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Botswana

Elepant

Botswana beckons
Unspoiled, remote and unbelievably beautiful!

 

A vast and peaceful country in Southern Africa, home to the hot and dry Kalahari Desert and the lush oasis of the Okavango Delta – reputedly one of the most beautiful places in the world and the 1000th site inscribed on the World Heritage list!

Largely off-the-beaten track, Botswana is a haven for wildlife and especially elephants. Even though Botswana is the same size as Kenya or Tanzania, it has a population of less than 2 million people, compared with over 40 million in both of these East African countries.
That leaves a lot of undisturbed land for animals. More…

A sample of our Botswana experiences:

Enquire about more Safari options here

SAFARI FAQ’s:

We’ve been there: Awesome Okavango Delta

TRΛVELBOECKER TΛILOR-MΛDE
– combing your personal preference with our expertise.
We create unique & authentic experiences
designed to suit your travel budget and desired style of travel.

Contact Africa Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
to discover your own Botswana!

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Okavango Delta Mokoro

Republic of Botswana:

  • Area: 600 370 km² of which nearly 17% is protected wildlife area. The country has one of the lowest population densities in Africa with an average of less than three people per km²
  • Capital: Gabarone
  • Currency: Pula
  • People: Botswana 95%, Kalanga, Basarwa, Kgalagadi 4%, European 1%
  • Official language: Setswana is the national language and English is the business language
  • Time: GMT +2
  • Climate: The climate is semi-arid with 85% of the country covered by Kalahari sands. Temperatures soar in the summer months (November to March) reaching highs between 30°C and 35°C. Erratic rain-showers are common in the summer.
    In winter months (June to August) warm days are followed by cold nights when temperatures often go below freezing. Daytime temperatures average around 23°C with night-time lows averaging 5°C.

Best Game Viewing Months: There are five main parks in Botswana – Chobe National Park, Savute, Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). Game viewing is generally best from June to September. It is quite warm in October and fair from November to January, and from March to May.
More about Botswana’s wildlife regions, history and tourism policy…

Botswana Lion Cubs

Contact Africa Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
to discover your own Botswana!

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Botswana’s Five Rivers

16 Day* Fly-in Safari in First Class Lodges and Tented Camps from US$7,930 (DD-FIT)
– can be combined with our Desert Horseback Safaris

Throughout this journey, there is one thing we can guarantee. The spirit of Africa and its people will touch you. It might be a herd of elephant against a blood red sunset, the cooling spray thrown up by the thundering waters of Victoria Falls or a simple handshake and a smile from a village elder. Somewhere along the way, you will experience something uniquely African, leaving an indelible print on your memory.
*The itinerary can be customized to suit your desired length of stay.

Highlights:

  • small, authentic lodges and tented safari camps
  • inter-camp flights by light aircraft, affording a birds-eye view of the stunning landscape
  • personal attention of qualified safari guides
  • game drives in open-sided 4×4 safari vehicles
  • escorted game walks, night game drives and mokoro or boat rides

Testimonial:
Thank you for arranging such a wonderful trip for me to Botswana and Victoria Falls…
I enjoyed all the lodges I stayed at, the hospitality was wonderful.
The inter-camp plane rides were an eventful change, and you surely see how enormous Africa is from the air.
Also the walking tour at Okavango was a nice change for exercise!”

TRΛVELBOECKER TΛILOR-MΛDE
– combing your personal preference with our expertise.
We create unique & authentic experiences
designed to suit your travel budget and desired style of travel.

Kalahari SunsetSuggested itinerary:

Days 1 – 3: Kalahari Desert, Botswana
From Maun airport you will be met and transferred by light aircraft to a camp on the western border of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park in the Kalahari Desert. Situated on cliffs over 10 metres above the western bank of the Boteti River, this camp offers a raised vantage point with unsurpassed views of the river and the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park – the best place to witness the annual Zebra Migration.
The lodge features 12 luxurious thatched and glass fronted suites with en-suite bathrooms, spread out along the river bank. Relax at the bar or around the swimming pool, while listening to the wide variety of night sounds so characteristic of the African bush.
Enjoy 2 days on safari in this remote area on guided day and night game drives, game walks, and boat activities (depending on the water levels). A visit to the local village by donkey cart can also be arranged…

