Welcome to Botswana
The ultimate luxury safari destination in Africa?
If you’re after exclusive safari experiences, incredible wildlife spectacles, luxe lodges and the ultimate in privacy, Botswana is the place to go. This country pioneered a low-volume, high-cost tourism policy so the rewards are great, but you’ll also need to be happy to pay more for the privilege of a safari experience here than in more populated neighbouring countries.
There’s an impressive diversity of epic landscapes on offer, from the vastness of the Kalahari and its intriguing, arid salt pans, to the lush waterlands of the Okavango Delta and the Chobe.
You can see ancient rock art at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tsodilo Hills; spend time with the San, direct descendants of the world’s first humans; and visit truly magical landscapes that few people have heard about, let alone visited.
The Tuli Block, for example, is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Stretching for 300 kilometres along the Limpopo River, this narrow fringe of land at the country’s eastern border is a wealth of rich animal life and incredible landscapes unlike anywhere else in Botswana. These are just some of the reasons why Botswana is one of our all-time favourite safari countries.
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Landlocked Botswana sits in southern Africa, bordering two other fantastic safari holiday countries, South Africa and Namibia. Its population may be tiny compared to South Africa’s, but Botswana’s history, cultures, wilderness and wildlife are hugely impressive. Botswana’s earliest inhabitants, the Bushmen (San) are hunter-gatherers who have lived in the area for an estimated 30,000 years. But Botswana’s fascinating history encompasses so much more – everything from large chiefdoms that formed 1,000 years ago, to the Great Zimbabwe and Zulu empires, Christian missionaries from Europe, British rule, and becoming a democratic self-governed country in 1964. Today, Botswana is a well-governed peaceful country.
Botswana safari holidays are possible all year-round, but if you’re wanting to visit the Okavango Delta the dry season (June to October) is generally considered to be the best time. This is when the Delta floods, so it’s a great time to enjoy a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) or boating safari. Similarly, it’s a great time to visit Chobe National Park, as the days are warm and dry (the nights can get chilly), the mozzies are at a minimum, there are no problems with the roads and the lack of water encourages animals to stay by the river, making it easy to spot wildlife. If you’re travelling to the Kalahari the best time to visit is just after the summer rains, from about January through to April; to explore the salt pans, go in the dry season for dramatic stark white expanses, or in the wet season when they fill with water and come alive with birds and animals.
Conservation in Botswana
Botswana is often seen as a leader in the battle to preserve the continent’s famous wildlife. As well as a low-volume, high-cost tourism policy that limits the number of visitors but charges high prices for the privilege of intimacy, Botswana also has one of the highest conservation land ratios in Africa, with more than 25 percent of the land area set aside for parks and reserves to conserve the national heritage of the country.
After a five-year suspension, the government lifted its ban on elephant hunting in May 2019, citing growing conflicts between humans and elephants. This controversial move flies in the face of advice from the conservation nonprofit Elephants Without Borders, while other reports indicate that elephant poaching is sadly on the rise now in Botswana, once considered Africa’s “Last Safe Haven”.
What our guests say about Botswana
13-night safari exploring South Africa, Botswana and Victoria Falls
“I cannot think of anything that could have been done better.”Read more
We could not have done what we did in Botswana on our own and what Encompass Africa created was magic.