BOTSWANA TRAVEL GUIDE
One of the largest diamond producing countries in the world, Botswana is not only expansively covered by the Kalahari Desert but also home to the rich diversity of the Okavango Delta. The phenomenal wildlife of the country is a real crowd-puller and its many game reserves are geared for adventure-seekers and nature lovers.
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BOTSWANA QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Gaborone
- Currency: Pula (BWP)
- Area: 600,370 km²
- Population: 2,2540,00 (2018 est.)
- Language: English (official), Setswana (official and national)
- Religion: Christian 70%, others including indigenous beliefs 30%
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BOTSWANA PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 May, Labor Day
- 1 July, Sir Seretse Khama Day
- 3rd Monday & Tuesday in July, President’s Day
- 30 September, Botswana Day (Independence Day)
- 26 December, Boxing Day
Also, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Ascension.
BEST TIME TO VISIT BOTSWANA
Botswana is generally an arid country, with little surface water except in the far north. Avoid the summer as it tends to get very hot and dry. However, during winter things do tend to get a little crowded but it’s definitely worth the effort.
The Okavango Delta, Moremi, and Chobe are Botswana's most popular parks and the best time to visit them is from May to September, during the dry season and winter, resulting in more moderate temperatures. In addition, the Okavango area is flooded from June to October. Wildlife viewing is good year-round, but this can differ for some parks. During summer (the rainy season) it can be much harder to appreciate the wildlife as the landscape can be overgrown and wet.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN BOTSWANA
Botswana is a big and diverse country that there will always be a suitable hiking route somewhere in the country throughout the year. Just remember that it can get both very hot and very wet at certain times of the year, depending on where you are. In general, game viewing is best from May to November.
HEALTH RISKS IN BOTSWANA
Be aware of possible health risks in
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF BOTSWANA
Okavango Delta - A unique geological formation where a delta is formed by a river (the Okavango) flowing into the Kalahari desert instead of the ocean. Part of the Delta is designated as the Moremi National Park. The beauty of the Okavango Delta is best discovered by mokoro canoe or an overnight stay on a small island.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve - Botswana’s biggest reserve and is situated in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. Botswana’s biggest reserve and is situated in the middle of the Kalahari Desert.
Chobe National Park - a great place to see wildlife, and a good point from which to move on to Victoria Falls. There are plenty of hippos and crocs in the river, and the birdlife is phenomenal.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - formed after a merger of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana. The Botswana side only has very basic campsites and most tourism happens on the South Africa side, which has excellent facilities. The red sand dunes in the inhospitable desert form a magnificent backdrop for wildlife viewing and photography.
Nxai Pan National Park - Unlike the salt-encrusted pans at Makgadikgadi, Nxai Pan is a water-less, fossil pan covered in grass with acacia islands. The area comes to life after the summer rains in December, when big herds of migrating zebra and wildebeest, accompanied by other grazers, arrive to feast on the new grasses.
Northern Tuli Game Reserve - a unique corner of Africa where nature & culture combine in spectacular wildlife, stunning scenery, and fascinating history.