Why Botswana Should Be On Your Bucket List

Botswana Safari

If Botswana is not already on your bucket list, it’s time for a rewrite.

With its abundance of wildlife, endless vistas and ever-smiling locals, Botswana is a truly African gem. As a top holiday destination in Southern Africa, Botswana offers diversity in its natural fauna and flora, historical sites and cultural interactions, as well as different, fun modes of getting around.

Whether you’re going on your first African safari as a family or abandoning your home in the city for a romantic getaway, going on safari doesn’t have to mean giving up your home comforts. Botswana provides a range of relaxing and affordable accommodation, that will welcome you back after a busy day in the bush.

Here are three reasons why so many travellers place Botswana at the top of their adventure list:

Roam with wildlife

Wildlife in Botswana

Photo © Under One Botswana Sky

A vast number of endangered species call Botswana home because of the country’s commitment to nature conservation. In fact, it is a stronghold of the African wild dog, holding up to 30% of the world’s population. If it’s a dream of yours to see the ‘painted’ dog, book into a camp in the Moremi Game Reserve to witness it roaming its natural habitat of the Botswanan savannah.

As one of the least populated countries in Africa, Botswana offers crowd-free game viewing. With minimal human presence, dense wildlife populations meet at waterholes during the rainy summer season and search for water across the plains in the winter. Look out for dramatic predator-prey action at waterholes, where zebras chance a drink in crocodile territory.

For an unmissable birdwatching experience, bed down near the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan to be part of the colourful splendour of Africa’s feathered friends. Adorning vibrant pink suits, the flamingos dazzle as they strut across the salt pans. Crested cranes, pelicans and secretary birds show off their trademark physiques and colour combinations.

Get lost in the horizon

Sunset in Botswana

Photo © Under One Botswana Sky

Have you ever wondered what the sky would look like if it was on fire? As the sun sets on the plains of Botswana, you’ll see the sky shift from soft blue to fiery reds and oranges – the perfect fire in the sky. The horizon of the Savuti Savannah becomes silhouetted by palms and thorny trees as day turns to night, and electric storms strike down at several points of a 360-degree spin.

Whether you decide to hot air balloon up into the warm African sky or stick to the stomping ground of elephants, you will never grow tired of the beautiful scenery Botswana has to show. When traversing the Okavango River in your makoro, look down into the water to get lost in the pristine, aquatic world below you. Step out of your riverside camp in the early morning and see the sunrise reflected in the water in front of you.

Enjoy vast open spaces between Botswana’s towns as you travel to your camp. Watch out for wildlife crossing roads, local people herding cattle and dogs with tongues lolling as they run through the long yellow grasses.

Feel at home

Fishing in Botswana

Photo © Under One Botswana Sky

The phrase ‘service with a smile’ might well have originated in Botswana. Whether you’re speaking with the lodge staff or owners of small roadside kiosks, the Batswana are a warm and friendly people. Tourism in Botswana is sustainable in terms of both nature conservation and job creation so its inhabitants welcome new faces to their country.

If you want to encounter Africa’s first people, you can meet the San and visit their ancient rock paintings. These must-see artefacts are found in the Tsodilo Hills and camps are located in the nearby Okavango Panhandle. While these members of the Khoisan-speaking hunter-gatherer people can be found throughout Southern Africa, their historical presence is most pronounced in northern Botswana. Take a hike to magnificent rockfaces that will take you to a time long past but not forgotten.

Written by Megan Lewis.

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