverse ecosystems and is among the parks that has the highest wildlife concentration every year. It can also be easily accessed by tourists from the Victoria Falls and from South Africa; with four different areas to visit it is a lace you cannot miss out on while in Botswana. It is home to over 460 bird species and animals like lions, hyenas, monkeys, leopard, baboons, bushbucks, giraffes, elephants, impalas, among others.
Other places to visit if you have more time in Botswana are Gaborone(capital city of Botswana), Mauna; also regarded as the “tourism capital” since it lies near tourism centers, Tuli Block, Tsodilo Hills, Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi National Parks and many more other interesting areas.