Botswana has become a popular choice for travelers seeking safaris away from the crowded tourist attractions. Its striking views and unrivaled natural wonders make it a great choice for experienced travelers as well as first time visitors to Africa. Consider these 15 locations as you plan your own ultimate Botswana safari.
1. Mokolodi Nature Reserve
This reserve is known for its large variety of animals including white rhinos. Special tours are also available but must be booked in advance. The night drive is an especially interesting journey that highlights nocturnal animals as well as starry skies.
2. Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park is a great area to view wildlife such as elephants. Its location near Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls makes it the perfect starting point for a safari.
3. Nxai Pan National Park
Visit the Nxai Pan as the rainy season begins for unrivaled access to local wildlife. Keep in mind that travel during this period may become difficult and all terrain vehicles are recommended at all times.
4. Central Kalahari Game Reserve
This special destination ranks as one of the largest wildlife reserves in the world. Expect to view wildebeest, springbok, and giraffes who call the area home throughout the year. Public campsites are also available for guests who choose to stay onsite.
5. Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Take your time in individual self drives or look to guided tours around the sanctuary. Each offer great views of black and white rhinos. Chalets as well as dorms are available in addition to traditional camping options.
6. Sedudu Island
Flooding often prevents visits to the islands in the spring months, but its worth the wait to see this natural attraction. Birds mingle with buffalo that roam the lush terrain for an unrivaled viewing experience.
7. Tswapong Hills
Waterfalls are a highlight among this destination near Moremi. Baboons and leopards are also prominently featured in the area surrounding the hills. If you go, be on the lookout for the butterflies that live throughout the surrounding grounds.
8. Tsodilo Hills
The hills are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and feature thousands of rock paintings. Take a guided tour that covers walking trails as well as artifacts and paintings. While it’s not a safari destination in itself, it is often paired with other spots.
9. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
This large park features over three million hectares of land as well as dry expanses that highlight raptors and eagles. Six camps throughout the park offer their own viewing experiences but an all-terrain vehicle is required to reach any location.
10. Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi Game Reserve covers portions of the Okavango and features white rhinos as well as black rhinos. Consider visiting during autumn months for the best views of wildlife. This also avoids the rainy season that begins towards the end of the year.
Maun is a great starting point on any Botswana safari. The area features camps as well as lodges. Dining and transportation options are also available. This village can also be a central destination while visiting other attractions throughout the country.
12. Makgadikgadi Pan
This isolated salt flat offers a spectacular view that stands out from other sites on the safari. Expect a larger variety of birds during late spring and summer. Flamingos are some of the most famous residents.
The village offers a stopping point for travelers on the Trans-Kalahari Highway. Its position in the Kalahari Desert presents unexpected views as you refuel or grab a snack along the way.
Fly into this village for a relaxing stop before entering the Okavango. Lodges provide accommodations as you rest up before the safari begins or take in shopping at local shops and markets.
15. Lepokole Hills
These natural wonders are located near Bobonong and feature great climbing opportunities. Less adventurous travelers can take a hike or view archaeological items. Bird watching is another popular activity for visitors.
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This article was originally published on January 14, 2015.