Days 3 – 6: Moremi Game Reserve
Transfer by light aircraft to your camp in the Moremi Game Reserve. Peeking out from under a lush green woodland canopy, this camp in the Xakanaxa area of Moremi Game Reserve is a truly hidden gem.
Shaded from the African sun by a forest of ancient ebony trees, this is an elegant thatch and timber lodge offers an authentic bush experience, a true sense of the African wilderness. Facilities include a secluded swimming pool with sundeck and thatched boma where brunch and high tea are served.
Accommodating just 22 guests in East African-style safari tents, each one is individually sited on a raised teak platform with private adjacent facilities and viewing deck, most offering unsurpassed views of the Xakanaxa Lagoon.
Moremi Game Reserve offers a broad range of safari activities on both land and water. Conducted in open 4×4 safari vehicles, the exhilarating game drives provide the chance to track wildlife in beautiful surroundings.

Day 6 – 9: Okavango Delta
Transfer by light aircraft the Okavango Delta. Here your enchanting camp sits in the heart of the delta on Nxaragha Island. To ensure a peaceful and genuine safari experience, our camp accommodates just twenty-four guests in traditional Meru-style safari tents. Enjoy the expansive open-air patio of the lodge, evenings around the fire, a secluded bird-viewing hide and sundeck with plunge pool. This lodge is all about the water experience.
Explore the Okavango Delta by Mokoro (dug-out canoe), by motorboat or on foot, always with an experienced guide. Fishing (in season) and birdwatching is also available.

Days 9 – 12: Savute Marsh
Transfer by light aircraft to a traditional thatched safari lodge, situated on the banks of Botswana’s fabled Stolen River in the Savute area. Accommodating just 24 guests in cool thatched timber and glass suites, each private deck overlooks the Savuti Channel offering superb game-viewing without even leaving your room.
Enjoy the next 2 days on safari in the Savute area, renowned for its population of bull elephant and for the unique interaction of the resident predator species.

Days 12 – 14: Chobe National Park
After breakfast you will be transferred by light aircraft to your first class safari lodge, situated inside Chobe National Park. Overlooking the banks of the Chobe River, each room has unparalleled views of the herds of elephants coming to quench their thirst right in front of you.
The next 2 days on safari in Chobe National Park will allow you to experience the wildlife from various vantage points, whether by boat, or on land. Here you’ll get up close and personal with hippo, crocodile and a mind-boggling array of water birds.

Days 14 – 16: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Road transfer to Victoria Falls for 2 nights at Victoria Falls Lodge, or similar. Set high on a natural plateau, the westward facing the lodge borders the Zambezi National Park and is just four kilometers from the thundering Victoria Falls, Southern Africa’s foremost attraction. With uninterrupted views of spectacular African sunsets and year round game at its on-site waterhole, this lodge offers the most discerning traveller a taste of Africa at its best.

During your stay enjoy a tour of Victoria Falls, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world; take in a sunset cruise on the magnificent upper Zambezi River and delight in dinner at the Boma – a ‘must do’ experience, with exuberant cultural songs, dances and an extraordinary traditional meal!

There is leisure time to explore the charming dusty, rusty little town of Victoria Falls, or to explore more of your surroundings with any or all of these optional tours:
Flight of the Angels
– flight-seeing by Helicopter
Victoria Falls Bridge Tour
– a wonder of Victorian engineering from 1904
Elephant-back Safari– exploring the bush on the back of these gentle giants
not to mention White Water Rafting, Canoeing, Bungee Jumping, and more…

Day 16: Depart Africa
Spend your last morning enjoying the uninterrupted views of the spectacular African bushveld before being transferred to the airport for your flight back home.

Click here to request more details

TRΛVELBOECKER TΛILOR-MΛDE
– combing your personal preference with our expertise.
We create unique & authentic experiences
designed to suit your travel budget and desired style of travel.

Botswana SafariReturn to Zimbabwe

Contact Africa Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
to discover your own Botswana!

