What is the Best Botswana Safari?

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Wilderness Safaris Product Manager, Tina Kennedy, highlights Botswana’s diversity of fauna and flora and why it is important to include a combination of different areas and camps into each safari.

For a land-locked country, with a relatively small population and vast tracts of seemingly uninhabited landscape, Botswana offers a large diversity of fauna and flora. Bearing this in mind, the best Botswana safari would include a combination of different areas and camps. In the central and southern parts, the Kalahari Desert hosts a multitude of species that are not as common in other areas – herds of oryx and springbok, the inimitable honey badger (toughest character in the bush!), elusive brown hyaena and of course cheetah – where this vast flat expanse proves to be the ideal hunting ground.

To the north-east, the Makgadikgadi salt pans were once an inland lake and are now just miles and miles of “nothing”. Yet when the rains arrive, one may be lucky enough to witness Botswana’s own mini-migration where huge herds of zebra make their way south, along with other animals and birds such as flamingo, to take advantage of the nutrient rich water and grasses. The Okavango Delta is the lifeblood of many and visiting this wetland paradise seems surreal when a few days before, you might have been traversing fossil dunes in the Kalahari or sleeping out under the stars on the pans. One of the largest inland delta systems in the world, this unique area offers a variety of experiences – from fishing in the deep channels of the panhandle, to boat cruises in the lily-filled waterways and getting up close and personal with tiny frogs and beautiful birds from a mokoro. On the islands and drier land surrounding the Delta, game drives present the opportunity for some amazing wildlife sightings – not only the larger species such as hippos, giraffe, lions, leopards, wild dog but also jackals and genets or perhaps even a pangolin!

Or – witness this World Heritage Site from a hot-air balloon or helicopter with the doors off…just for some added spice! Heading north-east to the Linyanti fault line and the ephemeral Savute Channel, there is yet another facet to Botswana to experience. The mopane woodlands, the riverine forests or the ancient watercourse of the Savute Channel are havens for elephant, sable and roan as well as kudu, wildebeest, spotted hyeana, lion, leopard and wild dog. Boating on Osprey Lagoon, spending a night in a Star Bed or getting up close and personal with wildlife from a number of hides are just some of the wonderful experiences that would round off your safari, making it a truly memorable adventure!

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