• Christine, Digital Nomad, Travel Expert

Botswana travel guide



Botswana Ultimate Travel Guide


In an era where disconnecting from devices and briefly detaching from the rest of the world is a new luxury, Botswana enjoys a stellar reputation for promising tranquillity and epic wilderness getaways.

Check out this simple guide that will touch on everything you need to know before heading to this beautiful country;


The best Attractions to visit in Botswana


1. Chobe National Park

Situated at the far north tip of Botswana, Chobe is the oldest National Park in the country established in 1968.


It’s dubbed as ‘The Land of Giants’ – a nickname that describes the highlight of the park. With over 100,000 surviving elephants within the park’s 11, 700 km² of land, Chobe is a host to the largest population of these majestic creatures in the world.


Aside from the large concentration of Kalahari Elephants, Chobe is also famed for its diverse habitats with a varied array of birds and animals, as well as a stunning river that allows for fantastic wildlife viewing by boat.


2. Okavango Delta



Okavango Delta is certainly one of the most captivating planet earth’s miracles. Culminating in the northern part of Botswana, Okavango is the largest inland delta in the world and a flourishing 18,000 km² wetland in the Kalahari Desert.


Most deltas form at the mouth of a river as it empties in a larger water body like a sea or an ocean. But the Okavango is in a landlocked country and completely cut off from the ocean which makes the delta an ecological marvel.


Plus, while vehicle-based safaris are the norm in Africa, a mokoro-based (boat) safari is pretty unusual, and the main reason why most people visit Okavango. The mokoro is iconic as it allows for wildlife viewing in style.


3. The San Bushmen



Ethnic tourism is a great way to understand and appreciate indigenous communities while getting a glimpse into their approach to life. If you enjoy tribal cultures, then you’ll love spending time with the San people, one of the oldest cultures on earth with the most divergent DNA on the planet.


On the fringes of the massive Kalahari Desert in Botswana, you’ll find the majority of the San community living and approaching life like their ancestors did thousands of years ago.


Walk around the wild savannahs on a guided tour and understand how the Bushmen sleep under the stars, hunt and gather food, not to mention how they start a fire without a lighter!


Visiting the San Bushmen tribe is one way to help these communities retain their beautiful cultures – making sure the long-threatened heritage is valued, understood, and preserved for the future generation.


4. Kalahari desert



No trip is complete in Southern Africa without a visit to Kalahari, which occupies approximately 82% of Botswana.


From trails of the human existence by the Khoisan people to the enthralling safari experience, Kalahari paints a picture and illustrates what to expect in Botswana in a nutshell.


While most deserts are a symbol and epitome of bareness, the mighty Kalahari brims with life!


Kalahari in Botswana is a year-round destination – between January and May, you can expect to have an epic game viewing experience while the rest of the year is perfect for dessert experiences such as sand dune hiking.


5. Makgadikgadi Pans



In addition to being the largest series of salt pans in the world, Makgadikgadi is also home to the largest zebra migration.


During the dry season, (between July and October) Makgadikgadi pans offer unearthly views as the dazzling white surface stretches so far that your eyes can see the earth’s curvature.


In the wet season, on the other hand, (between January and March) you can have a chance to see the second-largest migration in the continent when the grassy plains are packed to the brim by migrating wildebeests and zebras.


Major Cities/Towns in Botswana


· Gaborone

· Francistown

· Ghanzi

· Maun

· Kanye

· Molepolole

· Serowe


Best Places to Stay in Botswana


Luxury


· Ngoma Safari Lodge


Set slap-bang at the Chobe National Park border, Ngoma Safari Lodge is a luxury accommodation that combines modern-day splendor with wildlife viewing.


With its location at the center of Chobe Forest Reserve and each suite overlooking the stunning Chobe river, Ngoma Safari Lodge is all about magnificent vistas.


You don’t even need to get on a vehicle for a game drive! You can enjoy a wildlife parade from a viewing deck of your suite.


Lodging here will cost you around $1500 per night.


Mid-range


· Meno a Kwena


For an old-style safari allure, Meno a Kwena offers an unbeatable experience. Perched on a clifftop right above the banks of the Boteti River, this simple but elegant camp is an excellent choice if you want to have a quiet safari.


Also, Meno a Kwena is a perfect base from where you can explore the beautiful Makgadikgadi Pans or go on guided walks with the San community.


It’ll cost you around $400 per night to stay at Meno a Kwena.


Budget


· Motsebe Backpackers


If you don’t mind staying a little bit far from the main attractions in Botswana, which are mainly safaris, then this self-catering accommodation can be a great option.


For only $20 per night, you’ll be approximately 5km from the town of Maun and close to a dozen eateries and restaurants.


Motsebe is not only a good place to meet other backpackers but it’s also perfect for someone who wants to interact a little bit more with the locals than the wildlife.


How to get around


Although there are buses and taxis in Botswana, the best way to get around in the country is by hiring a car.


There are good tarmac roads that connect, major cities; the roads range from gravel, tarmac, and dirt roads but they’re generally safe.


Alternatively, you can hire a car with a local driver to make your navigation around the country even easier.


Travel Packing List and Tips


· If you’re traveling to Botswana, it’s highly likely that you’ll go on a safari. Be sure to pack clothes in khaki, jungle green, and other neutral colors.

· Mosquito and bug repellent

· Toilettes

· Sunscreen

· Water filter bottle

· Wet wipes

· Sunglasses

· Lightweight and warm clothing – remember that Botswana is in the heart of the Kalahari desert which means the weather can vary wildly throughout the day with the nights sometimes being super chilly.


Must-try Food in Botswana


· Dikgobe


· Mogodu


· Seswaa


· Phaphatha


· Bogobe


· Vetkoek

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