|When to go|
|When to go|
Chobe National Park
|When to go|
Botswana is undoubtedly one of the finest safari destinations on the planet and the country offers a huge variety of safaris in a diverse range of habitats including riverine, delta and desert. The country offers lots of different experiences ranging from exclusive lodges in private concessions to mobile safaris journeying its national parks and game reserves.
Embark on a journey by mokoro through watery wetland floodplains dotted with wild date palm islands or visit the Kalahari Desert - home to the San Bushmen and black maned lions. Kayak through the Okavango Delta on our mobile kayaking experience camping on remote islands and discovering wildlife from a different perspective or enjoy a mobile walking safari across the Delta with an experienced and professional walking guide.
Gallop amongst the wildlife of the Okavango Delta or watch the sun set across the Mgadikalidi Pans from the saddle of your horse. Get close to elephants and enjoy an ethical elephant interaction whilst walking through the bush in the company of elephants padding silently beside you.
Fly from camp to camp by light aircraft and see the Okavango Delta or the Kalahari from the air. Stay in some of Africa’s finest lodges and tented camps in exclusive wildlife concessions or explore Botswana with a small group 4 x 4 safari.
Families are very well catered for in Botswana with exclusive private camps and lodges with children’s clubs and dedicated family programmes to inspire and educate. Many of the camps and lodges have superb family accommodation to enable you all to be under one roof – or book a private safari house or small camp exclusively for your family or group of friends.
Some of Africa's best wildlife viewing is found in Botswana - huge herds of elephant in the Linyanti and Chobe areas, seasonal zebra and elephant migrations in the Linyanti and Magkadigadi Pans and a vast array of other species of wildlife, including buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyaena, jackal, impala, and red lechwe and the African Wild dog.
Birding in Botswana is superb and the country boasts around 590 species including the Delta’s famous African skimmers, fish eagles, the endangered wattled crane. You may see slaty egrets, African jacanas, lilac-breasted rollers, pygmy geese and the elusive Pel’s fishing owl, blue-cheeked bee-eater, black-fronted bush-shrike and the Peach-Faced Lovebird.
THE OKAVANGO DELTA
The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta system in the world with an area of 15,000 km2 filled with water channels, lagoons and islands. Each year floodwaters flow from their catchment areas in the moist central African highlands over 1,000km away, into the Delta to create the Okavango Delta, a huge expanse of wetland within the Kalahari Desert. Named the 1000th World Heritage Site, the Okavango is made up of many large private concessions where exclusivity is at the very core of safari lodge offerings. This area focuses on high value low impact tourism, so lodges tend to be small and personal.
Game viewing here is excellent throughout the year with some fantastic specialities such as the Duba area which is known for the interaction between large herds of buffalo and resident prides of lion. Due to the on-going rhino conservation efforts in the country, sightings of the Big 5 are a real possibility.
MOREMI GAME RESERVE
The Moremi Game Reserve encompasses much of the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and was the first sanctuary to be officially created by its own African tribe. It is named after its local Batswana tribe members, Chief Moremi and his wife, who was instrumental in the protection of the reserve back in the 1960s. Today the reserve offers diverse landscapes and game viewing. From riverine forests to spectacular lagoons, it is a photographer’s haven.
Best known in Moremi is Chief’s Island, an area only accessible by light aircraft and home to a couple of the most luxury safari lodges in the country. On the eastern side of the reserve, access is also possible by vehicle, making it a prime destination for luxury mobile safari operators and adventure seeking self-drivers.
Wildlife in the Moremi Game Reserve is diverse - the area combines mopane woodland and acacia forests, floodplains and lagoons which supports over 500 species of bird (from water birds to forest dwellers), and a huge number of other species of wildlife including Cape buffalo, Angolan giraffe, black rhinoceros, lion, elephant, hippopotamus, zebra, cheetah, hyena, jackal, impala, red lechwe and wild dog.
Adjacent to Moremi is the Khwai Concession, an area managed by the local community and arguably one of the most prolific game viewing destinations in the country. It is an 1800 km area that shares a boundary with the unfenced Moremi Game Reserve, and offers diverse scenery including mopane forests and open plains.
Khwai is known for impressive predator sightings including leopard, lion and the elusive wild dog. The Khwai River is the ideal spot for a scenic drive, allowing for sightings of elephant, buffalo and giraffe whom are often seen dotted along the water’s edge.
