7 amazing things to do in Botswana
You may have noticed that I do have a “thing” for Botswana! To me it’s the ultimate safari destination: stunning landscapes and loads of wildlife. And the bonus; there are so many things to do in Botswana. Maybe I love Botswana so much because I was in awe when elephants crossed the highway right in front of me on my adventure vacation. This is truly exciting, wouldn’t you agree? Here are 7 things to do in Botswana…
Track the rhinos
Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a lovely place to get a first feel of the vast landscapes of Botswana. As the name suggests it’s also a great place to see white and black rhino. It’s a community based wildlife project focussed on saving these endangered species. You can explore the park on a self-drive, although I’d suggest going on a guided drive or nature walk. For a bit of adventure, take part in their rhino tracking activity. It starts very early in the morning (6 am) and is a great way to not only get close to rhinos but also learn more about their survival tactics and habits.
Paddle through lagoons in your mokoro
Is there a better way to get close to nature than sitting on eye-level in a mokoro? A mokoro is a traditional dugout canoe that is moved by a poler standing at the back. It’s definitely one of the most popular things to do in Botswana. What I love the most? The soft sound of water splashing against the mokoro while you glide through water lily filled lagoons and waterways. It’s a great way to taking in the sounds and sights of this beautiful miracle of nature. Keep an eye out for the tiny colorful reed frogs. Here’s an example how a water safari in Botswana could look like…
Fly over the Okavango Delta
Did you know that this ecosystem can cover up to 15,000km²? By the time, the water arrives from Angola, it has traversed 1300km. Another amazing fact: it’s the only river that doesn’t end in an ocean. To understand the magnitude of this mosaic like structure of lagoons and channels you have to fly over it. This lush water-wilderness of papyrus swamps, shallow reed-beds and floodplains, dotted with islands and laced with a network of channels is simply a beautiful sight. If you stay in a camp located in the heart of the delta, you even fly twice over the Okavango Delta. Bonus, right?
Meet the San Bushmen
The San Bushmen are the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa. It’s said they have lived for at least 20,000 years. They call the vast landscape of the Kalahari Desert home. If you have been to the Kalahari, you probably ask yourself as well how people here can survive. Traditionally, they are hunter and gatherers, mainly surviving on plant foods such as berries, nuts, roots and antelope hunted by men. A walk through the Kalahari with a San is a wonderful experience; not just because of their fascinating click sounds, which will be music to your ears.
Cruise along the Chobe River
Not sure what mesmerized me more: being right next to elephants taking a bath in the Chobe River or watching a stunningly beautiful sunset? Chobe Riverfront is most famous for its large herds of elephants and Cape buffalo. With a bit of luck you may see hundreds of elephants at one time during dry season. On a river cruise, you’ll experience nature and wildlife from a different viewpoint. Get up close and personal with hippos, crocs, elephants and an amazing variety of birdlife. A motorboat safari along the Chobe Riverfront is definitely one of the must things to do in Botswana.
Immerse yourself in the solitude of the Kalahari Desert
I’ll never forget my first road trip through the Kalahari. With handwritten instructions that sounded something like: drive along the road for a 80km, take the third fork at the first intersection you get to, keep going for another 30km, take the fork to the left…! Imagine my shock, when there were two left forks! And no matter in which direction you looked, you only saw a deep blue sky and the nothingness of the bush. Considering I am writing this many years later, it looks like I have made it to camp and didn’t get eaten by the famous Kalahari lion. But I’d do it over and over again. In the Kalahari, your problems vanish to the size of a pea. And here the bathrooms have the best views, wouldn’t you agree?
Take a day trip to Victoria Falls
I know, I know! The famous Victoria Falls are not in Botswana. But I couldn’t resist to mentioning them. There’s a reason why they are one of the Seven Wonders of the World. So it’d be a shame if you’d miss them considering how close you are. Some of the camps in Chobe do offer day trips. Could it get any easier? No. So put on a canary yellow raincoat and feel the spray of breathtaking ‘mosi oa tunya’ – ‘the smoke that thunders’!