Botswana is all about being outside, seeing amazing African wildlife and nature, and having loads of fun. Because of this, it can be a great place for the whole family — kids and adults both love to see flora and fauna close up. Here are a few things to do in Botswana for the whole family, most of which involve seeing wildlife and nature, whether it’s on safari, in a sanctuary, on a river, or on an island.
1. Spend A Day At Lion Park Resort
With a wave pool, amusement park rides, water slides, lion viewing, dune buggies and paintball, it’s no wonder that Lion Park Resort is Gaborone’s number one family entertainment destination!
2. Take A Helicopter Flight With Helicopter Horizons
See Botswana’s Okavango Delta from the sky with Helicopter Horizons. Being the only helicopter charter company in the region, your family will have a magical experience spotting game from up above.
3. Head Out To The Makgadikgadi Salt Pan
In the middle of the dry savanna of northeastern Botswana is one of the largest salt flats in the world. The Makgadikgadi Pan is the remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, which actually covered an area larger than Switzerland, but dried up several thousand years ago.
4. Stay At Gaborone Sun
With a massive swimming pool for the kids and an onsite casino for mom and dad, the Gaborone Sun caters to the whole family. With great quality service complemented by friendly staff, your stay will be a breeze.
5. Visit CARACAL Biodiversity Center
With no training or educational facility that meets the needs of the communities in the Chobe District, CARACAL stepped in and is currently filling that need. Continuing their amazing work, they started the first Biodiversity and Environmental Education Center in Botswana which helps with outreach, research and education. The centre also rehabilitates small injured animals and birds which guests can feed and interact with.
6. Take A Chobe River Boat Cruise
Head out on Chobe River with Chobe Safari Lodge and see Africa’s wildlife like you’ve never seen it before. With elephants, hippos, water birds, buffaloes, and crocodiles in the surrounding area, you’ll surely have a close encounter with something amazing.
7. Have A Bush Braai At Mokolodi Nature Reserve
Mokolodi Nature Reserve was created specifically as a non-profit reserve that provides environmental education to the children of Botswana and those visiting the country. With the reserve stretching over 12,500 acres, you’ll first enjoy a one hour game drive before tucking into a bush braai (BBQ) which will include a variety of meat followed by dessert and coffee.
8. Go Glamping At Edo’ s Camp
With four large, twin-bedded Meru-style tents, Edo’s Camp provides guests with a private en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water. The tents also have a private veranda with views of a permanent waterhole.
9. Visit Kubu Island
If you’re kids like climbing up and over things, then they’ll love Kudu Island. It’s not a real island, but a dry granite rock island in Makgadikgadi Pan area. It’s a beautiful sight to see especially during sunrise and sunset, plus your kids can go crazy trying to climb up the granite rocks.
10. Go See Some Rhinos At Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Before they all disappear, take your kids to go see some white rhinos at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary in Serowe. Covering about 8,585 hectares of Kalahari Sandveld, the sanctuary provides a home for white and black rhino, and over 30 other animal species including kudu, zebra and 230 species of birds.
11. Take A Dip In The Moremi Gorge
A great way to spend a morning with the whole family is going to Moremi Gorge in the Tswapong Hills in Palapye. Small waterfalls cascade into pools and rain water seeps out of the porous rock.
12. Go Birdwatching At Nata Bird Sanctuary
Kit the kids out with binoculars and take them to Nata Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is the only protected reserve in Botswana’s Sowa Pan. It is also a community-managed project, with assistance from the Nata Conservation Committee and national and international organizations.
13. Go On A Participation Safari With Odirile Safaris
Get the kids involved in their Odirile Safari experience by helping the guides set up camp and collect firewood, before heading out on a game drive where the whole family will encounter wild animals at close range. You’ll also get to explore the remote regions of the Okavango in Botswana.
14. Stay At Peermont Metcourt Inn at The Grand Palm Resort
With comfortable rooms, a lovely swimming pool, an on-site casino, and a beautiful restaurant, Peermont Metcourt Inn at The Grand Palm Resort makes an amazing place to stay with your family. This three-star hotel is also reasonably priced, and amazingly friendly staff.
15. Go See Some Ancient Art At Tsodilo Hills
With amazing rock art, Tsodilo Hills is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also consists of rock shelters, depressions, and caves. According to UNESCO, the hills contain 500 individual sites that have had human habitation over the last 1,000 years.
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This article was originally published March 3, 2015.