|Botswana is the ultimate safari destination. It’s a country of diverse landscapes full of natural beauty and plentiful wildlife. The country adopted a “low volume” tourism model to limit the negative effects of tourism in wildlife areas. The results are vast, untouched wildlife destinations. And because its private concessions aren’t fenced in, the wildlife can roam free. If you need a reason to travel to Botswana, we’ve got 7 of them.
1. Botswana is where it all started.
Recent studies show that the KhoiSan bushmen represent an isolated population of humans from 100,000 years ago. The best place to learn about these ancient ancestors is at Jack’s Camp in the Makgadikgadi Pans. There, you can spend the day with four generations of Bushmen living at Jack’s Camp for a glimpse into their traditional way of life. As you walk through the bush with them, you’ll learn how they have survived harsh environments and gain insight into their knowledge of plants, animal behaviors, and survival skills.
2. It isn’t just about game drives. The horseback riding experience is among the best in Botswana.
Sure the game drives in Botswana are exceptional, but Botswana is also one of the best places to get up close to the wildlife on a horseback riding safari. There’s no better place to experience the thrill of riding alongside giraffe and zebra than in the Okavango Delta where riders gallop through floodplains and papyrus-lined waterways.
3. There’s the migration, and then there is the migration.
You’ve heard about the Great Migration of wildebeest through the Serengeti, but what about the zebra migration in Botswana? It’s home to the longest terrestrial migration in Africa. See it at Jack’s Camp in the Makgadikgadi Pans. Each year 25,000 zebra make their annual journey through Botswana’s Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks from the Okavango Delta, covering a distance of over 300 miles round trip. Travel to Botswana, specifically Jack’s Camp during the green season, to watch the migration under the shade of trees with a picnic lunch, or perhaps spot it right outside your veranda.
4. A diverse environment… all to yourself.
The Kalahari Desert might dominate Botswana geographically, but there’s so much more to the country than the sand-filled basin. To complement the largest unbroken stretch of sand on the planet, Botswana is also blessed with the Okavango Delta. Its many water channels, lagoons, swamps, and islands, give life to areas like the wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve. And because of it’s “low volume” tourism model, you can explore the land of desert and delta without hordes of other travelers.
5. There are a lot of elephants in Chobe.
Chobe National Park is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife destinations. Located in the northern region of Botswana, it’s one of the most biologically diverse regions, with large concentrations of wildlife, most notably, the largest elephant population in Africa. Herds number in the hundreds, and it is estimated that anywhere from 50,000 to 120,000 elephants inhabit the park. To see the elephants of Chobe National Park, we suggest a stay at Ngoma Safari Lodge, nestled on the banks of the Chobe River.
6. Family is a priority in Botswana.
Botswana is a top destination for family and multi-generational travel. There’s a multitude of activities for families to participate in together. Experience Africa through the eyes of your children with the Young Explorers program, designed specifically with children in mind. It uses safari experiences like tracking, bush survival skills, and games drives to introduce the youngest minds to the African wilderness. What’s more, each family books the camp on an exclusive basis so you can tailor your safari experience just how you want.
7. Botswana is saving the Black Rhino and Ker & Downey is helping.
Botswana is a leader in wildlife conservation. Nearly 30 percent of its land is protected park or game reserves. In 2014, its conservationist president Ian Khama banned commercial hunting. Its wildlife is plentiful and a refuge for some of Africa’s biggest game like the black rhino. Since mid-2015, Rhinos Without Borders, with whom Ker & Downey partners, has been relocating rhinos from poaching hot spots in South Africa to safer environments in Botswana. The ultimate goal is to relocate 100 rhinos into Botswana. In an effort to help reach that goal, Ker & Downey has donated $70,000 to the project, the approximate amount to relocate two rhinos.
If you still need a reason to travel to Botswana, Lonely Planet ranked it as the top travel destination for 2016 and the New York Times selected it as a top travel destination for 2017. Don’t miss your chance for a once in a lifetime journey. Consider traveling to Botswana with Ker & Downey. Call (805) 495-9888 or contact us at Town & Country to work with a Luxury Travel Consultant to start planning your journey.