Botswana

A landlocked country in the center of Southern Africa, this country has become the model for wildlife conservation around Africa. Lavish lodges in untamed wilderness areas has arguably made Botswana the greatest wildlife haven on the continent. The main features include the Kalahari Desert, Okavango Delta and Chobe Game Reserve (containing the highest concentration of elephants currently in the world). Untouched by the ways of modern urbanisation, Botswana is a wildlife paradise.

Despite recent and surprisingly rapid modernization, Botswana’s cities provide little in the way of tourist attractions. However, what the cities lack in excitement, the surrounding wilderness areas more than make up for in outstanding natural beauty.

The country’s primary tourist draw card is undoubtedly the vast red expanse of the Kalahari desert and its remarkably beautiful Okavango Delta – the largest inland delta in the world provide a haven for an abundance of African wildlife. Other highlights include the impressive Makgadikgadi salt pans where visitors are privy to massive zebra migrations during the flood season; the Savuti plains which host large prides of lions; and the Tsodilo Hills where 4500 rock paintings form a unique record of human settlement over many millennia.

The Delta’s unique offering is because it is a dynamic destination, thanks to the flood waters. Because of the changing water levels, the Delta changes from year to year and throughout the year. When the flood levels are lower, a greater area can be traversed by vehicle, offering excellent opportunities to spot wildlife. When the water levels are higher, boating and mokoro activities also offer a unique experience.

Although a trip to the Delta is described as a “once in a lifetime” trip, the experience offered ensures that many people who visit destination return again. “It’s the kind of place where once you have been once you are going to want to go again and again.”

Botswana’s currency is Pula (which means ‘rain’ in Setswana). It is divided into 100 thebe (which means ‘shield’ in Setswana). Travellers’ cheques and foreign currency may be changed at banks, bureaux de change and authorised hotels.

The US dollar, Euros, British Pound and the South African Rand are the most easily convertible currencies (and accepted by some estabishments – but, generally, then an inflated rate of exchange will be applied).

Seven main commercial banks, as well as a number of foregin exchange bureaux, operate in Botswana. Operating hours are Monday to Friday 08h30 to 15h30 and Saturday 08h30 to 10h45.

Full banking services are available in major towns, although ATMs are sprouting up all over the country. Most credit cards are accepted at hotels and restaurants. Cultural sites and community art and craft outlets usually only accept cash.

Public transport in Botswana is geared towards the needs of the local populace and is confined to main roads between major population centers. Although cheap and reliable, it is of little use to the traveller as most of Botswana’s tourist attractions lie off the beaten track.

Driving off the main roads in Botswana is only recommended to expects in 4×4 vehicles, that are equipped correctly. Most lodges offer transfers and all logistics is arranged by Wild & Isle. If, however, you will be driving in Botswana: your home driving licence will be accepted (with an official English translation if necessary; driving is on the left side of the road; and the national speed limit is on tarred roads is 120km/h and 60km/h in towns and villages.

Tap water is considered safe to drink, although outside main cities and towns, visitors are advised to check first and sterilise water if in any doubt. Bottled water is available in most tourist centres. Filtered water is available at most camps and shops offer bottled water – it is advised to be well stocked of bottled water if you are travelling off the beaten track. Milk is pasteurised, and dairy products, local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally safe.

Safari lodges and camps serve international-style cuisine, generally of an extremely high standard, along with local beer and imported wine and spirits. Good restaurants and bars can be found in main towns, often within hotels. Beef and goat are very popular meats. Elsewhere, food is more basic: millet and sorghum porridge are the local staples.

A discretionary 5 to 10% tip is typical for restaurant bills. In many places, a service charge is automatically added. It is customary to tip the game guide and lodge staff while on safari.

Botswana’s climatic pattern is typical of southern Africa, although its rainfall is less than countries further east. The rains in Botswana come mostly between December and March, when average minimum temperatures are in the low 20°s. Some days will be bright and sunny, some will have afternoon thunderstorms, and some will just be grey.

As with Namibia, April and May in Botswana are generally lovely, with the sky clear and the landscape green. Night temperatures start to drop during these months, especially in the Kalahari. Note that places in and around the Okavango tend to have less extreme, more moderate temperatures than the drier areas of the Kalahari.

