Botswana is a landlocked country that has a long-standing tourist infrastructure. Botswana gained independence in 1966 from the British rule and has since moved into a peaceful democracy and has grown to become one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. This has mainly been due to its diamond-rich resources and tourism.
The main Botswana attractions are wildlife, which draws a majority of tourists to Botswana. In fact, wildlife reserves occupy close to one-fifth of the country. The country is divided into sixteen districts, ten being rural districts and six urban districts. Find Botswana attractions outlined below.
Botswana Tourist Attractions
This is a national park that is situated in northern Botswana. It has among the largest concentrations of wild game in Africa as a whole. Chobe National Park is ranked third in the country in regard to size and is considered to be the most diverse. It is found where Chobe river flows into Zambezi. It is particularly popular for the proximity it has to the Victoria Falls. It does not have fences and this allows animals to freely migrate to Chobe in the north and from it.
Chobe hosts a big portion of the elephants found in the region (over 100 000). Other species of wildlife found here are wild dog, hyena, lion and leopard, monkeys and baboons, Chobe bushbuck, the rare roan antelope, sitatunga, lechwe, waterbuck, reedbuck, kudu and tsessebe, sable and impala, zebra and buffalo.
The Chobe has approximately four hundred different birds and they are mostly found around and on the floodplains.
The Okavango Delta, one of the most famous Botswana attractions, is a large inland delta in Botswana. It was formed at the location where the Okavango River meets a tectonic trough in the central portion of Kalahari’s endorheic basin.
All the water that is flowing through the Okavango Delta is transpired and evaporated, this means that it does not flow into any ocean or sea. It is a fragile ecosystem and one that remains among Africa’s least spoilt as well as most authentic wilderness areas.
The Okavango river rises in the Angolan highlands, flows south-east via Namibia before going to northern Botswana. The river spreads out over the Kalahari sandveld at the end of its journey to form an immense inland delta that is fun shaped.
The Okavango Delta’s wetlands comprise some of the top natural wonders in the entire African content. The wetlands are characterized by 12,000sq km of mysterious waterways, dense mantles of water lilies, narrow labyrinthine channels that are choked by papyrus and reeds, palm-graced islands and tranquil lagoons. The delta is fringed with thick forest and stands of palms.
The Okavango is truly among the best natural wonders in the globe. The Okavango is known for its exclusive lodges and safari camps for groups, families, and groups.
The Makgadikgadi Pans are situated at the southern end of the Great Rift Valley that spans through the whole of Africa. The pans were once a part of the large Zambezi Valley prior to the geographical changes that shifted the flow to its present course.
The Makgadikgadi Pans system comprises of the Sowa Pan and the Ntwetwe Pan, this in addition to several other smaller pans. The pans are the remnants of the formerly great Lake Makgadikgadi that was 30 metres deep and 80,000 square kilometers in extent.
The Makgadikgadi salt pans are today predominately dry. They are interspersed with some low-lying grass islands, these become a destination for herds of migrating zebra in the wet season.
The Makgadikgadi Pans is a land with hidden fascinations and unspoilt beauty that provides any visitor with unforgettable experiences.
The western Ntwetwe pan and the Sowa Pan are essential breeding sites for greater and lesser flamingoes that migrate from East Africa and Etosha in neighboring Namibia. The flamingoes feed on tiny crustaceans, worms, brine shrimps and algae that flourish in warm shallow waters of the pans during the wet seasons.
Khama Rhino Sanctuary
It is located twenty-five kilometres to the north of an African safari sanctuary in Botswana called Serowe. It is considered to the best conservation site for both black and white rhino viewings. It was set up in the year 1993 in a bid to reintroduce endangered rhinos into Botswana. This sanctuary boasts of hosting the Serowe Pan which is a terrain that is filled with smaller-sized pans of water across the whole area. The sanctuary has a total of thirty-four rhinos and has over two hundred species of birds thus making it ideal for avid bird watchers. Other inhabitants of the beautiful natural habitat are zebra, giraffe, red hartebeest eland, springbok, gemsbok, blue wildebeest, wild cats, bat-eared fox, lynx, porcupine, duiker, kudu and steenbok.
Central Kalahari GR
Central Kalahari Game Reserve is truly a unique safari reserve in Botswana. It is situated at the center of the Kalahari Desert. It was established in the year 1961 and is ranked the second largest game reserve in the globe after Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. It is an African safari wilderness reserve that predominantly has an open and flat grass plains landscape that features fossil riverbeds, salt pans and sand dunes.
The reserve is also characterized by valleys and key among them is the ancient and popular Deception Valley (formed thousands of years back). The valley got its name from researchers who discovered that it tricked individuals into believing the valley river is full and that is never the case as it is an optical illusion. It has 3 entry points i.e. Khutse Gate on the south, Xade gate on the west and the Ghanzi-Kang road. It is rich in wildlife such as wildebeest, springbok and gemsbok. It has over 220 bird species and luscious green vegetation.
It has 3 entry points i.e. Khutse Gate on the south, Xade gate on the west and the Ghanzi-Kang road. It is rich in wildlife such as wildebeest, springbok and gemsbok. It has over 220 bird species and luscious green vegetation.
The Nxai Pan National Park is characterized by short sweet grass that provides a good grazing ground for the springbok as well as other antelope. Other wildlife found in the amazing Nxai Pan are wildebeest, zebra, and giraffe. Common birds are Black Korhaan and Kori Bustard. It was founded in early 1970’s. It is well known for its large gemsbok and springbok populations.
In fact, Nxai Pain is the only natural tourist destination that Springbok and impala can be witnessed living together. In the summer i.e. the months of November to March, migratory species such as wildebeest and zebra commence moving to the Nxai Pan.
