popular tours - botswana

Aptly and fondly known as ‘The Land of The Giants’, Chobe National Park was proclaimed a wildlife reserve in 1968, covering 11,700km2.

It is in northern Botswana near the vast inland Okavango Delta. It’s known for its large herds of elephants and Cape buffalo, which converge along the Chobe Riverfront in the dry months. The national park encompasses a vast area that also includes Savuti. It is Botswana’s third largest park, after Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Gemsbok National Park. Lions, antelopes and hippos inhabit the woods and lagoons around Linyanti Marsh. The floodable grasslands of the Savuti Marsh attract numerous bird species plus migrating zebras. Boat cruises and game drives along the river are very popular. The natural environment of the park allows for excellent photographic experiences

The Makgadikgadi Pan, a salt pan situated in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana is one of the largest salt flats in the world.

T he pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, which once covered an area larger than Switzerland but dried up tens of thousands of years ago. Recent studies of human mitochondrial DNA suggest that modern Homo sapiens first began to evolve in this region some 200,000 years ago, when it was a vast, exceptionally fertile area of lakes, rivers, marshes, woodlands and grasslands especially favorable for habitation by evolving hominins and other mammals. The Makgadikgadi forms part of the Kalahari Basin, located in the central region of Botswana and consists of a number of pans. The area it covers is about the size of Portugal. It was an enormous lake in the ancient past but when that dried up these dazzling white pans were all that remained. Roaring over the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana on a quad bike is exhilarating and unforgettable.

The Okavango Delta/grassland is a vast inland river delta in northern Botswana formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari.

It’s known for its sprawling grassy plains which flood seasonally, becoming a lush animal habitat. All the water reaching the delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired and flows into land instead of sea or ocean. Each year, about 11 cubic kilometres of water spread over the 6,000–15,000 km2 area. Some flood waters drain into Lake Ngami. The area was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that had mostly dried up by the early Holocene. The Moremi Game Reserve occupies the east and central areas of the region. Here, dugout canoes are used to navigate past hippos, elephants and crocodiles. On dry land, wildlife includes lions, leopards, giraffes and rhinos. Drive tours, horseback-riding safaris and flights over the delta’s extensive wilderness areas start from the southern gateway town of Maun. In the far north, the Okavango Panhandle is a narrow stretch of land fed by the Okavango River popular with fishing enthusiasts. Boating and birdwatching are also popular on this waterway, which is flanked by papyrus reeds and palm trees. Private reserves with luxury safari camps are common around the delta’s many islands and lagoons such as Moremi’s Chief’s Island and Xakanaxa Lagoon. The Delta was named as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, which were officially declared on 11 February 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. On 22 June 2014, the Okavango Delta became the 1000th site to be officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Nxai Pan National park is a protected area with large salt flats which is part of the larger Makgadikgadi Pans in northeastern Botswana, a stand of ancient baobabs & native wildlife such as cheetahs

It lies on the old Pandamatenga Trail, which until the 1960s was used for overland cattle drives. The area is speckled with umbrella acacias and is said to resemble the Serengeti in Tanzania. The Nxai Pan was added to the National Park System to augment the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, thus providing an enlarged contiguous area of natural protection. The National Park is also home to the cluster of millennia-old baobab trees, which owe their name to Thomas Baines, the man known to have discovered them. Baines’ Baobabs, as they are known today, are a sight sought by many travelers venturing into this untamed terrain of Botswana. This national park is home to elephant, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, lion, leopard, cheetah, kudu, springbok, impala, ostrich, Cape wild dog, jackal, hyena, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, and honey badger.

Moremi Game Reserve in northern Botswana is a proclaimed part of the Okavango Delta.

The Okavango is a physical feature, a delta that lies in the Kalahari Desert and Moremi Game Reserve is a designated section of the Okavango Delta. It becomes a lush animal habitat during seasonal floods. Dugout canoes are used to navigate past birdlife, hippos and crocodiles on waterways like the Xakanaxa Lagoon. On land, thirty six species of larger mammals include lions, leopards, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, hippo, rhinos and various antelope (notably, lechwe and sitatunga). Over 80 species of fish and 400 different birds – raptors, waterbirds, bush and tree dwellers and breeding colonies of Goliath heron. There are no fences dividing the northern parks and safari regions of Botswana so the animals are free to move between the areas. Moremi Game Reserve borders Chobe National Park in one section but the boundaries are shown by cutlines [roads] instead of fences.

The Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve, a salt pan– with an area of 3 900 sq. kms is situated in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana.

It is one of the largest salt flats in the world. The pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi. Lying southeast of the Okavango Delta and surrounded by the Kalahari Desert, Makgadikgadi is technically not a single pan but many pans / salty deserts whose only plant life is a thin layer of blue-green algae and very little wildlife can exist here during the harsh dry season of strong hot winds. During the rains, the pans become an important habitat for migrating animals e.g wildebeests, one of Africa’s biggest zebra population, and the large predators that prey on them. The wet season also brings migratory birds such as ducks, geese and Great White Pelicans. The pan is home of one of only two breeding populations of Greater Flamingos in southern Africa. Among the many things to do in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park are game drives (wildlife includes eland, lions, zebras, cheetah, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest, bushbuck, giraffe, steenbok, elephants and many more), bird watching, tour of the Gweta and bush walks

The Savuti area borders the Delta to the west and Chobe National Park to the east and is one of Africa’s best known big game areas.

Savuti is a place of enchantment, of beauty and boasts one of the greatest concentrations of animals in Southern Africa. The area, found in the southwestern corner of Chobe National Park contains the remnants of the ‘superlake’ that once stretched across northern Botswana. The modern landscape has a distinctive harsh and empty feel to it. The big five abundance makes the roughness of the terrain worth it when you get there. Savuti is famous for its mysterious and fascinating channel. It runs a distance of 100 kilometers from the Chobe River, through a gap in the sand ridge to the Mababe Depression. Falling only approximately 18 meters, this channel brings water from the Chobe to Mababe, creating a small marsh where it enters the Depression. Flowing in Livingstone’s time, the channel was dry in 1880, and remained dry for about 70 years. It flooded again in 1957. Savuti Marsh has been dry for the past 18 years.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an extensive national park in the Kalahari desert of Botswana.

Established in 1961, it covers an area of 52,800 square kilometres (20,400 sq mi) (larger than the Netherlands and almost 10% of Botswana’s total land area), making it the second largest game reserve in the world. Its harsh, sprawling terrain is dominated by grasslands, home to the South African giraffe, bush elephant, white rhino, cape buffalo, spotted hyena, brown hyena, honey badger, meerkat, yellow mongoose, warthog, South African cheetah, caracal, Cape wild dog, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African leopard, lion, blue wildebeest, plains zebra, common eland, sable antelope, gemsbok, springbok, steenbok, impala, greater kudu, aardvark, cape ground squirrel, cape hare, cape porcupine, chacma baboon, red hartebeest and ostrich. The land is mostly flat and gently undulating covered with bush, grasses covering the sand dune and areas of larger trees. There are several fossilized river valleys, including Deception Valley and Passarge Valley, which offer basic campsites. Dirt tracks wind south through the reserve’s remote landscapes to the Piper’s Pan area.

The name Khutse means “where one kneels to drink” in Sekwena

Because of its proximity and relative accessibility to the nation’s capital, Khutse game Reserve is a favorite retreat for Gaborone visitors or residents. The 240 km drive takes the traveller through a number of interesting Kalahari villages including the ‘gateway to the Kalahari, ’ Molepolole. Adjoining the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to the north and with no fences separating the two, the terrain of the 2 500 km² reserve combines most types of Kalahari habitat – rolling grasslands, river beds, fossil dunes and grassed bare pans. There is a series of rather picturesque pans where wildlife often congregate particularly following good rains. Game drives are focused around the pans. These include the Motailane, Moreswa and Molose pans. Sometimes water is pumped at artificial waterholes at Moreswa and Molose making for good game viewing year round. Animals commonly sighted include springbok (often in abundance), gemsbok (often common), South African giraffe, wildebeest, hartebeest, kudu, black-backed jackal, steenbok, duiker and the accompanying predators lion, African leopard, South African cheetah, wildcat and the endangered brown hyena.

Mabuasehube Game Reserve is a park in Botswana. In 1992, it was incorporated into Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park and in 2000 it became part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

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