Botswana

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
Climate Subtropical
Summer (October to March): 19-33°C, Winter (April to September): 5-25°C
Languages Official language: English
Setswana is the national language.
Measures Metric System
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.

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Chobe Riverfront

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

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.

 

Khwai

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.

 

Kalahari

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

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.

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