One of the best safari destinations in the world, Botswana will blow you away with its abundant wildlife, lush deltas and sweeping deserts. Its showstopper - the Okavango Delta - is the most unique places to spot wildlife in Africa, and during its biblical flood season it holds over half of Africa’s elephants, as well as big cats, buffalo and a huge array birdlife.
FAST FACTS Language: Tswana, English Currency: Botswana pula Electricity: 230V Visas: Click here to see if you need a visa to enter Botswana. Dialling Code: +267 Time Zone: (GMT+02:00)
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Visit the Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is a uniquely lush part of Africa, where freshwater wetlands form an otherworldly oasis for the local wildlife. When the delta floods in May, elephants and buffalo migrate en-masse, making it a safari-spotting destination second to none. At the delta you can spot 164 different species of mammal, 540 of bird and 157 of reptile.
Spot lions at the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the second largest wildlife reserve in the world, covering an incredible 52,000 square kilometers. It’s home to all sorts of game, from rhino to desert adapted elephant. It’s also home to the ancient hunter gatherer society of the San people. But the biggest draw of this incredible place is arguably the king of the kalahari: the lion. Spotting a pride of black mane lions is surprisingly easy in the reserve, and watching them play, hunt or laze about is one of the most unforgettable sights in the animal kingdom.
See elephants at Moremi Game Reserve
This is the only protected section of the Okavango Delta, the ‘country of rivers,’ and as such is an area of incredible environmental, scientific and conservation importance. It’s a spectacular place to see elephants in huge numbers, who take migratory routes in their thousands to the Delta each year.
Paddle through the Delta
The Mokoro is a traditional canoe like boat that’s become an iconic symbol of the delta. A historic way to get around, it now is commonly used for game viewing safaris. As there’s no engine noise, this is one of the most serene safari experiences you can have (as long as you don’t run into an angry hippo).
Meet the Bushmen
Plenty of indigenous tribes in Botswana, such as the San Bushmen, continue practising their traditional ways of life of hunter gathering and tribal traditions. In the Makgadikgadi Pans you can meet Bushmen families you give you unique insights into their traditional culture and ways of life, showing you how they start fires, find water, forage and hunt.
Go on an epic safari to Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park is one of the best in Africa and is famous for its huge herds of elephants and Cape buffalo, as well as a dizzying biological diversity. The park is notable for having lions that prey on elephants - a rare sight in nature. Go on a safari here and you’re guaranteed to take some incredible photos.
Things to do in Botswana
There’s plenty of things to do in Botswana that don’t involve wildlife, but most of the best stuff does.
Seswaa is the national dish of Botswana, made with beef, goat, onion and pepper, cooked over a thick maize porridge of ‘pap.’ Anything else added is seen as sacrilege. A salty, savoury stew, Seswaa is usually eaten at lunchtime.
Best eaten at Main Deck Restaurant, Gaborone
Pulse based dishes are also popular in Botswana, and ditloo, an African style legume is often cooked with beans and peas for a rich, healthy accompaniment to meals.
Best eaten at Caravela Restaurant, Mokgosi, Gaborone.
This traditional dish uses deep fried dough bread, and is delicious when topped with syrup honey or jam as a desert. But it’s also eaten as a savoury dish, served with ground beef and pepper.
Best eaten at The PRINCETON LOUNGE, Goborone, Botswana
Food in Botswana
Much of traditional African food is made with maize and meat, and Botswana is no exception. Here are the local delicacies you have to check out if you want an authentic taste of South Africa: