It could be a challenge to find a vacation destination that will suit the whole family. Are you tired of always going for the same type of vacation, year after year? Are you looking for something different, off the beaten path? If so, why not go on a Botswana safari for a holiday with your family?
Botswana is by far among the top safari destination on the African continent. Gaborone is Botswana’s capital and the largest city. The official languages are English and Setswana.
Botswana is in Southern Africa. Its neighbors are Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Just to put things into perspective, Botswana’s size is comparable to France!
I have outlined some of the best destinations to visit as part of your safari adventure in Botswana. Of course, the most sought-after landmarks are the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta. However, a few other places ought to be included in your itinerary since they offer spectacular views as well as an unforgettable cultural experience.
The Chobe National Park
The Chobe National Park is situated to the North of the Okavango Delta and bordering Namibia. The closest city is Kasane. The Park covers an area of 4,200 square miles (11,700 Km²).
Your safari holiday must include a visit to the Chobe National Park. The park harbors the biggest wildlife concentration of the entire African continent. The Chobe National Park main attraction is without a doubt the elephants. The population of elephants within the park is around 50,000.
The Chobe National Park encompasses four ecosystems which are:
- The Chobe Riverfront.
- The Savuti Marsh.
- The Linyanti Wetlands.
- The Hinterland.
Because of its proximity to the famous Victoria Falls, the Chobe Riverfront is the most visited region of the park. The park is the home to a large herd of giraffes.
More than 450 bird species live in the Chobe National Park, making it the ideal destination for bird lovers.
Extensive savannahs and rolling grasslands cover the Savuti Marsh area. A large spectrum of wildlife inhabits in the Savuti Marsh. The best time to visit the Savuti Marsh is during the dry season, which is from April to October. It is easier to observe wildlife because of the sparse vegetation. The Marsh contains zebras, wildebeests, antelopes, lions, hyenas and of course, elephants.
The Okavango Delta
Another very popular destination for a safari vacation is the Okavango Delta. The Delta is one of the seven natural wonders of Africa and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Okavango Delta is the largest Delta on the planet.
The Delta is within the Kalahari Basin in the northern region of Botswana. Its primary source of water comes from the Okavango River. The annual flooding of the area takes place during the months of April and May.
The Okavango Delta offers breathtaking views. The landscape ranges from wetlands, plains, forests to lagoons.
Some of the wildlife within the Okavango Delta include the African bush elephant, the hippopotamus, the blue wildebeest, the giraffe, the Nile crocodile and the rhinoceros (black and white).
The Delta is also known as a birding paradise with over 500 species of birds. The African Fish Eagle, the Pel’s fishing owl, the crested crane, the ostrich, and the sacred ibis are among some of the residents of the Delta. The Okavango Delta is the ideal destination for bird watchers and wildlife photographers.
The Moremi Game Reserve
The Moremi Game Reserve was founded by the BaTawana people, in 1962, to preserve the wildlife of the Okavango Delta. As a result, one-third of the Okavango Delta is now called the Moremi Game Reserve and is a protected area. The Game Reserve was named after the BaTawana tribe’s chief, called Moremi.
The Moremi Game Reserve spans over the central and eastern side of the Okavango Delta. The Reserve spreads over 1,900 square miles (5,000 km²). The Moremi Reserve’s scenery comprises islands, mopane woodlands, dry savannahs, grasslands, and floodplains.
The Moremi Game Reserve is the only place in Botswana, where there are rhinoceros. The Reserve is the destination of choice for game viewing drives of the Big Five. Also, the Game Reserve is the home to the wild dogs, an endangered species.
The Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is a semi-arid savannah that covers up to 70% of Botswana’s territory. The annual rainfall varies considerably within the Kalahari Desert. Some areas only receive about 4 to 7 inches (110-220 mm) of rain, whereas others get up to 20 inches (500 mm).
One landmark of interest is the privately owned Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Surprisingly, there is wildlife roaming throughout the Game Reserve. In fact, some of the inhabitants include the giraffe, the brown hyena, the wild dog, the lion, the eland, the warthog, the leopard, the Gemsbok, and the blue wildebeest.
Now, if you are interested in including a cultural experience to your vacation, you must add the Tsodilo Hills on your itinerary! The Tsodilo Hills are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Hills are the oldest historical site on earth and are believed to go back as far as 100,000 years!
The Tsodilo Hills are located in the Kalahari Desert. This landmark is made up of three hills known as the Male, the Female, and the Child Hill. You can reach the top by the following walking trails, the rhino trail, the lion trail, and the cliff trail.
The Male Hill is the highest at 4,593 ft (1,400 m).
Female Hill is the most famous one because it contains the most rock paintings. Furthermore, the Rhino Cave with the famous rhino painting is on Female Hill.
The Tsodilo site features more than 4,500 rock paintings. These pictures are classified into two groups: the red paintings and white paintings. The San people made the red paintings, and their artworks display animals. The Bantu people painted the white rock paintings, portraying animals and human figures.
The Tsodilo Hills are a sacred place for the San people of the Kalahari. They believe that the Hills are a resting place for the spirits.
Botswana is the perfect destination for a family vacation. It offers one of the best safari experiences on the African continent!
The Okavango Delta and the Chobe National Park have an abundant birdlife. Both have as the backdrop a breathtaking scenery!
If you want to mix it up a bit, don’t spend your entire vacation gazing at the wildlife, make a detour to the Tsodilo Hills. The Tsodilo offers an unforgettable cultural and spiritual experience.
Now, are you ready for a different kind of family vacation? If so, you should take a look at my full review of a safari in Botswana by clicking here.
If you have any questions about a Botswanan safari or would like to share your stories, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear all about it!