One of the things that has stuck with me about my luxury Botswana safari is the way the country showcases life and death in microcosm against the most sweeping of backdrops … like salt pans, wetlands and desert. Almost the size of France or Texas, it’s not surprising this immense realm offers such varied terrain; let’s take a closer look.
The key safari hotspots are in the centre and north of the country, with the Okavango Delta being the jewel in the crown. This fluctuating, labyrinthine tangle of channels, islands and floodplains hosts significant populations of some of Africa’s rarest animals. It’s a landscape in flux, and this is reflected in the variety of ways it can be experienced. Game drives with specially-adapted ‘swamp’ vehicles, excursions in traditional dug-out mekoro and dreamy hot-air balloon rides each give different perspectives.
Adjacent to the Okavango, the famous Chobe National Park contains the iconic Savute and Linyanti areas, rich with the promise of elephant and wild dog sightings. Moving eastward, this procession of safari pilgrimage sites continues with the Chobe River and Kasane areas, gateway to Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Victoria Falls, and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip.
Also in northern Botswana, Makgadikgadi Pan and Nxai Pan are the beds of long-forgotten inland seas, still littered with ancient stone tools and scored by wildlife trails leading to waterholes. Each summer the rains transform them into shallow lakes, before the winter sun creates gleaming expanses of salt.
In the heart of the country, the Central Kalahari’s annual transformation into a green savannah attracts herds of springbok and eland, and signals a bounty for resident lion and cheetah… Come satisfy your safari itch in Botswana – you won’t be disappointed.