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Where to Go in Botswana

Africa's best tailor-made safaris

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Where to Go in Botswana

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By Antoinette van Heerden

Safari Travel Planner

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8 Best Places to Visit in Botswana

Botswana offers an unparalleled safari experience with its diverse landscapes, rich wildlife, and vibrant cultures. From the iconic Okavango Delta to the remote Kalahari Desert, there’s something for every traveler. Discover Africa is here to guide you through the best safari experiences Botswana has to offer.

1. Okavango Delta

An aerial view of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photo credit: Wynand Uys, Unsplash
An aerial view of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photo credit: Wynand Uys, Unsplash

One of the world’s largest inland deltas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Okavango Delta supports a significant amount of wildlife, including elephants, lions, and hippos. Explore the delta’s waterways by mokoro (dugout canoe) or take guided walking safaris to experience the region’s rich biodiversity up close. The Okavango Delta is a must-visit for those seeking an immersive and unique safari adventure.

Unique Facts: The delta floods seasonally, starting in April and peaking around August, creating a lush oasis in the heart of the Kalahari Desert. It’s also home to over 400 bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.

2. Chobe National Park

Elephants spotted on boat cruise safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana | Photo credit: Hideaways Camp Kuzuma
Elephants spotted on boat cruise safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana | Photo credit: Hideaways Camp Kuzuma

Renowned for its large elephant population and diverse wildlife, Chobe National Park features varied habitats, including riverine woodlands, floodplains, and swamps. You can enjoy boat cruises on the Chobe River, game drives, and birdwatching tours. Its proximity to Victoria Falls bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe makes Chobe an excellent addition to a multi-destination safari itinerary.

Unique Facts: Chobe National Park hosts one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa. It features four distinct regions, each renowned for specific wildlife: the dry Savuti Channel for lions and hyenas, Linyanti for hippos and crocodiles, and both Nogatsaa and Serondella for elephants.

3. Moremi Game Reserve

Elephant sighted on a safari in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana | Photo credit: Khwai Tented Camp
Elephant sighted on a safari in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana | Photo credit: Khwai Tented Camp

Situated in the eastern part of the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve is one of Botswana’s premier wildlife destinations. The reserve combines permanent water with drier areas, creating a rich habitat for a variety of wildlife. You can explore by 4×4 vehicle, mokoro, or on foot, encountering elephants, buffalo, lions, and more.

Unique Facts: Moremi is the only officially protected area of the Okavango Delta. It is known for its high density of wildlife, including the rare African wild dog.

4. Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Meerkats in Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana | Photo credit: Digital Vision via Canva
Meerkats in Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana | Photo credit: Digital Vision via Canva

One of the largest protected areas in Africa, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve offers a true wilderness experience. The reserve’s vast landscapes range from salt pans to rolling grasslands and acacia woodlands. You can expect to see unique desert-adapted wildlife, including oryx, springbok, and the famous Kalahari lions.

Unique Facts: The Central Kalahari is home to the indigenous San people, who have a deep knowledge of the land and its wildlife. The reserve’s Deception Valley is famous for its dramatic wildlife sightings.

5. Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Massive lake forms in Makgadikgadi Pan, Botswana | Photo credit: THP Creative via Canva
Massive lake forms in Makgadikgadi Pan, Botswana | Photo credit: THP Creative via Canva

Encompassing one of the world’s largest salt flats, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park offers a surreal and starkly beautiful landscape. During the rainy season, between November to March, the pans transform into a water-filled haven, attracting thousands of flamingos and other waterbirds. You can explore the pans on quad bikes, enjoy cultural experiences with the local San people, and witness the zebra and wildebeest migrations.

Unique Facts: The Makgadikgadi Pans are remnants of an ancient lake that once covered much of Botswana. The park’s unique landscapes offer a striking contrast to Botswana’s more verdant regions.

6. Nxai Pan National Park

Zebras pictured in Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana | Photo credit: Nxai Pan Camp
Zebras pictured in Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana | Photo credit: Nxai Pan Camp

Characterised by its open grasslands and seasonal waterholes, Nxai Pan National Park attracts a variety of wildlife. The park is especially known for its large herds of springbok and gemsbok, as well as its iconic baobab trees. Here you can enjoy game drives, birdwatching, and the stunning night skies.

Unique Facts: The park is home to Baines’ Baobabs, a group of ancient baobab trees made famous by the explorer Thomas Baines. The seasonal rains transform Nxai Pan into a lush paradise, attracting migratory birds and mammals.

7. Tsodilo Hills

The beautiful view of Tsodilo Hills, Botswana | Photo credit: Nxamaseri Island Lodge
The beautiful view of Tsodilo Hills, Botswana | Photo credit: Nxamaseri Island Lodge

Tsodilo Hills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, holds great spiritual and cultural significance for Botswana’s people. The hills feature over 4,500 rock paintings, some dating back thousands of years. You can hike through the hills, explore ancient rock art, and learn about the history and culture of the indigenous San people.

Unique Facts: Tsodilo Hills is often referred to as the “Louvre of the Desert” due to its extensive rock art collection. The site has been inhabited for over 100,000 years, making it one of the oldest continuous human habitation areas in the world.

8. Savuti

Sunset on a game drive in Savuti, Botswana | Photo Credit: Ghoha Hills
Sunset on a game drive in Savuti, Botswana | Photo Credit: Ghoha Hills

Located within Chobe National Park, Savuti is known for its dramatic landscapes and prolific wildlife. The Savuti Channel, which alternates between flowing and drying up, creates a dynamic environment for wildlife. You can expect to see large elephant herds, prides of lions, and other predators.

Unique Facts: Savuti is famous for its large bull elephants and its “Marsh Pride” of lions, which have adapted to hunting elephants. The region’s unique geography supports a rich diversity of wildlife.

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