BEST OF BOTSWANA
Most travellers head for the Okavango Delta – a UNESCO World Heritage site – as a first stop or if they have limited time. The area varies from 15,000 square kilometres to 22,000 square kilometres in a year of good floods and teams with wildlife year round. From November to May, a lot of the Delta is quite dry as the annual floods from Angola only fill the Delta region from May through to September.
You may not be able to do a boat trip at many places in the Delta in March but your game experiences will still be worthwhile and the birding is excellent. We help you select the best spots for each season. There are some camps like Splash and Kwara which have permanent water year round so these are the best spots in the drier months.
However, there is a lot more to see in Botswana. Apart from the Okavango Delta, there are 4 other areas which you need to include in your itinerary:
- The northern areas of the Okavango – the Linyanti – get the first flood waters and is an equally satisfying ‘Delta’ area to visit. Linyanti Bush Camp, Lagoon Camp (which has permanent water year round), Duma Tau and the gorgeous new Kingspool Camp are our favourites. Our Delta and Linyanti camps generally fall into 3 categories:
- Wet camps (offering walks and seasonal boating or canoe trips like the lovely Delta Camp
- Dry camps (offering guided walks and game drives such as Lebala Camp)
- Combination camps where you can do seasonal water activities as well as game drives (most camps fall into this category)
As a general rule of thumb: water activities + game drives (day and night) + the best wildlife = the higher the price tag
- From December to April, the vast Kalahari region is teeming with migratory herds as wildebeest move in search of green grasses brought on by the summer rains. They are closely followed by the predators. May through to July – even though it might get nippy at night – is still worth visiting as the area starts to dry and limited water sources bring game concentrations. We love Wilderness Safaris’ Kalahari Plains and Kwando’s Tau Pan inside the Central Kalahari and Ker & Downey’s Dinaka Camp in a private concession north of the CKGR.
- The Eastern Delta and game rich Khwai area are impressive for its array of animal and bird species but we urge you to avoid this area in peak periods like July and August when it is very busy. The Khwai Private Reserve is your best bet in peak season. It is away from the teeming masses and there are gems of lodges to stay such as Sable Alley and Tuludi.
- The Chobe. Like the Khwai we like to steer you away from the main areas of the Chobe riverfront in peak season to quieter spots. Or even bypass The Chobe in July and August if you do not like crowds. Many lodges are in town. Our favourites are outside Kasane like Muchenje Safari Lodge, Chobe Game Lodge (actually inside Chobe National Park) and Tlouwana Camp.
A best of Botswana circuit to include all 5 areas needs a minimum of 10 days. So if you have 2 weeks to spare then a specially designed safari to all parts of Botswana is right for you – and you can even add in a night or two in Victoria Falls.