Botswana is one of the democratic successes of Africa, a safe country where corruption is minimal and peace reigns. Diamonds and tourism are the main drivers of the economy and this has resulted in an enviable stability and a country that welcomes visitors from all over the world.
Covering an area of the size of France or Texas, 37% of the country is designated as protected areas and this has allowed the conservation of a vast and diverse wilderness from the vast sands of the Kalahari to the shimmering waterways of the Okavango Delta.
BOTSWANA AT A GLANCE
|Head of state||President S. K. Ian Khama|
|Land Area||582,000 sq. km|
|Population||2.1 million (2014)|
|Capital city||Gaborone 230,000|
Summer (October to March): 19-33°C, Winter (April to September): 5-25°C
|Languages||Official language: English
Setswana is the national language.
|Electric Current||220 volts. (The Majority of plugs are South Africa 3 round pin.)|
|Currency||Pula (BWP) USD widely accepted in camps and lodges|
|Time||GMT + 2 Hours|
|Business Hours||Private sector
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Government offices: Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday: Government offices are closed but the commercial sector opens in the morning until 1:00pm.
Most commonly referred to just as “Chobe” this is a mecca for wildlife and is the heartland for the greatest populations of African Elephant in the world. The teak forests and riverine vegetation are home to most of the major predators as well a multitude of mammals, reptiles and insects. Found in the far north of the 11,000km2 Chobe National Park, the Chobe Riverfront is also home to over 400 species of birds. Whether by vehicle, boat or foot this is one of Africa’s most amazing wildlife places. Chobe is the most visited National Park in Botswana and is only 2km from Kasane airport allowing for easy access to the wonderful wildlife.
Savute is found in the central-west of Chobe National Park and has been made famous as a centre for predator action by the adventures and films of various explorers and movie-makers over the past 20 years. The mysterious Savute Channel began to flow again in 2009 and continues to follow its enigmatic cycle of flowing, dying-up and then flowing again. The area is one of contrasts; from the open plains of the Savute marsh to the acacia and appleleaf woodlands. While it is famous for predators, it also plays host to a wide variety of antelope and birds species.
The Okavango Delta
Moremi Game Reserve is a 5000km2 reserve in the world famous Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta was recently named the 1000th World Heritage Site and is home to a wide huge diversity of flora and fauna. Whether by foot, car, boat or mokoro you move from wetland to dryland – traversing the meandering palm and papyrus fringed waterways, passing palm-fringed islands, and thick woodland, resplendent with lush vegetation, and rich in wildlife. This is a fascinating and multi- faceted ecosystem and one of the largest inland deltas in the world. A recent overview of the Okavango recorded 122 species of mammals, 71 species of fish, 444 species of birds, 64 species of reptiles and 1300 species of flowering plants. Rhino relocation programs are also underway to bring this magnificent creature back to the Delta.
In the Eastern edge of Moremi Game Reserve we find Khwai village and the Khwai Concession. The Khwai River spills out from the Delta and gives life to this beautiful area populated with an array of mopane, acacia and leadwood trees. This is the major water source in the immediate area and attracts a wide array of wildlife including wilddogs, lions, leopards and hyenas. Elephants are also a common sighting in Khwai and the birdlife can be prolific. This is also where we conduct our walking activities in conjunction with Sango Camp.
Nothing prepares you for the immensity of this reserve (52,800km2), nor its wild, mysterious beauty. There is the immediate impression of unending space, and having the entire reserve to yourself.
Waist-high golden grasses seem to stretch interminably, punctuated by dwarfed trees and scrub bushes. Wide and empty pans appear as vast white stretches of saucer-flat earth, meeting a soft, blue-white sky. At night the stars utterly dominate the land; their brilliance and immediacy are totally arresting. During and shortly after good summer rains, the flat grasslands of the reserve’s northern reaches teem with wildlife, which gather at the best grazing areas. These include large herds of springbok and gemsbok, as well as wildebeest, hartebeest, eland and giraffe. It is also home to the famous Kalahari Black Maned Lion. The mysterious and seldom seen Brown Hyena is also a resident.
Nxai Pan National Park covers 2100km2 and is one of the lesser known spectacular national parks of Botswana. It forms part of the bed of the ancient Makgadikgadi super lake and is home to a wide variety of mammals and birds. During the rainy months (December-March) the Pans really come alive with large herds of zebra and wildebeest as well as impala and springbok mixing alongside the lions and hyenas. As the rains end and the waters recede you can be treated to some exciting predator and prey interaction amongst the limited remaining waterholes. Nxai Pan is perhaps most famous for Baines Baobabs. Named after Thomas Baines who painted the trees in 1862 these seven baobabs are found on an island surrounded by the Kudiakam salt pan. To the south you can also explore the vast Pans of the Makgadigadi, home to the famous meerkats. A sleep out on the Pans under the stars is a truly wonderful experience.
Mansoon Group from Sweden ( Nov 2016): “ We are home now with a lot of fine memories from our unforgettable safari to Okavango. We really enjoyed everything and we explored a lot of the beauty of nature. About wildlife memories to be mentioned, we really think about all the animal babies we saw as all newly born impalas, young elephants, lions, piglets, and wild dog and hyena cubs.”
Gorman Group from USA (Sep 2016): If I was going to rate our Botswana safari I would say A .We had a grand adventure, “We’ll never forget it. The key was our guide, Nelson. He was fantastic! He was very friendly and affable. He was also extremely knowledgeable. We asked him thousands of questions and he was able to answer them all. He was also patient, capable and professional. The accompanying crew were also excellent. The food was quite gourmet for being in the middle of the bush. We were amazed at the quality of the meals. We got tons of great pictures and saw everything we had our hearts set on, including leopards, lions and cubs and my personal favorite, the honey badger. I would recommend your company without reservation for Botswana travellers.
Brind Surch Photo Safari Sep 2016: “ many many thanks for a wonderful time in Chobe. Great guiding, superb knowledge and a wonderful experience…..the back up team looked after us so well, the tents were lovely and the food delicious. We were made to feel very welcome”
Africa Geographic Group (Sep 2016) : “ Everyone had the trip of a lifetime….well done SGS”
Jasprizza and Gately Group from Australia ( Sep 2016): I am writing to compliment you on the exemplary service that your company provides.
Our 9 day mobile tented safari with SGS and it was beyond all our expectations.
The camp crew (Chef Anthony & Jerry) ensured that we were well looked after and the meals that Anthony produced off a camp fire, continually astonished us.
Our guide/tracker Alex went beyond that normally expected of a guide and made our safari an unqualified success.
Not only is he very knowledgeable in regards to the animals and local flora, but his tracking skills enabled us to see virtually every animal on our wish-list, including the more elusive species such as Wild Dog and Cheetah. We spent 6 weeks in Africa with around 10 or 12 guides throughout our stay, and I would have to say that Alex was hands down, the stand-out of the group.
I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending SGS to anyone who wants to see the real Africa
Thank you for a wonderful experience.
Reed and George Group from Australia ( Aug 2016): As a first timer to game drives and camping the experience was first class. Arron was amazing in his level of understanding of the game and the bird life. He was informative and engaging. The support crew was equally impressive with nothing being too much trouble to organise We have so many lasting memories and amazing pics. Would highly recommend SGS to anyone.
George Group from Australia ( Aug 2016): ‘we had a fantastic time. Beyond expectations as before’
Constantine family from Switzerland ( July 2016): loved loved loved it!!!! The trip was fantastic, we were so happy with our holiday.
The safari was exceptional! Our guide Nelson and his collegues Gift and Henry were very kind and sympathic. We appreciate a lot
Sattler Family from Germany ( July 2016): They really enjoyed their safari and said it was highly recommendable.
Pippen Family from USA ( June 2016) I must let you know that this was a truly once in a lifetime experience for us. Every day was full of excitement and learning and laughing. We loved Alex. He made every drive and every mealtime just a complete pleasure. His depth of knowledge was always on display and his innate ability to locate and then teach about the animals is extraordinary. The experience your company offers is amazing and one we will not forget, your company is outstanding from the high caliber equipment to amazing service to extraordinary staff. Thank you and we will be traveling again with you.
Dance Group from South Africa ( July 2016):
The week was well organised and your staff on the ground tremendous.
The food was great. We Saw the big 4,and had Lions, hyenas and badgers in the camp, with elephants passing very close by.
Nelson was very knowledgeable on all the birds and plants, and had a great ability to find animals. We were very comfortable. Thank you again.
Bedworth Group from Australia ( June 2016):
We had an absolutely wonderful safari! It exceeded all our expectations.
Leonard was fantastic at spotting animals and then knowing
where to wait so they would quite literally walk right past (and even up to)
our vehicle. I cannot speak highly enough of his skills and he was wonderful
company. Maps, Shakka and Chris also did an amazing job. Food was lovely and they
were a great bunch of blokes. Tents were perfect. We hope to come again!
Pippen group from USA ( June 2016): We had a terrific trip and especially enjoyed the SGS mobile safari camping. Our guide Alex was perfect
Global Gypsies Group from Australia March 2016: “The tour was really fabulous, all the guests loved it, everything went incredibly smoothly & the organisation was impeccable. Many thanks for making it such a success”
BTTE Travel Agent Group from UK/Germany/Switzerland Dec 2015 “what a fantastic time we had in Savuti. Mobile Camping was one of the most exciting experiences I had in Africa …your camp was perfectly organized. Alex was one of the best guides I’ve ever had in Africa.
Buhaj Family from France July 2015 “congratulations and thanks to all SGS team for the high quality of your safari ! BUHAJ family were so enthusiastic ! They have traveled a lot, but they said that it was one of their best trips in all their lives !!
Boshung Group from Austria-Aug 2015 “your safari was difficult to top in all matters…..thank you!!”