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BOTSWANA

POPULAR DESTINATIONS
Our selection of the major attractions in Botswana follows are :

  • Chobe National Park
  • Makgadigadi Salt Pans
  • Moremi National Park
  • Okavango Delta
  • Savuti National Park
  • Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe / Zambia border)

For those on a limited budget, Rhythm Africa Tours and Safaris suggest one of the excellent guided overland camping safaris.

The lodges in Botswana are generally fly in only, and offer luxury and low density accommodation. (Generally they do not accommodate more than 18 to 24 guests). Consider spending two to three nights in at least 2 of the different areas, short flights connect the lodges. We recommend including one of the “water” lodges based in the Delta which offer a very different wilderness experience with peaceful mokoro (dugout canoe) and boat rides on the waterways.

CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
The Chobe National Park is the second largest national park in Botswana and covers 10,566 square km. It has one of the greatest concentrations of game found on the African continent. Its uniqueness, abundance of wildlife and the true African nature of the region, offers a safari experience of a lifetime.

The park is divided into four distinctly different eco systems:

  • Serondela with its lush plains and dense forests in the Chobe River area in the extreme north-east;
  • the Savuti Marsh in the west;
  • the Linyanti Swamps in the north-west
  • the hot dry hinterland in between.

A major feature of Chobe National Park is its elephant population currently estimated at around 120,000. The Chobe elephants are migratory, making seasonal movements of up to 200 km from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park, to which they disperse in the rains.

MAKGADIGADI SALT PANS
Much of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park comprises nutritious grasslands attracting thousands of animals. It is however, an area of low rainfall and the Boteti River rarely flows to capacity, but often has perennial pools that attract waterbuck, bushbuck and resident hippos. The area was once a superlake almost 100 feet (30 metres) deep, over an area of 30,888 sq. miles (80,000 square km). The climate changed and it 10,000 years ago Lake Makgadikgadi was well on the way to drying up. As the water evaporated, huge glistening salt-encrusted pans were left. These pans look as flat as a billiard table and stretch as far as the eye can see. Occasionally, this extraordinary landscape is dotted with rocky outcrops and large stranded sand dunes.

Makgadikgadi, means a vast open lifeless land but it is not always dry. The pans fill with water during the rains from mid-November and mostly retain their water into April or May. The "thirstlands" are then transformed into great sheets of water, which attract a spectacular array of waterbirds and trigger dramatic migrations of wildebeest and zebra.

If the rains arrive with enough force and river water floods into the Makgadikgadi salt pans, there is nowhere more complete in its transformation than here. Tiny crustaceans hatch and algae blooms to provide food for the largest breeding flocks of greater and lesser flamingos in Africa. The surface of the pans turns a deep pink from 30,000 breeding pairs of these birds. Other water birds are also abundant and a good place to see them is at Nata Bird Sanctuary.

MOREMI NATIONAL PARK
The Moremi is the most diverse park in Botswana and it is the only proclaimed wildlife reserve in the Okavango Delta. Moremi covers almost a third of the entire Okavango Delta, comprising a diverse habitat where the desert and delta meet, of forests, lagoons, floodplains, pans and woodlands. A Moremi safari guarantees a wildlife experience second-to-none! Moremi Game Reserve supports the most diverse habitat and animal populations in Botswana. Resident species include wild dog, cheetah, leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, kudu, lechwe, sable and roan antelope.

Game-viewing is excellent year-round.

OKAVANGO DELTA
The Okavango is the ultimate destination for your African Safari, a pristine wilderness of waterways, islands and grasslands. Great herds of animals migrate to its’ fertile shores attracting numerous predators. This makes it one of the top BIG 5 safari destinations in the world.

The lodges in the Okavango cater to small numbers of guests - each one operating in its own private concession area, affording complete privacy and exclusivity.

With over 450 bird species recorded in the area, it is a haven for birders

SAVUTI NATIONAL PARK
Savuti is famous for its predators, particularly its resident lions and spotted hyena populations. The area is often described as one of the best areas for game viewing in Africa today. The Savuti boasts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife left on the African continent. Animals are present during all seasons.

If you allow yourself adequate time here (a minimum of three to four days is recommended) you will probably see most of the major species: giraffe, elephant, zebra, impala, tsessebe, roan, sable, wildebeest, kudu, buffalo, waterbuck, warthog, eland and accompanying predators including lion, leopard, hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox and possibly even cheetah and wild dog. White rhino have also been reintroduced to the area you may just be lucky enough to spot one.

VICTORIA FALLS
Whilst not in Botswana, Victoria Falls is usually included in a tour as it is so close. As one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world it is well worth a visit. The Victoria Falls is 1 708 meters wide, making it an enormous curtain of water. It drops between 90m and 107m into the Zambezi Gorge and an average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummet over the edge every minute.

Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria Falls inspires visitors as much today as it did David Livingstone in the 1860's. The Falls and the surrounding area have been declared National Parks and a World Heritage Site, thus preserving the area from excessive commercialisation. The Falls are spectacular throughout the year, but February onwards, after the rain season, has the heaviest flow and volume of spray.

A number of activities can be undertaken. The 'Flight of Angels' provides a fabulous vista of the falls, the upstream river and its many islands and for the more adventurous there is microlighting with stunning views of the Falls.

Rafting the wild rapids below the Falls is a very popular adventure. Visitors can also kayak, canoe, fish, go on guided walking safaris, ride on horseback and lunch on Livingstone's Island.

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