Location_of_Botswana

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With vast open savannah teeming with free-ranging wildlife, Botswana truly is the Africa of your dreams. The best game viewing has been included in our safari packages. Our Botswana Safari tours include stays in Chobe National Park, Central Kalahari Game Reserve & the “famed” Okavango Delta as well as the largest private game reserve in Africa, Mashatu. Packages can also be arranged for other popular destinations in Botswana such as following the migrating herds of zebra and wildebeest in Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pan National Park.

Regardless of the sights you’re looking to take in – and the exotic wildlife you’d like to see for yourself – our team at Wild Africa can provide you with an itinerary that lets you experience it all. It’s easy to combine, mix and match all of our Chobe safari tours and packages, or you can choose to talk to us about creating a totally customized itinerary.

Botswana map Gold = One of the absolute top wildlife viewing parks of Africa
Silver = One of the country’s premier parks
Bronze = A great to excellent park

Premier national parks & game reserves

By alphabet – This list contains Botswana’s major national parks and game reserves

Best Time to Visit

BotswanaThe Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe are Botswana’s most popular parks. The best time to visit them is from May to September, during the Dry season and winter, resulting in more moderate temperatures. In addition, the Okavango is flooded from June to October. Wildlife viewing is good year-round, but this can differ for some parks. See below to learn when to visit which park.

Best Time
June to September (Okavango, Moremi, Chobe) March to May (Other, drier parks)

High Season
July to October (Will not feel too crowded, except for Chobe)

Low Season
December to April (Some lodges and camps close down)

Best Weather
April and May (Moderate temperatures, little to no rainfall, and few clouds)

Worst Weather
October and November (Very hot) January and February (Peak of Wet season)


May to October –Dry Season – Winter
+ Less vegetation and animals concentrate around waterholes and rivers, making wildlife easier to spot
+ The skies are clear, rain is rare, and there are fewer mosquitoes
+ Even though most tourists visit during the Dry season, the parks still feel uncrowded, except for the bustling Chobe riverfront area
It gets cold at night and in the mornings – pack warm clothing during June, July and August for morning game drives


November to April –Wet Season – Summer
+ The scenery is greener, and there are lower rates during this season
+ Although wildlife is easier to spot in the Dry season, you’ll still see plenty, including newborn animals and migratory birds
+ Except for January and February, rains are mostly short afternoon showers and seldom have a negative impact on your trip
During January and February the rains can be continuous for days
It gets very hot in October and November
Some lodges and camps close down during part of the Wet season


Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

In general, and especially for the northern parks, wildlife viewing is best during the Dry season (May to October). Vegetation is thinner, and animals concentrate around waterholes and rivers making them easier to spot. The Okavango Delta floods from June to October, providing the opportunity to watch wildlife in this unique ecosystem.The drier parks in the Kalahari area offer better wildlife viewing during the Wet season (November to April) when fresh grasses attract wildlife from the northern parks. During the rains, large herds of zebra migrate to Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans.

Botswana Weather

Weather
Botswana has two distinct seasons: the dry season that extends from May to the end of October and the wet or ‘green’ season that lasts from November through to April. The arrival of the first rains after a long, hot dry season is one of the most exhilarating times in the Botswana bush.

• The Green Season
The very best time to visit the desert areas such as the Makgadikgadi Pans and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Nxai Pan and Savuti is during the rainy season, up until a few weeks after the last rains (November–May). During this time, the scenery is spectacular and the game is abundant. This is an excellent time to come on safari because the herbivores congregate on large open grasslands to give birth, while predators wait for an opportunity to pounce.

Although the herds of elephants and buffalo move into the mopane forests there are still plenty to be seen. The extensive grasslands become the scene of the annual zebra migrations as they move into Nxai Pan, the Makgadikgadi grasslands and Savuti. All the plants are in full flower at this time and migrant species of birds can be observed from mid-November until mid-April. Visitor numbers are very low at this time so it is easy to imagine that you are the only people in the parks.

• The Dry Season
This is when game viewing in the Okavango Delta is at its peak and all the big mammals are concentrated near water, making them relatively easy to find. Tall grasses and vegetation have died down after the wet season so game is easier to spot. The temperatures can get surprisingly cold during the winter (June–August) so warm clothing is essential for early morning game drives.

