Home to one of the world’s great natural phenomena – the tranquil Okavango Delta, as well as some spectacular national parks, Botswana is one of Africa’s top tourist destinations. After achieving democratic rule in 1966, three of the world’s richest diamond-bearing formations were discovered within its borders, which extend over 1000km from north to south and 960km from east to west. As a result, this landlocked country enjoys a high standard of economic stability, education and health care, which goes unrivalled in Southern Africa, with the exception of South Africa itself.
As the custodian of extraordinary, wildlife-packed destinations such as the Okavango Delta and the Chobe National Park, this easy-going, friendly country blends sensational big game viewing with excellent accommodation, and fascinating cultural interactions.
Botswana was originally inhabited by the Batswana, (the “Tswana” in South Africa), who came into the area from South Africa during the Zulu wars of the early 1800s and, prior to European contact, lived as herders and farmers under tribal rule. After hostilities broke out between the Batswana and Boer settlers from the Transvaal in the 19th Century, the British Government put “Bechuanaland” under its protection in 1885. The northern territory remained under direct administration and is known today as Botswana, while the southern territory became part of the Cape Colony and is now part of the North West province of South Africa. In June 1964, Britain accepted proposals for democratic self-governance in Botswana which led to the first general elections, and independence in September 1966.
Travellers to Botswana can choose from a variety of accommodation options, ranging from five-star Botswana hotels, luxury lodges and safari camps, to budget guesthouses, backpackers and camping grounds. The major tourist areas have a wide choice of accommodation to cater for every budget.
The perfect destination for discerning safari travellers and wildlife aficionados, Botswana offers some of the best safari and wildlife experiences around, and there are plenty of options to choose from. The Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe are Botswana’s most popular parks, and because they provide a year-round water supply, nearly all of southern Africa’s mammal species are present in the Moremi Wildlife Reserve and Chobe National Park, which is also home to over 100,000 elephants.
Head to the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans National Park to see herds of wildebeest, zebra and other game animals that migrate annually in search of permanent water and stable food supplies. Alternatively, experience the breath-taking beauty of the Okavango Delta through a variety of different safari packages.