User Reviews – Botswana
65+ years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Outside of the Delta Botswana is a dry country of flat, bush-covered semi-arid terrain. We didn't travel the southern parts of the country that are pure desert, but I expect that the scenery there is equally stark. This kind of country has real beauty but can easily get monotonous because there is little variety.
50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
We were unable to see many cats during our visit. The meerkats in Makgadikgadi brought the best out in all of us. We were also lucky enough to see an African Lynx while we were there. We prefer private drivers and moving from camp to camp with different guides was not as special as East Africa. Drivers seemed to give the same schpiel.
Best time to visit Botswana
Botswana is a beautiful country. If it's wildlife spotting you're after, try the Chobe National Park - it's the country's second-largest national park. Summer lasts between November and March so I would recommend going outside of those months as it can get extremely hot. Have a look here for more advice on the best time to visit - http://www.safaribookings.com/botswana/best-time
Deep in the Heart of the Chobi Reserve
I had to good fortune to spend two weeks in the Chobe National Park & the adjacent game reserve, and have never seen so many elephants in my life. It is a beautiful park, and is teeming with wildlife. It was also a nice respite to not have as many tsetse flies following you around. The local guides we were with were elephant experts, and had even names certain ones based on the tracks they left, and could tell elaborate stories of how they spent their days based on their comings and going. The weather was very mild for Africa standards, and the abundance of water at the time made for some great game viewing. I highly recommend this area, especially for people who don't have a lot of experience on safari, as this would be a great entry level safari. You're definitely going to see lots of wildlife.
50-65 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Botswana is expensive but you see game.
65+ years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Fully recommended especially for the better situated tourists, less for "backpackers" may be. Ample opportunity for watching and photographing, adventurous and much variation.
20-35 years of age
Great wildlife and bush experience but expensive and not as diverse as neighboring countries.
Email John Carthy | 20-35 years of age
Great choice for top end safaris
We drove through Botswana coming from Namibia via the north west border crossing, down the west of the Okavango panhandle to Maun, and then up to Chobe before heading into Zimbabwe.
Botswana is great. It has the flat, empty expanses of wilderness that most of us associate with Africa, but which are so hard to find nowadays with the vast population growth and land shortages which affect most African states. Driving from Namibia towards Maun it is pretty mindblowing to think that to the right of the road there is almost nothing but untouched wilderness stretching all the way to South Africa, whilst to the left of the road are the wetlands of the Okavango Delta followed by the Moremi Game Reserve, with its packs of African Wild Dogs.
Unfortunately, we were in a Honda Jazz. Small hatchbacks are not designed for Moremi, the Okagango or the Makgadikgadi Pans, so we stopped in Maun to consider our options. After two days searching in vain for a low-budget, organised camping trip into any one of the nearby parks, which involved me getting the car stuck in sand in the entrance to a hotel and having to be pushed out by local children, we gave up and drove to Chobe. The last hundred or so kilometres were done very slowly on a space saver spare tyre after we were eaten by a large pothole north of Francistown.
My only criticism of Botswana therefore is that there is very little infrastructure for the independent tourist; the entire tourism sector is geared towards high end fly-in safaris. Having said that, it will be the first country in Southern Africa that I return to - purely because I didn't have the money to see everything the first time around. To be truthful, I spent more on petrol than on seeing animals.
The only real exception to the rule is Chobe National Park. It is readily accessible from Victoria Falls and makes a great add on if you are visiting Livingstone or the Zimbabwean side. There are hotels in every price range, and you can park your small Japanese car outside the Avis office at the airport and leave it there. While you are spotting beasts, some poor Botswanan has the unenviable task of driving it the thousand and odd kilometers back to Johannesburg on a space saver as spare tyres of that size are not available anywhere further north.
Several hotels along the road in Chobe have boat and safari vehicle trips into the park, which is great. The boat trips get you close up to elephants, hippos, various antelopes and lots of birds, whilst the jeep safaris are great for lion and all the more common species - we saw a porcupine (the only one I have ever seen), and only just missed some wild dogs. Chobe is easily comparable to good National Parks in neighbouring countries, and it is something of a shame that it gets overshadowed by Botswana's star attractions further West.
If I come into money, I'll be straight back onto the plane to Botswana to do all the things I couldn't afford to do last time around. If you're on a budget, you'll do much better to stick to South Africa or Namibia, where your money will go much further.
35-50 years of age
Well developed but still authentic bush.
Beautiful earth, nice people, lots of elephants andhyppos, but a few cats (too much water)