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Botswana is an utterly gorgeous place. Situated in Southern Africa, it’s the third least populated country on the African continent. Botswana’s government has a strong commitment to preservation as well, with over 38% of its land protected for conservation, which means a safari to this region will have you experiencing rare, remarkable wildlife and truly serene locales. While this list could very well consist of all the little details as to why someone should embark on a Botswana safari, we’ll keep it limited to five points for brevity’s sake.
So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at why Botswana has our hearts and how it will capture yours.
Since we’re already on the topic of fantastic fauna and stunning environs, it’s only fitting to put a visit to the Okavango Delta at the top of our list. After all, it’s a pristine ecosystem that’s one of the most diverse in all of Africa. To provide further insight, there are 530 species of birds, 160 species of mammals, 155 species of reptiles, 35 species of amphibians, and over 1,500 plant species to be discovered here. Needless to say, the Okavango is absolutely pulsing with life. Furthermore, the delta was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014 to better preserve this precious system.
To touch on the animals you’ll have the opportunity to spot while navigating the delta, it’s almost better to ask what animals you won’t see. In short, you’re in for a safari mammal extravaganza. You’ll find the Big Five are present in addition to hippos, topis, spotted hyena, zebras, antelope, African wild dogs, greater kudu, and so many more.
Your time in the Okavango Delta will consist of exploring waterways by mokoro canoe and venturing out on foot with one of our knowledgeable Safari Directors. The tranquil mokoro rides and land walks are broken up by bouts of pure adrenaline upon spotting an animal you’ve never encountered before or a simply stunning view. A visit to the delta is an absolute must for any Botswana safari.
Established in 1968, Chobe National Park is the first national park of Botswana. Boasting a total area of 4,500 square miles, this expansive park is home to swamps, floodplains, woodlands, and, much like the Okavango Delta, a bevy of wildlife. When you travel to Chobe with Micato, you’ll find yourself exploring the Savuti Channel. This marshland serves as a water hub for animals from the surrounding area looking to sate their thirst. The Big Five will be present here in addition to warthogs, wildebeests, crocodiles, and birds.
Speaking of birds and elephants, Chobe has them in droves. In fact, Chobe is famous for its large elephant population, specifically Kalahari elephants, which sometimes travel in herds of 120,000. Enthusiasts will marvel at the largest concentration of elephants in all of Africa.
Regarding birds, there are over 450 species of birds who call Chobe their home. While here, you’ll have the opportunity to see birds that are vulnerable and endangered such as wattled cranes, slaty egrets, white-headed vultures, cape griffons, martial eagles, gray crowned-cranes, hooded vultures, and many more you can add to your life list. Chobe offers some spectacular safari game encounters, as well as beautiful views. It’s a lovely place to be at peace while gazing upon the channel.
Botswana is certainly an exclusive destination. Since gaining independence in 1966, Botswana went from being one of the poorest countries in Africa to one of the most affluent. Since then, their tourism sector has focused on attracting travellers who are looking for a luxury safari experience.
Luckily, when you travel with Micato, splendor is the name of our game. To start, the camps and lodges you’ll be staying at during your Botswana safari are simply divine. Abu Camp in the Okavango Delta is one of our favourites, in addition to Savute Safari Lodge in Chobe National Park. All your wants and needs from food, to laundry, to outstanding personal service are all impeccably met.
Not to mention the fact that Botswana’s more stringent tourism policies make for a less crowded, more private trip to Africa. Those policies fall right in line with the experience we strive to impart on our guests at Micato. We pride ourselves on offering exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and Botswana offers those moments in spades.
Considering once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the Makgadikgadi Pans offers a one-of-a-kind landscape to explore. The Pans is the world’s largest salt flat and used to be a very large lake, Lake Makgadikgadi, that dried up thousands of years ago. Now, giant salt-crusted pans are all that remains of the ancient body of water.
Fortunately, what remains is spectacular. Walking the flats feels like an otherworldly experience, almost like walking on the moon’s surface except with sufficient gravity. If you are taken out onto the flats for a night safari, get ready for breathtaking 360-degree views of the most pristine night sky you’ve ever seen.
The flats are full of life too. Throughout the wet season, the flats grow quite lush and attract zebras, elephants, wildebeests, and other grass grazers. The Makgadikgadi Pans also host the longest zebra migration in all of Africa, so the Pans may be swarming with zebras depending on the time of year you visit.
In addition to zebras, elephants, and wildebeest, you’ll also have the chance to spot flamingos and meerkats! The salt pans are incredibly vital to the breeding of flamingos in Southern Africa, which further emphasizes how important it is to protect lands such as these. So, strap your boots on and get ready to traverse this quirky landscape.
The Kalahari Desert is a vast, semi-arid landscape that covers most of Botswana. Comprised of roughly 350,000 square miles, the Kalahari, surprisingly, has a lot more to offer than sand dunes. For one, the wildlife is exquisite. You’ll encounter gemsbok, kudu, wildebeest, springbok, and other desert specialties such as meerkats, bat-eared foxes, and brown hyenas. You’ll also be pleased to find that you can spot all three African big cats (cheetahs, leopards, and black-maned Kalahari lions) within the desert as well.
Not all the animals are land-based, as you can find a large number of various birds present also. These include ostrich, giant eagle owls, falcons, kestrels, and goshawks to name a few. The Kalahari is a remarkable place for noteworthy game viewing.
The landscape isn’t what you’d expect either. When you think of a desert, you think of rolling dunes as far as the eye can see. With the Kalahari, on the other hand, it’s better to think of it as a dry grassland or a fossil desert. It’s an interesting landscape that will shift your view of what a desert can look like.
The wonders of Botswana far exceed what can be captured in a blog post. If you’ve been eager to get the wheels on your luxury safari plans rolling, please get in touch with our Safari Specialists to get the process started. We look forward to showing you Micato’s Africa.