Why is Botswana such a unique Safari destination?
I think it´s time for me to write my thoughts about why I consider Botswana to be the premium safari destination.
This is of course not true for everyone and these are my own thoughts. I have many more places I must see in Africa, but I find it hard to believe that any other place will have the same attraction.
What Botswana has to offer is a huge smorgasbord of different places. The land is flat and 70% is actually the Kalahari Desert, but still you have an abundance of life in most corners of the country. You have the Okavango Delta as the main attraction. The Okavango Delta is extraordinary and a place I must explore more. The vast space you find in Makgadikgadi, Nxai Pan and the endless sand dunes in Central Kalahari Game Reserve, CKGR, are also reasons for me to go back to Botswana more than once. You can’t see everything in one trip as the season in Botswana have two distinct seasons. During the Green season, from December to April, you go to the Pans and CKGR. During the rest of the year you mainly visit the Delta and Chobe National Park.
On the right track
I find Botswana’s policy of Low-impact Tourism to be a measure that more countries should adopt. The government recently took steps to ban trophy hunting in 2013 as they see a bigger value if the animals are alive. The conflict between livestock and predators is kept at a minimum as people aren´t allowed to live inside the National Parks, except some families of Bushmen in CKGR. The only downside I see is that you find a veterinary fence in some areas. It hinders migration and the natural movemment of animals. The reason for this is simple as they don’t want to spread the foot and mouth disease to cattle. It might even be the best way to stop sad headlines like this from Tanzania.
The icing on the cake, for me, is to couple low impact tourism policy with Mobile Safari. It is a type of Safari that Botswana is famous for. I know that you can find semi-permanent or permanent camping in many other countries, but that is not the same. The feeling of being out on an expedition isn´t the same if you arrive at a pre erected camping site to which the wildlife has been accustomed to.
Mobile safari all the way
For me Mobile Safari is the only way you can feel the bygone days of the African explorers like Dr. Livingstone. You live inside nature 24/7 and have to bring all the supplies you need. You can do it all on your own as they have public camping sites. The camping sites are permanent spots to which the wildlife is accustomed to. This often means trouble with mainly primates, but also cheeky Hyenas that steal food from campers. The only way to do this properly is to use a safari company that is connected to HATAB. They are licensed by the Botswana government and have the possibility to use private camp sites. It will not come cheap, but you get what you pay for.
The Safari companies use open vehicles. This will bring much more to the safari experience than you’ll get if you sit in an air-conditioned vehicle. The smell and sound are something you really will come to appreciate when you are out on a Mobile Safari. Don´t exclude them, include them.
You might be bothered by the thought of an open vehicles as there are many types of bugs in Africa. I can honestly say that it was only Mopane flies that I found disturbing and they actually just rested on the back if we had dark clothing. I didn´t get any mosquito bite, I was there in the end of the dry season and that might be why. We didn´t encounter any Tsetse flies. I actually think that they have eradicated the Tsetse fly in Botswana and that is good for both humans and animals.
Links to blogs and photo albums
Below you’ll find links to the different blog posts and Photo Albums from my Botswana trip. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I will help you the best I can.
Okavango Delta: click here
Xakanaka, Moremi Game Reserve: click here
The Lion in Moremi Game Reserve: click here
Khwai Community Area: click here
The Elephant herd: click here
My thoughts on Savuti: click here
Travelling from Savuti to Chobe River: click here