In Botswana you can fly, drive, walk with Bushmen, glide past hippos in a dug-out canoe, horse-ride or wade through the Delta on the back of an elephant. This beautiful country has a lot to offer the visitor – the people are friendly, the landscapes like nowhere else on earth and the wildlife is diverse and prolific.
Privacy and wilderness are synonymous with a Botswana safari, as most lodges only accommodate 8 to 20 guests. If you choose your camp carefully, you may see very few other tourists and plenty of game. Arriving by light aircraft at your lodge adds to the exclusivity and excitement of your Botswana safari.
Botswana’s growth has been carefully managed and its tourism industry has cultivated a reputation for quality, not quantity. Its official ‘low impact, high cost’ policy ensures conservation of its natural habitat and high standards of accommodation and services.
Botswana has set aside nearly 40% of its total land surface for conservation in national parks, game reserves and management areas (known as private reserves or concessions). This is an amazing commitment and it is rewarded by visitors coming from all over the world to experience the ‘best all-round safari destination in the world’.
As an Africa travel specialist, Close Encounters Africa has access to a range of special discounts and late availability safari packages that are not generally available through other travel companies.
These limited availability offers could save you up to £1,000 per person or more on a luxury safari holiday in Botswana.
Botswana is dominated by the Kalahari Desert, which covers 70 percent of its surface, and offers very different landscapes from those of the Okavango Delta, which is wet and green throughout the year, and the Makgadikgadi Pan – one of the biggest salt pans in the world.
The Kalahari reserve is characterised by vast open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds. It is also Africa’s first ‘Peace Park’, which is home to the Black-maned Kalahari Lion and the San (bushmen) – residents for about 1000 years.
At over 17,000 sq. km, the north of Botswana is home to its most attractive natural asset, the Okavango Delta. It never ceases to amaze visitors, as it is the only river delta that doesn’t connect with the sea. Lion, antelope, hippo, elephant and over 400 types of bird are attracted to the lush forests and papyrus beds that are nestled amongst the lagoons, lakes and dry land.
If it’s sunset safari skyline you see in your dreams of Africa, the Chobe National Park is where you can find herds of migrating antelope, elephant and zebra, which draw attention from the big cats – cheetah, leopard and of course the mighty lion.
The largest saltpans in the world are about the size of Portugal. During the rainy season they attract thousands of flamingos to the shallow lakes and are rife with birds and other wildlife such as springbok, zebra and wildebeest.
Botswana is a very popular safari destination, not only because of the masses of game and untouched wilderness, but also because there are areas that are permanently covered in water. This means that whatever time of year you visit Botswana, you are sure to have a varied and exciting range of landscapes and terrain.
The best time for game is July through to November, when it is dry and hot and the game is concentrated on the permanent water. The Moremi, Savute, Linyanti and Chobe are prime game viewing areas during this period. The Okavango Delta is a wetland area, and as such does not have masses of game. However, later in the season the game does move in.
For birders the months of September to March are when all the resident birds are starting to nest and breed, and the migratory birds arrive around October.
In December through to May the bush is lush and green, a complete contrast to the dry, bleak month of October. All the wild flowers come out in the rainy season and the bush is fresh and alive. The whole of northern Botswana is a paradise during this period for the birds and the bush.
In March and April thousands of zebras and other animals migrate towards the Savute area of Chobe national park.
Botswana’s popularity as a destination is gaining in leaps and bounds. Peak season is from July through to November and middle season from April through to June. Note that availability is at a premium during these seasons, so you will need to book well in advance.