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Insights Adventure Travel

Kimberley

Nottingham

BOTSWANA

Built for nature lovers
Botswana Insights

 

Travel guides, magazines and independent reviewers regularly list Botswana as one of the best worldwide travel destinations and, in our opinion, these accolades are well deserved. 

 

Unlike many other developing nations, Botswana has followed a high-value-low-volume approach to tourism which has enabled it to protect its wildlife and delicate environment. Because the number of visitors within the national parks is limited through the use of a permit system, visitors will find a very special combination of untouched wilderness and unique wildlife viewing opportunities.

 

The Okavango Delta is arguably the best known and the destination most closely associated with Botswana and with good reason.

 

A UNESCO world heritage site, the Okavango is the world's largest inland delta and, with stunning scenery, abundant wildlife and alternative safari options such as mokoro canoes and flat-bottomed boats, it really should be on everybody's itinerary.

BOTSWANA HIGHLIGHTS

Okavango Delta

 

The Okavango is the only inland delta in the world and naturally attracts large numbers of wildlife. The recent introduction of both black and white rhino into Moremi have made it a "Big Five"  game reserve.

 

However, the richest and most diverse ecosystem in Africa is also home to specialist antelope, such as the red lechwe and waterbuck, which can be found among the pools and channels while hippos wallow, and crocodiles bask in the sun. African wild dogs, hyaena, over 400 bird species can also be found here.

 

Large areas of the delta are only accessible by boat or light aircraft, particularly during the wet season, which gives many of the lodges the feel of a private safari island from which to explore.

 

Pushing along the tracks in a 4x4 or through the reeds in a mokoro there is something new to see around every corner!

Botswana Insights

 

Chobe National Park lies to the north east of the Okavango and creates a corridor which reaches all the way to the point where the borders of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet.

 

Chobe is vast and can be split into the three distinct areas of the Chobe River, Savuti Marsh and Linyanti Marsh. One of Chobe's highlights is the large, roaming herds of elephant that can be found there, and which have sadly become a rarity in Africa in modern times.

 

The Okavango and Chobe's connectivity makes it possible to depart the town of Maun to the south of the delta and immerse yourself in your own "Out of Africa" experience until you emerge from Chobe into the riverside town of Kasane in the extreme north, or vice versa.

 

In our opinion this is one of the most rewarding travel destinations in the world and we can't recommend this route enough; although, if you really want to put the cherry on the top, Victoria Falls is a short drive from Kasane!

When To Go

The main parks and reserves of Botswana can be split into northern, central and southern regions which have different optimum periods in which to visit.

North: Chobe and Okavango (including Moremi)

Jan
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Excellent
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Poor
Winter (May-October) in Botswana is also the dry season so travellers through the two major northern parks can expect comfortable daytime temperatures and minimal rain. Game viewing becomes easier as the season progresses and the vegetation dies back.
The cold winter nights also help to control the mosquito numbers.
Unlike the Okavango, wildlife numbers in Chobe fluctuate as animals migrate through the area with August to October typically seeing the highest numbers. However, Chobe is extremely hot at this time of year, particularly in Savuti and Linyanti.
 
January-March is the wet season and large areas of the Okavango can become inaccessible at this time. It may, therefore, seem counterintuitive that the delta itself is flooded during the dry season rather than the wet. This is because the source of the Okavango Delta lies in the highlands of Angola and can take up to six months to travel through Angola and Namibia and across the floodplains of the delta itself.

Central: Central Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pans

Jan
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Excellent
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Poor
The central parks are frequented by wildlife as it migrates through the region so while the parks are accessible all year round the best game viewing is during the wet season, December-March. However, at this time some of the roads within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve can be closed off. April and May offer the best compromise between driving conditions and wildlife numbers.
 
The Makgadikgadi Pans attract a broad variety of birds, including flamingos, during the wet season but the pans themselves can only be driven on during the dry season, June-December.
Jan
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Excellent
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Poor
The wildlife viewing is good year-round in the Kgalagadi but at its best at the end of the rains (March-May) when animals congregate around the riverbeds. However, Kgalagadi gets extremely hot during summer while the cooler winter months (May-September) are the most pleasant.

The summer, November-March, brings very high temperatures of up to 38°C in the shade but it is also the rainy season so cloud and rain can cool things down for a short period of time.

 

The winter, May-August, is the dry season and therefore bring clear skies and warm, sunny days. However, the lack of cloud cover also brings cold nights with temperatures sometimes falling below freezing in some areas, especially the southwest.

 

The in-between periods - April/early May and September/October - still tend to be dry, but the days are cooler than in summer and the nights are warmer than in winter.

North: Chobe and Okavango (including Moremi)

Central: Central Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pans

It is hot and dry for much of the year but there is a rainy season which runs through the summer months with January-February being the peak months.
 
The average annual rainfall varies from over 650mm in the extreme northeast area of the Chobe District to less than 250mm in the extreme southwest part of Kgalagadi District. 90% of all rainfall occurs during the summer months while leaving the winter period very dry in comparison. Generally, rainfall decreases in volume the further west and south you travel.
 
Rainfall tends to be unpredictable and highly regionalised. Often a heavy downpour may occur in one area while 10 kilometres away there is no rain at all. Showers are often followed by strong sunshine so that a good deal of the rainfall does not penetrate the ground.

Today's Weather

Humidity
 
The combination of very high temperatures and significant rain can see humidity level climb to 60-80% in the morning and drop to between 30-40% in the afternoon. In winter humidity levels are generally much lower, 40-70% during the morning and  20-30% in the afternoon.