Botswana: What to Expect / Highlights

The Okavango Delta

The Okavango is the world's largest inland delta - a unique ecosystem of labyrinthine waterways that create thousands of verdant, palm-studded islands teeming with wildlife. Often referred to as the "Earth's Last Eden", the Okavango's savannahs, floodplains and woodlands are home to virtually all of the great animals of Africa and it is especially famous for its magnificent lions. The Okavango is a pristine, pure wetland which is the result of rivers from Angola and Namibia spreading over the Kalahari sands of northern Botswana. The papyrus lined channels and lagoons offer shelter to crocodile and hippo, and the "islands" formed by those channels are home to thousands of elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, and over 450 species of birds.

Linyanti Reserve & The Selinda Spillway

The Selinda Reserve is situated in the Linyanti Region of Northern Botswana and forms a vital conservation area east of the Okavango Delta. A river channel, known as the Selinda Spillway, ribbons through the reserve flowing eastward from the Okavango Delta into the Zibidianja lagoon before splitting into the the Linyanti and Chobe rivers. Up until two years ago the Selinda Spillway was not a complete waterway. Through increased rainfall levels in Angola, and theories of substrata seismic activity in 2008, the spillway now runs freely from the Okavango through to the Zibidianja Lagoon, providing spectacular game viewing opportunities.

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park remains one of Africa's prime game-viewing areas. Here one finds all of the "Big Five", except for rhino. This is elephant country, home to the largest population of elephants in the world! The park forms part of Botswana's northern-most border and is a contrast of desert aridity and flood plains. Dominated by the Mababwe Depression, the Chobe region is best known for its vast magnificent river and floodplains filled with grazing herds of big game. Buffalo, sable, lion, leopard, hippo, hyena, and thousands of antelope all find safety in this huge national park.

The Makgadikgadi Pans

A relic of one of the world's largest super-lakes, the Makgadikgadi dried up thousands of years ago as a result of the continued shifting of the earth's crust. When the lake was formed some five to seven million years ago, its shores were the setting for the mysterious transition from ape to man. Explore remote archaeological sites where scientists have discovered never before documented fossil beds of extinct giant zebra and hippo. The desert experience here focuses on species unique to the area such as aardvark, gemsbuck and springbok. It is the only place where guests are virtually guaranteed to see the rare and elusive brown hyena and be able to walk with a gang of habituated but wild meerkats!

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve

The Kalahari encompasses over 350,000 square miles, is one of the world's most extensive mantles of sand that extends south into South Africa, west into Namibia and north into Angola. This Kalahari sand covers the hollow basin of Botswana and forms a flat plain that covers nearly 70% of the country. Botswana's indigenous people, the "San" (Bushmen), say that 'you can hear song in the stars on a Kalahari night.' It is a magnificent wilderness filled with a wide array of wildlife and ancient stone-age sites. While often called a desert, the Kalahari is actually semi-arid terrain with various depths of wind-blown sand. At first glance the Kalahari appears inhospitable but upon taking a closer look, you see an incredible variety of plants and animals with intriguing adaptations to the semi-arid climate. From antelope that have evolved special adaptations to cool blood circulation in their brains, to ants that use the sun to navigate, the Kalahari is full of wonders.