Beautiful Botswana And Its Bucket List Of Gems

10 May 2022

The incredible wildlife, majestic landscapes and the warmth of its people make Botswana an exceptional holiday destination, but the beauty of Botswana is hard to describe, sure you can call it breath-taking but somehow that doesn’t quite capture the essence of this African gem. The soul and magic of the region truly needs to be experienced to be believed – in an immersive way and with the likes of the British royals and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, who has described Botswana as ‘Africa’s best kept secret’ - it’s no wonder luxury safaris here are popular for a good reason. If you’re tempted to find out what all the fuss is about, we’ve created the ultimate insider’s guide to this spectacular country’s most unique offerings.

Beautiful Botswana - Zebras

Unique Wildlife

Botswana is home to a myriad of game reserves all brimming with the Big Five, and it’s what makes it such a popular safari destination, but there are several incredible wildlife experiences here that you just won’t find anywhere else.

• Zebra

East Africa’s Great Migration might be the most famous large mammal migration in the world, but Botswana is home to several smaller mammal migrations that are equally spectacular. One of these is the stunning Zebra migration. Each year, from November-to-March, Botswana’s zebra journey between the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Pans in search of fresh grazing. As the longest and one of the most stunning migrations on the continent, witnessing the scattered herds of Botswana’s national animal is the stuff safari dreams are made of.

• Flamingos

The annual migration of 250,000 flamingos is a marvel to behold. From November to April (Botswana’s wet season), these eye-catching birds travel from the Great Rift Valley to dine on the abundance of shrimp in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. The Nata Bird Sanctuary’s lookout tower on the bank of the salt pan is a great spot to catch the show but another way to view this large avian feast is from the sky. From a helicopter, a shimmering ocean of flamingos dazzle the senses in multi-hued shades of pink.

• Meerkats of the Makgadikgadi Pans

Meeting the adorable Meerkats of the Makgadikgadi Pans is one of Botswana’s best safari activities. Many lodges here offer great Meerkat experiences and as early morning is the best time to view these adorable animals, you’ll set off on an early morning game drive to a sunny spot where you can sit back and watch their little heads pop up as the sun warms the earth. As the adults venture out and stand on their hind legs the babies follow, and once used to your presence these cheeky characters will often approach allowing you to observe them up close.

• Kalahari’s iconic black-maned lion

The Central Kalahari is one of the most remote wilderness areas in Botswana, where rust-coloured valleys & sand dunes are home to a variety of fauna & flora that have learnt to survive in this sun-baked landscape. This immense desert of scrub and sand is where you will find the legendary black-maned lions of the Kalahari. You won’t easily forget your first encounter with one of these desert-dwelling predators. Their roars are both chilling and majestic and bound to leave an impression.

Beautiful Botswana - Mokoro Safari

Unique things to do

• Mokoro Safari

Navigating the meandering waterways of the Okavango Delta in a mokoro (dug- out canoe) is one of the most immersive safari experiences you can have. The Okavango in flood teems with wildlife and your expert mokoro poler and guide will know where all the best game viewing spots are. As you glide silently through this Idyllic paradise you’ll feel a sense of serenity as you marvel at the menagerie of wildlife around you. Animals that can usually be seen include hippos, crocodiles, elephants, zebras, impala, and a multitude of bird species.

• Bush walks with the San

The San are the oldest living inhabitants of Africa and there are several camps throughout Botswana that offer educational bush walks with the Kalahari Bushmen. The San have lived off this harsh and dry land for thousands of years and are proud of their heritage and eager to give visitors an insight into their culture and ancient way of life. As nomadic hunter-gatherers they will take you into the bush and show you their fascinating skills in hunting, foraging, finding water and medicine-making. Getting a glimpse into this incredible culture is an utterly unique and enlightening activity.

• Get a bird’s eye view of the Okavango Delta

The sheer majesty of the Okavango Delta is impossible to imagine from the ground, so a helicopter or small plane is the way to go for an awe-inspiring perspective of this natural wonder. From above this lush water wonderland in the middle of the Kalahari Desert is a real treat and an absolute feast for the eyes with breath-taking views of the delta and the large animals that live there. You’ll soar over the intricate, serpentine waterways, jewel-toned marshlands and vast open floodplains and be amazed by pods of hippos wading in the cool lagoons, lions stalking their prey, and elephants strolling through the grasslands below. Many holidaymakers will tell you this is the highlight of their trip through Botswana.

Beautiful Botswana - outdoor pool

Unique Accommodation

• Baines’ Camp

Sky beds and star baths are the order of the day at Baines' Camp, which is sublimely situated on the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta. This intimate camp has just six suites that are fit for royalty with an outdoor bath and a bed on wheels that can be rolled out onto your private wooden deck when the sun goes down. It doesn’t get more romantic than spending the night stargazing and drifting off to the sounds of the Boro River and the bush beyond.

• San Camp

Set on the hauntingly beautiful Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, this elegant tented old-world safari camp oozes romance in the shade of tall desert palms with 360-degree panoramas that are so vast, you can see the curvature of the earth. With its billowing white tents San camp also has a mini natural history museum and library, a yoga pavilion and tea tent. With just seven bedrooms, you can forget the tourist crowds and over-stuffed 4x4s, it’s just you, the wildlife, and a handful of local San Bushmen, waiting to share their secrets with you.

• Kubu Queen Houseboat

Staying on the Kubu Queen Houseboat means that you get to explore the pristine waterways and lush islands of the pan-handle section of the Okavango Delta. The boat sleeps a maximum of six guests in three rooms chartered to one group at a time for exclusive use, so privacy, exclusivity, flexibility, and remoteness are the key elements of this experience. The Kubu Queen provides a laidback voyage through the splendour and wild side of Africa's true Eden.

• Planet Baobab

At the top of the list of cool and unusual places to stay in Africa, Planet Baobab has been voted as one of the top ten most extraordinary places to stay in the world by Lonely Planet. This is a quirky place in a quirky part of the world and while the camp might be basic, making memories is the focus at Planet Baobab. Home to beautiful Bakalanga huts with en-suite bathrooms that are scattered beneath a fraternity of colossal baobabs, the camp has the largest swimming pool and the funkiest bar and restaurant in the Kalahari. This unique desert oasis is situated in a part of Africa that will never be forgotten.

The more time you spend in Botswana, the longer your bucket list will get. With plenty of ooh-and- aah-worthy moments to keep you coming back for more, Botswana is a truly spectacular safari destination and everything you could dream of - luxurious, spellbinding and deliciously off-the-beaten-track. By now you should be burning with curiosity, so give us a call today on UK 01233 80 27 27 or visit our website www.bestofsouthafricatravel.co.uk.

Testimonials

Nottens Bush Camp

Best family holiday

Best family holiday we’ve ever had.

Rob Willsdon

Recent Blog entries