Go Beyond

Fully-supported, privately guided and
personally tailored self-drive safaris
throughout southern Africa.

 


Botswana

Botswana has been hailed as 'Africa's best kept secret' and is one of the world's top game viewing destinations. It is a large and often roadless wilderness of savanna, desert, wetlands and saltpans offering a challenging self-drive experience. Its roads are made up of a growing network of tarmac and many rudimentary sand tracks. This is a country where you must have a 4x4 and should always travel in convoy with another vehicle. Most of the national parks and game reserves only offer basic camping facilities with cold showers (and the option of lighting your own donkey boiler!) and long-drop lavatories, but this is slowly changing. In some areas, such as the Central Kalahari there are no facilities at all and you must create your own bush camp with portable shower or bucket and dig a long-drop lavatory with a view! Wherever you are, you must be totally self-sufficient.

None of the national parks and game reserves in Botswana are fenced and the wildlife moves freely through the camps.

In line with many of Africa's national parks, off-road and night driving is not permitted except when staying in private lodges or unless otherwise specified.

 

 

THE OKAVANGO DELTA

Okavango Delta

The Okavango is a unique ecosystem of papyrus-lined waterways, knee-deep floodplains, water-lily lagoons, shady forest glades and rich savannah grasslands. The water of the Okavango literally floats on a saturated sea of sand. The game viewing in this area is outstanding and the Okavango is rated as the best all-encompassing safari destination in the world.

Moremi Game Reserve

This reserve is one of the world's leading wildlife areas. The mosaic of grasslands, floodplains, palm-tree islets, forests, lily lagoons and winding water channels combine to form a perfectly constructed puzzle, in which animals wander as they please.

SEASONS

Wet Season: November to March is the hot rainy season and the roads can be quite bad. The advantage of this time of year is that most of the animals give birth, providing a wonderful game watching experience. The landscape is lush and green and there is an abundance of wild flowers.

Dry season: April to October is the dry season and the drier it becomes the easier it is to spot animals close to permanent water holes. At this time much of the Okavango dries out, apart from permanent rivers in Moremi Game Reserve and the northern reaches of the Okavango. The heat starts to build in earnest from October onwards.

OKAVANGO and MOREMI SPECIALITIES

  1. Being poled in a dugout canoe through lagoons crammed with water lilies on a mokoro safari
  2. Exceptional animal watching
  3. Abundant birdlife
  4. Exquisite thatched lodges and tented camps providing unsurpassed luxury in the bush where you can track game on foot, go fishing, enjoy night drives and motor boat safaris or even spoil yourself with an elephant-back or horse-back safari
  5. Watching animals at waterholes
  6. Exceptional variety of scenery
  7. Perfect honeymoon destination
  8. Scenic flights from Maun over the Delta and Moremi

FACTS

  1. Moremi Game Reserve covers one third of the entire Okavango Delta
  2. This is a malarial area

CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

The Chobe River originates in Angola and enters Botswana as the Kwando River before becoming the Linyanti River. On the southern banks of the Linyanti the Linyanti Marshes and the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve can be found . Here marsh subsides into lagoons and leads to open grasslands and dry inland wooded areas. The Linyanti River finally becomes the Chobe River.

The Chobe National Park is dominated by the riverfront and its great wildlife concentrations as well as the pristine wildlife habitats of the Savuti Marshes and Mababe Depression, which support extraordinary numbers of birds when they contain water.

SEASONS

Rainy season: November to March with a peak during January and February. Rains often only begin in mid-December. Travelling through areas of clay soil can be very difficult at this time, but much of the Chobe River area is accessible. These are the warmest months with temperatures and humidity high and mosquitoes abundant. The wild flowers that emerge during the rains are quite stunning and bird life is abundant. Many animals give birth during this period of abundant grazing and if you are prepared to negotiate some mud, the rainy season in Chobe is a delightful time.

Dry season: May to October is dry and as the months progress and water dries up inland, animals congregate in huge numbers along the river. Game is at its most dense and easily visible during the dry season and most visitors come at this time. October is the hottest month and although it is the best for game viewing, it is also the most uncomfortable as the expectation of rain is high and the heat can be oppressive.

CHOBE SPECIALITIES

  1. Elephants by the hundreds especially by the Chobe River during the dry season
  2. 440 species of birds
  3. Big cats may be seen stalking buffalo on the grassy floodplains
  4. Spectacularly positioned safari lodges and tented camps along the Chobe River offering sundowner river cruises culminating in spectacular Chobe sunsets and fishing on the river for some 20 different species of edible fish
  5. Rare Pel's Fishing owl can be spotted at night
  6. Small flocks of African skimmers, only found in this region are best seen in June or July
  7. Exceptional photographic opportunities

LINYANTI SPECIALITIES

  1. The Narina Trogon (bird) is a rarity
  2. Amazing dawn choruses
  3. Aquatic sitatunga antelopes have specially adapted hooves for marshlands and can submerge if frightened
  4. Magnificent-horned sable antelope
  5. Elephants and zebras in vast numbers
  6. Bat-eared foxes
  7. Wild dogs on the move
  8. Luxury in the bush at one of the top class camps and lodges in the Linyanti

SAVUTI SPECIALITIES

  1. Rare and endangered wild dog are a pleasure to observe
  2. Thousands of zebras moving slowly across the plains in their twice yearly migration, is a sight to behold
  3. Hyenas have the most complex social system of all African animals and are fascinating to watch at their den when youngsters are around
  4. Sit for hours watching elephants at waterholes
  5. Safari lodges offer luxury in a completely different environment from Chobe or Linyanti
  6. Quelea finches gather in flocks of tens of thousands
  7. The sage bush (or bitter bush) releases its herbal aroma as it is crushed by foot or vehicle

FACTS

This is a malarial area.