Activities
None of the campsites in Botswana are fenced and the game is free to move freely wherever it wants, sometimes right past or through camp. Most of our sites are completely private, however we mainly operate within the parks and reserves of Botswana, which are public areas used by other mobile safari operators, self-drive tourists and some lodges.

A variety of activities are available on safari. Game drives and bird watching do not incur any additional cost and some night drives are included in the price of the safari, but all other activities will be an additional expense.

Game Drives
Explore the surrounding wilderness in search of wildlife in custom-made open safari vehicles. You will have the chance to see elephant, giraffe, zebra and buffalo, as well as lion, cheetah and leopard. On a smaller scale, there are several mongoose species and a large variety of reptiles.

Night Drives (Khwai Community Area)
Exploring after dark with spotlights offers you an opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the nocturnal mammals that are rarely encountered during the day, including genets, porcupines, honey badgers, African wildcats and owls.

Bird Watching
Botswana boasts a high level of avian biodiversity. The greatest number of birds may be seen from October to March when the migrants are present. Bright and colourful birds such as flycatchers, bee-eaters and rollers are common, as are several species of birds of prey. In the Okavango Delta there are many species of water birds, whereas flamingos are seen in the Makgadikgadi Pans during their breeding season.

Boating
Explore the endless networks of crystal clear waterways and secret lagoons of the Okavango Delta by motor boat. You might be lucky enough to see a hippo, crocodile or otter. Keep your eyes open for tiny reed frogs and striking kingfishers.

Fishing
Experience the exhilaration of catching tiger fish and bream in the deep channels of the upper reaches of the Delta. See the barbel run as soon as the waters begin to recede. August to October is the best time for fishing.

Scenic Flights – Fixed Wing or Helicopter Flights
Experience the thrill and beauty of a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta and surrounding wilderness. Look out for elephants and giraffe crossing channels, while red lechwe splash through the floodplains and hippos warm themselves in the sun.

Mokoroing
A mokoro is a traditional dug-out canoe that allows you access to the heart of the Okavango Delta. This is an ideal means of bird watching. Sit back and relax as you glide through quiet pools of abundant water lilies.

Quad Bikes
Cruise across the vast baking expanse of the salt pans on four wheel drive quad bikes and sleep out under the five billion star-spangled ceiling of the Makgadikgadi Pans.
Visa & Passport Requirements
Nationals of most countries receive an entry visa on arrival. These include most citizens of Europe and the UK, North America, South Africa and Commonwealth countries.

Most flights to Botswana originate in Johannesburg, South Africa. Please be aware that you must have two facing blank pages in your passport to enter South Africa. This is very important; you will be refused entry if you don’t meet these requirements, even if you are only transiting.

Please also note that if any of your own onward travel plans include spending time in or departing from Zambia (e.g. Livingstone Airport) then you will be required to show proof of Yellow Fever vaccination when arriving in South Africa, even if you are only in transit to your final destination.

Commercial Banks
Four main commercial banks are represented in Botswana, namely Barclays Bank, First National Bank, Stanbic and Standard Chartered Bank, as well as numerous foreign currency bureaus. There are no currency controls in Botswana and most hotels, lodges, travel agents and larger shops will accept international credit cards and travellers’ cheques.

Local Time
G.M.T. plus 2 hours

Electricity
All of our vehicles are equipped with 12v-220v invertors for charging camera batteries. The sockets on the invertors are for the standard southern African 3-prong round plugs.

Tipping
Tipping is welcomed in Botswana and in restaurants the usual 10% is acceptable as no service charge is levied. Guides and safari staff can be tipped at your own discretion according to the quality of their service.


Safety & Security

Botswana is a very safe, politically stable country. If you are traveling on an organized trip and staying at lodges and camps, safety problems are very rare. The same as anywhere in the world, most crime occurs in the cities, and the usual safety precautions (such as locking away your valuables at your accommodation) is advisable. Overall, Botswana is so safe that the greatest danger posed to travelers on safari is its wildlife, but you’ll be perfectly fine when following the safety instructions given by your guide.


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Please contact us for a quote for your desired itinerary or for more information on a Botswana safari option.