From June to August the night-time temperatures in drier areas can be close to freezing, but it warms up rapidly during the day, when the sky is usually clear and blue. It’s now very much ‘peak season’ for most safari areas: the land is dry in most areas so the animals congregate around the few available water sources.

This continues into September and October, when temperatures climb again, drying the landscapes and concentrating the game even more. This is the best time for big game safaris – although October can feel very hot, with maximum temperatures sometimes approaching 40°C.

November is difficult to predict, as it can sometimes be a continuation of October’s heat, whilst sometimes it’s cooled by the first rains; it’s always an interesting month.

In summer, lightweight, lightcoloured cottons are preferable. Avoid synthetic materials and black clothing, as they increase perspiration and discomfort. In winter, wear trousers, longsleeved shirts / blouses and jerseys. From May – August, night temperatures can fall below zero degrees celsius, so warm jerseys and jackets are vital, especially on morning and evening game drives. Garments of neutral colours that blend with the bush and forest are advisable for safaris and game viewing. Bring a lightweight jacket and/or jersey for unexpected temperature changes or rain. Closed, comfortable walking shoesor gym shoes are a must in all seasons. Special attention should be given to protection from the sun. Bring a sunhat, good quality sunscreen, sun lotion and polarised sunglasses. Wide brimmed sun hats are essential.

Electrical sockets (outlets) in Botswana are the “Type M ” South African SABS1661 (“Large” 15 amp BS-546) sockets. This is actually an old British standard. The “Type M ” South African plug and socket is not to be confused with the “Type D ” Indian plug and socket. In pictures, they look very similar, but the South African type is much larger than the Indian type, and they are physically incompatible. If your appliance’s plug doesn’t match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance’s plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into.

Electrical sockets (outlets) in Botswana usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you’re plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need.

But travel plug adapters do not change the voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 220-240 volts the socket is supplying. If you need to use appliances that are not compatible with 220-240 volt electrical input, you will need a voltage converter.

Botswana is home to the worlds biggest concentration of African elephants, of which the highest concentration is to be found in Chobe National Park. Especially during the dry season large herds of Elephants make their way to the river banks of the Chobe river.

The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world. It’s a beautiful oasis in the Kalahari desert, whose waters start flowing from the highlands of Angola all the way over the sands of the Kalahari desert. The Delta gives life to many forms of life which seems to be unexpected in the middle of a desert. The Okavango Delta became the 1000th inscribed site on the World Heritage List of Unesco in 2014.

Top Botswana Destinations

Africa, Islands & Beyond

Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most amazing, sensitive and complex environments supporting a spectacle of wilderness and wildlife.

Africa, Islands & Beyond

Chobe National Park

Renowned for its impressive, shifting migratory population of more than 50,000 elephants, Chobe National Park is situated in the far north-east of Botswana, bordered to the north by the mighty Chobe River.

[]
1 Step 1

Quick Enquiry
Your Nameyour full name
no-icon
Date of Arrival
date_range
Date of Departure
date_range
No. Adults
0
0
100
No. Children
0
0
100
Commentsmore details
0 /
keyboard_arrow_leftPrevious
Nextkeyboard_arrow_right

Exclusivity

Botswana’s tourism model is based strongly on bringing in fewer people with a greater spend per person, to lessen the impact of people in pristine environments.

Specifically in the country’s Okavango Delta, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site, the strategy protects a pristine environment, while also ensuring a very exclusive experience.  The Delta really warrants this strategy because it is such a sensitive environment.

The Delta, and many of Botswana’s wilderness areas, is operated on a concession model, where operators lease an area from the country’s Land Board, giving them exclusive use of the area. The concession model places strict limits on the number of beds and vehicles within an area. within a concession, an operator will be granted a certain number of beds and a certain number of vehicles. These numbers are based on ensuring a sustainable and minimal footprint in the area.

The result is that guests can often enjoy big game sightings to themselves. Because there are so few vehicles in such large areas, the Delta doesn’t seem busy. For example, The Abu Concession is roughly 180 000 hectares and has two lodges: Seba Camp and Abu Camp.

By way of comparison, some private game reserves less than half this size can have upwards of 15 luxury loges.

Loading Maps
View
Normal Midnight Family Fest Open dark Riverside Ozan
My Location Fullscreen

Total: 9 hotels .    Showing 1 - 9 view all

Search for Hotels

Not what you're looking for? Try your search again