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.Kalahari Desert and the Makgadikgadi
Horseback Safaris

4- or 6-Day Equestrian Experiences (RB)
–  great in combination with our Five Rivers Safari

Botswana Safari

Explore this wild, unspoilt area in the same way many of the earliest explorers did – on horseback!
The arid salt pans of the Makgadikgadi and vast expanse of the Kalahari is a land where the desert meets an oasis, where wildlife roams over vast distances and the Milky Way glitters in all its glory above. A land still home to the San Bushman, the original inhabitants of this great continent, Africa.

Tour price: from US$3,215 per person

Tour dates on request

Highlights

  • Canter and gallop through the vast African savannah
  • Meet the Meerkats
  • Walk with the San Bushmen
  • Open 4WD game drives

Botswana Safari

Choose from 4- or 6-day Horseback Safaris, based either at a family-friendly traditional safari camp in the Makgadikgadi Pans or at an award-winning luxury tented camp and the Kalahari Desert, featuring these activities:

Wake up to a steaming hot cup of coffee and a light breakfast, before heading off on your horses in search of some of the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, the meerkats. It’s possible to get up close and personal with these captivating creatures, who – although not tame – are just used to our non-threatening presence. You also get the chance to see the desert through the eyes of a meerkat – which is a pretty spectacular vantage point, and definitely one of the more memorable experiences in Botswana.

Botswana SafariIn the afternoon you’ll climb onto a 4×4 vehicle to see some unique desert species such as springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest and the elusive brown hyena.
As the sun sets, continue on a night game drive back to camp, and look for nocturnal desert inhabitants such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, porcupine, honey badgers and perhaps even a black maned Kalahari Lion.

Enjoy another early breakfast, then mount up and head out at a fast pace, sometimes riding along the edge of the Pans and at other times heading into the woodlands and open grasslands where the zebra and wildebeest graze.
Canter through the herd and, with luck, they will join for the ride – thousands of zebra cantering in front of you, to the side of you and behind you.

After a well-deserved siesta and another decadent tea, drive through the bush to the traditionally built Bushmen village. On arrival, the elders of the community will meet you in a traditional manner after which you will walk out into the bush with the men, women and children.
The focus of the walk will be to provide a gentle introduction to the Kalahari and Bushmen way of life. Your Bushmen guides will point out the distinct ecological characteristics of this area and its animal and bird species and provide the link between culture and wild environment that we seek.

Up with the dawn, a light breakfast is followed by a long morning ride through the “land of a thousand islands”. Stranded on the ancient lakebed, these sand dunes covered in palm trees are one of the most beautiful and fascinating areas of the Botswana wilderness.
At the height of the migration season, the islands and adjoining grasslands are awash with zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest and ostrich – and of course the attendant predators!

Return to the camp once more before you bid farewell to this pristine wilderness.

Dates: January – September & December

Click here to request detailed itinerary

Botswana Safari

 

Contact Africa Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
to discover your own Botswana!

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Awesome Okavango Delta

by Christine Boecker

The serpentine channels of the Okavango River course like arteries through the harsh Kalahari Desert, bringing life to this vast landscape and creating a diversity of habitat unrivaled in Africa. Towering stands of ancient Mopane forest and open savannah mingle with seasonal flood plains, secret lagoons and riverine vegetation.

Botswana is synonymous with wildlife and unspoiled wilderness. It is a land of desert and water, endless plains and savannah woodland, perennial rivers and the unchartered Okavango Delta. The wildlife roams free across the primeval landscape, abundant in number and diversity, and the guides are committed to sharing the pristine wilderness of Botswana with you, the traveller.

Moremi Wildlife Reserve supports the most diverse habitat and animal populations in Botswana, including elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, lechwe, sable and roan antelope, as well as lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog.

You can thrill to the excitement of tracking these animals on foot and on open landrover gamedrives, conducted by experienced resident naturalists. Birdwatching is excellent throughout the year.

I have visited Botswana five times and would go back again and again. During my trips I stayed at camps such as Mombo, Chindi, Khwai River, Tsaro Lodge and Muchenje Lodge. These luxury camps afford the discerning visitor the very best service, warm hospitality and an unsurpassed African safari experience.

I also enjoyed camping at 3rd Bridge and North Gate in Moremi and at Linyanti in Chobe. Botswana is unbelievably beautiful, no matter where you choose to stay.

EVERYONE DESERVES TO VISIT AFRICA AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR LIFE!

