When it comes to luring tourists, Botswana has a significant advantage over the rest of the world: wildlife. The variety of creatures that live in or transit through the country is astounding. From endangered animals like wild wolves and rhinos to the abundant and blooming bird life in the area.
The natural landscapes are also breathtaking, ranging from the enormous and intimidating Kalahari Desert to the sublime calm of the Okavango Delta. The landscape here can feel wide and barren in some places, or dense and alive with life in others, but it is always beautiful. The landscape is immediately recognizable as African, and it will exceed all of your pre-trip expectations.
All of these natural wonders, however, come at a price, and Botswana is currently one of the most expensive tourist destinations in Africa. Some of the luxury hotels here are so expensive that only the super-rich or once-in-a-lifetime trips such as honeymoons visit. Self-drive excursions, on the other hand, are a cheap and often more satisfying way to experience Botswana’s breathtaking landscape. Let’s look at the top 15 locations to visit in Botswana!
The Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is one of the most awe-inspiring nature areas in Africa, if not the entire world. The Delta is a truly wild place, with scenery ranging from dry grasslands to marshes.
Safaris and game viewing are the most popular activities in the park, with possible sightings of cheetahs, zebra, giraffes, elephants, crocodiles, and rhinos, to name a few.
Trips should be carefully planned since, while the scenery is usually beautiful, the seasons can drastically affect your chances of sighting specific animals.
Moremi Game Reserve
This park has a lot going for it, having been named the best game reserve on the African continent in 2008. It is the first reserve formed entirely by local residents concerned about natural and man-made dangers to the local environment and wildlife.
The reserve, located on the east side of the Okavango Delta, has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country as well as an equally spectacular environment.
Many tourists visit the area by self-drive campervan, although there are also a handful of excellent campgrounds.
This town is not far from Gaborone and is an excellent spot for hiking in the highlands. The village is surprisingly productive, with a variety of small businesses such as glassworks, metalwork, and ceramics located on the appropriately named Pelegano Village Industry.
The pottery plant in Gabane is especially interesting because of its shop, which sells commodities like as dinnerware, vases, and other handcrafted decorative items.
The most popular reason for visiting the area, though, is the excellent hiking location.
Kasane is located at the meeting point of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Zamibia, known as the Four Corners of Africa. It’s an excellent place to stay if you’re going to Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls or Botswana’s Chobe National Park.
The town’s attractions include a massive Baobab tree that was formerly used as a prison due to its trunk being so large that a human could enter it. There’s also a snake park with 50 snakes from 17 different species.
Kasane is also an excellent base for exploring the Chobe River.
Tourists frequently use Maun as a stepping stone to the Okavango Delta, but it has plenty to offer to warrant a few nights stay. Because the city is the country’s principal tourist stop, the hotels, restaurants, and tourist amenities are among the best in the country.
While the town itself does not have much to offer, it attracts a diverse mix of visitors, from luxury safari vacationers to volunteers.
There are some beautiful campgrounds along the river that offer a terrific spot to stay for a few nights.
Gaborone is Botswana’s largest city and the country’s capital. Gaborone’s modern structures contrasted against the lush landscapes of this African country are an odd sight, and despite its small size, there aren’t many reasons to visit the city.
A few decent hotels and restaurants augment the enormous residential neighborhoods. The city’s futuristic sense is underlined by its lack of history, but it is undoubtedly setting the way for the country’s future, and as such, it is an excellent site to experience the spirit of 21st Century Botswana.
National Park of Chobe
This game reserve is Botswana’s third largest, yet it features one of the highest concentrations of uncommon game creatures on the African continent.
The national park gets its name from the Chobe River, which will steal your breath away at first sight. The river is not only gorgeous, but it also sustains an ecosystem of unique and exotic wildlife such as birds, elephants, lions, giraffes, baboons, and buffalo.
During the winter, it is possible to view a herd of hundreds of elephants at once, which is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Botswana’s oldest town is also the country’s second largest. Before Europeans arrived and sought to profit from gold mining, Francistown was built atop it. In actuality, the town was named after a British man named Daniel Francis.
The Supa Ngwao Museum, which recounts the life and culture of the Kalanga people via numerous displays, is one of the town’s primary attractions. Birds and Game Botswana is also a sanctuary for orphaned wild animals.
Because of the recent rebirth of gold mining, the town is currently undergoing an economic boom.
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is a true wilderness that will make you feel as if you are exploring Africa alone. It is untamed, mysterious, and incredibly wide. Incredible meadows surround you during the day, while the skies at night are as clear as the clearest in the world.
Summer rains bring a plethora of wild beasts of all kinds and sizes, including enormous herds of animals such as wildebeast and springbok.
The unfathomable wide terrain and authentic African wilderness are the key reasons to visit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve during the harsher winter months.
Jwaneng literally means “place of small stones,” and it is built on the richest diamond mine in the world. These small stones, however, are significantly more expensive than your typical pebble.
In just one year, the mine generated more than 13 million carats from 10.5 million tons of ore. Guest accommodations and eateries are available in the town.
The nearby Jwana Game Park, which recently introduced two white rhinos, is also supported by the mine.
Hills of Tsodilo
The Tsodilo Hills come practically out of nowhere in the northwest Kalahari. The relative flatness of the surrounding country in the Kalahari makes these towering rock formations of diverse forms and sizes even more stunning.
The Tsodillo Hills are a Unesco World Heritage site with around 4000 cave paintings dispersed across 200 localities. According to the cave drawings and other evidence, the hills were first inhabited about 30,000 years ago.
Winter is the greatest season to visit because summer can be extremely hot.
National Park of the Makgadikgadi Pans
The name may be long, but the reasons to visit Makgadikgadi Pans National Park are straightforward.
Because the park runs from the Boteti River, it supports a large and diversified environment.
The wildlife is most diverse during the dry season, when animals go for miles to the river, which is the only source of water for a long distance.
Although it is mostly utilized as a stopover for travelers on their way to Muan or Kasane, Gweta is worth a visit for its namesake, the bullfrog species that lives in the area.
The frogs hide in the sand until it rains, at which point they can emerge from their sandy hibernation.
Apart from these wonderful species, there isn’t much to see in Gweta, though the fuel station here is convenient for passing by and will almost certainly see you pop in at some point during your stay.
Because of its location between Namibia, South Africa, and Botswana, Kang has a distinct travel vibe.
It is not the most appealing area in Botswana, nor does it have the greatest attractions or sights, but the town does have amenities such as restaurants and guest hotels that can be utilized as bases or as part of an onward excursion in Botswana.
The restaurants in Kang are unlikely to provide the most memorable meals during your visit, but they are inexpensive and filling.
Because of its prominent location in the Chobe National Park, Savuti is one of Botswana’s most popular safari locations. Because of the river, all of the most popular and magnificent species (excluding rhinos) visit the region all year.
The environment is vast and fairly desolate, but it was once a superlake that filled a gap in Northern Botswana.
The area is brimming with luxury lodges for those looking for the best of the best. There are also excellent campsites for drivers in the region.