The reserve covers a large area of open wilderness and boasts of having Lebala in the south and a Lagoon area in the north. It has an extensive network of migratory trails that allow wildlife to traverse between the wilds of Namibia, Chobe, Linyanti and Selinda. It is generally a flat terrain that is sprinkled with islands of trees and beautiful palms.
It also offers a majestic view of bushes, trees, scrubs, floodplains and a maze of waterways that are typical of a Botswana safari in Kwando. It has a rich wildlife as well as fauna that are nothing short of breathtaking i.e. acacia, camel thorns, palms, baobabs, crocodiles, hippos, red lechwe etc. Furthermore, it has heavenly birdlife e.g. kingfishers, diverse eagles, bee-eaters etc.
It can be described as a faultless natural oasis. The undiluted environment of Linyanti provides a magical feeling of peace and tranquility as well as an overwhelming feeling of closeness to earthly evolution. The Linyanti region lies between Chobe to the east and the Okavango Delta to the south.
It is mainly composed of 2 sections i.e. the Northern Linyanti Southern Linyanti. Both areas have an untouched beauty that is teeming with wildlife.
The Selinda is located north of the Okavango and covers an area of about 1350sq. kms, it is among the 3 famed concession areas that are popular for their beautiful vast landscapes as well as boundless wildlife. It is a private and vast conservation area that only a small number of guests can get to experience the traditional African safari that lacks the pressures that characterize mass tourism.
The Selinda together with Linyanti, Savute and Kwando make an inter-linking ecosystem whereby large herds of zebra, elephant, buffalo as well as other species can freely roam. This wildlife is attracted to individual water systems of Selinda Spillway, Kwando river, Linyanti river and the Savute Marsh. The Selinda Spillway that passes the area is the sole waterway that connects the Linyanti river to the Okavango Delta.
The Selinda is a haven for kudu, tsessebe, lechwe, impala, wildebeest, giraffe, wild dog, jackal, hyena, cheetah and lion.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Southern Africa is an extensive wildlife conservation and preserve area comprising of two bordering national parks: Gemsbok National Park – Botswana, and Kalahari Gemsbok National Park – South Africa. It’s a lion stronghold and lion conservation unit in the protected area.
Kgalagadi means ‘place of thirst.’ There are occasional trees, sparse vegetation, red dunes, and dry river beds of Auob and Nossob Rivers. Water flows underground providing life to camelthorn trees and grass. The park is home to big mammalian predators like cheetahs, lions, hyenas and African leopards. Large herbivores migratory herds like eland, springbok and blue wildebeest, and several bird species like eagles and vultures are found here.
Tsodilo hills in Botswana consists of rock shelters, caves, depressions and rock art. In 2001, the hills gained the UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) listing because of the unique spiritual and religious significance to the San People, and human settlement record over several millennia. Over 4500 rock paintings are estimated at the site.
There are 4 chief hills called Male Hill, Female Hill, Child Hill and an unnamed knoll. Between the two largest hills are a campsite, an airstrip and small museum. Other attractions include a Rhino Cave, white-coloured rock art, a myriad of red rock paintings, and metallurgy (archaeology sites).
Kubu Island located in Makgadikgadi Pan area is a granite rock island in Botswana. The entire island is considered a national monument and indigenous people take it as a sacred site. The Island is the greatest cultural mystery in the region. It’s an untouched empty, unique and wild tourism attraction area with a campsite run to benefit locals.
The Makgadikgadi Pan is a complex large salt pan, the biggest salt flat of its kind in the world. It’s a prehistoric archaeological site where several stone tools were identified. The Island has 344 circular stone carns, and dry stone wall 1.25 m high.
Khutse Game Reserve
Khutse Game reserve is found in Botswana. Khutse locally means ”where one kneels to drink.” For its relative accessibility and proximity in the nation’s capital, the game reserve is a choice retreat for visitors. They travel through Kalahari villages, rolling grasslands, fossil dunes, riverbeds, grassed and bare pans. After good rains, wildlife congregates around the pans.
Gemsbok is common here while springbok are found in abundance. The reserve is home to the endangered brown hyena. Other animal species found here include hartebeest, wildebeest, South African giraffe, black-backed jackal, duiker, steenbok and kudu. The accompanying predators include lion, South African cheetah, African leopard and wildcat.
Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi Game reserve, a protected area in the eastern side of Okavango Delta in Botswana, creates a contrast combining drier with permanent water areas. Moremi Tongue and Chiefs Island are prominent geographical features.
Visitors experience superb savannah game view and bird watching on the lagoons. Forest dwellers and water birds are all here. The thickly wooded areas is home for Cape wild dog. Moremi has acacia forests and mopane woodland, lagoons and floodplains.
Various wildlife species found here include elephant, lion, black rhinoceros, cheetah, hippopotamus, cheetah, impala and many more. July to October is the peak for game viewing when wildlife move to permanent water after seasonal pans dry up.
Mokolodi Game Reserve
Mokolodi Nature Reserve is a game sanctuary in Southern Botswana. It’s a private non-profit game reserve, established by Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation in 1994.
The nature reserve is home to a variety of rare indigenous African game, reptile and bird species most of which are vulnerable to extinction threat.
The reserve has several wildlife species such as southern white rhinoceros, impala, kudu, mountain reedbuck, leopard, among others. Cheetahs are contained within the confines in big enclosures of the reserve. There is a reptile park with puff adder, black mamba, snouted cobra and many more. Found here also is an aviary containing rescued cape vulture and white-backed vulture.