Botswana is one of our top destinations for quality of wildlife viewing. For the first time traveler, great value will be found traveling in the "green season" of November to March" when the rains have come and the animals begin their migration movements, especially to the Kalahari. April and May are also fairly good months for game viewing when choosing your camps carefully.
For an all around wildlife experience in Botswana, we generally recommend that you visit 3 camp destinations staying seven nights.
A bestseller, The Cry of the Kalahari, the hilarious feature film, The Gods Must Be Crazy, feature stories in National Geographic and numerous documentaries have given Botswana international recognition as a top safari destination. The combination of good wildlife, uncrowded reserves, small camps (chalets or tented, most 8-20 beds), with great food and the use of open vehicles for game viewing make this a destination well worth considering. You can view game by open vehicle (during the day and at night), by boat, canoe, mokoro (dug-out canoe) or elephant-back. Some walking safaris are offered outside the reserves. Flying safaris and mobile tented camp safaris (from participatory to luxury) are also available.
Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world (over 6,000 square miles). This “water in the desert” phenomenon has created a unique and fascinating ecosystem well worth exploring. Activities include game drives, mokoro (dugout canoe), canoe and boat game viewing, and walking. The Delta has a high concentration of predators (Lion, Leopard, Cheetah), excellent bird life, Hippopotamus, crocodiles, sitatunga and other species.
Moremi Game Reserve The most diversified and possibly the most beautiful reserve in Botswana. Located in the northeastern part of the Okavango Delta. The park contains more than 1,100 square miles of permanent swamps, islands, flood plains, forests and dry land. Rhino have been reintroduced in the area, affording the possibility of seeing the “Big Five.”
LINYANTI The Linyanti is situated northeast of the Okavango Delta and northwest of Chobe. The Linyanti River becomes the Chobe River. Private concessions in this area, Linyanti, Kwando and Selinda, offer day and night game drives, walking and boating activities.
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK This park is famous for its huge elephant and buffalo populations. Open vehicle and boat game drives on the Chobe River are offered.
SAVUTE An arid region that is located in the southern part of Chobe National Park, the Savute has diverse landscapes ranging from sandveld to mopane forest, acacia savannah, marshlands (usually dry) and rocky outcrops. Game viewing is by open vehicle in the park, which seasonally is home to a large lion and elephant populations.
CENTRAL KALAHARI DESERT AND MAKGADIKGADI PANS The Central Kalahari Game Reserve has an abundance of wildlife during the rainy season (December to April). Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve was once a large lake but eons ago became salt plains interspaced with grasslands and islands of vegetation, baobab and palm trees. This area is nearly devoid of human habitation and completely isolated.
TULI GAME RESERVE Located in southeastern Botswana, this reserve has abundant wildlife. Day and night game drives, horseback riding, mountain biking and escorted walks are offered.
Best Time to Go (Most Reserves)
Good: Apr, May, Nov
Fair: Dec, Mar
Good: May, Jun Fair: Nov