Botswana

Country Profile

Botswana is well-regarded to offer the best game-viewing in Southern Africa. Landlocked and largely covered by the vast Kalahari Desert, northern Botswana is reinvigorated each year when rains in northern Angola flood into the Okavango Delta producing a spectacle that is unparalleled anywhere else on Earth.

Thanks to a combination of some of the largest private game reserves on the continent with strict government quotas, safari in Botswana is of exceptional quality. Such is the respect to wildlife, almost the entire north of the country has been left to run wild. This restriction on tourism has left safari in Botswana the most exclusive on the continent.

The Okavango Delta, the jewel in Botswana’s safari crown, is by far the most popular destination. Paddling silently through thick reeds in a traditional mokoro canoe is one of our all-time highlights of Africa.

Further south, the arid and dry landscape of the Makgadikgadi Salt-Pans and Central Kalahari Game Reserve offer a completely different experience. With the rains of Angola only penetrating so far into Botswana, these dusty plains are open for big cats left to roam free in search of prey.

Botswana’s exclusivity means it has an outstanding collection of the highest quality safari lodges. Given the enormity of the country the majority of camps accommodate light aircraft, giving you the opportunity to make the most of your time.

Where to go

Okavango Delta

Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

When to go

Botswana follows the same climactic patterns of most of Southern Africa bar a slight curve-ball.

The best way to understand when to go to Botswana is to look at the three 'safari seasons', Green, Shoulder and High.

Green Season: This typically runs from the beginning of January to the end of March and is when there is the greatest chance of rain. It is unlikely however to rain continuously during a stay and if it does rain it is more often than not a big storm which then clears (which by the way makes for great photography). Rates are at their lowest in this season.

Shoulder Season: The first Shoulder Season runs from the beginning of April to the end of May while the second runs from the beginning of November through to the end of December. Both are really fantastic times to go to Botswana but for different reasons.

High Season: From June to the end of October is when Botswana and in particular the Okavango Delta is at its peak. The water from the rains has largely evaporated but the flood waters from Angola will have arrived to top up the channels of the Delta.

Practical information

Time Zone: UTC +2

Currency: Botswanan Pula (BWP)

Visa: The majority of nationalities do not require a visa to enter Botswana.

Travel Advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/botswana

Health: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/botswana

Conservation Causes