PLAINS OF PLENTY
Vast and untamed, a landlocked country with thousands of square miles of exquisite wilderness, Botswana offers exceptional game viewing as well as a varied safari experience across its broad and flat expanses of savannah, desert, salt pan and wetland.
Blessed with both diamonds and water, Botswana is an economic success story. All our properties in Botswana are set far into the wilderness for the best game viewing, but are also well-served by allweather airstrips so that guests spend more time in the bush and less time in transit.
THE FACTS – Republic of Botswana
Area 581,700 sq. km (226,900 sq. mi.)
Capital city Gaborone (population 150,000)
People Tswana, Kalanga, San, Mbukushu, Yei, Herero
Languages Setswana, Sekalanga and English
Religion Ancestor worship and Christianity
Government Constitutional democracy
WHY CHOOSE BOTSWANA?
• Home to the largest inland delta in the world, the Okavango Delta
• Home to the biggest concentration of elephants in the world, Chobe National Park
• Incredible game viewing and birding opportunities
• Diversity of landscapes from broad and flat expanses of savannah and desert, to salt pan, wetland and flood plain
• Mokoro excursions – not available elsewhere in Southern Africa
National Parks and Principal Sights
Botswana is a landlocked country blessed with some of the finest game viewing in the world due to the incredible concentration and diversity
of mammals and bird life. The two key areas for game viewing are the spectacular Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park.
THE OKAVANGO DELTA
Over 80% of this landlocked country is made up of the Kalahari Desert, the vast sponge into which the swollen Okavango River disappears each year, creating the largest inland delta in the world – the Okavango Delta.
The delta forms part of the Kalahari Basin, situated at the southern periphery of the Great Rift Valley and covers an area of 22,000 square kilometres home to an estimated 9,000 species of flora and fauna – as such the delta is widely regarded as one of the premium destinations for game viewing. Although the periphery is semi-arid, the delta itself is a patchwork of cool clear streams, lagoons, floodplains and forested islands.
In the dry winter season vast numbers of wildlife flock to where the floodwaters infiltrate the delta – providing one of the natural world’s most spectacular sights.
MOREMI GAME Reserve, Chief’s Island
In the centre of the Okavango Delta is the Moremi Game Reserve, renowned for its concentration and diversity of mammal and birdlife.
Elephant, hippo, lion, giraffe and most other game can be seen in abundance, even rhino. The northern reaches house healthy populations of the rare wild dog, otherwise known as the Cape Hunting Dog or Painted Wolf, the most endangered predator in Southern Africa.
The Moremi was the first wildlife sanctuary created by an African tribe (1963), the Batawana. Later in the 1970s the park was enlarged to include Chief ’s Island, historically the hunting grounds of the great Batawana chiefs. In 1991 a section between the Ngoga and Jao Rivers in the northeast was added, increasing the total surface area of the reserve to 4,800 square kilometres.
NG 32 Private Concession
NG 32 is a “Community Based Natural Resource Management Area” situated within the Okavango Delta. Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp and Sanctuary Baines’ Camp are the only two camps located on this pristine 260,000 acre private concession. The camps are owned and managed by Sanctuary Retreats, while the NG 32 community manages the land. This community consists of six villages on the concession borders. Many of the staff at the camps are employed from these villages and receive housing, food and employee benefits, as well as Aids Awareness training. Professional guides are always accompanied by community guides to ensure that environmentally friendly practices are adhered to.
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
In the country’s northwest, on the border with Namibia, immense teak forests grow and it is here, in Chobe National Park, that the largest population of elephants (estimated at 100,000) in the world live a protected and secure existence. Lions, leopards and rare wild dogs roam the broad plains that shrink and grow with the change of the seasons as the rivers and streams flood. Kasane, at the northern tip of the park, is the gateway to the area as well as its administrative centre.
The lush Chobe riverfront is noted for the large concentrations of megafauna (elephant and buffalo) that gather on its banks in the dry season. In the dry season (April-November) the Chobe is the only major source of water north of the Okavango, hence the number of game attracted from great distances. Like the Okavango, the river originates in the highlands of Angola and flows into the mighty Zambezi. The Chobe boasts Bushbuck and Puku antelope, as well as a variety of birds, in addition to elephant and buffalo.
It is also famed for its majestic sunsets.
CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE
Nothing prepares you for the immensity of this reserve, nor its wild, mysterious beauty. There is the immediate impression of unending space, and having the entire reserve to yourself.
Waist-high golden grasses seem to stretch interminably, punctuated by dwarfed trees and scrub bushes. Wide and empty pans appear as vast white stretches of saucer-flat earth, meeting a soft, blue-white sky. At night the stars utterly dominate the land; their brilliance and immediacy are totally arresting.
The Central Kalahari game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest, most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa, and the second largest wildlife reserve in the world, encompassing 52 800 sq kms.
Botswana Visa Information
This information serves as a guide only. Travellers should check for visa requirements
pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements can vary.
Visas are to be obtained in advance and cannot be issued at port of entry.
Visas Not Required – Foreigners from most Commonwealth and European Union countries, as well as the United States, are not required to obtain visas for entering Botswana, except in cases where the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs has directed otherwise.
Please visit http://www.botswanaembassy.org/ for a full list of nationalities which require visas for entry into Botswana.
Botswana straddles the “Tropic of Capricorn” and experiences extremes in temperatures.
Days are normally clear, warm and sunny but the nights range from cool to cold.
Botswana is primarily a dry country, but a summer rainy season lasts from November to March. During this season, days are normally sunny with short, abrupt rainstorms which normally clear within hours.
Botswana is one of the healthiest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with good primary health care facilities available throughout the country. However, the following health precautions are advised.
It is essential for visitors to remote areas of Botswana to have a comprehensive medical insurance policy, to provide coverage for the treatment of serious illnesses/accidents, and if required, medical evacuation. Personal effects insurance is also advisable.
Malaria, including cerebral malaria, is common in northern Botswana, in the Okavango and Chobe areas, particularly during and immediately following the rainy season, from November to April.
As the strains of malaria, and the drugs used to combat them, frequently change, and as certain strains can become drug resistant, it is best to seek medical advice before your departure and take any medication prescribed. Pregnant or very young children are not advised to travel to malarial areas.