Due to the fact that the Khwai Concession is not located inside a national park, guests are permitted some exciting additional activities that would not be possible in the parks, including night drives and bush walks.
Chobe National Park has a well-deserved title of being one of the best safari destinations in the world. It is home to the highest concentration of elephants in Africa, best seen by a tranquil boat cruise along the Chobe River. The northern part of Chobe National Park is accessed by Kasane, a small bustling town which is the meeting point between four countries; Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. Many guests choose to stay at lodges in Kasane town which are positioned scenically along the riverfront and offer both game drives and boat cruises to explore the area.
In addition to frequent elephant sightings, guests may see impressive views of huge buffalo herds on the floodplains as well as elusive predators. Birding in Chobe is particularly stunning, with many migratory birds making their way to Chobe during the green season from November – March.
Due to Kasane’s strategic location straddling the borders of its neighbouring countries, daytrips or extensions to Victoria Falls are a fantastic inclusion.
THE LINYANTI, SAVUTE AND SELINDA
In the north-east of the Okavango Delta are the Linyanti, Savute, Selinda areas which have several very unique features: the Savuti Channel which floods and dries up periodically depending on tectonic movement, the Selinda Spillway and the Linyanti River.
The area is known for huge herds of elephant, zebra, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, lechwe, reedbuck, kudu and roan, followed by predators - lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena and wild dog. Seasonal zebra and elephant migrations add further interest when they are drawn to the Linyanti River at the start of the dry winter months (May - June) and stay until the arrival of the first rains (late November - December).
Savuti is an isolated part of the Linyanti Concession and is known for the Savute Channel. The Channel stopped flowing between 1980 and 2008 - during this time it was an unusual and productive ribbon of grassland that served as a corridor and feeding ground in the surrounding woodland for a wide variety of herbivores.
The Kwando Concession - a little further north - is named after the Kwando River which flows through the area. The river systems form a mosaic of lakes, islands, channels and floodplains. The area has a reputation for big game and large herds of elephant and buffalo, especially in the winter months, when herds of up to a thousand are not uncommon. This vast concentration of game attracts the attention of large predators and a wild dog pack regularly dens on the concession.
THE CENTRAL KALAHARI, NXAI PAN AND THE MAGKADIGADI PANS
The Kalahari desert is the largest unbroken stretch of sand in the world and at its core is the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a vast flat expanse of scrub-covered fossil dunes interspersed with ancient river valleys. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the biggest protected areas in Africa and occupies 5 million hectares south of the Okavango Delta. Offering a real contrast to the rest of Botswana, the Kalahari offers a diverse selection of wildlife and stunning scenery. The area is home to a fascinating array of very different plants and animals which have successfully adapted to living in such a harsh environment.
Wildlife includes giraffe, brown hyena, warthog, cheetah, wild dog, leopard, lion, blue wildebeest, eland, gemsbok, kudu, impala and red hartebeest.
To the north east of the Central Kalahari Reserve lies Nxai Pan which is a fossilised lake bed and is largely covered by grasslands dotted with clusers of acacia trees and mopane woodland. Nxai Pan is known for its huge springbok population and once the rains start elephant and zebra migrate to the area - the zebra to give birth to their young. The area is also known for large journeys of giraffe - up to around 30 in a group - and predators including cheetah, lion, jackal, hyena, leopard and wild dog.
The Makgadikgadi Pans are the remnants of an ancient super lake which dried up many thousands of years ago. What is left is now one of the largest salt flats in the world, and a spectacular contrast to the wetlands found further north in the country. Several safari camps have created unique experiences such as quad biking excursions or sleep outs on the pans allowing guests to witness the very best of this vast moon-like environment. In addition, the grassy plains that border the pans are home to semi-habituated meerkat colonies which can be viewed safely on a fascinating guided activity. The Makgadikgadi pans are also one of the few destinations which remain home to ancient San bushmen tribes. Very few places offer such informative and authentic cultural insights in to traditional tribal life.
On the western side of the Makgadikgadi Pans is the Makgadikgadi National Park of which a focal attraction is the wildlife rich Boteti River. This area plays host to one of the country’s most impressive migrations, where zebra migrate in their thousands from the mineral rich fresh grazing of the pans (during green season November – March) to the fresh water that arrives in the Boteti (from April – October).
Tracks Safaris have travelled extensively within Botswana many times and we have personally visited over 40 lodges and camps, all the national parks and most of the private concessions - use our extensive experience to plan your trip to Botswana!
Call us on 01836 830264 or email [email protected]