Africa Tours and Safaris
Travel Guide to Botswana

Botswana is a land-locked country, over 581,730, sq km in size. Geographically, the country is dominated by the Kalahari Desert - a sand-filled basin averaging 1,100 metres above sea level. It lies between longitudes 20 and 30 degrees east of Greenwich and between the latitudes 18 and 27 degrees approximately south of the Equator. The country is situated in the Southern African region and about two-thirds of Botswana lies within the tropics. Botswana is surrounded by Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, Namibia to the north and west, and South Africa to the south and southeast. At Kazungula, four countries; Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia meet at a single point mid-stream in the Zambezi River.
 
Botswana is one of the world's most exciting travel destinations for exploring wildlife and offers some of the best wildlife safaris. The natural beauty of Botswana is found in its land formations, its wilderness, wildlife and its cultural diversity.  Botswana safaris offer travelers wonderful and diverse experiences in pristine natural environments. In Botswana you can explore the Kalahari Desert, savannahs, wetlands, the Okavango Delta and the game reserves of one of the wildest regions in Africa.

This progressive democratic nation has protected 40% of its habitat for wildlife and abandoned mass tourism in favor of low volume, high quality safari travel. The lush Okavango Delta is surrounded by the vast Kalahari Desert creating one of the highest game concentrations in the southern African subcontinent. Our itineraries also include the savannas of the Moremi Reserve, as well as the woodland and mopane forests of Botswana’s Chobe and Linyanti game reserves, renowned for their predators and large concentrations of game, particularly elephant. The remote Kalahari region offers a solitude all its own and is inhabited by the San people.

The following are the safari regions in Bostwana; Selinda and Kwando, Mashatu and the Tuli Block, Okavango Delta and Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Chobe, Savuti and Linyanti, Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pans.

History
The Botswana safari circuit’s original inhabitants were the Bushmen who, from the 18th century, were pushed into the central Kahalari by expansions of Tswana, Ndebele and the Afrikaner. In 1885 Britain made it a protectorate, Bechuanaland, to keep it from German Expansion in Namibia. The protectorate was badly administrated and remained one of the poorest countries in the world with cattle ranches its main income provider. One year after gaining independence the world’s second largest diamond pipe was discovered in Orapa. It now provides 70% of export earnings and Botswana has one of the fastest growing economies.

Climate
The seasons in Botswana are indistinct. Rains generally start in October or November and persist through to March or April. Within that period there may be long dry spells. In April, temperatures begin to fall and May is generally regarded as the first month of the dry, cool winter, characterised by clear sunny days and cold nights. Spring begins in August and temperatures rise rapidly during the hot, dry period of September, October and November until the rains again break.

Wildlife Viewing
 Parks and reserves have been established for the protection of the wildlife. Here, in the wilderness of Botswana, it is you who are the intruder and your presence is a privilege. Game viewing is usually at its best during the dry season - in winter (May to August) and in the hot springtime months of September and October, when the animals are concentrating near rivers, pools and waterholes. The chances of spotting lions are better just after sunrise then at other times. In summer, most of the game tends to lie up during the heat of the day, so the recommended times to set out on drives are the early mornings and late afternoons. Elephants, though, are wide-awake and active in and around the rivers in the hotter hours.

Languages
English is the official language and Setswana is the national language. There are other tribal languages spoken, however, generally the population has a good command of the English language and communication should not be a problem on your Botswana safari.

Culture
Botswana has diverse cultures due to the diverse ethnic composition. The majority of the population is of Christian religion. There are other religions, such as Islam and Hindu, as the people enjoy freedom of religion.

When to visit Botswana
The months between April and November, when large number of animals migrate towards the waterways of the Okavango Delta, is best time to go. November and December are an excellent time to witness nature's own timetable of regeneration. The rainy season, from January to March, sees the migration of large numbers of game into the summer grazing areas, while the delta comes alive with sounds of hundreds of bird species. In March and April, thousands of zebras and other animals migrate towards the Savuti area of Chobe National Park. Summers (particularly from December through to February) can become exceptionally hot, and rain may make some roads muddy and impassable. During the rainy summer season, animals in many game areas disperse, while in the dry winter season they congregate around water sources, making for good game viewing. This does not mean, however, that game viewing is impossible during the summer season.