Botswana has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Thanks to a resurgence in diamond mining, business opportunities have multiplied in Botswana, and these changes, along with progress in tourism and technology, have brought better education, improved health facilities, and a higher standard of living. A visit to Botswana is a visit to a thriving and rapidly developing corner of the world.
Botswana is known for its excellent safari adventures at reasonable prices and its friendly people. Be prepared to experience a serious African adventure when you’re traveling to Botswana.
The Top 10: What to Do in Botswana
1. St. Claire Lion Park:
Lions are the main attraction, but there is much more to see at this park, a little less than nine miles from Gaborone. It is a relaxing spot for getaways and picnics, and among its attractions are a children’s playground, a restaurant and bar, horse trails, vulture viewing, game viewing, and camping grounds. The bar and restaurant are closed on Mondays, but the park is open every day.
2. The National Museum and Art Gallery:
Central Gaborone is home to the National Museum and Art Gallery, which houses artwork by local and regional craftsmen, encapsulating the history of the Batswana people. The museum contains seven separate galleries.
3. Manyana Rock Paintings:
These Stone Age artifacts are in the village of Manyana, about 22 miles (35.5 kilometers) from Gaborone, at the base of the Kolobeng Hill. Have a guide point out the paintings to you if you have trouble identifying them. Some historians believe this area was a ritual site for the San people.
4. The Chobe National Park:
The second-largest national park in Botswana, Chobe is home to one of the most concentrated areas of game in Africa. There are four distinct ecosystems within the park: the Serondela, which has dense forests and grassy plains, the Savuti Marsh area, the Linyanti Swamps, and a dry area that connects them all. The park is probably the most famous for its elephants, though. Their number could represent the largest surviving elephant population; it’s estimated to be about 120,000.
5. Tsodilo Hills:
Out of the flat, barren landscape of the western Kalahari rise the cliffs of the four Tsodilo Hills. The three largest are known as “The Male,” “The Female,” and “The Child” (you can guess which one is the biggest). Much local folklore surrounds the hills, and archaeological research suggests that the area has been inhabited for at least 100,000 years. We suggest hiring a guide to take you around this historic site.
6. Moremi Game Reserve:
In the eastern section of the Okavango Delta, this game reserve is often described as the most beautiful one on the continent. The area is chock-full of flora and fauna, with wooded areas, forests, lagoons, and floodplains, as well as wild birds, buffalo, lions, leopards, and hyenas. Don’t be fooled by the dogs wearing collars, however: these are not domesticated animals. The population of wild dogs has dwindled so much that researchers have tagged them for an ongoing project.
7. Central Kalahari Game Reserve:
This reserve is the largest not only in Botswana but in the world. Only recently opened to the public, this remote wilderness has been left completely pristine, lacking the traffic that other game reserves experience. Hire a bushman to take you through the rough country.
8. Gemsbok National Park:
A continuation of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa, this “gem” is host to many native animals, like zebras, buffalo, lions, wild dogs, cheetahs, and leopards. We love it because the animals can roam freely between the two parks.
9. Okavango Delta:
If you’re craving a stop near water, visit this large river delta, which is typically traversed by small boats and dugout canoes. While the delta is home to large numbers of game species, it also features birds, plant life, and tranquil beauty.
10. Helicopters and Hot-Air Balloons:
Charter a plane or a helicopter from Maun for a spectacular ride over the Okavango Delta. Not exciting enough for you? Try a hot-air balloon ride for amazing pictures.
When to Go
For tourists visiting Botswana on safari, the best months are April through October. During this dry season, animals gather along natural water holes formed during the previous rainy season, making it easier to see a wide variety of animals at once. These winter days are dry, sunny, and warm, but when the sun goes down it can become chilly if not freezing. Visitors should be prepared for both extremes.
Botswana’s summer lasts from November to March, and the country experiences extremely high temperatures. The heat is tempered by rain, especially in the middle of and near the end of summer.