MAKGADIKGADI PANS NATIONAL PARK

This reserve includes a portion of the enormous Makgadikgadi Pans as well as beautiful savannah country and nutritious grasslands that attract thousands of animals.

The Makgadikgadi Pans boast a landscape like no other on earth. Here desolate pans and shimmering heat mirages destroy all sense of space and direction, and create an experience of true isolation.

SEASONS

Rainy Season: November to March the pans fill up and retain water until April or May. Much of the Makgadikgadi Pans area becomes inaccessible during the rainy season and the only way to see the spectacular flamingo flocks is by aircraft. It is extremely dangerous to venture into the pans during the rainy season unless you are with a guide experienced in the area. During a low-rainfall year, May, October and November are also acceptable. This area gets very hot during the day (40°C), but is mild and pleasant at night.

Dry season: April to September is the dry season with strong winds from August to November.
From April to July game viewing is best within the park and after that it moves to inaccessible areas. March to September are the best months to experience the pans. Winter is very pleasant during the day but ice-cold at night.

MAKGADIKGADI PANS SPECIALITIES

  1. Riding a quad bike across the desolate pans
  2. Flamingo breeding season on Sowa Pan
  3. Staying in a luxury lodge by the salt pans
  4. Night sky studded with a million stars
  5. Feelings of total isolation
  6. Complete and unrelenting silence
  7. Self discovery
  8. Finding stone age tools in the middle of nowhere, and leaving them for others to discover

FACTS

The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park covers an area of 1,891 sq. miles (4,900 sq. km), but the pans outside the national park are the largest salt pans in the world exceeding 4,633 sq. miles (12,000 sq. km).
This is a malarial area.

NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK

This is a true Kalahari landscape dotted with clusters of umbrella trees. It comes alive during the rains when the pans become covered in grass and vast herds of plains game come to visit.

SEASONS

Rainy Season: November to April is the hot wet summer season and the time when Nxai Pan is at its best. Game is abundant from December to April but if the rains have been heavy the roads may be difficult to negotiate.

Dry Season: May to September are more accessible times to be in Nxai Pan.

NXAI PAN SPECIALITIES

  1. Baines' Baobabs
  2. Springbok and giraffes in large numbers
  3. Good birdlife in the rainy season
  4. Wide variety of raptors (birds of prey)

FACTS

Nxai Pan National Park covers an area of 810 sq. miles (2,100 sq. km).
Other than at Baines' Baobabs, the park is not frequented by many tourists.
This is a malarial area.

CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE

This is the second largest game reserve in the world. Its remoteness, unforgiving climate and harsh terrain have kept it pristine and only the fully self-sufficient traveller can venture into the reserve alone.

SEASONS

Rainy season: Summer rains are expected to fall on northern CKGR between November and March, but as rainfall is erratic this is by no means certain. Rainstorms are frequent but fast and roads can become very muddy and a fully equipped 4x4 vehicle is essential.

Dry season: May to October is hot, dry and dusty in the Kalahari with little water and limited animals. October is the hottest month.

CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE SPECIALITIES

  1. Magnificent cloud formations during the summer rains
  2. Thousands of grazing animals on the grass plains of northern CKGR from February to April
  3. Fascinating reptiles, scorpions and insects
  4. Bush-camping in the beautiful Deception Valley
  5. Starry nights of spectacular proportions

FACTS

CKGR is the largest game reserve in Botswana covering 32,808 square miles (52,800 square kilometres).
It is located right in the centre of Botswana.
This is a malarial area.

TULI BLOCK

The Tuli Block comprises privately owned Mashatu and Tuli Game Reserves. This is a wildlife rich region with landscapes of open grass plains, rock kopjes, marshlands, riverine forests and archaeological sites.

SEASONS

Rainy Season: Rain falls any time between September through to May and the area turns green and many of the antelopes give birth. Mid-summer months are December, January and February.

Dry Season: The land is arid and dry during the Winter months of June to August. There are few insects around and although it is cooler, it is still very pleasantly warm during the daytime with cold nights.

TULI & MASHATU SPECIALITIES

  1. Elephants of every size in large numbers
  2. Good chance of seeing leopards, lion and cheetah
  3. Privately-run Mashatu offers mountain biking, horse riding, walking and game drives
  4. Night drives reveal rare nocturnal animals
  5. Eagles and eagle owls
  6. Strange-looking ground hornbill
  7. Unique geology with unusual rocky outcrops

FACTS

The Tuli wildlife areas are all under private management, so all visitors must have prior bookings.
Night drives are a speciality.
Mashatu is right on the South African/Botswana border so a safari to this reserve is an easy trip by road from Johannesburg.
This is a malarial area.

If you would like to download a PDF File with more detailed information, please click the link below.


Botswana Fact File (pdf)

Information courtesy of the Game Reserve website

designed by Genesis Room - www.genesisroom.com