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More about Botswana:

History & Background: Botswana was formerly known as Bechuanaland and was a British colony until 1966. It was first inhabited by the San (Bushmen) and then by the Khoi-Khoi (Hottentots) and Bantu groups.
It
is one of Africa’s most stable and peaceful democracies with a remarkable African economic success story, often cited as a model for the African continent.
Botswana has a vibrant and growing economy based on free market principles and is famed for its basketry, wood carvings and Bushmen crafts. Visitors have many opportunities to purchase intriguing mementos of this exciting country.

Tourism: Botswana’s tourism policy is one of “low volume, high cost”. Although this policy limits the number of people able to afford trips and safaris into Botswana, it has protected the fragile environment and resources from the onslaught of mass tourism, which have taken its toll in other countries.
Botswana is a landlocked nation a little larger than France and is bordered by South Africa in the South, Namibia to the west, Zambia to the north, and Zimbabwe to the east. Much of the country is semi-arid with the wide plains of the Kalahari covering 2/3 of the territory. In the north the Okavango River flows into the country from Angola and forms the massive Okavango Delta. A complexity of channels, lagoons, floodplains and islands, the Okavango eerily melds into the surrounding Kalahari.
The area is alive with birds and wildlife. One of the unique ways to explore it is by Mokoro (the traditional dugout canoe) paddled by a local guide. Botswana’s Bayei people, who live around the Okavango Delta make dugout canoes from trees that have been chosen for them at birth. These days many Mokoros are made of fiberglass to preserve the trees.
A Mokoro ride is very quiet and you’re really close to the water. Your poler/guide knows the narrow waterways like the back of his hand and sometimes you’ll encounter mostly birds and a few shy antelope and then again, you may end up face to face with an elephant – a rather exciting experience. They are much bigger than you can imagine!

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Wildlife regions in Brief:

Chobe National Park
Established in 1968, the park covers approximately 11,700 sq kms. Chobe’s vast floodplains along the river, dry savanna and permanent swamp, dense teak woodland provides perfect eco-systems for a diverse variety of wildlife. Watching the elephant families drink and bathe in the river is an unforgettable sight, all the more impressive when herds of buffalo, rafts of hippo and gigantic Nile crocodiles are part of the scene. Lion and spotted hyena are frequently seen on the floodplains, where red lechwe, puku, zebra, sable and roan come out to graze.

Savute
Savute – remote and wild -is situated south of the Chobe River. The area’s main feature is the mysterious Savute Channel, which flows and dries up seemingly unrelated to the rainfall. Stretching from the waterways of the Linyanti all the way to Savute Marsh, the winding waterways of Savute Channel have pumped life into the western section of Chobe National Park for many thousands of generations. But this fickle and unpredictable channel has a fascinating history of flooding and drying up independently of good rainy seasons and flood levels elsewhere – a mystery that has intrigued geologists and other researchers for many years.
When David Livingstone discovered the Savute Channel in 1851 it was flowing. Thirty years later the channel had disappeared and the Savute Marsh had dried out, remaining this way for almost 80 years. It flowed again in the late 1950s, continuing until the early 1980s when it again receded, gaining the channel its reputation as ‘the river which flows in both directions’. Dry and arid for almost 30 years, animals in the area were sustained by artificial waterholes. With the Savute Channel having started flowing again in recent years, the region has undergone a startling transformation, reverting to its natural lush and marshy state.
Sizable numbers of elephant bulls and the greatest concentration of the king of all beasts – the lion are invariably present at Savute. The area is also a famous battleground for lion and spotted hyena, whose ongoing fight for dominance has been captured in the brilliant National Geographic documentary film Eternal Enemies by Deryck and Beverly Joubert. With grazing now plentiful, the area is also popular with zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, giraffe, tsessebe and kudu.
Open 4×4 game drives are conducted in the area, including the famous Savute Marsh, and the ancient San rock paintings at Gubatsa Hills, add magic to a delightful African safari.

Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is one of the last remaining unspoiled wilderness areas of Africa. The Delta is fed by the floodwaters of Central Africa and covers an area of some 16000 sq kms and is the largest inland delta system in the world. These waters fan out into the Okavango Delta forming a wetland system of beautiful palm-fringed channels, lagoons and islands that support a wealth of fauna and flora alike.
Renowned for its abundant wildlife, the Okavango Delta sustains a huge diversity of fauna and flora, including a number of species adapted to the semi-aquatic lifestyle, such as the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga. Families of hippo wallow in the deeper channels and lagoons. The area supports the continent’s largest surviving concentration of elephant and buffalo, while roan and sable antelope roam the open woodlands. Lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog are occasionally also encountered.

Moremi Game Reserve
At the point where the life-giving waters of the Okavango Delta meet the vast plains of the Kalahari Desert, Mother Nature has created a sanctuary of Mopane forests, open grasslands, seasonal floodplains and riverine habitats, resulting in one of the most magnificent and welcoming animal environments in all of Africa. Moremi Game Reserve offers a broad range of safari activities on both land and water. For many guests, the highlight of their stay comes during the morning and afternoon game drives. Conducted in open 4×4 safari vehicles, the exhilarating game drives provide the chance to track wildlife in the beautiful surroundings renowned for frequent sightings of lion, leopard and cheetah. African Wild Dog sightings are also regularly reported, an endangered species whose numbers are rapidly dwindling in other areas. Water activities involve the exploration of water lily-ringed lagoons and surrounding Okavango Delta channels by motorboat.
The birdlife – which ranges from water birds to shy forest dwellers – is prolific and varied, and each boat trip affords guests exceptional bird-watching opportunities. Other sightings include hippos enjoying the clear, cool water, and the chance to watch big game making their way through the reeds to drink or bathe at the water’s edge.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve
The Kalahari is the largest sand basin in the world, stretching 1,560 miles (2,500km) from the northern part of South Africa, through Namibia and Angola and ending in the DRC (Congo). It may have no permanent surface water, but unlike the image of most deserts, the Kalahari is well vegetated with a wide variety of habitats including acacia trees and areas of flat grasslands that seem to stretch forever.
The CKGR is also the largest game reserve in the world, and has until recently been closed to the public. Its remoteness, unforgiving climate and harsh terrain have kept it pristine and only the fully self-sufficient traveller would venture into the reserve alone. Those that do are rewarded with untamed Africa at its best.
The CKGR was originally created as a refuge for the San Bushmen – the inhabitants of the Kalahari for the past 30,000 years. They lived in nomadic hunter-gatherer family groups only taking what they needed to survive – which is an art form in the Kalahari. Their simple lifestyle became anathema to the sophisticated Europeans who colonized Southern Africa and the Bushmen found themselves the hunted rather than the hunter.
Bushmen survival became an issue in 1961 when Botswana was still a British Protectorate, and the CKGR was formed as their homeland. Most have now intermixed with other tribes such as the Bakgalagadi, and live in villages at the southern end of this reserve. Their traditional lifestyle is all but gone but some bush survival knowledge is still passed down from generation to generation.

Makgadikgadi Pans
The lesser-known Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is situated roughly between Maun and Nata in Botswana. The shimmering saltpans of Makgadikgadi are the size of Switzerland and most of the time appears as glaring, white, endless plain. When the rain comes a dramatic change takes place as the pans come to life with frantically feeding water birds and great herds of game. The best time to visit this area to coincide with the migration is from December to March or in the dry season from April to October when the pans are dry.

The park contains four main vegetation types: riverine woodland, scrubland, pure grassland and saltpans. The pans support palm groves and peculiar looking Baobab trees whose branches look more like roots, giving rise to the name ‘upside down tree’. These are interspersed with short spiky yellow grass found on rises between the pans, known as ‘prickly salt grass’. This is extremely saline resistant to the extent that salt crystals can sometimes be seen on the leaves. The interior of the reserve comprises scrub and grassland with a few ‘islands’ of Real Fan Palms and Camel thorn acacia. From April to November game such as springbok, gemsbok, wildebeest and zebra move slowly from the pans area in the south east of the park, to the Boteti River on the western side. During this migration animals accumulate in there thousands. The heavily wooded areas beside the river also contain shy antelopes like duiker and bushbuck.

Botswana115a

Contact Africa Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
to plan your own Botswana Safari!

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TRΛVELBOECKER TΛILOR-MΛDE
– combing your personal preference with our expertise.
We create unique & authentic experiences
designed to suit your travel budget and desired style of travel.

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