Planning on travelling to Africa for your next adventure? Wondering which countries you should consider? There’s no doubt that could be a tough thing to sort through. Africa is vast and it may be hard to narrow down the options. Combine that with the instability of many regions, and an African trip may just seem impossible.
Most have probably heard of South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, and a few others as top tourist destinations but there’s one country that’s been making a name for itself for travelers too: Botswana.
Botswana is bordered by South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. It’s known as one of the top destinations for safari holidays and it’s also very sought after as a wilderness destination too. So if you’re a huge nature enthusiast, Botswana may be just the place for you to explore.
So what does Botswana have to offer those looking for a memorable outdoor African experience? How about the largest elephant population on the planet? There are desert secrets to uncover, river deltas to explore, and plenty of wildlife reserves to marvel at. Here’s a look at some exciting options to consider when travelling to Botswana…
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park is one of the top travel destinations in Botswana. This vast reserve is home to one of the largest elephant populations in the country. So your chances are pretty good of seeing one of these awesome animals close-up.
The reserve has three main wildlife-watching areas. These are the Liyanti Marshes, the Chobe Riverfront, and Sayuti. You’ll find the largest amount of wildlife at the Chobe Riverfront. The Liyanti Marshes are famous for their predator population. And for a more secluded experience, the Sayuti is perfect. There you’ll find a quiet experience that only the African wild can provide.
Tsodilo Hills Rock Paintings
The Tsodilo Hills are located in the “Louvre of the Desert” part of the Kalahari Desert. That name comes from the impressive amount of rock paintings found in the area. In fact, it has one of world’s highest concentrations of rock art.
One of the coolest things about visiting Tsodilo is being in the presence of so much history. The artwork spans over 100,000 years! Though not continuously, paintings date all the way back to the Stone Age. The rocks themselves also have valuable cultural significance to the local “bushman.” So it’s definitely worth a visit to Tsodilo to check out this historical African site.
The Gcwihaba Caverns are also located in the Kalahari Desert. For those adventurous travelers, it’s definitely something to check out. These caverns are found among the vast sand dunes of the Kalahari. They aren’t particularly easy to get to. It takes a pretty long 4×4 drive. But for those looking for a bit of adrenaline-inducing fun, it’ll be worth it.
The caves are linked by passageways and are pretty cool to explore. You’ll find beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. And if you’re a fan of bats…you’re definitely in luck. Of course you’d expect to find bats in caves. But the Gcwihaba Caverns are home to several species of bats. You may even spot tortoises, geckos, and barn owls.
The Okavango Delta
This desert oasis has a unique ecosystem and plenty of wildlife to search out. The Okavango Delta results from the flow of the Okavango River into the Kalahari Desert. The delta has seasonal flooding (usually between March-July). Since this coincides with Botswana’s dry season, the result is major migrations from many different plains species.
The Okavango Delta is typically explored by canoe. These canoe trips take you along the swampy delta. Be on the lookout for possible lion sightings as well as other jungle dwellers. There are plenty of lodging options nearby if you want to take several days on an Okavango Delta safari.
Moremi Wildlife Reserve
While you’re exploring the Okavango Delta, make sure not to miss the Moremi Wildlife Reserve. This area is actually the only area of the delta that is officially protected. It’s at the center of the Okavango Delta. And it also happens to be the world’s largest island delta.
The Moremi Reserve is home to a number of unique habitats. Wetlands, floodplains, reed beds, and savannah woodlands are just a few examples. There are a number of lagoons that offers great wildlife-watching opportunities. Be on the lookout for giraffes, wildebeests, hippos, exotic birds, and the Big Five.
How can a landlocked country have an island? Well, Kubu Island is in fact an island. However, it’s surrounded by a “sea” of salt. That’s because the area used to be covered by a huge lake with Kubu Island in the middle of it. That lake dried up thousands of years ago. The result it the Makgadikagadi Pan, also known as the Botswana Salt Flats. And it’s actually one of the world’s biggest salt flats.
Kubu Island is a pretty remote destination but it’s definitely a cool place to experience. It can be acceded by four wheel drive. There’s also camping facilities nearby. Because of the harsh conditions, things tend to stay pretty intact around Kubu Island. The natural beauty and historical artifacts is a big draw for those looking for an intriguing Botswana desert experience.