What to See & Do
Botswana is world
renowned as the premier safari destination in Africa. With nearly 40%
of our land reserved as unfenced national parks and game reserves teeming
with abundant wildlife and wetlands, it's no surprise that safari activities
are at the top of every vacationer's "must-do" list.
But a vacation in
Botswana is not complete without making time to visit with local Batswana,
explore Botswana's culture and heritage sights, and do a little shopping
for that "just right" souvenir to remind you of your perfect
Our friends at ©World
Travel Guide publish a list of Top Things to Do and Top Things to See
in Botswana. We like these lists and want to share them with you.
Top Things to
- Experience a sundowner. Sip a cool drink and enjoy a glorious sunset
at the end of a satisfying afternoon game drive.
- Go on a walking
safari - not for the faint-hearted but an exhilarating experience.
In the hands of an experienced guide, you'll see nature in close-up,
and may, if you're lucky, get thrillingly close to wild animals.
- Climb on the
back of an elephant for a safari trek to remember. As
well as learning all about elephants, you may see zebras, giraffes,
gazelles and other animals - with no distracting vehicle noise.
- Float along on
a mokoro, a traditional Okavango
expertly poled by a local guide who stands in the stern. Originally
made from hollowed-out wood, but now just as likely to be fibreglass,
they offer an unforgettable perspective.
- Fly over the
Kalahari Desert in a hot-air balloon, and experience
the thrill of landing in an open floodplain.
- Experience some
of the best sport fishing in Botswana, in the Okavango
Delta and Chobe river systems. You can also fish near Shashe, Bokaa
bike through the bush of the Mashatu Game Reserve in the Tuli
Block, stopping to watch passing elephants.
- Take off from
Maun by helicopter or light aircraft to
get a bird's eye view (and take some amazing photographs) of the Okavango.
- Experience Botswana's culture in Serowe, a village with historic
royal cemetery; in Lobatse with its Livingstone Memorial
and the Botswana High Court, and in Gabororne.
- Roar across the Makgadikgadi Pans on a quad bike, reveling
in the wide-open vistas.
Top Things to
- Spot antelopes
in the Gaborone Game Reserve and the Mokolodi
Nature Reserve, and giraffes striding through the Khutse
Game Reserve. Be dazzled by flamingoes on the Makgadikgadi
- Search for lions
and leopards stalking their prey or just lazing around in the shade
in the Moremi Game Reserve.
- Steer clear of
charging buffalo in Chobe National Park, and marvel
at hippos, while watching out for crocodiles, along the Chobe
- Grimace at rare
brown hyenas in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park,
a bi-national Peace Park created on ancient animal migration
routes between Botswana and South Africa.
- Admire Botswana's
remaining rhinos, carefully protected from poachers, at the Khama
Rhino Sanctuary in Serowe.
- Watch baboons
playing in scattered rocky kopjes in the Savute area,
the northern shore of the prehistoric lake that once covered most
- Visit the Tsodilo
Hills, considered a sacred site by the Bushmen; known to have
been inhabited for at least 100,000 years, these isolated hills are
decorated with thousands of rock paintings.
- Venture into
the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Remote and virtually
unexplored, it's a refuge both for animals and the country's few remaining
- Gaze at the pot
pourri of rocks, millions of years old, that make up the incredible
scenery of the Tuli Block. For a longer gaze, stay at
one of the private game ranches in this ruggedly beautiful countryside.
- See the Okavango
Delta, an extremely beautiful region of vast grass flats,
low tree-covered ridges and narrow, shallow waterways opening into
lagoons which fill with water during the annual flood.
Each of Botswana's
geographic regions has its own unique appeal, attractions and activities.
Want to learn more? More Highlights of What to See and Do are outlined
in this section.
Game Drives - Botswana's game drives, in open 4WD vehicles, offer superb wild-and-bird
life viewing. Many experts claim game drives in Botswana are the best
in all of Africa due to the quality of wildlife, the ability to drive
off road, exclusivity with few other vehicles, as well as the ability
to offer night drives in selct privatee reserves areas throughout
Mokoro - Think gondolas on canals in Venice and you have the right mental
picture. Long the local mode of transportation in the Delta, the mokoro
is a dugout canoe that is powered by a guide standing up and poling
through the wetlands of the Delta. The ultimate in relaxation and
serenity while viewing wildlife at water level, a mokoro ride is paramount
for a proper Delta experience.
Walking - Guided walking safaris are typically a two to three hour activity
in the Delta-Chobe area. This type of safari provides a different,
and highly recommended, perspective by moving slowly over the ground,
with the bushman culture - Genetic studies have shown that the
Kalahari bushman are the original humans on earth. Learning their
ancient survival skills is a unique and amazing opportunity, and you
can experience their tremendous skills in action as they guide visitors
to find lions, leopards, and other predators.
elephant riding - There are just a few camps that offer horseback
or elephant riding in Botswana safari areas, but for the adventurous
this is an experience not to be missed.
(a.k.a. ATV riding) -This is done at the Makgadikgadi Pans, Racing
across the pans on quad bikes is an exhilarating experience. It is
possible while quad biking in the pans to find stone age tools made
thousands of years ago by ancient bushmen, you Quad biking is a seasonal
activity depending on when the pans are dry but typically done between
June 1 and the end of October. Once the rains come it is not possible
to quad bike because it will damage the pans.
Mountain biking - Active adventure travelers can experience a safari - from a few
hours to multiple days, on a guided cycling safari in the Tuli Block.
Hot Air Ballooning - This "uplifting" experience can be enjoyed in the Tuli
region or in the Kalahari Desert.
Flora and Fauna
Botswana has an
astonishing diversity of flora and fauna details of which can be found
on the Botswana Tourism Board global web site. Click the following topics for detailed information.
to bed, early to rise" is a familiar phrase, particularly on
safari trips where getting up at sunrise for an early morning safari
activity is the norm. Nightlife in the bush camps and lodges revolve
around a mellow evening of star-gazing, sharing stories around the
fire pit, or relaxing with fellow guests in main lodge salon.
Even in the capital
city of Gaborone, nightlife is limited, as most Batswana are early
risers. Vacationers can choose from dining and enjoying a drink at
local or hotel bars and restaurants, seeng a movie at the cinema,
attending a theatrical production at the cultural centre or gambling
at one of the two casinos in town. Some bars host live music sessions
In the laid-back
tourist town of Maun, there are a handful of restaurants, a small
cinema and a clutch of places to grab a cold beer with fellow travelers
and the friendly locals.
back home, or maybe for yourself, a "special something"
that reminds you of your vacation of a lifetime in Botswana? The Batswana
are known for their woodcarvings, handcrafted jewellery, textiles
and attractive basketry - all make a memorable souvenir of your trip.
The Okavango Delta villages of Etsha and Shorobe are particularly
famous for Ngamiland-style baskets. Modern Bushman art and ostrich-eggshell
jewelery can be browsed and purchased at D'Kar, 40km (25 miles) north
of Ghanzi. There also periodic exhibitions at the National Museum
in Gaborone where you can purchase local artists' art and crafts.