The incredible scenery and wildlife of the Okavango Delta make safaris in Botswana some of the best in the world. Of course, there is far more to Botswana than just its famous delta and I’m going to introduce you to this amazing country by looking at five specific areas.

The Okavango Delta
Chobe National Park
Magkadigkadi Salt Pans
The Kalahari Desert
Tuli Block

In most cases, you will visit several of these in the course of your trip.

A couple of points:

Before we begin to explore each of these areas, there are two points I want to flag up.

1)    The majority of safaris in Botswana form part of more extensive tours which also include game viewing in neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Namibia.

2)    Botswana is the perfect destination for canoe safaris and very popular for horse riding safaris.

You will need to be a fit, confident, experienced rider with a secure seat if you take to the saddle, as much of the riding is fast and some of the wildlife dangerous.

Some trips include walking safaris.

Top Places to Visit in Botswana

So let’s find out what delights await those considering safaris in Botswana.

The Okavango Delta

This immense river delta is one of the largest in the world; a vast inland network of lagoons and water-filled channels encircling a myriad of islands covered in rich vegetation.

Created by the run-off from the rain soaked highlands of Angola to the north-west, it is subject to seasonal changes in water level which give rise to a variety of landscapes and habitats.

Chobe National Park
To the north-east of the Okavango Delta, on the border with Zambia, is Chobe National Park.
It has the greatest diversity of ecosystems of all the game reserves and one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa, hence, it is another key destination for safaris in Botswana.

Magkadigkadi Salt Pans
To show you a very different landscape, safaris in Botswana often include a visit to the Magkadigkadi Salt Pans to the south of Chobe.

A desolate, shimmering, arid wilderness for most of the time, when the rains arrive, the area comes alive with herds of migrating zebra and wildebeest.

The Kalahari Desert
This is where you really enter the domain of the San bushmen of the Kalahari. They have perfected the art of survival in one of the most inhospitable regions of the world.

The Kalahari, which covers about two-thirds of Botswana, is not a classic sandy desert but is composed of dry grassland, salt pans and acacia forests.

It has two main game reserves and the one you are most likely to visit is the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the northern region of the country.

There is a surprising diversity of wildlife here with lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, wildebeest and several large species of antelope to be found, although numbers are much lower than in wetter areas.

If it is the meerkat that charms you, then this is definitely a place to include in your itinerary.

They are often undaunted by human presence so close encounters with these cheeky, playful creatures are a real possibility.

Tuli Block
The Tuli Block is a narrow wedge of land in the east of Botswana, squeezed between Zimbabwe to the north and South Africa to the south.

Although it offers great game viewing, it features less regularly on safaris as it is isolated from the main safari region in the north of the country .

It is, however, very popular for horse riding safaris, the reason I mention it here.

There are opportunities for both centre-based riding in several of the excellent game reserves as well a trail rides with wilderness camping.

As with all African safari destinations, there is lots of variety.

Safari campsite
You could find yourself sleeping in lodges (basic or luxury), hotels, guest houses, on a houseboat or camp site (wilderness, basic or luxury).

So if you have a strong preference, choose your trip carefully.

Choosing your holiday

To help you find exactly what you are looking for, I have categorised some of the Adventure Travel Companies listed below.

I am also in the process of sourcing good local companies and will add them to the right hand column as I find them.

I have already mentioned that a high percentage of trips covering safaris in Botswana venture into neighbouring countries.

I should also tell you that Botswana is included in many extended overland journeys in Africa (of 1 to 9 months duration), on which safaris feature widely.

All this means that there are plenty of options and there are certainly some superb holidays out there awaiting your discovery.